Planning Instruments

1. Shared knowledge of the problems and perspectives of development

We notice a beginning of mobilization of the technical and financial partners to support the development plan, which limits disjointed actions, not consulted and not coordinated that had preceded decentralization. With the development plan, the local elected representatives have a better knowledge and mastery of their territory and the stakes of local development.

2. Local planning must rely on an in-depth knowledge of local economy

The study of the municipal profile and economic opportunities must be done before or during the development of the planning process and not after its approval. In other words, the diagnosis and dialogue exercise on the local economy is essential to really confer the LDP the role in planning economic, social and cultural development.

3. Visibility of the LDP and monitoring of the municipal performance through the PAI

One of the advantages of the PAI is to facilitate the follow up of the investments of the financial partners which support local investment and by the populations themselves. The PAI forces the municipal institution to rationalize the functioning expenditures to allocate resources for the investment budget. The PAI thus becomes a powerful instrument of proximity for the fight against poverty, an instrument for advocacy and social control of the municipal action.

4. Weakness of the inter-communal actions

Few efforts are made in the planning process to identify comparative advantages spheres for the cooperation between municipalities in the areas of intervention of UNCDF. This situation is explained by the scope of the internal problems that each local community must face.

5. Lack of visibility of the State sectoral policies

The principles of planning have been globally handicapped by the lack of knowledge of the sectoral policies from the municipal actors. This is explained by the fact that the devolved services are not often informed of the programs of their own ministries. Thus, despite the implication of the managers of these services in the prospective analysis of these municipalities, their contribution is sometimes weak, which limits the coherence of the development plans with the sectoral policies.

6. An approximate acceptance of the plans by the tutelage authority

It is clear that the analysis of coherence at the level of the tutelage authority is not yet supported by a formal operatory mode with precise tools. This situation generates slowness in the approval of the municipal plans. Consequently, the approval is not done on a rational basis to the extent that most of the areas of intervention (departments and regions) do not have directing schemes of accommodation that can serve as a reference for the evaluation of the conformity of the LDPs.

7. Participation has a cost and demands time

The main constraint of a participative planning process lies in its iterative nature. It indeed necessitates numerous meetings to share the information as much at the vertical level (territorial echelons) than at the horizontal level (meetings per specific groups or sector). Even if it enables the appropriation of information and the construction of a development plan reflecting the real issues and demands of the populations, such an approach requires time. It will therefore be necessary to strengthen the capacities of the managers of grassroots organizations so that they are able to ensure the entirety of the animation within the communities so that there is no need to require the help of external providers.

8. The complexity of the diagnosis and planning tools

In front of the weak education of the grassroots actors and the rural population in general, it seems evident that without a simplification of the tools, and notably the several documents elaborated in French or English, the appropriation of the planning approach and its replicability have the risk of being quite cumbersome.

9. Slowness in the implementation of commitments

Despite the undertakings of the State services, some financed equipment is still not functional due to a lack of complementary investments or due to the non-availability of the staff, in this case in the health and education sectors.

10. The management expectations

The participative planning creates very strong expectations that the weak financial resources made available cannot compensate. This is the source of frustration as much in the community as with the elected representatives. The implementation of such a dynamic must be managed with a lot of precaution.

Stories from the Field