The purpose for the existence of the Directorate of Planning and Policy (DoPP) in the MLGRD is to provide timely planning and development strategies, systems and services to ensure effective local governance systems and participatory democracy in the Councils.
The DoPP comprise two Divisions namely:
- Planning and Policy Services.
- Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).
The Strategic Outcome for the DoPP is to provide: Improved Development Planning and M&E Systems at the Ministry's Headquarters and the local councils.
The core functions of the Directorate of Planning and Policy are as follows:
- Strategic Planning for the Ministry.
- Preparation of the Annual Work plans and, Annual Budgets for the Ministry.
- Provide technical backstopping in the formulation of Local Development Plans.
- Coordinating the Reforms Programme for the Ministry and Local Authorities.
- Coordinating the Extended Integrated Rural Development and Decentralisation Project.
- Provision of technical backstopping for the formulation of Local Development Plans.
- Provision of Monitoring and Evaluation services.
Game Changer Activities:
- Set up an integrated database for the councils i.e. Local Authority Management Information System (LAMIS);
- Functionalize reporting and feedback mechanism;
- Facilitate updating of Social Economic Profiles (SEPs) and District Development Plans (DDPs) which are aligned to both Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS III) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the remaining councils; and
- Revamping and provide training for transformation to both urban and rural development structures.
The Directorate of Planning and Policy has made some tremendous achievement during the previous two fiscal years. Some of the profound achievements made include the following:
- Undertook an M&E Mission to all the District Councils to assess the performance of the implementation of the recurrent and Development Budget with regard to the approved MK5 Billion earmarked for the District Development Fund (DDF)
- Reviewed the Guidelines for the Utilization of the Development Budget (In particular both the Distract Development Fund (DDF), Constituency Development Fund (CDF), District Development Fund (DDF), and Borehole Fund projects in all the Councils
- Managed to provide technical backstopping in 35 Local Authorities to review and update the Socio-Economic Profiles (SEPs) and District Development Plans (DDPs), meanwhile 12 councils have completed the review of SEPs and DDPs and the rest are in progress;
- Prepared and submitted the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) for the Ministry’s Development projects to the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
- Initiated the process of the 2018/2019 FY Year budget review for the Ministry.
- Set up an integrated database for the councils
- Formulated model M&E frameworks for local authorities
- Functionalize reporting and feedback mechanism
Key Challenges Affecting Planning and Policy Directorate:
Despite registering a myriad of achievements the Planning and Policy Directorate is encountering the following constraints
- Low funding which has hampered implementation of the work plan for the Directorate. The monthly funding from ORT has been in adequate to suffice the requirements for the Planned Activities.
- Weak M&E system coupled with coupled with fragmented and parallel data management systems in councils.
- Capacity gaps in terms of material and skills to provide strategic planning and M&E to the councils.
- Consolidate PSIP (Public Sector Investment Programme) Progress Reports, Annual Economic Report, Public Sector Reforms reports and Ministry's Progress Reports;
- Coordinate the Ministry's Annual Budget Preparation, Annual Workplan and Midyear Budget Review;
- Facilitate updating and alignment of Urban SEP and UDPs to MGDSIII, SDGs and Public Sector Reforms; Facilitate Devolution of Micro projects to Councils and align them to DDPs;
- Facilitate brainstorming and technical sessions on Urban Development.
- Review Urban Development Structures including the role of Block Leaders;
- Facilitate the strengthening of coordination of Non State Actors , frontline worker and all councils members in Local Development Planning and Implementation;
- Conduct Technical Sessions with DPDs on DDPS and Emerging Policy Issues from Central Government;
- Facilitate coordination meetings of SWG & TWG for IRD and Decentralization sector;
- Roll out the model M&E Framework to the Local Authorities and Non -State Actors;
- Facilitate the development of Integrated Database for Local Authorities; and
- Conduct Joint Monitoring and Supervision of implementation of Programmes and Projects in the Councils.
- Consolidate monitoring reports of all recurrent and development programmes and projects in the councils DDF, CDF etc.