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ECA urges African countries to adopt technological solutions to monitor their development strategies

26 April 2024 at 20:43 | 1148 views

To bolster national planning activities, policymakers have been urged to embrace digital tools to foster greater transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness.

The call to action was made during the meeting on "Leveraging Digital Technologies for Integrated Planning to Advance the SDGs and Agenda 2063 in Times of Multiple Crises", which took place as a side event at the Tenth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10).

Mr Antonio Pedro (photo), Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), stressed the importance of technology in supporting development planning systems. He said that while many countries do an excellent job of identifying their priorities through extensive stakeholders’ consultation, the number of identified priorities is often so numerous that implementation becomes a challenge.

To address this challenge, ECA developed the Integrated Planning and Reporting Tool (IPRT), a web-based tool designed to enhance the effectiveness of planning. The IPRT aims to strengthen planning systems by leveraging technology, allowing for the digital tracking of national, provincial and sector plans in alignment with annual budgets and international commitments such as SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Mr Bartholomew Armah, Chief of Development Planning in the Macroeconomics and Governance Division at ECA highlighted the tool’s ability to facilitate integrated and coherent planning, addressing the issue of disconnected planning frameworks at various levels and ensuring alignment with global commitments. “The IPRT represents a significant step forward in the integration of multiple development agendas into national development plans, offering a harmonized approach to progress reporting”, he said.

Ms. Annette Griessel, Deputy Director General of National Planning Coordination at the South African Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DPME), highlighted the transformative role of technology in redressing the development disparities created by South Africa’s apartheid past.

She noted the progress made in reforming the planning system, ensuring their alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s Agenda 2063, “which is seen as a cornerstone in building a capable developmental state”.

The IPRT has already been deployed in more than 30 countries with ongoing efforts to ensure its use by other countries on the continent. It makes the tracking of performance on the indicators of the National development plan more user-friendly.

The e-meeting was organized by ECA’s Macroeconomics and Governance Division and the Office for Eastern Africa.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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