Advising the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development

Project descritpion

Title: Advising the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Niger
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development
Overall term: 2008 to 2022

Context

The most important challenge for the Niger Government is to reduce poverty, which affects around 60% of the population, by promoting sustainable socio-economic development and inclusive growth. Little discernible progress has been made in this regard in recent years. There is a distinct lack of coherent development strategy and planning, effective instruments, and efficient coordination between internal and external development partners. There is scope for improvement in the way the necessary funding is provided through medium-term financial planning and the budget process. There is no systematic and gender-sensitive monitoring of strategy implementation.

The Government is aware of these serious problems and has therefore once again set up a central ministry, the main task of which is to plan and steer national development priorities and allocate the necessary funding. Due to capacity bottlenecks, the new Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development is not yet able to fulfil its core functions.

Objective

The Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development is able to draw up and implement a coherent development strategy and plan and monitor implementation.

Approach

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the effectiveness of the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development with regard to the development of a long-term development strategy and medium-term development plan and to support their implementation. This is achieved via medium-term financial planning and budgeting and the systematic and gender-sensitive monitoring of impacts. Over an extended period, project experts and experts from the partner institution work together in small work groups to address technical and content-related issues. This enables the partner to generate relevant information on a sustainable basis, feed this into strategic processes, and plan and implement this in a competent manner. Regular training measures, participation in regional dialogue platforms, workshops on the development and use of analytical instruments and other measures help ensure that the advice provided has a sustained impact. A key component of the support is the secondment of an economic policy advisor to the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development.

The project also helps German development cooperation programmes in Niger to adapt their work to the national development strategy. This is achieved in close cooperation and consultation with the contributions of other important donors such as the EU, France, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The GFA Consulting Group is supporting implementation of project component A - municipal financial management and financial legislation.

Results achieved so far

In November 2012, the Niger Government adopted a medium-term social and economic development plan in the form of the Programme de Développement Economique et Sociale (PDES). This development strategy for the years 2012 to 2015, which was drawn up by the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development, focuses on defining food security, improving security for the people of Niger, improving governance, developing human capital and enhancing infrastructure as priority areas of state-led development efforts. This programme was presented to development aid donors at a donor conference. They subsequently agreed to provide the necessary external funding.

Since then, the PDES has been implemented under the responsibility of the relevant ministries, with the Ministry of Planning, Spatial Planning and Community Development assuming responsibility for overall coordination. It evaluates the results of the programme on an ongoing basis – taking into account both its successes and weaknesses. The results of the evaluations are reviewed regularly in expert committees and presented to the financing bilateral and multilateral development partners.