From Program to Implementation

The Nagaland State Government has over the last six months or so undertaken several development programs to the people. Noteworthy among them is the slew of measures announced under the departments of Horticulture, Agriculture & Allied Services. The Northeast Agri-Expo 2006 held at Dimapur in tune with the Year of Farmers and the subsequent district conferences related to the farms sectors are achievement in themselves for which the present government needs to be congratulated. 

As much as the sincerity that has gone down to devising welfare and development programs, the State government has to now show that same commitment and purpose to ensure the effective implementation of these objectives. For this, the concerned department should realize that what has been done is only half the job. The next stage of implementation should be seen as an inherent part of the overall development process. 

The sustainable growth of the local economy will depend considerably on implementation and not so much on the program itself. Monitoring the performance of programs announced is therefore extremely important for which Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio will hopefully do the necessary follow-up. The DAN government can also look into the feasibility of having a separate monitoring and program implementation cell to keep track of the initiatives it has taken on the development front. This will help plug any loopholes there might be in the delivery of services. The Chief Secretary likewise can undertake the task of monitoring of the monthly performance of the State’s department. At the third level, each Department must concurrently undertake its own in-depth monitoring with sincerity. 

Once this process is set in motion, the government should call for a mid-appraisal meeting to have an update as to where they are in implementing programs and to keep a proper track of how beneficiaries are utilizing funds and other services provided by the government. Similarly, before undertaking such a review meeting, another round of district wise workshop can provide opportunity to the public to offer suggestions, along with a chance to voice their frustration and anger if any. This will help reorient the process if such a need arises based on the feedback received. The government as such should not shy away from taking such an initiative. At the end, by collecting credible and timely statistics, it will help facilitate an informed decision making that is based not so much on political consideration but on the reality as presented by the people.

Now that several initiatives have been set in motion, the present government must display wisdom in doing the next sensible thing of undertaking a thorough monitoring, assessment and evaluation of the plethora of development program. This will help minimize the cost and time overrun and for achieving high performance levels through systems improvement and adoption of the best practices. More so, effective monitoring of programs and projects will help ensure the efficient utilization of local resources in an optimum manner besides achieving the desired service delivery results.