SADC Regional Dialogue: Consultant Offers Insights on RISDP Progress
A review from August 17 to September 13, 2023, informs NSA dialogue on socially accountable public resource management for SADC development goals.
LILONGWE, Malawi- The Third Regional Dialogue for Non-State Actors (NSAs) on the Southern African Development Community Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (SADC RISDP) 2020-2030 commenced today, featuring a comprehensive analysis of its implementation progress by leading consultant Manasa Dzirikure, writes Winston Mwale.
Scheduled for September 13-14, 2023, this dialogue addresses vital social sectors, including health, agriculture, and education, while also tackling cross-cutting concerns like gender, youth, climate change, and the significance of industrialization and trade in regional development.
In line with the SADC Treaty's principles, emphasizing NSA and citizen engagement in SADC integration, the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance commissioned a review of the SADC RISDP 2020-2030 implementation progress.
Conducted from August 17 to September 13, 2023, this review aims to inform regional NSA dialogue regarding the critical role of socially accountable public resource management in advancing SADC's development goals.
The review primarily scrutinized key sectors, encompassing agriculture, health, education, climate change, women, youth, and resource generation through industrialization and trade.
It integrated data from April 2022 to March 2023, including qualitative assessments of SADC plans and reports, key informant interviews, and virtual group discussions with dialogue co-conveners.
Here are some highlights from the consultant's analysis:
Agriculture and Natural Resources
91% of planned outputs were successfully completed, using a budget of US$3,821,914.
Concerns arose as the development of a regional repository on nutritious indigenous foods was neglected, potentially impacting food security and smallholder farmer participation.
Health, Nutrition, and HIV/SRH
Post-COVID-19 health system recovery showcased improvements in human resource capacity and health financing.
However, the advocacy for Member States to allocate 15% of their national budget to the health sector was deprioritized, despite alignment with the Abuja Declaration.
Education and Skills Training
Progress in open and distance learning, policy framework development, and monitoring and evaluation.
Education and skills development remain vital in SADC's industrialization plans.
Youth Development and Empowerment
Achievements include the approval of the Protocol on Youth and frameworks for youth participation.
Universities actively involved in enhancing youth engagement in SADC programs.
Employment and Labour
Several employment and labor outputs were not reprioritized.
Progress noted in international labor standards and labor dispute resolution.
Encouraging progress in reducing the carbon footprint and promoting green jobs.
Notable success in resource mobilization efforts from EU-funded climate change projects.
Women, Gender, and Development
Majority of planned key performance indicators successfully achieved, focusing on capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
Gender mainstreaming and intersectoral collaboration recognized as effective strategies.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
All DRR outputs and key performance indicators reprioritized.
Notable progress in early warning systems and capacity building.
Resource Generation through Industrialization and Trade
Industrialization efforts show outputs, with expected outcomes and impacts in the medium to long term.
Various resource mobilization efforts, including the SADC Challenge Fund, observed.
Evidence and Learning (Statistics and MERL)
Modernization of regional dissemination platforms for regional statistics.
Promotion of the Protocol on Statistics for signing and ratification.
Communication and Visibility
SADC's visibility among citizens weaker compared to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
Recommendations made to improve communication and promote SADC's achievements.
The analysis highlighted challenges, including slow ratification and implementation of SADC protocols in member states due to low political commitment and resource constraints.
Opportunities identified included results-based management, multisectoral programming, and commitments toward establishing a SADC Parliament.
The review concluded with recommendations urging NSAs to support SADC in strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, harmonizing assessments, and advocating for operationalizing the Model Law on Public Financial Management.
A greater understanding of SADC's architecture and work processes among NSAs and member states was also encouraged.
The Third Regional Dialogue for Non-State Actors on the SADC RISDP 2020–2030 is poised to be a pivotal event shaping Southern Africa's future development. Stakeholders are actively addressing challenges and leveraging opportunities presented by the RISDP.
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