Failure to link policies and budgets has been singled out as one of the key factors contributing to poor budgeting outcomes and an obstacle to the implementation of effective strategies in developing countries. An examination of post-world war planning history reveals that there have been more failures than successes in the implementation of policies especially in developing countries. The success rate of development plans and economic blueprints in Africa have been found to be in the range of between 5% and 30%. A common criticism labelled on most policies or economic blueprints in developing countries is that they represent unconstrained wish lists of development initiatives which are poorly prioritised and too often de-linked from the availability of financial resources in the budget. The United Nations (2002) in a report towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by African countries posits that strong linkages between policy planning, results and budgeting are necessary for developing country goals to use limited resources efficiently and effectively. In order to increase the success rate of their developmental policies governments the world over should adopt the Results Based Budgeting system. This is a budgeting system that is meant to link the funding of government agencies to the government’s expected policy results. Results Based Budgeting and/or Performance Based Budgeting reforms are intended to transform the government sector budgeting systems from control of inputs to a focus on outputs and outcomes and strengthen the link between the national budget and the economic blueprints I strongly believe that civil society and other policy advocates should not carry out their efforts to ensure effective policy implementation without looking at the public budgeting side which is the flip side of macroeconomic plans. There is therefore need for advocacy initiatives that gravitate towards performance or results based budgeting if we are to achieve the sustainable development goals set by each nation.
By Precious Chinanga July 30, 2018