The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), which was launched earlier this year by President Geingob is the 5th NDP in the series of a total of seven National Development Plans that are to implement and achieve the objectives and aspirations of Namibia's long-term vision, Vision 2030.

In sequence, NDP5 will be the fifth five-year implementation vehicle towards Vision 2030 and will be implemented from the financial year 2017/18 up until 2021/22.

The NDP5 framework is organised around the four interconnected pillars that are founded on the principle of sustainable development namely: economic progression; social transformation; environmental sustainability; and good governance.

These pillars are aligned with Namibia's commitment to eradicate poverty and inequality as outlined in Vision 2030, the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016), and the SWAPO Party Manifesto (2014). Additionally, the pillars support the global and continental development frameworks to which Namibia is committed.

These include Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Paris Agreement (CoP21); African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).

Within these contexts, Namibia commits itself to enhancing growth and economic diversification while addressing challenges that include a high degree of regulation and a mismatch between the skill levels in Namibia's work force and the skills demanded by the labour market.

NDP5 identifies five game changers that will move Namibia from a reactive, input-based economy towards a proactive, high performing economy.

The game changers are; increase investment in infrastructure development; increase productivity in agriculture, especially for smallholder farmers; invest in quality technical skills development; improve value addition in natural resources; achieve industrial development through local procurement.

Investment, implementation & reporting

Chapter 6 of NDP5's Good Governance Pillar outlines the financing, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework for NDP5. The Government of the Republic of Namibia is committed to stimulating economic growth, reducing poverty and income inequalities, and improving the living standards of its people through the implementation of all development priorities outlined in NDP5.

The provision and mobilisation of adequate financing, continuous monitoring, evaluation and effective progress reporting throughout the NDP period remain top priority. Critical to achieving these goals is the need to leverage funding from all possible sources and adopt prudent and accountable practices that are performance oriented and results driven.

This should be underpinned by a culture of performance, disciplined service delivery and implementation integrity where implementing agencies constantly strive to achieve meaningful results and positive impacts.

In order to determine the extent to which the objectives of NDP5 are achieved, systematic monitoring and evaluation (M&E) must be conducted. In this context, the application of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tools to generate reliable and valid information to help government make informed decisions will be the focus in NDP5.

M&E information generated in NDP5 will be essential for improving programme planning and implementation, supporting policy-making and providing evidence for public resource allocation.

M&E will improve accountability and enhance transparency by revealing the extent to which meaningful results have been achieved as well as their contribution towards the envisaged country desired outcomes.

Lessons learnt during the NDP4 implementation period showed that a lack of clear logical result chain linking outputs to outcomes and goals and their accompanying indicators at the different result levels proved challenging in tracking progress.

This was compounded by unclear reporting modalities and sector coordination throughout the implementation period.

To avoid sector coordination challenges faced during the previous NDPs and for the effective implementation of NDP5 an Implementation Plan (IP) outlining programmes and projects to be implemented, as well as their cost has been developed and constitutes Volume II of the NDP5 document.

Monitoring and evaluation will also be improved in NDP5 through the adoption of the results based management approach where M&E focuses on tracking progress towards results (goals, desired outcomes, and outputs) that we aspire to achieve as a country.

The results-focused M&E approach differs from implementation-focused M&E that largely involves monitoring financial resources and activities and at best ends at the output level. The approach places greater emphasis on the monitoring of the actual results (outputs, outcomes and impacts) of interventions while taking into consideration the use of inputs and the completion of activities.

To this end, a Results Framework for NDP5 has been developed that states the high level results (goals, outcomes) to be monitored as well as their accompanying indicators against which progress will be measured.

The Results Framework also states the targets for the NDP5 period, as well as the institutions responsible for implementation and reporting. The Results Framework will be cascaded to O/M/A Strategic Plans and will be the basis for monitoring in NDP5.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia