OP-ED

PDM is still Uganda’s magic bullet to alleviate poverty

Under PDM, the government set up structures and frameworks for planning, budgeting and delivery of public services. People at the parish level are to decide development priorities under the policies formulated at the national level.

Writer; Felix Oketcho

By Felix Oketcho

Launched shortly after COVID-19 Pandemic, Parish Development Model (PDM) remains Uganda’s flagship programme that will alleviate the vast majority of the public from widespread poverty and uplift households into the money economy.

PDM is based on improved productivity of households and enterprises at the parish level. Special vulnerable groups like women, youth and PWDs are prioritised for its implementation.
Under PDM, the government set up structures and frameworks for planning, budgeting and delivery of public services. People at the parish level are to decide development priorities under the policies formulated at the national level.

The PDM has seven Pillars i.e. (1) Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing (2) Infrastructure and Economic Services (3) Financial Inclusion(4) Social Services (5) Mindset change (6) Parish Based Management Information System and (7) Governance and Administration.

Although the programme has suffered some setbacks, PDM is still on course to transform 38 per cent of our population from subsistence farmers into a money economy.

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PDM has seven pillars on which it is hinged and they include; Agricultural (production, Storage, Processing and marketing); Infrastructure and Economic Services; Financial Inclusion; Social services; Mindset Change and community mobilisation; Parish Based Management Information System (PBMIS) and governance and administration.

PDM task force is addressing mindset change which is a very strong pillar so that PDM succeeds. The vast majority of the public especially beneficiaries think and take government programs as political tokens so they conspire to borrow government money & not use it for unproductive ventures.

This is why PDM programme has faced many challenges in its pilot phase due to poor mindset change and sensitization weaknesses however PDM program is still a magic bullet to eliminate poverty and improve quality of life in Uganda.

Now that lead agencies are reviewing government programmes to assess successes and address challenges, am confident that mindset change especially the public who think government money should be embezzled or rather see PDM money as political donation other than make use of the money as seed capital to engage in income generating activities and wealth creation mobilisation drive agenda addressed.

PDM as the flagship programme of NRM Manifesto (2021-2026) remains a key programme to be pushed as per presidential directives to yield results in the proceeding years to come. The NRM manifesto strategises to foster social economic transformation of all Ugandans using the PDM where each parish in Uganda is to receive shs100 million per financial year as a revolving fund to support youth, women and all kinds of Ugandans to fund their projects to secure your future through wealth creation and shared prosperity.

As review Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the implementation of NRM Manifesto Commitments as and presidential directives, it’s important that the PDM secretariat presents a detailed status report on key milestone achievements and strategies to address key challenges identified as PDM programmes continue until 2026.

The main challenge of NRM has been on the implementation stage however with recent presidential tours under the slogan Social Economic Transformation Agenda agenda all plans are well drawn as per the NRM manifesto 2021-26 and funds to fix the loopholes. With the ongoing Presidential tours across various regions to awake the sleeping dick and hurry to take advantage of PDM and emyooga programmes am confident wealth creation mobilisation and sensitisation drives have created and mindset change to embrace the social economic transformation agenda.

Am confident PDM will change the mind of a man deep in Kasese who wakes up at the trading centre to take alcohol and change the mind of a youth in Nebbi who wakes up at the trading centre to do sports betting.

As we present Ministries, Departments and Agencies in implementing NRM Manifesto directives, it’s imperative that Ministry of Local Government the lead agency in the PDM programme documents the success stories of the PDM implementation to dispel negative opinions about the good-intentioned programme going forward.

In a nutshell, PDM Secretariat and locsl government should work together so that PDM succeeds and increase evaluation, monitoring and supervision of PDM funds to yield results.

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It is also important that the Ministry of local government engaged in public sensitisation drive to create much-needed awareness of the program and stake holders engagement for PDM to succeed other wise I rest my case.

The writer Felix Oketcho is a journalist and Chief Executive Officer of Elix Promotions Ltd



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