By Glen Simon, NCPC
(PRESS RELEASE) — The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PMDU) in the Office of the Prime Minister, established in 2019, has the express mandate of ensuring targets established under the Medium Term Development Strategy are ultimately achieved.
Director of Performance Management Unit, Charon Gardener-Hippolyte, said for the next two years the unit will be laser-focused on monitoring and achieving those targets spread across six key ministries.
“We assist the ministries, we support them, we facilitate what has to be done. If there are challenges we again assist them in resolving those challenges and if it is that the challenge can only be resolved through the assistance of the Prime Minister, then we are that direct line to make sure that the challenge is resolved as quickly as possible.”
On Aug. 7, the PMDU alongside the prime minister, conducted a stock-taking exercise of the various ministries reviewing their progress and stages of implementation in relation to their various targets.
“In 2018, the ministries embarked on an activity that allowed for them to look at what are their main priorities, what do they want to focus on and what are the targets for those priorities for the next four years. This all culminated in the Medium Term Development Strategy and right now what we are doing is every three months we come before the prime minister and we evaluate where we are in relation to those priorities. Are we on target, are we focusing in the right areas, what are we doing to problem solve, our challenges and what are we doing to get back on track in relation to our priorities and our targets, if they are falling off track,” Garner-Hippolyte said.
Our cameras captured the presentation from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, one of the six ministries integral to the stock-take exercise. The PMDU director noted that the assessments of the key ministries were “very decent” taking into account the financial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Essentially we have taken a real hard look in terms of, if we hit a target did we hit the target because of our activities towards that target or did we hit that target because of the circumstances that allowed for the last four or five months for us to achieve that target. Some of the positive things that came from the stock-take today that we can speak about is in relation to our hypertension and diabetes. We had 51 percent of persons coming in for amputations in comparison to our previous year. So, that’s a great drop. In relation to crime, our target for this year is to be 15 percent below 2018 figures and we are currently at 6.9 percent. So, in terms of our mid-year review, we are tracking well towards that target. Last week – we track it weekly – our figure in relation to crime stood at 8.7 percent.”
She added that the focus is on simultaneously driving the social and economic policies under the Medium Term Development Strategy which in turn should have a positive impact on national productivity.
“One of the fantastic projects that I like to think of that does both is for example in education. We now have a project under TVET (Technical Vocation and Education Training) that was funded by The World Bank that is essentially going to upscale our TVET certification and ensuring that more persons move towards certification and completion as opposed to just enrollment and getting the courses. We’re also looking to add value in some of the areas. We also got another set of funding the 11th EDF (European Development Fund) so we can also increase our offering in TVET in St. Lucia. This for me has the double effect of not just improving our human social capital but also in relation to making persons more attractive in relation to job offerings and being able to get and earn higher salaries.”
The six key result areas being focused on in the MTDS are agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, health, education, and citizen security.