A joint review team of government stakeholders and cooperating partners are in the Eastern Province on a mission to assess the performance of various social protection programmes.
The team, comprising representatives from government line ministries, UNICEF, KfW – a German state owned development bank, among other stakeholders, is expected to review social cash transfer, food security pack and other similar programmes.
The team, led by Ministry of Community Development Chief Planner, Ebby Sichembe, arrived in the province yesterday and this morning paid a courtesy call on Eastern province Acting Permanent Secretary Royd Tembo.
Mr. Sichembe told the Acting Permanent Secretary that this year’s review programme is critical as it will highlight key issues and feedback which will help the new government to enhance the implementation of programmes under the social protection umbrella.
He further said this year’s annual joint review exercise covers two years, including 2020 because the exercise was suspended last year due to the restrictions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This year’s review exercise is also critical as findings will guide planning direction for the new dawn government as it enhances the programmes roll out,” Mr. Sichembe explained.
He added that programmes like social cash transfer, food security pack, among others, are strategic for raising standards of vulnerable groups in society and speak to the current administration’s policy on improving the welfare of the poor and vulnerable people.
Mr. Sichembe stated that this is why the annual review process is important to continue getting feedback that helps improve the implementation of such programmes.
He said the assessment is currently being done in five provinces that include Eastern.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province Acting Permanent Secretary Royd Tembo said social protection programmes have proven to be beneficial, making it undisputable for the need to continue winning donor confidence for their sustenance.
Dr. Tembo said safeguarding funding in social protection programmes is one of the surest ways to ensure more support from cooperating partners.
“Let us go further to get donor support for continued funding of these programmes. It is critical to win donor confidence,” he noted.
He said the new government’s stance on ending corruption and ensuring prudence in the procurement system is another way of winning donor confidence.
Dr. Tembo has since urged the team to intensively engage implementers and beneficiaries of social protection programmes as their input is important to the improvement of the programmes.
“Share findings with us. They are very important as they will also help us tie the loose ends in the implementation of social protection programmes,” he added.