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ICT Ministry Seeks Shs 70 Billion To Implement Parish Development Model

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and National Guidance is seeking 70.6 billion Shillings to implement the Parish Development Model (PDM) through developing a community information system.

Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of ICT tabled the request before parliament’s committee on ICT on Monday. The committee is currently considering the financial year 2022/2023 Budget Framework Paper.

Last year, Cabinet approved the implementation of Parish Development Model as a delivery strategy for transitioning households out of the subsistence to income economy, with effect from 1st July, 2021.

The ICT Ministry was then charged with the responsibility of spearheading Pillar 5 of the model that deals with ‘Community data’. This involves setting up the Parish Development Management Information System (PDMIS) to validate information on the beneficiaries, evaluate the livelihood and standards of living of people and tracking the progress and performance of the different pillars so as to report real time implication of the programme.

Amiina Zawedde, the ICT Ministry Permanent Secretary informed the MPs that the ministry has not been provided with any funds to fulfill this mandate saying that this program is important for data collection to fulfill the other pillars of the parish development model.

She says that the economic contribution of the different pillars of the parish development can be well estimated using the system. Zawedde also says that the system will be used to evaluate the livelihood and standards of people living in different regions of the country.

Baryomunsi also justified the need for 70.6 billion saying it would go a long way to build a strong monitoring and evaluation system to measure the success of the programme. “As we start the Parish Development Model, we have to collect data and information. We need to buy devices, particularly computers, to give parish chiefs and train them and other government leaders on how to collect information and feed it to the central database for monitoring,” said Baryomunsi.

He said that several government projects have failed because of a weak monitoring and evaluation system which makes it difficult to measure their impact.

“We are developing a digital dashboard which is going to be at the central level where at the glance, you can check on the many parishes on what has been done and where there are challenges. So if these parish leaders can feed in this information then we can monitor at the central level,” he said. Baryomunsi added that part of the money will be used to communicate and educate Ugandans on mindset change.

Muhammed Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP remained skeptical about the success of the parish model if the funding gap is not addressed. “How is the Ministry going to conduct data analytics when there is such a funding gap on data collection and even procurement of laptops? Won’t this be a lip service?” Nsereko asked.

Barnabas Tinkasiimire, the Buyaga West urged the Ministry of ICT move faster in setting up information systems to capture data and information considering that the programme is scheduled to be fully operational by March this year.

The digital transformation program for Ministry of ICT and other sector agencies have a financing gap of 231.3 billion Shillings with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) requiring 51.1 billion to upgrade the signet, while Vision Group requires 2.9 billion to revamp defunct vernacular papers as per the presidential directive. The ICT Ministry also seeks an additional 12.1 billion for communication and mindset change.

Godfrey Kabbyanga Baluku, the State Minister for National Guidance, beseeched the ICT Committee to consider the sector’s budget shortfalls and avail funds if the Ministry is to fully implement its digital transformation program.

URN

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