2013 United Rep. of Tanzania: Assessment of Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Reporting (PBMR) process and tools in LGAs
Author: AMCA Inter Consult Ltd/CSR Group Africa Ltd
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UNICEF has been supporting the Government Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Reporting (PBMR) processes as part of the 7 Learning Districts Strategy (LDs). UNICEF support to PBRM was mainly on capacity building on preparation of key PBMR tools namely the District Strategic Plan, (DSP), the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and use of Planning and Reporting (PlanRep) and giving feedback to the utility of these tools to the developers and implementers. At the community level, UNICEF supported the roll-out the Opportunities and Obstacles for Development (O& OD) methodology for addressing the problem facing the community. Thus the present assessment was carried out from October to November 2012 as part of an exit phase of UNICEF support to the 7 Learning Districts (LDs) after 4 years of implementation. The scope of the assessment has been to look at the entire programme, however, with greater focus on providing some strategic recommendations on the planned new UNICEF Programme of Cooperation with the Government of Tanzania in the area of Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Reporting.
The objective of the current assessment was to examine the status of PBMR and UNICEF contribution to PBRM to understand if ways and means used to build capacity of the districts were appropriate, effective and comprehensive enough to cover all important aspects or needs of capacity building.
In terms of geographic scope, the assessment of PBMR processes was conducted in the seven Learning Districts (LDs) and three Non Leaning (NLDs) under the Government of Tanzania (GoT) and UNICEF Country programme of cooperation. The Learning Districts included Siha, Hai, Bagamoyo, Mtwara, Makete, Magu and Temeke while Non-Learning Districts included Moshi Rural, Njombe and Misungwi.
The assessment team employed a mixed methods approach which consists of both qualitative and quantitative methods in the assessment of PBMR. Systematic documents review was used to review documents from different documents in the course of the study in an attempt to understand the context of the study and to obtain key information on PRBM processes. Individual capacity assessment tool for LGA staff was used capture practices, experiences, views and opinions of key council staff involved in the PBMR processes. Institutional capacity assessment tool also used to assess the quality of key PBRM tools including the District Strategic Plan, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the progress reports and M & E systems. Key informant interviews were conducted with other district staff and stakeholders involved in and/ or supporting the PBMR processes. In each district some selected members of Village/Ward Development Committees, women groups, children/ youth groups and community based organisations (CBO) were met for focus group discussions on PBMR processes.
Findings and Conclusions:
UNICEF support to PBMR in capacity building of Local Government Authorities in planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting and, also an assessment of the programme against the 5 different criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
The assessment team offers the recommendations found in Chapter 6 of the report to strengthen the support to PBMR processes. The section on page 14 (and below), presents the top 3 recommends each, presented separately for the UNICEF, Ministry of Finance and PMORALG. In this section, we present the top three priority recommendations for the
RECOMMENDATIONS TO UNICEF
1. To ensure sustainability of PBRM training UNICEF should support to increase a pool of national trainers and facilitate the institutionalization of PBRM training in the Local Government Training Institute (LGTI) – in Dodoma. The LGTI should also assume the role of training of national trainers, supervision of trainers and quality assurance. UNICEF should build the capacity of LGTI to provide training on all aspect of PBRM including planning, budgeting, M & E and reporting.
2. There is a role for UNICEF to play in terms of continued capacity building of LGAs on PBMR as part of its support to sub-national programming especially in the area of monitoring and evaluation which was found to be a problematic performance area in the districts despite the existence of D/CMETs. In this regard, UNICEF should consider supporting or lobbying for the creation of the position of monitoring and evaluation officers at the district level to ensure increased oversight in the monitoring and reporting of development interventions at the districts.
3. UNICEF should develop a transition and scale up plan, to ensure that interventions are handed over properly to the councils and other relevant institutions. Exiting a district should be done in such a manner that the gains that would have been made through the full cycle of programme implementation are reversed, as can be the case when there is no proper plan for exiting the district.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO MINISTRY OF FINANCE
1. The ministry of finance should look into a possibility of changing budget calendar so that the budget for the subsequent year is prepared, presented and approved before the end of the preceding year, possibly in April for implementation to start July 1st. This amendment has already been submitted to the parliamentary Committee on Economic affairs but need follow up action.
2. In line with the above, the Ministry of Finance must ensure that it avails the annual budget guidelines and the budget ceiling before the budget planning process for the new financial year commences to avoid repetition of time consuming tasks and ensure realistic budgets from the District Councils. The MoF should issue budget guidelines by the first week of October, to allow LGA start budget preparation, particularly O & OD processes in October with budget ceiling and national priorities in mind. The O & OD exercise at community level should start only after knowing their budget ceiling.
3. The MoF should facilitate harmonization of the reporting formats so that LGAs have the same reporting formats to sector ministries and donors. This issue has already been taken to the Inter-ministerial Technical committee for action but further follow up is needed.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES/PMORALG
1. The PMO-RALG should facilitate availability of hardware and software to all districts to facilitate maintenance and routine data collection. This should go hand in hand with proper management and appropriate maintenance of existing equipment and tools. Equipment maintenance should be part and parcel of capacity building.
2. The PMO-RALG should asses the need of the council against the functionalities of financial management information systems (EPICOR) and configures them to accommodate councils financial management needs. The MoF and PMORALG should ensure harmonization of PlanRep3 and EPICOR and issue circular to this effect.
3. PMO-RALG in collaboration with councils should devise a mechanism for ensuring that on the job training is happening, documented and replicated. For sustainability on the job training need be linked to performance, incentive and promotion. Along with on the job training, pre-service training of key people dealing with PBMR at the district level should include skill building of key PBMR tools and set mechanism for quality assurance of the outputs.
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