The Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) caused a bit of a stir during the most recent Joint Agriculture Sector Annual Review (JASAR) 2016 when it reported its findings on the performance of programmes under the agriculture sector during the government’s financial year 2015/2016 – the year under review.
One such instance in which the BMAU report caused a stir at the JASAR 2016 was when BMAU presented its findings on the performance of projects for enhancing national food security. The BMAU reported that it had carried out a combined assessment of both ‘donor’ funded projects and government funded ones that are reportedly targeted towards enhancing national food security.
According to the BMAU it found that on average the physical performance of those projects during the year under review was at only 24 percent; a poor performance. Worse still, the BMAU reported that the projects for enhancing food security had a poor physical performance while at the same time the counterpart funds – Government of Uganda (GoU) contributions – for those projects were fully absorbed; as in fully utilised.
Yes, my instant reaction was to not agree with the BMAU assessment that such projects could be rated as having fair performance on grounds that they had absorbed all the money – GoU counterpart funding. Those projects’ performance is simply poor as is reflected in their physical performance, irrespective of whether they have done excellent in their financial performance – using the money!
The challenge of using mathematical averages in order to measure human and social development indicators is clearly manifest in the manner in which the BMAU measures success, I think.
The BMAU, however, further explained that the reason for the poor physical performance of projects targeted towards enhancing food security was because of “delayed declaration of project effectiveness.” Continue to read the full detailed analysis here.