Coordination and alignment between national and sub-national planning has again been selected as the theme of the upcoming PCoP Workshop, scheduled for December 10-12, 2019. The last PCoP workshop held in Manila in May focused on this issue but the discussion centered on spatial planning as the nexus between national and sub-national planning. In this workshop, there will be an opportunity to drill down further by having a sharper focus on institutional aspects of national/sub-national coordination and alignment. This means looking at the integration of national and local plans as well as the institutional arrangements (e.g. inter-agency coordination, fiscal transfers, decentralization) and functions (e.g. planning-budgeting linkages and monitoring, citizen consultation mechanisms, capacity building in data analytics to complement M&E).
The reason for the focus on institutional aspects is that institutions have an important role to play in the design and operationalization of the policy interventions if the desired development outcomes are to be achieved. Furthermore, discussions on institutional issues seem limited when compared to discussions around the policy making (e.g. growth, sustainability, inclusiveness), even though the role of government and its apparatus is vital.
The objective of the workshop is to deepen the exchanges and discussions, and hopefully find some common solutions in addressing the alignment and coordination issue. This will be done by examining what is being /has been done globally and regionally to achieve better policy outcomes through national-sub-national coordination, as well as the lessons learned. It will involve presentations and technical inputs from World Bank experts, interactive sessions and group discussions. At the end of the workshop, participants can expect to have a better appreciation of the lessons learned and experience from other countries within the region, as well as the international perspectives on how alignment and coordination can be strengthened.