The MDGs are relevant to The Gambia’s development context as they
set clear targets for reducing poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease,
discrimination against women and environmental degradation as
well as requisite global partnerships in support of such efforts.
||In effect, the objectives and pillars of the country’s
second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP II) are very much
correlated with the MDGs.
The challenges faced by The Gambia in meeting a
number of MDGs reflect the absence of an integrated planning framework
that can effectively monitor national and local progress towards
the MDGs. The lack of such a framework is compounded by inadequate
institutional capacity and serious resource constraints. Overall,
the country faces serious challenges in its efforts to reliably
track the MDGs. There has also been a growing realization by senior
government policymakers and other stakeholders that if The Gambia
is to attain the MDGs, the capacity of administrative, financial
and planning structures at the local level will have to be considerably
enhanced. Effective and efficient delivery of these services is
essential if the MDGs are to have a realistic chance of being
attained by 2015.
The Government of The Gambia, at the highest levels, has committed
itself to integrating the MDGs into its planning processes. In
January 2006, the government decided to integrate the draft second
PRSP (PRSP II) and the draft Medium Term Plan (MTP) into one unified
planning framework for the country. In order to strengthen implementation
of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is identified as the
primary vehicle for attaining the MDGs. The government established
a National Planning Commission (NPC) for coordinating the national
Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) via the implementation of the
PRSP, the NPC is the primary government agency charged with tracking
Some of the main findings of the MDG Reports are that MDG targets
for poverty, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS
were unlikely to be met if existing trends did not change. On
the other hand, maternal health, hunger, and access to basic amenities
such as safe drinking water were relatively more likely to be
met by 2015.
Improvements to maternal health and child nutrition (MDGs 4 and
5), strengthening secondary education
and eliminating gender disparities in school (MDG 3), general
poverty reduction (MDG 1) and environmental preservation (MDG
7) and HIV/AIDS (MDG 6) are therefore among the areas emphasized
in the country’s poverty reduction strategy. These are therefore
the areas where The Gambia needs to catch up so as to achieve
the aspirations of Vision 2020 in general and the PRSP II and
MDG goals and targets in particular.
Country Action Plan:
Poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals:-
Progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals targets
and implementing the propoor poverty agenda has been uneven.
That programme outcome will support pro-poor policy reform and
the mobilization of resources and strengthening of partnerships
required to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets. The
2003 and 2005 Millennium Development Goals progress reports show
that targets for reducing hunger, provision of basic amenities
(water/sanitation), reducing maternal mortality and universal
primary education and environmental sustainability are achievable.
The reports show that at the current pace the country will experience
difficulties in achieving targets to reduce income poverty, child
mortality and HIV/AIDS infections, and achieve gender equality.
Wide geographic performance discrepancies exist between the urban
western and the rural eastern parts of the Gambia.
Since attaining the Millennium Development Goals is a central
component of the Government’s development strategy, UNDP
support will be geared towards integrating the goals into sector
strategies and placing more emphasis on the costing, funding gaps
and monitoring of targets so that government, civil society and
development partners can effectively contribute to the effort
to attain the goals. Support will be provided to establish an
independent think tank that can provide independent research and
analysis for use by policymakers to strengthen evidence-based
planning systems in support of the goals.
Support will be provided to establishing frameworks and effective
systems for improved economic governance. That presupposes a focus
on the acutely needed and comprehensive public sector reform being
led by the Government with the support of development partners.
UNDP support will be provided towards creating a planning institution,
the National Planning Commission. The Commission builds on past
UNDP support and will seek to consolidate government planning
instruments and provide an emphasis on implementation and systematic
monitoring and evaluation of intended outcomes in a more results-oriented
The emphasis will be on capacity development; establishing systems
based on transparency and accountability; and setting up efficient
tracking and monitoring systems. Aid coordination and management
will be a key component in improving resource mobilization, targeting
and monitoring to address the development priorities and Millennium
Development Goal targets of the Gambia. 21. Employment generation
remains the greatest challenge. The CPD will focus on implementing
the National Employment Action Plan by supporting institutional
strengthening and vocational training. Emphasis will be placed
on facilitating private-public sector partnerships for investment
in the productive sectors, thereby promoting employment opportunities
and job creation.
Source: UNDP Document: 2006