NPC, UNDP sign agreement to initiate implementation of foresight project
The National Planning Commission (NPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Thursday, November 26, 2020 signed an agreement for the implementation of an Initiation Plan of a project on‘Foresight and Anticipatory Governance – Enhancing Coordination of Development Implementation’.
NPC Director General, Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Claire Medina, signed the agreement on behalf of their institutions during a ceremony that took place in Lilongwe. The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms will also be a key partner and signatory in the project.
The project is aimed at improving the capacity of NPC to coordinate the implementation as well as the monitoring and evaluation of development programmes in Malawi. The Initiation Plan, to be implemented over a six months period,is a fore runner to the formulation of a bigger project that will also support effective coordination, planning and strategic priorities of NPC and its partners.
The Initiation Plan will particularly develop a foresight and horizon scanning capability at NPC, the Ministry of Economic Planning, Development and Public Sector Reforms as well as UNDP to derive intelligence from relevant global, regional and local development trends and parameters for improving capabilities for the advancement of relevant and evolving policies and long-term planning and programming. The development of such capabilities will ultimately draw linkages of how global issues may impact governance of development work in Malawi.
Proposed intervention areas during the initiation period will include creating a foresight unit tasked with conducting analysis on a specified development topic with the aim of deriving recommendations for development policy and program development. A crucial aspect of the foresight analysis will include extensive data gathering and analysis as well as the systematic production of reports and policy briefs to inform policy/decision making and enhance coordination of development policy implementation.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Dr. Munthali said the project was important in the implementation and realisation of the next vision for Malawi as it will help build the capacity of NPC and other partners to effectively oversee and coordinate the implementation of the vision.
“Without effective oversight and coordination, the vision cannot be achieved. Implementers will be doing business as usual,” said Munthali.
On her part, Ms. Medina said NPC was one of UNDP’s key partners in Malawi because of the key functions of planning and monitoring it was playing in Malawi’s national development, describing the function as important elements of governance.
She said the fore-sighting project will help NPC play its role effectively.
“Fore-sighting is about looking into the future and knowing what needs to be done best. NPC is the think tank and driver of new ideas for Malawi which needs to have advanced fore-sighting abilities that can change the course of Malawi’s national development,” said Medina.
NPC, an independent Malawi government agency established through an Act of Parliament (2017), has the mandate to coordinate the development of long and medium-term development plans for Malawi and oversee their implementation. NPC is currently developing a successor to Vision 2020 which is expected to be launched in December 2020.