The Basic Income Grant Coalition has rejected consultancy proposals for the evaluation of the Ministry of Poverty Eradication’s policy framework ‘Blueprint on wealth distribution and poverty eradication’, stating that it raises questions as there are currently no substantive initiatives worth evaluating.
“While we appreciate that external evaluations of government policies can be helpful to identify successes and shortcomings in their implementation, this particular consultancy raises questions,” BIG Coalition member, Rinaani Musutua, said in a statement.
Bidding for the consultancy proposals opened on 10 September 2021.
“Evaluations need to be based on actual programmes that are being rolled out and we wonder if there are currently any substantive initiatives worth evaluating,” Musutua was quoted as saying in the statement.
The statement further said when the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare was established in 2015, its officials travelled to all 14 regions to learn about the ideas and proposals available and a blueprint on wealth distribution and poverty eradication was created, but only one new initiative was taken; the introduction of the Food Bank.
“In 2019, the ministry presented the draft policy on social protection, which strongly argued for the immediate implementation of a universal child grant. However, this has still not been implemented despite the strong empirical evidence that the current targeted child grant fails to reach a large number of children in need,” said Musutua, adding that they urge the ministry to follow the overwhelming evidence of the numerous social-economic benefits of a universal BIG, which must be a central pillar of Namibia’s post-COVID-19 recovery strategy.
Musutua also said the current call for a consultancy to evaluate a blueprint has not resulted in visible new programmes and seems to be a waste of scarce resources that could be used in the fight against poverty.
Executive Director at the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Esther Lusepani, told Nampa upon enquiry that these consultations are necessary as the ministry’s five-year programme concluded last year. She said consultations should be carried out to evaluate the progress of these programmes in order for the ministry to find various approaches to poverty alleviation that could be implemented for an extensive poverty mitigation guide.
“I don’t know what BIG Coalition is referring to, but we have programmes on the ground like the Food Bank that has yielded positive results since its inception. I don’t understand why these consultations should be rendered unnecessary,” Lusepani said.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)