Ope-ed: Were we really ready for the Parish Development Model?

Last Updated on: 21st September 2022, 12:01 pm

“I once asked a group of people what they understood by PDM, some thought of it as appreciation for voting H.E the president..”

By Moses Wawah Onapa 

Apac, Sept. 21, 2021: In February 2022, the government of Uganda launched the implementation of Parish Development Model (PDM) using a ‘whole government approach’ whose overarching goal is to attain socio economic transformation based on improved productivity on households and enterprises at parish level.

However, in a recent publication by many media houses, the country woke up to the shock that the anticipated released funds meant for PDM had gone missing in almost all districts of the country. The different dossiers presented that at least a fraction of this money had found its way into some people’s pockets which again had to make the recovery process tedious especially given that they had to look for more funds to recover the swindled one.

In the fundamentals of the policy development framework which include governance principles, consistent and predictable process steps that I have strong confidence that the framers of the Parish Development Model knew, I am tempted to believe that the three fundamentals didn’t meet on ground. 

There is no doubt that the framers of most policy frameworks remain in offices without training trainers or peers who are crucial in the implementation process.

The invent of the thematic curriculum in lower primary (2003 -2004) was also greeted with the same; the significance of the thematic curriculum was to be a powerful instructional method for integrating various concepts in curriculum by daily life examples and experiences; however, the lower curriculum (thematic) implementers understood it that it meant teaching in local languages forgetting that such is next to impossible in Heterogeneous nations. 

The local language usage was not the main concept but a drop in the entire policy framework. That alone changed the meaning of thematic from arranging content in themes that are familiar to children to local language usage. This crippled its take off for years.

The Latin says that a wise man learns from other people’s mistakes but a fool…

I pray that the government picks a leaf from the above narrative. In this context for the Parish Development Model, we needed to thoroughly train the beneficiaries and lower implementers on the vision, mission, objectives, strategy, approach and tactics. I happen to be an opinion leader in my locality, I once asked a group of people what they understood by PDM, some thought of it as appreciation for voting H.E the president, others thought that the MPs they elected had lobbied for them money far from the core reasons for existence of the programme.

 No wonder, the funds have started growing legs and I think that the vision and mission is not well articulated to the accounting officers. 

It’s my singular prayer that the government goes back to the drawing board since evidence shows that money released has been greeted with such a catastrophe. We always have good programmes under the mighty NRM but end up not yielding good fruits to the magnitude of its creation. 

The Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) was the best but ended up not befitting the standard for which it was drawn. Had it achieved the purpose, we would not have to drag ourselves into this new Parish Development Model (PDM), we would just modify the former. I love the president’s slogan of ‘bonna bagagawale’ that might loosely be translated as ‘let all get rich’ but his dream is ever cut short by the implementers.

In the next phase, let it be made clear to the country men and women how such development policies ought to be implemented to the dot to avoid embarrassing the good ideas of the president. Interdicting people who saw a chance to eat big might not work best for we tempted our accounting officers with idle money and maybe even some of them forgot to say the Lord’s prayer …do not lead us into temptation but deliver us……..

The writer is an educationist and social commentator.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *