Local National

OPINION: Parish Development Model, A last Mile strategy

By Hason Mutunzi Bwambale

One of the pillars for which the National Resistance Movement (NRM) was founded and on which the 10 Points Program-probably the most relevant manifesto of 20th century in Africa-was based is the idea of Social Economic transformation as a necessity for building “An independent, integrated and self-sustaining modern and prosperous economy”.  

Indeed, on assuming power in 1986, the NRM government has consistently adopted well thought out agricultural programs. These included Rural Farmers Scheme, Entandiikwa, Plan for Modernization of Agriculture which in turn led to National Agricultural Advisory Services(NAADS), Operation Wealth Creation(OWC), and most recently Emyooga.

All these have had the net result of reducing subsistence agriculturalists from a high of about 90% in 1986 to less than 65% now. At 36%, the largest share of employment is from the agriculture sector.  In a bid to bring more Ugandans into the money economy, the Government of Uganda launched the Parish Development Model-PDM.

PDM is a government strategy for organizing and delivering public and private sector interventions for wealth creation and employment generation at the parish level as the lowest economic planning unit. In February 2022, Government of Uganda launched the Parish Development Model.

The PDM aims to uplift the 39% of Uganda’s population from the subsistence to money economy and has seven pillars of; Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing; Infrastructure and Economic Services; Financial Inclusion; Social Services; Mindset change; Parish Based Management Information System; and Governance and Administration to guide its implementation.To maximize the impact of the money invested per parish under the PDM, the Head of state has directed Ministers to massively mobilise the citizens and do mindset change programs so that the intended beneficiaries are equipped with knowledge.

It is important to have the right mindset and set of skills by the intended beneficiaries. Therefore, deliberate efforts will be put to massively mobilise the citizens for increased production and agro processing, set parameters for measuring the economic viability of the different groups and decisions to select the beneficiaries for the fund. Citizens need to be equipped with specific skills for poverty alleviation before they are given credit. 

For this financial year, each parish has already received Ugx17m. This will increase to Ugx 100m per parish per year effective 2022/2023 financial year. PDM funds should encourage members of different SACCO groups to embrace Value addition mechanisms to their products if they are to improve their household income. The PDM implements National Development Plan (NDP)III at the grassroots.

It is an extension of the whole-of-government and community development approach to the Parish. PDM underlies the spirit of harmonisation of Government interventions with every Ministry, Department, and Agencies focusing on; delivering services closer to the People; & measurable results at the Parish level in order to ensure socio-economic transformation of the subsistence Households into the money economy. 

This transformation requires organized, integrated, well-coordinated & results-based efforts. PDM is not just about Money- Providing the minimum services in the parish is the path to full employment under the PDM.”Whatever your mind can conceive and Believe, it can Achieve” Napoleon Hill clearly depicts how the pillar of mindset change is central to achieving the number one aim of Parish Development Model as the last mile target to transformation of 39% of households into the money economy.

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