Government of Namibia signs new partnership agreement

23 Aug 2013

The Government of the Republic of Namibia signed a new partnership agreement with the United Nations (UN) system in Namibia, called the United Nations Development Partnership Framework (UNPAF) which covers the period of 2014-2018. The UNPAF is the vehicle for strategic partnerships and resource planning which will drive the programmes through which the UN Country Team (UNCT) will support Namibia in the implementation of the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP 4) and the realisation of its development goals under Vision 2030.

The UNPAF is the successor document to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2006-2010, which was developed in response to what was then perceived as a ‘triple threat’, to development – HIV and AIDS, food insecurity and weakening service delivery capacity. The UNPAF- built on the four pillars of Institutional Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Reducing Extreme Poverty- is anchored in the outcomes of Namibia’s NDP 4 and is consistent with Vision 2030 (a document that spells out the country's development programmes and strategies to achieve its national objectives). At the UNPAF signing ceremony, the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Musinga
Bandora in his remarks noted that “this UNPAF analyses the development challenges that Namibia faces, past efforts and development frameworks put in place by both the government and the UN to respond to the challenges. It critically analyses the lessons learnt and proposes responses in terms what needs to be done, how to do it and with what means and what kind of partnerships. It also spells out how implementation is going to be coordinated, how we are going to monitor progress and report on results.” The value added by the UNPAF lies in the fact that it is both strategic and operational in nature, because it is aligned to the NDP 4 at a strategic level, with a focus on higher level results, while at the same time addressing critical downstream issues relating directly to human development. In addition to being locked into NDP 4, this UNPAF draws from the development challenges identified in the Country Situational Analysis that was undertaken during 2011.

Signing on behalf of the Namibian government was Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Mr. Tom Alweendo, who in his remarks mentioned a few essential principles that would ensure successful development partnership frameworks. Mr. Alweendo said that “it’s important for development partners to provide aid in areas identified by the recipient countries and prioritized as challenges. Development assistance can only work effectively if and when the recipient country is in charge of where the assistance should be directed.” Mr. Alweendo further noted that when development partners provide aid, “we should all try to use the existing structures, be it funding or implementation structures, within the recipient country instead of having parallel structures because not only will it duplicate efforts in terms of what needs to be done but it will also diminish the ownership of the recipient country because of the different structures.” Mr. Alweendo also mentioned that he was glad to say that the partnership framework being signed conforms to all these principles.

The development of the UNPAF has been informed by the outcome of an evaluation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2006-10. Mr. Bandora mentioned that “the signing this morning of the Namibia-UN Partnership Framework Document (UNPAF) is a watershed event in our development cooperation. It is a culmination of more than a year of studies, consultations, meetings and drafting.” The process of preparing the UNPAF was participatory and inclusive. It involved extended consultations with the Government, partners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), undertaken under the overall guidance of the UNPAF Joint Technical Committee co-chaired by the Government and the UN. The UNPAF is also the result of the consensus reached within the United Nations Country Team and has been validated by key stakeholders. The United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF), the third strategic programme framework prepared by the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) and the United Nations (UN) system in Namibia, describes the collective response of the UN to priority national development challenges.

As stated by Mr. Bandora, “Namibia still has serious development challenges which require interventions that focus less on funding and more on developing the necessary national capacities, skills and institutions so that the country can realize better returns on the massive financial investments it is making in critical social sectors such as health and education.” Mr. Bandora announced that the UN “will avail some resources now estimated at US $80 million to implement the targeted programmes over the five year period, this figure is indicative and we hope to mobilize more-including through possible government cost sharing.”

The signing of the UNPAF 2014-2018, will be followed by an official public launch event of UNPAF as part of the activities for the UN Day on 24th October 2013.