Plan implementation is the link between plan formulation and outputs. This implies that without effective plan implementation strategies, a good plan would not necessarily produce the desired results. In the same vein, monitoring and evaluation is a vital tool for smooth and effective plan implementation. Without it, a plan may not stay on course and wastage of resources could occur.Plan Implementation Process
The implementation of the Medium Term Plan involves the following key activities:
- Pre-lmplementation Activities;
- Implementation Activities; and
- Monitoring and Evaluation.
Before the Plan was finalized, a public hearing was organized for all the stakeholders to know the content of the plan and to make inputs into it. This was to ensure high level sense of ownership of the plan and as a result increase the degree of success of its implementation.
Finalization and Adoption of the Plan
- Two Stakeholder fora were organized for identifiable groups in the District for this purpose.
On completion of the Stakeholder fora, the comments were analyzed and the relevant observations incorporated into the final document before its adoption by the General Assembly.Orientation Workshop for Principal Actors
An orientation workshop should be organized for the principal actors of the Plan to ensure a unified approach and smooth take-off of the implementation process. This will ensure that the principal actors were informed of the specific actions to be taken and the need for collaboration among themselves for success in the implementation. ImplementationAction Plan for Projects
Action Plans should be drawn to facilitate the implementation of projects such as the construction of infrastructure facilities, training and logistics provision. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
M&E should be undertaken at three levels:
- Works and other activities; and
- Human resource performance.
The Assembly and its Heads of Departments should ensure that all expenditures are in accordance with the laid-down financial procedures and within the approved budgets. The Assembly’s Internal Auditor will be responsible for auditing of all financial records and transactions and submit audit reports to the District Chief Executive.Works and Other Activities
Works and other activities for which funds are available should be implemented according to their schedules in the Action Plans. In this context, timeliness of delivery is of importance if the entire plan is to be kept on course.Human Resource Performance
The performance of various staff will be periodically assessed based on approved performance indicators. In this respect, the DCE and other Heads should collaborate with the CDT Coordinator to develop performance indicators. Other Dimensions of M&EThe Timing of the M&E Process
Since the Plan consists of a variety of activities with different gestation periods, different monitoring schedules are required. For example, performance of staff will be measured at the end of each year as compared with the construction works where the monitoring team has to visit the site at short intervals, normally on monthly and quarterly basis. What is critical in all cases is the need to define the specific period for the M&E exercise and to stick to it consistently. The M&E Actors
The staff responsible for M&E activities will be defined in each case. However, it is important to stress that the participatory approach that involves many stakeholders in the M&E process should be adopted. This will ensure that the various dimensions of project outputs will be fully and objectively assessed. Results of the M&E Process
Two major results are expected from the M&E process. These are Outputs and Impact. While Outputs deal with deliverables (e.g., construction of school block, recruitment of staff etc), impact focuses on the changes resulting from the utilization of the project outputs (e.g., increased household incomes). These are to be measured in both quantitative and qualitative itrms in relation to developed performance indicators. Reporting
Reporting is one of the cornerstones of the M&E process. It comprises of method of reporting, Channels of communication and the feedback system. The method of reporting includes verbal, written, photograph, video etc. The Implementing Agencies should prepare monthly, quarterly, mid year and annual reports on the progress of the Plan implementation. These reports should be referred to the appropriate Sub Committee of the Assembly and the Executive Committee for discussions.
The channels through which the M&E information should reach the authorities should be defined. For example, this may include consultative meetings, mailing systems, etc. Following the review of the M&E report, the reactions of the authorities and other stakeholders should be conveyed back to the implementing body through a feedback system. Where necessary, the feedback will be used to fine-tune the implementation process. Where this feedback system is lacking, the M&E process is of little or no value.
The processes outlined above should be followed at all levels of the implementation process. This will ensure effective implementation of the Plans. The Assembly Members should play active role in the monitoring and evaluation of the Plan implementation process. It must receive and review all M&E reports submitted through the Sub Committees and the Executive Committee. Management Plan
A Plan implementation Committee (PIC) comprising the core management team of the Assembly and the relevant heads of department should be constituted for monitoring theimplementation, evaluation of progress and possible review of the Plan. The DPCU will be the technical secretariat for managing the plan implementation. The Head of the DPCU will liaise with the Heads of Department in the management of medium-term planning and implementation. Ultimately, the Unit will be responsible to the District Chief Executive on matters relating to planning in the District.Conclusion
The Vision of Ghana developing to attain the status of a middle income country by the Year 2015, demand for effective planning and implementation at the District level. This Plan, when operationalized, could help create the necessary conditions for the growth and development of the private sector to create wealth and reduce poverty in an environment of pluralism, peace and security.
The plan seeks to address the development problems in the District.
In response to the problems, the Akuapem North District Medium Term Development Plan seeks to provide basic services (quality education, health, electricity, potable water, and sanitation among others) through an integrated approach using Public-Private Partnership to reduce poverty and create wealth for the people. The Medium Term Plan and the Annual Plan place much emphasis on agricultural development, Basic services provision and improvement and capacity building of the various institutions. Thus, a number of viable social and economic projects have been proposed for implementation within the planned period.
What is required is massive and heavy investment to provide an impetuous to the priorities of the District. The cost implications of the execution of the various projects to District Assembly and other stakeholders have been specified. Therefore, a commitment is required by all stakeholders. The challenge to the Akuapem District Assembly is to raise the required funding to facilitate the implementation of the projects especially the Annual Plans to pave the way for the implementation of the medium term programme of action.