PM’s Ministry initiates strategy for accountable results-based public service

Based on Cabinet proposal put forward by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a programme was initiated to launch and mainstream the strategy for Managing for Development Results (MfDR)/Results-Based Management (RBM) for the public service.

The programme was initiated by the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs, which comes under the purview of the Prime Minister.

A  High-Level Forum on MfDR was held at Hotel Taj Samudra on August 31,  with the participation of Senior Government Officials, Development Partners, Non-Governmental sector and Academia to discuss and formulate an implementation strategy for MfDR.

This initiative was supported by Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project (SDGAP) under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Grant.

Sagala Ratnayaka, Minister of Ports & Shipping & Southern Development and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister, Kabir Hashim, Minister of Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, Alaina B. Teplitz, Ambassador, US Embassy in Sri Lanka, Dr.Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Ms. Hanaa Singer, Resident Coordinator, United Nations Sri Lanka and Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement & Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs addressed the High-Level Forum on the importance of MfDR with international and national experiences.

Minister Ratnayaka noted that MfDR, as a modern public management tool and is an approach to ensure effective public service delivery in the government. The need for measuring performance to make public service more accountable was also asserted. He further added that the National Audit Act and the Right to Information Act (RTI) have contributed to create accountability in the public sector.

Minister Hashim added the need to complement RBM with the National Evaluation Bill and the need for both accountability and learning was also emphasised. US Ambassador to Sri LAnka Alaina B. Teplitz, stressed on the need for mainstreaming MfDR as a governance tool to improve the public service delivery in order to fulfil the citizens’ needs.

Further, Dr.Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central bank of Sri Lanka set out the importance of performance management through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a process to improve accountability for results and performance measurement. Ms. Hanaa Singer, Resident Coordinator of the United Nation Sri Lanka, stated the need to align the results target of the Ministries with the National Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary of the Ministry explained best practice models namely, Minnesota Milestones of the United States of America (USA), Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit of the United Kingdom (UK) and Performance Management and Delivery Unit  (PEMANDU) of Malaysia, and noted the importance of the shift of focus from ‘Compliance Oriented Accountability towards Accountability for Results’.

The MfDR process was recognised as a planning and budgeting tool to achieve results and also identified as a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tool to measure achievements and results. Selecting SMART KPIs at the outcome level with a baseline target was considered as an effective process for results-based planning and outcome-focused budgeting.The High-Level Forum endorsed the piloting of these strategies in (5) five key Ministries carrying important subject areas such as Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Health, Water Supply, Agriculture and Tourism and (2) two Provinces covering North and Uva.

Source: The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka

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