Don’t dictate over aid, donors told

The donors have instead been challenged to influence accountability in government as well as among the people of Zambia.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), a grouping of over 200 civil organisations in Zambia, has also implored the donors to honour their pledges in good time.

The civil society grouping aired its views during the National Stakeholders for Zambia’s 5th National Development Plan (FNDP) held at Lusaka’s Mulungushi International Conference on Sunday 24th July.

“We further urge the donors to make good their pledges to increase their aid flows to enable the implementation of the NDP. These donor flows must be timely and predictable and not impose conditions that prevent government from investing in the social sectors – this is important if we are to meet the MDGs and reduce poverty. Donors must instead encourage our government and the people of Zambia to set conditions that promote inward accountability to local institutions and citizens,” said CSPR in a paper presented by its chairperson, Kelly Salati.

He said CSPR supports government’s initiative of putting in place a challenging long-term national development plan.

“We commend government for embarking on this important but challenging process of formulating a longer term plan for the development of our country. We also join the Government in commending the cooperating partners who supported and continue supporting the FNDP process with financial and technical resources,” said Salati.

He said the FNDP draft is largely a credible plan for Zambia’s pro-poor development as it largely shows a pro-poor focus with the exception of the segments of gender, HIV/AIDS and Governance, which are core themes for effective pro-poor development.

“The draft FNDP (Fifth National Development Plan) reveals areas that require strengthening, more focus and better targeting,” he added.

According to CSPR, the draft would specifically need to:

l show linkages with some key previous and ongoing plans (e.g PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan).

l Link the FNDP targets to MDG targets including breaking these down to district annual targets.

l Make more specific some broadly reflected strategies, and strengthen the linkages between plans/activities and the strategies. Lack of specificity would make monitoring of impacts difficult.

l Incorporate disability in the various draft chapters of the FNDP and;

l Incorporate civil society’s contribution at provincial levels in the draft provincial section of the draft FNDP.

Salati said civil society organisations should always be seen as partners in development.

“As civil society, we see ourselves as partners in development and thank Government for increasingly recognising and supporting this role. We commend the government for the work done so far on the draft and look forward to seeing the final and improved FNDP for Zambia, and supporting its implementation and monitoring,” said Salati.

July 2006
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