Planning

Planning can be defined as a continuous process which involves prioritisation and taking decisions on choices about alternative ways of using available resources with the aim of achieving particular goals at sometime in the future.
Planning involves key elements of:
– Deciding, prioritising and choosing
– Allocation of resources
– Defining goals and objectives
– Focusing on the future

When planning we need to address the question of who, where, what, when and how. This District Development Plan is a socio-economic plan which has used a bottom-up participatory approach in planning right from village (LCI) level to district level. Using Harmonised Participatory Planning Guide (HPPG).

Staffing
The unit has the following staff, District Planner, Statistician, Secretary and Driver.
The staffing level is grossly inadequate and not commensurate with the ever increasing workload.

Planning organs
The following organs are responsible for planning in the district:
– The District Council is the planning authority as provided by article 36(1) of the Local Government Act of 1997 and as amended in 2001. The district council formulates policies upon which planning hinges.
– The technical organ of the planning authority is the District Technical Planning Committee which is chaired by the CAO with Heads of Departments as members and co-opted technocrats. Sectoral committees play a crucial role to formulate sectoral plans with their Heads of Departments and technocrats. The planning unit serves as the secretariat to the planning authority.
– The sectoral committees fine-tune council sectoral policies.
– Sub-counties have the sub-county councils as the planning authority assisted by technical planning committees chaired by the Sub-county Chiefs with the technocrats in the sub-county as members. At parish level, Parish Development Committees, which have been formed in all the parishes of Lira, are the planning organ there, giving support to LC-II councils. They initiate plans in consultation with all stakeholders in the parish, formulate it and submit it to parish council for approval.
The LC participates in the parish planning process.
Planning process

The planning process starts at the village level whose proposals/priorities are integrated in the parish plan. The parish plan is then submitted to the sub-county council to incorporate it in their sub-county plan. The sub-county in turn submits their plan to the district for incorporation into the District Development Plan for District Council approval.
The planning processes at parish, sub-county and district levels are interlinked such that each one fits into the other. Participatory planning is long and tedious, but brings out the best and most realistic plan. However, it should be noted that the planning organs in the district lack skills in planning especially at the lower local government/lower local councils i.e. sub-counties and parishes. See for more details chapter I.

Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation has always not been done in time due to delay in release of funds hence late award of contracts. This makes the periodic performance review rather difficult and ineffective. We hope this will be history when the funds are timely released.

POCC Analysis
Potential
– The sub-sector has well qualified and experienced staff
– Planning is an on going process
– Harmonised participatory planning guide has been widely distributed
– Funds available for planning

Opportunities
– The decentralised government structures are in place right from village to district level
– Harmonised participatory planning guide (HPPG) in place
– Positive attitude and perceptions
– National planning authority available

Challenges
– There is weak linkage between district and National Planning Authority
– Inadequate staffing
– Disaggregated planning data at parishes and villages are inadequate
– Inadequate financial resources
– Enforcement of decisions of planning nature is weak
– Monitoring and evaluation is not done in time due to late release of funds.
Constraints
– Diminishing, mentoring and logistical support from population secretariat
– Inadequate funds in the district, limiting the scope of the sub-sectors operations
– Still high negative response by the population to reproductive issues e.g. family planning
– Consideration of the sub-sectors priorities as non-PEAP areas

By ongompaul