A World Bank mission has commended Dowa district council for what it described as good implementation of Governance to Enable Service Delivery (GESD) and Performance Based Grants (PBG) projects in the district.
Michael Roscitt, GESD Task Team Leader made the sentiments in an interview, Friday after a World Bank team inspected various projects being implemented under GESD/PBG funds in Dowa.
He said the program in the district is yielding the desired results of improving service delivery in local council’s and aiding decentralisation.
“I am extremely impressed by the projects which Dowa has delivered. It is most exciting to see Dowa focus on delivering functional projects, because the most important thing is to deliver services to citizens through the investments made.
“It is very clear that this commitment is not just through GESD/PBG funds, but also in the other sources of financing that are available to them including District Development Fund, Community Development Fund, and others. So as the World Bank, we’re very impressed and very excited,” he said.
Roscitt however tipped the council to continue working on issues of technical supervision and contract management, saying as more and more PBG is received, there will be more projects to be done and therefore issues of overseeing quality should not be compromised.
He further said the World Bank will continue to support government of Malawi regarding the GESD and PBG if there are continued good results being recorded.
“Going forward there is the potential to expand the PBG into other areas, perhaps into municipal and urban councils, and the possibility of also having the PBG to be able to support recurrent financing in addition to the development grant, but this is subject to other discussions,” he said.
Executive Director for the National Local Government Finance Committee Kondwani Santhe in an interview said there are lessons to be learnt from the success of Dowa in terms of identifying, screening and financing the projects until completion and operational.
“There is always pressure because every stakeholder would want to have that project, but the unison which Dowa is showing even when it comes to resource allocation is what is impressive, and to ensure that the project is functional and delivering services is the hallmark of it,” said Santhe.
He also reiterated the need to have all projects with deficiencies in amenities like toilets, furniture, water, or electricity so that the goal of having flagship projects is achieved.
During the visit, the World Bank mission inspected Chibvala police unit and Kafumphe community secondary school block, both constructed under GESD.
Dowa Council Chairperson Mayamiko Kambewa said the council is motivated to continue delivering good results under GESD/PBG to qualify for more funding and allocation to bring more development to Dowa.