One way to feed information into the planning process is through monitoring and evaluation. These can actually be used as a controlling mechanism as well as a learning process. Monitoring and evaluation are directed to the gathering of information about activities, which are already finalised, or in progress.
17.1.1The Institutional Framework:
The preparation and monitoring of the District Development Plans is the responsibility of the District Development Committee, District Extension Team and other district committees.
Each Department has to prepare its plan proposals based on the consultations with the community. Once prepared, such proposals are presented to the District Development Committee and the District Council in that order for approval. Once approved, the draft plan is presented to the Ministry of Local Government, which will take it through appropriate steps for approval at Central Government level. Once the plan is approved it gets implemented by the district officials with the assistance of the respective ministries.
The goal of the plan management is to ensure that plans are well coordinated, goals and objectives are achieved, targets are met and if not corrective measures are taken where necessary. Generally the review is done towards the middle of the plan period to determine how implementation has progressed or whether priorities needs to be changed which may require attention. The details of these is discussed below:
17.1.3Plan Monitoring And Evaluation
Plan Monitoring for Council projects at district level is the responsibility of the Council Chief Executive through relevant departmental heads particularly the Planning and Works Department. This is done through staff visits, regular progress meeting and physical progress reports to the relevant Council Committees.
To facilitate the periodic preparation of reports on programme implementation, the District Development Plan is broken down into annual plans which state the targets each department sets for itself to achieve annually. The successive annual plans are supposed to achieve the set goals of the District Development Plan at its time of expiry. Based on the annual plans each department is expected to report to the Plan Managers and the District Development Committee on the progress in implementing programmes and out-lining any constraints experienced. The exercise results with the completion of a written quarterly progress report. This arrangement is effective as it helps Council Administration to take timely and corrective action in case there are deviations on project implementation.
Community based project monitoring is limited. However, villagers do have a say when projects in their villages are delayed. This is done through Village Development Committees, complaints to Councillors or Members of Parliament and during Kgotla meetings addressed by Minister.
22.214.171.124The Mid Term Review Exercise:
District Development Committee has the responsibility of evaluating the District Development Plan (at the end of its period) so as to build in improvements for a better management of the succeeding plans. The District Officer Development and the Council Planning Officer remain the key officers in these functions.
Half way between the plan, the District through the DDC has got to pause and assess the developments achieved so far in implementing the DDP and see what is remaining in the last few years of the plan. This is what is termed the “Mid Term Review” of the plan.
The Mid Term Review of DDP forms an important integral part of the implementation of the plan. Its objectives are to:-
Guide and focus the remaining years of the plan.
Serve as future ground work for the next plan
Address major or controversial issues and suggest re-prioritisation alternatives for policies, strategies, programmes + projects where appropriate.
126.96.36.199Constraints On Plan Management:
District planning has been carried out since 1977. However, it appears that the various departments have not been well involved and the process has not been passed on smoothly from predecessors to successors. Realisation is more on the side of the Central Government Departments, as planners have to spend more time on assisting and guiding the Heads of Departments.
It still remains fatal that the District Development Plan is the sole business of the planners. For this reason, combined with the key role of planners, plans appear to be regarded as of interest only to the planners. One sees this problem in that where plans are slow in being prepared, invariably the Ministry will look at the planners for answers. The whole exercise has to be standard and understood by all concerned throughout the country.
188.8.131.52Environmental Monitoring Activities
DDP 6 has made provision for every project to have an environmental impact assessment or strategic environmental assessment. There is need to carry out environmental audits during Mid Term Review to evaluate the impacts of the environmental tools that were in place, i.e. EIA and SEA.
The audits will confirm whether compliance with EIA and SEA recommendations were followed also to take corrective measures.
17.2Financial and Personnel Constraints:
Councils have less autonomous power because of their over dependence on grants from Central Government. Kgatleng District Council like other local authorities has very limited sources of revenue. For the past financial year 2001/2002, it has only been able to raise less than 5% of its recurrent budget. This is because of the poor revenue base. This has in turn resulted in poor performance because there has always been a large gap between estimated financial requirements and actual earnings. Unless the status quo changes, Kgatleng District Council is likely to face financial difficulties in implementing its projects.
Even though Central Government continues to subsidise Council budgets, there is still need to give more autonomy and enable Councils to find more revenue sources. The District share the sentiment that Councils are non profit making organisations, but some of the fees are so little that it is even discouraging for Councils to devise efficient and effective ways of collecting them. In this plan period, Council will try in its endeavour to review and revise its fees. This will only be to a certain extent as some of the fees like “clinic fees” are set at national levels or standards.
In order to achieve the intended objectives of the plan adequately trained and experienced personnel should be made available to implement, monitor and review the development plan. The need to have experienced and adequately trained personnel cannot be over-emphasised. Top level decision makers like Council Chief Executive Officer and District Commissioner should have experienced and trained officers to advise them adequately in important developmental issues.
The focus of training should be on management training because managers are the key people that influence a change of attitudes to their subordinates. The management of people at work is one of the primary keys to organisational success. Therefore, productivity and Performance Management System have been the recent issues of concern.
Performance Management System has resumed in the district. PMS awareness workshops for staff and Councillors have been conducted. After completion of this the district would then proceed with strategic planning. However, during the implementation of the plan we are likely to experience some drawbacks as managers and the general members of the public service still are not prepared to change their minds set towards improvement of productivity. Officers should acquaint themselves with the programme to enable the district to achieve objectives for the nation as reflected on Vision 2016.
While it may not be seen as a constraint as such, the private sector can still be accused of draining some of the best trained personnel from the government. This trend is likely to continue if the public sector does not keep a tight hold on its employees by giving them attractive pay packages and terminal benefits that almost match those of the private sector. However, the district hopes that the current developments of O & M, Local Government structure and job evaluations would help address the situation.