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The World Bank


Report No. 32009-GM



PovertyReductionStrategy Paper-Annual ProgressReport

Joint StaffAdvisory Note

April 8,2005

Poverty Reduction and Economic Management 4

Country Department for The Gambia
Africa Region

This documenthas a restricteddistributionand may be usedby recipientsonly inthe

performanceof their officialduties. Its contents may not otherwisebe
Wnrlrl RRnk mthnrieatinn.
Report No.






Prepared by the Staffs o f the Intemational Monetary Fund

and the IntemationalDevelopment Association

Approved by Benedicte Vibe Christensen and Carlo Cottarelli

and Gobind Nankani (IDA)

April 8,2005


1. This Joint StaffAdvisory Note (JSAN) reviews the first

Report(APR) of The Gambia's PRSP. The PRSP was finalized inApril 2002 and
presented to the Boards o fthe World Bank and the IMF inJuly 2002. The
strategy was organized around five basic components: (i) macroeconomic
stability and
effective public resource management; (ii) promotion ofpro-poor growth
employment through private sector development, particularly inthe rural
sector; (iii)improved basic social services and infrastructure; (iv)
capacity buildingo f
local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs); and (v)
multisectoralprograms to reduce population growth, gender inequality,
malnutrition, and environmentaldegradation. The PRSP included a
poverty analysis, an outline of a monitoring and evaluation framework,
performance indicators and targets, cost estimates of implementation, and
an indicative
financing gap. Although the PRSP provided a credible poverty reduction
strategy, the
Joint Staff Assessment at the time emphasized that the authorities
shouldrefine sectoral
priorities, costing and monitoring, and strengthen the linkages betweenthe
strategy and
the national budget.

This document hasa restricteddistribution andmay be usedby recipientsonly in

the performanceof their officialduties.Its contentsmay not beotherwisedisclosed
without World Bankauthorization.

2. The Gambia's first PRSPAPR, finalized in December2004, analyzes the

implementationof the strategyfromJuly 2002 to December2003. The delay in
preparingthe report was due to the lack of capacity and resources, frequent
turnover, and the need to address immediate macroeconomic difficulties duringthe
period. The APR was preparedthrough a participatory process based on consultations
with the public and private sectors and CSOs. The cabinet and the Inter-
Steering Committee-the PRSP steering committee that comprises key government
representatives-provided guidance and endorsed the report. The next steps
include wide public dissemination o f the APR, including through regional
and its submissionto the national assembly.

3. The APR indicatesthat The Gambia's progress in implementingthe PRSP

has been uneven. Slow implementationmainly reflected low capacity, a lack of
commitment, and poor prioritization o fpolicies implemented in2002-03. Among the
basic components, the authorities made the most progress inincreasing access to
social services. By contrast, they didnot achieve most macroeconomic targets for
and 2003. According to preliminarydata, poverty-reducing expenditures fell.
private sector participation and employment creation inthe agricultural sector did
increase significantly, and such major initiatives as the Poverty ReductionFund-
designed to buildthe capacity o f local communities and CSOs-were not
The poverty rate likely increased during the first year and a half o f
implementation o f the
PRSP because o fpoor economic performance, particularly since the groundnut
with its highrepresentation o fthe poor, experienced severe crop failures. The
Development Goal (MDG) target for the percentage o fpeople living on less than
per day is 27 percent by 2015, butthis ratio increased from 54 percent in 1992 to
percent in 1998.Changes inthe poverty rate will be confirmed once results from the
household survey become available.

4. The staff recommendsthat the authoritiesacceleratePRSPimplementation

by allocatingmore resourcesto povertyreductionprograms,and by improving
their monitoringand evaluation. To this end, the authorities' priorities shouldbe
(i) maintain sound macroeconomic policies to consolidate recent gains inlowering
inflation, stabilizing the exchange rate, and rebuildinginternational reserves;
the share o fpoverty-reducing expenditures, including on basic social services
strengthenpublic financial management and overall governance o fpublic resources;
promoteprivate sector participation, particularly to makethe agricultural sector
diversified and market-oriented; and (v) build the capacity o f local governments,
communities, and CSOs to create sustainable and accountable local development
on improved service delivery to the poor. Monitoring and evaluation should be
strengthenedthrough timely preparationo fthe APRs, improved reliability o fdata,
refinemento findicators and targets, andmore candid analysis o fpolicy failures.
Many o f
the staffs' recommendations would require donor support for their successful
implementation. The staffbelieves that donor support is likely to be forthcoming
authorities were to make a concerted effort to hrther strengthen the macroeconomic
environment and the implementation o f their poverty reduction strategy.


A. MacroeconomicPoliciesandPublicResourceManagement

5. Maintainingfiscal and monetarydisciplinewill remaina criticalpriority.

The authorities failed to achieve most o fthe PRSP macroeconomic targets for 2002
2003 because o f inappropriate macroeconomic policies and crop failures. GDP
by 3.2 percent in2002 compared with the PRSP target o f6 percent growth. Fiscal
were larger than planned, and lax monetary conditions contributed to higher-than-
targeted inflation rates. The dalasi depreciated substantially, and foreign
reserves did not accumulate as projected. These developments eventually led to The
Gambia's unsatisfactory performance under the PRGF-supported program and its
inability to complete a review o fthe program. However, economic performance has
significantly improved since 2003 as a result o f the recovery o f the agncultural
sector and
substantially tighter fiscal and monetary policies. The recovery inoutput that
started in
2003 when GDP expanded by 7 percent, continued in2004 with a growth rate o f
8 percent. In2004, the basic fiscal primary surplus more than doubled to about 8
of GDP, and the rate o fbroad money growth was reduced by halfcompared with a year
earlier. As a consequence, end-period inflationwas reduced from 18 percent
inJanuary to
8 percent by end-2004. The exchange rate has stabilized, and international
reserves have
rebounded to US$ 85 million in2004 compared with US$60 million in2003, thus
creating the conditions for a fall ininterest rates. It will be critical for the
authorities to
maintain momentum while at the same time ensuring adequate funding o fpoverty-
reducing expenditures. Also, the debt situation shouldbe carefully monitored, the
macroeconomic framework updated, and data inconsistencies with staff resolved.

6. The staff recommendsthat the authoritiesplacea top priorityon

strengtheninggovernance.Poor governance has beena central reason for The Gambia's
weak economic perfonnance inrecent years. The off-budget expenditures o f around 7
percent o f GDP in2001 signaled a serious breakdown ingovernance, which not only
endangered the macroeconomic environment, but also helped undermine PRSP
implementation. Governance problems were also reflected inquestionable foreign
exchange transactions in2002 and 2003. While the off-budget expenditures took
before the launch o f the PRSP, the weaker state o fpublic finance in subsequent
contributedto the difficulty o fmaintaining spending on PRSP priority areas.
the governance problems havebeen a factor reducing donor support, thus further
the availability o fresources for implementationo fthe PRSP.
7. The authoritiesshould thoroughlyidentifythe governanceproblemsthat
gave rise to the misreportingof fiscal data, anddevelop andimplementconcrete
measures to preventsuch problemsfrom recurringinthe future. While there has
beensome progress inimproving governance through various initiatives to strengthen
public financial management, notably inbudget classification and aggregate fiscal
control, many areas o f weakness remain. Updating the public accounts i s critical
since the

continuedbacklog undermines expenditure control and legislative and public

This should be done inthe short-term even as other medium-term reforms are being
pursued. PRSP policies should bemore fully integrated into the budget process,
through greater prioritization and more refinedcosting o f sectoral programs.
actions toward the introduction o f a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework over the
medium-term are neededand should include fully integrating the recurrent and
development budgets, improving revenue forecasting, and introducing a programmatic
budget classification system. The authorities should also accelerate the ongoing
to implement the Integrated Financial Management Information System inorder to
strengthen public expenditure management and prevent further delays inpreparingthe

8. The authoritiesshould ensure adequate domestic fundingof poverty-

reducingexpenditureswhose share in the totalbudgetseemsto have decreased in
2003. The authorities should also seek to protect these expenditures duringperiods
o f
fiscal retrenchment. The FY04 multidonor Public Expenditure Reviewindicated that
actual poverty-reducing expenditures as a share o f domestic expenditures declined
21.5 percent in2002 to 14.9 percent in2003. Although the analysis i s based on
preliminary data and there are some concems that the budget codes do not
identifyPRSP expenditures, the findings are consistent with the Poverty Reducing
Expenditure Reports prepared by the authorities which similarly indicate a decline
poverty spending.The share o fbudget allocations to poverty-reducing expenditures
increased in2004, but it will be crucial that the authorities obtain up-to-date
outturn data inorder to verify that increased allocations resulted inincreased
spending. Inthe next APR, the authorities should analyze whether increased
in2004 resulted inincreased actual outlays.

B. Pro-Poor Growth and Employment

9. The staff encourages the authoritiesto fully develop and implementa rural
development strategy. The PRSP and the APR provide only limitedinformation on the
government's vision. Reducingpoverty inrural areas will require a comprehensive
approach encompassing highgrowth rates; employment creation; and health,
and improved physical infrastructure. The immediate need to recover from the crop
failures o f 2002 apparently derailed the authorities' efforts to articulate more
fully a rural
sector development policy. Frequent changes inthe top management o f the
o f State for Agriculture also hampered those efforts. The authorities should
focus on
developing a comprehensive approach to reducing the agricultural sector's
to inadequate rainfall, including by strengthening the irrigation system. The
prospects o f diversifying into horticulture and agro processing should be covered
next APR. The overall objective o f agricultural sector policy should be to
diversify the
sector away from subsistence-based activities andto make it market-oriented. The
PRSP's focus on agricultural research and extension services should be matched by
adequateresources andproper monitoring o f the impact o f these efforts.

10. Tangible resultsin promotingprivatesector developmentshould be a key

goalof governmentpublicpolicy.While this goal is acknowledged by the authorities,
the APR could benefit from greater specificity about plans to achieve this
Given the slow pace o f the privatizationprogram to date, the authorities should
an action planwith milestones for their comprehensive divestiturepolicies. The
groundnut sector still needs to be reformed, including through the privatization o
groundnut-processing facilities. The monitoring o fprivate sector activities
should be
improved, including through the planned economic census. The authorities
direct agricultural inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers, inresponse to the crop
failures o f
2002; however, inthe future, they should be mindfulthat such subsidized direct
interventions undermineprivate sector participation. The business climate can be
improved through the following: reform o f the judicial system; strengtheningo f
administration o f land transactions; streamlining o f legislationand
procedures for businesses; and strengtheningo f trade and investment-promotion
agencies. The next APR should more fully address developments intourism, reexport
transit trade, and light manufacturing. Trade policy will need to be givenhigher
inthe medium-term. The Gambiahasbeenselected as one ofthe countries underthe
Lntegrated Framework (IF) for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least
Countries. The IF i s a cooperative interagency initiative that includes Fundand
the World
Bank participation. Opportunities from regional integration and entrepot trade
should be
firther explored.

C. Basic Social Services andInfrastructure

11. Improvingthe quality of educationremainsa major challenge. The country

has madeprogress inexpanding access to basic education, particularly for girls,
through a
sustained classroom constructionprogram. Educationinitiatives included important
social policies, such as a girls' scholarship program and the Girl-FriendlySchool
Initiative. However, the highfailure rates instandardized tests indicate that the
quality o f
education i s still poor. The APR recognizes that to improve the quality o f
education, there
i s a need to strengthen the training, supervision, and support o fteachers, and
increase the
supplyo fclassroom materials. Inaddition, the authorities should improve the
and retention o f qualified teachers inrural areas by substantially increasing
packages, including through the Education For All initiative. Nonformaf education
vocational education andtechnical training, both PRSP priorities, should be
The MDGsfor net primary enrolment ratio and girls to boys ratio inprimaryeducation
are broadly on track, but the girls to boys ratio in secondary education needs to

12. Inadequatestaffinginthe healthsector, includingfrom absenteeism,

continues to impedethe deliveryof services. While the APR describes insome detail
the actions that the government has taken inthe area o fbasic healthprovision, the
of staffing has received insufficient attention. A key reason for the staffing
problems is
low salaries and the emigration o f qualified staff to pursue more attractive
overseas. Access to health services increased with the expansion o fhealth

However, staffing inrural areasneeds to be increased to reduce geographical

The staffs' recommended strategic options include (i) increasing auxiliary
midwives and
assistant nurses to augment regular staff; (ii)
improving incentive packages for
jobs in
rural areas; and (iii) innovative staff-management methods, including performance-
based contracting and part-time work. The key to improving health services i s to
decentralize resources and responsibilitiesto regional units,particularly to the
Health Teams, and to further develop and expand community-based services. Drug-
supply management should be improved, including by implementingamore open and
competitive procurement process. The authorities should reallocate funds from
to primary health care. Basic MDGhealth indicators are on track except for the
five child mortality ratio. An integrated policyto improve social welfare and
vulnerable groups should be developed and implemented.

13. The expansion of roads, telecommunication,and electricity and water

services should better target the poor. Mucho f the current expansion o f roads
urban areas and highways, whereas greater emphasis on feeder roads would better
the poor inrural areas. The expansion o f telecommunicationservices should
ensure that rural areas benefit.The government should develop a strategy to ensure
the National Water and Electricity Corporation i s able to increase
generating capacity, distribution network, and maintenance.

D. LocalGovernments,Communities,and CivilSociety Organizations(CSOs)

14. Decentralizedpublic services and expanded social development funds are the
basis for local community development.The legal arrangements for decentralization
are inplace with new laws that call for extensive fiscal decentralization o fthe
sector. However, there has been little tangble progress inimplementingthe new
laws. A
country-owned implementationplan and sensitization program would build
and create momentum. The main mechanism for supporting local communities and CSOs
inthe PRSP is the Poverty ReductionFund(PRF), acomprehensive social development
fund. The authorities should develop and implementaplanto makethe PRFoperational.
The Bank i s currently preparing a project that combines community driven
andhealthwhich is aligned with the basic principleso fthe PRF. The next APR should
provide a more comprehensive analysis o f the activities and impact o f the CSOs.
A key
PRSPobjective to establish a poverty reductiondialogue forum shouldbe implemented.

E. Population,Nutrition,HIV/AIDS, Gender, andEnvironment

15. The nextAPR should providea more comprehensive assessment of

population,gender, and environmentpolicies.Initiatives to reduce the incidence o f
HIV/AIDSandimprove nutrition arebeingimplemented. Thereis areasonably strong
political commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, but the policy interventions should better
the core transmitters because the infection rate has been gradually increasing. An
education outreach program will be critical for changing traditional views that
opportunities for women and their access to resources. The Gambia i s one o f the

densely populated countries insub-Saharan Africa. A proper assessment o f the

implementation o fthe government's National PopulationPolicy shouldbe included in
future APRs. Similarly, future reports should assesshow the country has addressed
environmental pressures, such as coastal erosion, salinization o f tidal lands,



16. Proper monitoringand evaluationof the PRSPprocess requiregreater

resourceallocation.Notwithstandingits integrationinto the Department of State for
Finance and Economic Affairs, the govemment 's Strategy for Poverty-Alleviation
Coordinating Office remains understaffed. Further,the Inter-Departmental Steering
Committee should be more active insupervising the implementation activities. The
PRSP thematic groups should be reinvigorated; to date, only two have been active.
However, even with organizational changes and increased resources, greater
leadership i s the key to accelerating implementation o fthe PRSP. Otherwise,
there i s the
riskthat policies will continue to beimplementedandmonitoredwithout sufficient
interest and cooperation from other government agencies.

17. Improvingthe timely availabilityof reliable data is the key to

monitoringand evaluationof the PRSP.The timely monitoring o finputshasbeen
difficult because o f the significant delays inproducing the public accounts. The
should also be produced ina more timely manner. The list o f PRSP targets and
shouldbe further refined, prioritized, and explicitly linkedto MDG targets.
o f the targets into a summary policy matrix containing key actions and milestones
facilitate monitoring and analysis. The proposed Poverty Monitoring System should
made operational. Impact analysis needs to be strengthened, including by
the results of the latest participatory poverty analyses, service delivery
surveys, and pilot
citizen report cards. The Central Statistics Department has limitedcapacity to
timely and credible basic statistics. Therefore, it will be critical to accelerate
its donor-
supported reform agenda, including by implementingthe draft institutional
strategy, processing and analyzing the national census and the household survey,
conducting an economic census. The authorities should consider collecting
data regularly, giventhat employment creation i s a key PRSP objective.

18. Greaterpoliticalleadershipwill be criticalin acceleratingimplementationof

the PRSP. Sustainingfocus on the strategy inthe public sector has always beena
challenge giventhe low capacity, frequent turnover o fpersonnel, and tendency to
the strategy as one ofmany competing agendas. The keyto meetingthe challenge is
the political leadership to institutionalizethe strategy as a comprehensive
approach to
overall public policymaking, including through continued dissemination
programs. The Gambia's reliance on external financing makes active dialogue with
development partners essential. The upcoming roundtable meeting o f donors should

focus on the PRSP. Inaddition, annual meetings with multistakeholders about the
should be considered. For annual meetings to be conducted, the APRs would have to
b e
more timely and candid, and the data improved. Proper assessment also requires
parts of the strategy, such as civil service reform, divestiture and
decentralization, b e
more fully developed and costed.

Departmentof State for Finance and Economic Affairs (DOSFEA)

October 2004



1. 16-20

1.1 Overview
1.2 PRSP/SPA I1Implementation framework
1.3 Poverty Monitoring
1.4 Update on the poverty situation


AND 21-31

2.1 Overall macroeconomic performance

2.2 Public Resource Management
2.2.1 Govemance o f the Central Bank
2.2.2 Country Financial Accountability Assessment (CFAA)
2.2.3 Capacity buildingfor economic management
2.2.4 Privatization and Divestiture
2.2.5 Civil Service Reform
2.2.6 Preparation and Auditing o f Government Accounts
ii)BacklogofUn-auditedAccounts, 1991-1999
iii)Govemment Support
2.3 Public Spending
2.3.1 Poverty focus o f public expenditure



3.1 Agriculture and Natural Resources

3.1.1Agricultural development strategy
3.1.2Agricultural policy and progress in implementing PRSP policies
3.1.3Promoting private provisiono f inputs,
3.1.4Impact o f the drought on Crop production and support for the 2003
planting season
3.1.5 Development o f irrigation schemes
3.1.6 Agricultural Research
3.2 Natural Resource Management
3.3 Private sector development
3.3.1 Employment
3.3.2 Medium and Small Enterprises
3.3.3 Tourism

3.4 Social Welfare and Protection

3.4.1 Social Welfare
3.4.2 Foster care Scheme
3.4.3 Social Fundfor Poverty Reduction


4.1 Education
4.1.1 Access to Basic Education
4.1.2 Quality o f Teaching and Leaming
4.1.3 Teaching and Learning Materials
4.1.4 Non-Formal Education
4.1.5 Skills Training /Appropriate Technology
4.1.6 Education Outputs/outcomes

4.2 Health
4.2.1 Access to basic health care
4.2.2 Quality o f Basic Health Care

4.3 Infrastructure
4.3.1 Roads infrastructure expansion and upgrading
4.3.2 Road Infrastructure
4.3.3 Public Transport
4.3.4 River TranspodFerries

4.4 Telecommunication

4.5 Energy



5.1 Decentralizationand Reform of Local Governments

5.1.1 Local Government System
5.1.2 Current Challenges

5.2 Support for LGA Capacity Building

5.3 NGOs inPoverty Reduction
5.4 Capacity Building
5.5 Education
5.6 Agriculture
5.7 Smallholder irrigationfor livelihoodenhancement (SMILE)
5.8 outputs
5.9 Health: Stepping Stones



6.1 Population
6.3 Gender
6.4 Capacity Building
6.5 Communication and Outreach Services
6.6 Direct Interventions
6.7 Nutrition
ii)Salt Iodisation Program
iii)Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA)
iv)Infant and Young Child Nutrition



7.1 Progress on SPA I1Action Plan

7.2 Major constraints/challenges
7.3 Conclusions
a) Reducing debt service through fiscal discipline should be a
b) PRSP priorities needto be further reflected inthe national
c) Major imbalances inthe structure o f the budget needs to be
d) Phase out cash budgetingbut inline with improvement
e) The MTEF and IFMIS work plans should be revised
f ) Recurrent expenditures for the social sectors should be
particularly for Education
g) Poverty targets no longer feasible

Appendix 1: GDP by kindo f Economic Activity at Current Price form 1996 - 2003
Appendix 2: Consumer price index (Base: 1974= 100) for low income Populationin
Banjul and Kombo St. Mary by Groups ABD Subgroups


This is the first progress report covering the first eighteen months of SPA
July 2002 to December 2003. The report brings together the progress achieved so
far in
operationalzing SPA I1concentrating on key programmatic areas, reform measures
called for
by the Strategy and resource mobilization efforts. The report further identifies
weaknesses, threats and opportunities that lie ahead, as well as required urgent
action in our
journey to reach completion point under the enhanced HIPC initiative target.

Iam delighted to note that the report hasbrought to the fore, the dauntingtask of
transforming policy ideas into action, particularly during a period when the
country i s faced
with limited financial and human resources. Despite the constraints however, some
was registered within the short time since we took o f f implementation duringthe
latter part o f

It is intended that this report acts as a trigger and early waming on the road to
completion o f
the first year o f SPA I1Implementation. The report will help both government and
to become responsive and focused on our promises and anticipated actions as
evident in the
SPA I1priority areas. The information in this report will hrther contribute to
focusing our
budgetary allocations and policies on key issues in fighting poverty and making
SPA I1 a

Moussa Gibril Bala-Gaye




ADB African Development Bank

ANR Agriculture and Natural Resources
BADEA Bank for Economic Development inAfrica
CBEMP Capacity BuildingFor Economic Management
CBO Community Based organization
CDD Community DrivenDevelopment
CFAA Country Financial Accountability Assessment
CPI Consumer Price Index
CSD Central Statistics Department
CSIP Community Skills improvement Programme
cso Civil Society organization
DFID Department For Intemational Development
DOP Department of Planning
DOSE Department o f State for Education
DOSFEA Department of State For Finance and Economic Affairs
DOSLG Department o f State for Local Government and Lands
EMCBP Economic Management Capacity Building Project
EMPU Economic Management and PlanningUnit
EPI ExpandedProgrammeon Imminuzation
EU European Union
FASE Fight Against Social and Economic Exclusion
GCCI Gambia Chamber o f Commerce and Industry
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GGC Gambia Groundnut Council
HILEC Highlevel Economic Committee

IDSC Inter-Departmental SteeringCommittee

LFMIS Integrated Financial Management Information System
ILO International Labour organization
IMR Infant Mortality Rate
LGA Local Government Authority
MMR Maternal Mortality Rate
M O U Memorandum OfUnderstanding
MTEF MediumTerm Expenditure Framework
MTEP Mediumterm ExpenditurePlan
NACP National AIDS control Programme
NEA National Environment Agency
NEFCOM National Emergency Fiscal Committee
NGO Non Government organization
NPCS National Population Secretariat
PEMU Programme Evaluation and MonitoringUnit
PER Public Expenditure Review
PHC Primary HealthCare
PRGF Poverty Reduction Growth Facility


R D S RuralDevelopmentStrategy
SDF Social DevelopmentFund
SPACO Strategy for PovertyAlleviation Co-ordinationOffice
SPP Strategy PlanningProcess
TVET Technical, VocationalEducationandTraining
USMR Under-five Mortality Rate
UNAIDS UnitedNationsAIDS Programme
UNDP UnitedNationsDevelopmentProgramme
UNICEF UnitedNationschildren's Fund
WDC Ward DevelopmentCommittee

2002. In September o f the same year, the Government o f the Gambia and its
Partners held a Round Table Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on the Program and
Technical Assistance requirements emanating from the PRSP. The
PRSP received
remarkable pledges o f support from the Donor Community present at the Conference,
pledges have since been followed up byjoint reviews o f Country Assistance
Strategies by the
leading Development Partners in The Gambia.

Poverty is generally seen in SPA I1 as a human condition characterized by

sustained or
chronic deprivation o f the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power
necessary for
the enjoyment o f an adequate standard o f living and other civil, cultural,
economic, political
and social rights. Since commencement o f SPA I1 Implementation, all these
rights are
equally important as a means o f ensuring that all people have a life o f freedom
and dignity.

This report provides information and analysis regarding the achievements and
experienced between July 2002 and December 2003 with respect to the poverty
priority public actions, and the monitoring and evaluation systems put in place
for the
PRSP/SPA 11. The report further highlights important changes necessary in the
strategy as
appropriate inlight o f implementation experiences to date, changes inexogenous
factors, and
new data and analysis regarding poverty and its dimensions. A s the main
document on the status o f implementation, the progress report informed and/or
domestic stakeholders and partners on all issues regarding implementation in order
to build
support for smooth implementation o f SPA11. This report takes stock o f the
eighteen months
of implementation, outlines constraints and highlights necessary measures (policy
and programmatic actions) required for effective implementation and subsequently
to achieve
the objectives and targets set inSPA 11.

1.2. PRSP/SPA I1Implementationframework

The High-Level Economic Committee, under the chairmanship o f the Vice President,
provides overall guidance for the implementation o f the strategy. The SPA
I1programme i s
being coordinated by SPACO, established under the direct supervision o f the
Secretary, Department o f State for Finance and Economic Affairs. Focal points in
participating national agency have been identified with a view to maintaining a
dialogue with SPACO.

The Department o f State for Local Government and Lands facilitates the local
level capacity
building and decentralization aspects o f the strategy. However, this is yet to be
realized as
the decentralization process i s undergoing delays with regard to the development
and passing
into law o f instruments such as the Finance and Audit Bill, and the Local
Service Scheme that will make it operational.

The implementation process started with the formation o f the institutions

responsible for
overseeing implementation. The inter-Departmental Steering Committee (IDSC)
chaired by
DOSFEA was launched in February followed by the inauguration o f the four thematic
groups; Co-ordination o f implementation, Aid Co-ordination, planning and
Participation and participatory processes, and Monitoring and evaluation.

Members o f the thematic groups continue to meet on implementation issues relevant

to their
respective mandates. However, only the thematic groups on monitoring and
evaluation and
participation and participatory processes have been very active. The thematic
group on

monitoring and evaluation has met several times to review drafts of the monitoring
evaluation strategy whilst the thematic group on participation and participatory
processes led
the divisional PRSP dissemination workshops. There has also been extensive
with partners to further famililiarise them with the PRSP and also allow for an
update o f
issues not detailed out in the document particularly the cross-cutting issues and
how these
will be mainstreamed. Consultationsundertaken include:
. National stakeholder meeting -Demystifying the PRSP/SPA I1
. National workshop for National Assembly members to familiarize
them with
Divisional workshops (six divisions and Banjul/KMC) for divisional

These consultations resulted to greater awareness and understanding o f the PRSP

at both
national and divisional level and provided the opportunity to incorporate
specific, objectives
and implementation arrangements for specific cross cutting issues that were not
detailed out
in the PRSP. Strategies and objectives for the cross-cutting areas; gender,
population, HIV/AIDS and water and sanitation have now been incorporated into the

1.3. Poverty Monitoring

The monitoring strategy o f the SPAII was designed over a one year period between
and December 2003. As part of the implementation process o f SPAII, a Thematic
Group on
monitoring and evaluation was set up and this group took charge o f the M & E
process which went through several stages. The strategy enhances the establishment
o f
effective monitoring an evaluation system to guide the implementation, monitoring
evaluation o f poverty reduction programmes at national, sectoral and LGA levels.
A key area
that is addressed i s the measurement o f the impact o f public policies on the
welfare and well
being o f poor people as well as progress being made in the implementation o f
activities and production o f outputs. This measurement o f progress i s all
encompassing and
includes measuring progress towards achievement o f the millennium development
The monitoring and evaluation o f SPA I1is within an institutional framework that
the challenges associated with strategies to reduce poverty, and the multiplicity
o f agencies
involved. Thus to ensure effective coordination o f monitoring processes, an
framework in which the High Level Economic Committee (HILEC) provides
guidance and political leadership for implementation has been created. An inter
steering Committee (IDSC) ensures adequate flow o f information between government
departments and also channels issues for decision-making at the policy level; and
constraints and opportunities inmonitoring, and make decisions concerning

In addition, six sub-committees or technical working groups oversee day to day

implementation and coordinate poverty-monitoring activities in their respective
including contributions to the major outputs o f the poverty monitoring system
such as the
semi-annual SPA I1report.

Government has created an enabling environment for the participationo f civil

society and the
private sector in the monitoring o f public expenditure. The DOSFEA
initiative on budget
consultations with civil society organizations i s being strengthened, and
central and key
sector ministries are being encouraged to discuss budgets and fimding
allocations with
stakeholders such as beneficiaries, civil society organizations and donors
before submission
to the Department o f State for Finance and Economic Affairs.

In impIementing the poverty monitoring strategy, individual agencies carry

out monitoring
and evaluation o f their respective programmes as part of their day to day
activities whilst
SPACO provides the co-ordinating role as well as solicit for support to
institutional capacity for the respective institutions to effectively carry
out their monitoring
and evaluation roles. Thus the emphasis is on strengthening and improving
existing capacities
in the sectors to make them more efficient and responsive to needs o f data
users as well as
attempting to harmonise information collection systems to reduce duplication
and transaction

Poverty monitoring activities undertaken in 2003 include a service delivery

survey covering
the health and education sectors, conducted in January and supplemented with
Poverty Assessments in the same sectors. The Education PPA, focused on
teaching and
learning materials and links with household expenditure and poverty. The
health PPA
focused on beneficiary perceptions o f quality o f health care and financial
risk protection o f
the Poor. These fed into on-going revision o f the education policy and
development o f the
new health care financing mechanisms.

Data collection for the integratedhousehold survey started inFebruary and

currently the data
entry has just been completed. Data collection for the re-basing o f the CPI
also started since
January. Updating o f the PERs for the agriculture, he,alth and education
sectors i s about to
start and new PERs for the Works and Infrastructure i s nearing completion.
An analysis o f
poverty reducing public expenditure for 2003 has been undertaken and a
poverty reducing
expenditure report for the period compiled.
With regard to sectoral indicators, the planning units o f the respective
sectors continue to
collect and analysis data for their respective sectors to provide updated
data on the status o f
the SPA I1indicators. The status of the PRSP performance indicators that are
tracked on an
annual basis are shown inthe table below.

ISPA I1Objective OutcomeIndicators I Baseline

2003 Target

Improvingthe Enabling Policy Poverty headcount index 47%

47% i 39%
Prop.below Food poverty line 30%
30% 24%
growth and Poverty Inflation rate
Reduction. GDP growth 4.0
Capacityand Social Protection m Agriculture share (% ) of GDP 25.8%
27.8% 35%
ofthe Poor andVulnerable. m Production & productivity of Details in
Details in Details in
major crops: groundnuts, rice, agric.
section agric. section agric. section
maize, millet
Improving Coverage of the Gross Enrollment rates
Unmet Basic Needs of the Lower Basic 85%
90% 90%
Poor. Upper basic 66%
72% 90%
1 Infant Mortality Rate 8411000
8411000 6011000

SPA I1Objective Outcome Indicators

. Baseline
2003 Target
Maternal Mortality Rate 7.3
7.3 6.0
Building Capacity for Local, Functional local governance Operational
Operational Operational
People-centered Development structures(VDC, WDC) in 3
divisions in3 divisions inall 8
through Decentralization. .. Functional mechanismsfor
m Implementation of local

MainstreamingGender Equity, HIV/AIDS prevalence 1 2.1%

1 1.9% 1.5%
EnvironmentalIssues, 1 Malnutrition rate 13.5%
12.0% 17.0%
Nutrition, and HIV-AIDS 1 ContraceptivePrevalence Rate 9%
9% ' 15%
awarenessinto all Femaleenrolment ratios
developmentPrograms Lower Basic 48%
49% 50%
Upper Basic 42%
44% 50%

1.4. Updateon the poverty situation

As the 2003 Household expenditure survey data is still being processed,

updated information
on income poverty is not available. However adverse macro economic
developments during
the period, such as the sharp declining value o f the Dalasi against major
currencies and
galloping inflation led to rapid increases in prices and a subsequent decline
in the purchasing
power o f people. The increase inthe Central Bank re-discount rate led to
increases inlending
rates o f commercial banks and the micro-finance institutions. Thus access to
finance became
more difficult for those at the grassroots as many people are unwilling to
borrow from the
Micro finance institutions and VISACAs at the highinterest rates.

At the macro-level, the country suffered from low growth and high inflation
rates in recent
years, culminating in negative growth in 2002. There has been a recovery
reported for 2003,
when the economy i s estimated to have grown by 7%, largely on account o f a
major recovery
inagriculture. A strong decline indomestic demand resultedinthe contractiono
fthe external
current account deficit. Overall, the PRSP macro-economic targets have not
been met, as the
economic situation further deteriorated under the pressure o f emerging
fiscal, monetary and
debt sustainability difficulties. Growth inbroad money during2003 was
exceptionally strong;
reserve money grew by 63%, financed entirely by the Central Bank of The
Gambia; the
recourse to conversion o f debt into new emissions o f Treasury Bills
introduced a new
phenomenon o f unsustainable domestic debt servicing, further curtailing
opportunities for
increasing investments inpoverty programs.

These developments have hurt the poor in a number o f ways; high inflation has
meant that
basic food prices have increased under pressure o f the declining exchange
rate o f the Dalasi
to major international currencies. This development explains the drop
indomestic demand as
poorer households reduced their expenditure on non-food items to maintainbasic
Under these circumstances, the MDG target o f reducing to 38% the proportion
of people
living below the international poverty line o f US$1 a day i s severely off-
track. The annual
increment o f public investments in basic infrastructure cannot be met due to
the debt
servicing difficulties encountered, coupled with dwindling external inflows.
There has been
declining recurrent spending in education and health from domestic resources,
and an
increasing reliance on external grants is likely to become a trend inthe near




2.1. Overall macroeconomicperformance

Since 2002, there have been unfavorable macroeconomic developments that caused
slippages on the macroeconomic targets as set out in both the PRSP and PRGF
program. The
anticipated level of GDP growth i s lower than the originally envisaged figure by
8 percentage
points, the inflation rate edged up wards from its expected level o f 3 percent to
16 percent in
April 2004 and the import cover in2004 was lower than the PRGF target. These
targets were
not only compactable with macroeconomic stability but at the same time are
supportive o f a
meaningfully poverty reduction effort inThe Gambia.

Notwithstanding the drought in 2002 and its spill over effects on other
variables and GDP growth in particular, which actually contracted by 3 percent
during this
year, and the macroeconomic imbalances, the economy witnessed a strong rebound
with an
impressive real GDP growth rate of 7 percent in 2003 owing mainly from a good
harvest in
almost all the crops as a result o f very good rains. The 2002 outtumhas been very
bleak due
largely to the fact that the rainy season was poor. The outlook for 2004 i s very
and GDP growth i s expected to remain unchanged from the real growth rate realized

During2003 and 2004, the economy has been overheating and the inflationfigures
moved to
double digits and by end-December 2003, it was at 18 percent but this receded to
16 percent
in April 2004. Between end-December 2002 and September 2003 the Dalasi depreciated
nominal terms by about 43 percent, 50 percent, and 58 percent against the US
Dollar, Pound
Sterling, and Euro respectively. Broad money grew by 35.5 percent and this
monetary policy was partially as a consequence o f an 80 percent rise inprivate
sector credit
amongst other things.

To tighten monetary policy, some policy measures were undertaken in2003. These
raising the minimum reserve ratio from 14 percent to 16 percent and later to its
current 18
percent level. The Treasury bill yield was jacked up from 25 percent to 31 percent
September 2003 and the banning of the black market operators in foreign exchange,
other things. Consequently, since the last quarter o f 2003, the exchange rate o f
the Dalasi
depreciated slightly against all major currencies and has significantly been
stabilized as
compared to early 2003.

Although fiscal policy in 2002 experienced some pressures from debt service, lower
anticipated customs revenues and expansionary levels of expenditure that resulted
to an
overall deficit excluding grants, HIPC and PRSP expenditure o f 8.1 percent o f
GDP. Fiscal
policy was substantially tightened and this resulted to an overall deficit
(including grants and
on a commitment basis) of 4.5 percent of GDP in2003. In2004, fiscal performance
was very
encouraging in the first half o f this year as recurrent expenditure remained as
revenues significantly overshot its target and capital expenditure showed a strong
thanks to more-than-anticipatedflows from externally funded expenditure. The
target for the
deficit i s anticipated at less than 4 percent o f GDP.

discussions, the most feasible thing to do i s to lengthen the time horizon

required to achieving
the stated objectives o f the PRSP.

2.2. PublicResourceManagement

Apart from the fiscal and monetary issues already discussed, there are also
problems with the
management of public expenditure for example the unrecorded expenditures that were
source o f misreporting fiscal data in 2002. However this has been addressed by
Department of State for Finance and Economic Affairs and efforts have made to
ensure that
this is not repeated inthe feature.

2.2.1 Governance of the CentralBank

During2003 under review, the authorities became concerned about governance issues
at the
Central Bank. Recognizing that good govemance was a prerequisite to the
conduct o f
effective public policy, the authorities took prompt corrective actions to improve
The long drawn out audit o f the financial statements for 2001 and 2002 were
during the year. In addition, the long serving external auditor o f the Central
Bank was
replaced and several senior officials o f the bank were removed.

The Central Bank has recovered some o f the amounts due from foreign exchange
bureaus in
relation to outstanding foreign exchange purchase contracts and will continue to
take the
actions required under the laws o f The Gambia inrelation to this issue.

A process o f reviewing the Central Bank o f The Gambia Act 1992 was commenced
2003. The Focus o f the review was to bring the legal framework in line with
international best practice by making the Central Bank more autonomous in its
and in its conduct o f public policy. The review also sought to increase
transparency and
accountability o f the Central Bank for its monetary policy performance as well as
for its use
o f resources.

In addition, progress was made in reinforcing intemal controls in the Bank.

The main
features o f these changes were:

Strengthening the Internal Audit function;

Introduction o f new foreign exchange bureau licensing regulations and a
licensing regime similar to that currently inplace for commercial banks;
Implementation o f new procedures for foreign currency dealing which
further separation o f duties between the Bank's Foreign and Finance
departments and
verification by the Internal Audit Department;
Implementationo f reforms inthe areas o f monetary operations and

Some o f these on-going reforms will however require capacity buildingefforts on

the part o f
the Central Bank and technical assistance from Government's development partners.

2.2.2. CountryFinancialAccountabilityAssessment(CFAA)

A multi-donor Country Financial Accountability Assessment (CFAA) was undertaken

during year supported by a multiplicity o f donors; mainly the World Bank and
DFID, which

came up with a lot o f important recommendations for improving financial

accountability in
Government. The recommendations and action plan are being implemented by
spearheaded by the Department o f State for Finance and Economic Affairs.

Achieving social sector targets i s a shared responsibility between Government and

the Donor
community as a result there i s an enhanced dialogue to make operational the
approach discussed and endorsed by stakeholders in the PRSP. From the perspective
o f
Donors, the Country Financial Accountability Assessment, conducted in 2003,
contains a
clear road-map for Government to address pending Public Financial Management
from the perspective o f Government, however, there is little human and technical
to carry out and sustain those reforms, even in the presence o f continued
technical assistance
from Donors.

The outstanding components o f the PFMR comprises o f (i)updating existing PERs in

Agriculture, Education and Health and two more PERs in Local Government and Works
Infrastructure, (ii)strengthening macro-economic and socia1 statistics,
(iii)tracking poverty

reducing expenditure, (iv) improving aid coordination, (v) improving the capacity
o f
Government to produce and audit annual Government financial statements in a timely
manner, (vi) strengthening the development budget process to ensure investment
priorities are
consistent with the PRSP strategy, and (vii) preparing a detailed and time-bound
outline o f
required donor technical assistance. The CFAA exercise conducted by Donors helped
further highlight where attention should focus; however, as at the time o f
publication, there
has not been any significant implementation o f the CFAA recommendations.

2.2.3. Capacitybuildingfor economicmanagement

The government, through the Capacity Buildingfor Economic Management project

(CBEMP), pursuedreforms inthis area bybuildingand enhancing capacities o frelevant
government institutions. Strategies pursued include strengthening the Central
Revenue and
Customs and Excise Departments, and strengthening public expenditure management at
DOSFEA through staff training and establishment o f a Medium Term Expenditure
Framework (MTEF), procurement reform. Other areas o f support for improved public
expenditure management include the development and implementation o f an
Financial management Information System (IFMIS), strengthening the audit function
support to the personnelmanagement Office (PMO). However, progress in
implementation i s
well behind schedule but efforts are beingmade to improve and intensify

2.2.4. Privatisationand divestiture

The pace o f the divestiture programme has remained slow duringthe course o f 2003
significant strides have been taken. One such development i s the setting up o f a
Implementation Task force which undertakes the detailed technical analysis
Through a grant from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility o f the
World Bank,
a team o f consultants is conducting a study on the regulatory framework for The
Gambia. The
primary objectives o f this study are to support the Government in fine tuning the

implementation plan for the divestiture program, help build consensus on the major
regulatory options, and improve the design o f the Multi-sector Regulatory Agency.

Many o f the studies planned for the Track IPublic Enterprises have failed to take
pending the completion o fthe study on Private Sector Participation and Regulatory
Framework for The Gambia. This study is currently ongoing and should be completed
the first quarter o f 2004. Following this, the planned sector studies shall
commence and
divestiture o f selected Track I1Public Enterprises shall also be initiated.

One other major constraint faced by the Agency during2003 is inadequate capacity.
has encountered major difficulties in filling existing vacancies explained mainly
by the poor
remuneration package. Staff attrition has also been a problem.
The divestiture o f GGC was supposed to have been completed in 2003 but due to
constraints faced by the GDA, this could not be achieved. However, government
and operationalised the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in 2003.

2.2.5. Civil Service Reform

The Personnel Management Office is involved with public expenditure management and
control as a statutory responsibility and to this sought and received support from
the Capacity
Building Economic Management Project (CBEMP) to finance some activities relating
public expenditure control especially as it relates to the personal emolument
aspect o f the
national budget.

High on the PMO's agenda is Public Sector Management and Administrative Reform.
Although the Office i s the lead department for such reforms, it does not have
resources or expertise to undertake a task o f this kindnor does it assume that
the expertise i s
readily available elsewhere in the Civil Service or indeed within The Gambia. If
financial resources are available, PMO plans to undertake a preliminary study in
order to
provide an independent and objective assessment of the current status o f
Reform in the Civil Service in The Gambia and to advise on the measures that now
need to be
taken to accurate this process.

The overall goal o f the programme is to reform and restructure the public sector
into a lean,
affordable and efficient service that i s able to formulate sound gender sensitive
and equitable
public policy and to ensure that it can effectively implement the policies. Staff
audits and
wages validation exercises are also major activities undertaken to stem wrongful
payment o f
salaries to ghost workers thereby easing the pressure on the civil service wage

A major preoccupation o f PMO continues to be Civil Service Human Resources

Development. The Government i s therefore committed to making, continuously,
within its
means, appropriate funds available for training. In addition to the centralized'
funds provided
for training in the estimates o f Recurrent Revenue and Expenditure, PMO exploits
opportunities offered by multi-sectoral and bilateral donor agencies. Within the
context o f the
above and in its capacity as the parent institution o f the Management Development
(MDI),PMOworks with developmentpartners for the institutional renewal and

o f MDI's Mandate with a view to making it more responsive to the Civil Services
Resource requirements.

However, a main constraint to the realisation o f its objectives both in the short
and long term
i s the high rate o f attrition which i s common to majority o f Civil Service
Departments. To
find a way around this problem, a study is being undertaken with World Bank
through the CBEMP to examine the nature and causes o f the problem as well as
solutions to it. A short listing and selection for procurement o f consulting
services for this
activity has been undertakenand the study'would hopefully begin soon.

2.2.6. Preparationand auditingof Government accounts

With the assistance o f UK-DFIDthe backlog o f un-audited accounts will be cleared

in 2004
and the collective efforts to strengthen overall capacity at the NAO also enhanced
on a
sustainable basis.


The National Audit Office continues to endeavour to meet the constitutional

mandate o f the
Office and in this regard regular audits for government institutions are being
carried out and
reports on such audits are sent to the audited institutions and also copied to
authorities including the Office o f The President. All reports are copied to the
Secretary, Department o f State for Finance & Economic Affairs. Any case involving
fraud or
misappropriation o f Govemment funds are treated with severe sanctions by the due
involvement o f the Inspector General o f Police and all relevant authorities.


The National Audit Office takes the requirement to issue opinion on the accounts o
f The
Gambia Government for 1991 to 1999 very seriously and as the topmost priority.
Commitments were made to the National Assembly to audit the backlog and report at
the end
of December 2003. Technical assistance from DFID was expected by April 2003 but to
the technical assistance is yet to start although there were two visits by DFID
consultants in
the first and third quarters o f 2003 to assess the extent to which sustainable
change is possible
withinthe NAO and to carry out a needs analysis o fthe Office respectively.
A Draft Project Memorandum, is being finalized and it is expected that technical
i.e. two senior and experienced auditors will be in place in 2004 and this will
address the issue o f the backlog and reporting to the National Assembly by the
end of 2004. It
should be noted that management letter issues for the period 31 December 1998 to
December 2002, have been compiled by the Office and these will be issued with the
on the backlog o f accounts. The technical assistance will also address the
broader issues o f
capacity building and institutional strengthening. CBEMP also has capacity
activities for the NAO, all o f which are geared towards enhancing the NAO into an
and well functioning Office.


The issue o f un-audited accounts reflects negatively on financial governance but

this i s quite
separate from the relentless efforts that are being made by Government to further

the NAO. Government accepted the establishment o f an independent NAO and the
Office has
been semi-autonomous from Government since January 2000. Efforts continue to be
for full autonomous status to be secured and these are important steps that
Government has
taken to provide the necessary enabling environment within which audits could be
carried out
and reports issuedinthe most transparent manner possible.

2.3. Public Spending

The review of the budget and re-alignment o f the cost centers to the SPA
I1priorities based
on the sector output indicators identified has been on-going. In the past, sector
allocations were not tied to deliverable outputs instead sectors were just
prioritized without
decomposing the cost centers and outputs. The adoption o f an open budget making
which started with the 2002 budget, which includes civil society groups, local
and local governments in the budget formulation and delivery process, ensures that
resource expenditures are linked to priorities.

Estimated consolidated revenue fund receipts in 2003 increased by 31.4% over the
year with tax revenue estimated to increase by 27.1% (Table 2.1). While the
proportion o f tax
revenue dropped from 71.1% to 68.8% in 2003, the share/proportion o f non-tax
increased 57.4% (table 2.2.). Indeed the tax collection rate as at end October
2003 was over
85% o f estimate and had exceeded the actual tax revenue collection for 2002 by
about 6%
(see section on fiscal policy).

Table 2.2: Source o f revenue 2002-2003

RevenueSource 2002 2003

YOshare YOchange
revisedest est. 2002

Tax revenue 1,012,050,000 1,286,610,000

71.1% 68.8% 27 1%

Non-tax revenue 163,601,775 257,461,334

11.5% 13.8% 57.4%

Non-Project Grants 247,000,000 325,000,000

17.4% 17.4% 31.6%
Total Consolidated
IRevenueFundreceipts I 1,422,651,775 11,869,071,334 I
100.0%( 100.0%1 31 4%1
Source Estimates of RecurrentRevenue& Expenditurewith
DevelopmentExpenditure2003 (approvedcopy)

However, debt service charges over the same period had increased from 26.8% o f
recurrent expenditures in 2002 to 31.6% in2003 (Table 2.3), representing a nominal
of 61.2%. The impact of increased debt service charges i s a reduction in the
allocation to the social sectors. Overall allocation to the three priority
sectors, agriculture,
health and education, reduced from 27.3% o f total recurrent expenditures in2002
to 25.9% in
2003, while the proportion o f development budget allocation to these sectors fell
from 46.6%
to 30.6%.

Table 2.3: Sectoral Budget Allocation 2003

Debt Services 539,401,280 - 539,401,280 31.6%

0.0% 16.6%

Others 724,165,630 1,165,117,443 1,889,283,073 42.5%

75.8% 58.2%

Total 1,705,734,930 1,538,086,734 3,243,821,664 100.0%

100.0% 100.0%

It would be observed from table 2.3 above that agriculture received the overall
lowest share
(5.2%) o f allocation amongst the three sectors. Though education received the
largest share
(12.2%) o f recurrent expenditures, followed by health (10.6%) compared to 3.1%
agriculture, the reverse was the case for the development budget allocation where
the largest
share amongst the three sectors was allocated to health (9.5%), 7.4% to
agriculture and
education received 7.3%. Given that the vast majority o f Gambians, 91.1%
household members are engaged in agriculture (1998 NHPS data), such budgetary
allocation can be considered not to respond very well to the PRSP. Government
therefore, be more proactive inthe drive towards poverty reduction particularly as
it relates to
food security for the poor, who incidentally voiced out their preference (53%) for
expenditure towards agriculture, the highest, inthe `budget game' results o f the

A s shown in table 2.4 below, the recurrentbudget was mainly financed from GLF
(96%) and
HIPC resources (4%) whereas the development budget received additional resources
extemal grants and loans. Of the total development budget envelop, GLF and HIPC
accounted for 5.5% and 5.9% respectively and the rest 88.7% financed from external
(25.9%) and loans (62.8%). Overall, 36.9% o f the total recurrent and development
estimates i s financed from extemal grants and loans, 4.8% from HIPC resources and
the rest,
58.3% from GLF. This implies that the development budget i s heavily dependent on
fundingand largely project driven. For effective resource utilization to reduce
poverty, the
linkage between the development and recurrentbudget must be strengthened and,
linked to
the PRSP goals. The CFAA (June 2003) report, noted that the main difference
two i s the source o f financing rather than the characteristics o f the
Table 2.4: Source o f budget funding2003

The prioritization of poverty reducing expenditure goes beyond sectoral

allocations. Within
the prioritized sectors, the various interventions are prioritized according to
their potentials.
For instance in the education sector, over 80% o f recurrent expenditure goes to
education, which will ensure provision o f free basic primary education to
particularly those from poor families. Similar trends are observable within the
health sector.

2.3.1. Povertyfocus of publicexpenditure

SPA I1 calls for a minimum allocation o f 30% o f the budget to direct poverty
activities. However as indicated in the analysis below, government i s making
strides to meet
this but still falls short of the target especially in 2003 when PRSP expenditure
less than 15 percent o f total expenditure. PRSP expenditure in2002 was about 22
percent and
the estimated expenditure level for 2004 i s about 20 percent.

Domestically Financed PRSP Expenditureby Administrative Classification

(Percentageoftotal and sectoralexpenditure)

2002 2003 2004'

Share of: Total Sector Total Sector Total
General Administration 1.13 3.46 0.87 2.67 1.08
Office of President 0.19 4.11 0.12 3.20 0.28
Judiciary 0.55 33.48 0.05 7.89 0.10
Finances, Ec.Affairs 0.21 3.34 0.54 8.05 0.55
Economic Services 6.69 60.34 3.52 43.37 4.23
Agriculture 1.99 70.00 2.09 64.11 2.22
Fisheries, NR,, Environ. 1.17 86.26 0.86 81.11 0.76
Pres. Aff., Wks, Com., Info. 3.50 63.44 0.51 17.97 1.18
Social Services 13.68 56.93 10.54 57.80 14.72
Education 10.79 70.39 7.14 75.81 7.22
Health & Social Welfare 2.89 35.18 3.39 40.60 7.43
Total 21.50 14.94 20.04
Recurrent 13.60 15.30 11.70 12.60 14.97
Development 7.91 70.93 3.23 45.37 5.07
Total net of debt service 30.32 24.34
Source: World Bank Public Expenditure Review June 2004

The 2003 poverty reducing expenditure report shows that the Estimates o f
Recurrent Revenue
and expenditure with Development Expenditure 2003 uses a coding system to identify
expenditures regarded as PRSP related (code 1) and those not directly related to
reduction (code 0). The total estimate on poverty reducing activities and
programmes for the
three social sectors; health, education and agriculture in the year 2002 and 2003
are D390.47
and D462.67 million respectively. These allocations include HIPC Funds for the
Spending has been high in the years under review. In 2002 and 2003, actual
reached D346.22 and D296.17 million. Inclusive o f expenditure o f HIPC funds o f
and D73.09 million, total actual expenditure amounts to D382.79 and D369.26

In the year 2002 inclusive HIPC funds, 50 percent o f poverty reducing expenditure
allocated to Education, 34 percent to Health and Social Welfare, 11 percent to
and Natural Resources and Environment. In 2003, 45 percent was allocated to
Education, 37
percent to Health and Social Welfare, 14 percent to Agriculture, Natural Resources

The rate resource utilisation among the sectors varied significantly in 2002. In
table 2SA, it
can be observed that Education spent 10%percent o f its resources while Health,
Natural Resources and Environment spent 99, 76, and 72 percent respectively. The
resources allocated for poverty reduction represents 31 percent o f the total
estimates o f
government recurrent and development expenditure, while spending reached 30
(table 2.1A).

Poverty spending in 2003 has been generally lower than in 2002. This i s as a
result o f the
lower rate o f government revenue collection, high rate loan repayments, and the
o f monthly cash budget. However, given government's commitment to alleviate
resource allocations to the social sectors have been much higher than the previous
From a total recurrent and development resources allocation o f D462.67 million,
45 percent
was allocated to Education, 37 percent to Health and Social Welfare, 14 percent to
Agriculture, 4 percent to Natural Resources and Environment.

Comparatively, total actual expenditure in2003 reached D296.17 million of which 47

was sent in Education, Health and Social Welfare 40 percent, Agnculture 10
percent, and
Natural Resources and Environment 3 percent respectively. In addition, HIPC
spending received a higher share o f D73.09 million as compared to D36.58 million
in 2002.
Comparatively, Education received 18 percent, Health and Social Welfare 61
Agriculture 16percent, Natural Resources and Environment 5 percent respectively.

The rate o f total resource utilisation can be depicted in table 2.1B. It can be
clearly seen that
Education spent 73 percent o f the its resources, Health and Social Welfare 94
Agriculture 66 percent, Natural Resources and Environment 68 percentrespectively.




3.1. Agriculture and NaturalResources

The main levers o f growth are agriculture, tourism and services, which also form
the core
areas for enhancing income levels o f the poor. Provisional figures from the 2003
indicate that there is a high concentration o f the population in the urban and
peri-urban area
where land for agricultural production i s scarce. Thus the need to strengthen and
agriculture to encourage people to go back to the land as well as increase the
viability o f the
Small and Micro enterprise sector particularly for the urban and peri-urban
dwellers. In
addition there i s need to consider social protection mechanisms to support the
destitute and
vulnerable members o f society.

Regardless o f its dominary role inthe economy, agriculture's contributions to

exports and the
GDP are still low. This i s due to the cumulative effects o f adverse climatic
declining terms o f trade for international primary commodity prices, l o w public
and private
investment inthe sector, resource poor institutional support services to the
sector particularly
research and extension, limited credit access and facilities; inadequate water
supply and
availability of other essential inputs (seeds, ferrtilizers and agro-chemicals);
infrastructure (transport, market, equipment, irrigation and processing
facilities); inadquate
access to farm mechanization, low production and productivity o f crops and
paucity o f skilled manpower; unsatisfactory land tenure system making productive
inaccessible to potential additional users; the inherently low
fertility/productivity o f the land
compoundedby rapid development o f acid sulphate soils, bushfires and salt water
intrusion in
swamps; over-dependency on rainfed agriculture, inadequate logistical support and,
the lack
of institutingand enforcing measures to militate against rapid population

3.1.1. Agriculturaldevelopmentstrategies

Overall, the principal challenges for the sector remain to be reduction in endemic
poverty and improvement in household food security through increased
production and
productivity. To militate against the numerous challenges, government remains
committed to rigorously pursue those production promotion policies and programmes
continue to emphasize the provision o f an enabling environment for poverty
reduction and
greater private sector participation, diversification o f the production base,
promotion o f the
agricultural producer organizations, increasing domestic savings and investment,
attraction o f
foreign investment, optimal programmes/projects' outputs, increased use o f
irrigation and
other water harvesting techniques, operationalization of an agricultural
banWfund, increased use o f appropriate agricultural technology/mechanization,
annual vaccination o f livestock and surveillance o f transboundry diseases,
ensuring regular
and timely supply o f agricultural inputs (certified seeds, fertilizers, agro-
chemicals, vaccines
and veterinary drugs) on a sustainable basis with active private sector
participation, provision
of appropriate processing and storage facilities and gender (mainly women)
mainstreaming in
the development process. This year, government also provided certified seeds to
farmers throughout the country for seed multiplication which will eventually lead
to the
formation o f a National Seed Bank.

The priority areas for the sector are Soil fertility maintenance, Water control
management, Research and extension, Rural financeimicro-finance,
mechanizatiodirrigation, Processing, storage and marketing, Agncultural produce
financing, Availability o f livestock feed and drugs, Mobility/Transportation,
(GMOs and LMOs), and Institutionalstrengthening.

3.1.2. Agriculturalpolicyand progressinimplementingPRSPpolicies

Inorder to realize significant poverty reduction and householdfood security, the

continues to be resolutely committed and determinedto accord highpriority to the
sector. The agriculture and natural resource strategy presented in SPA I1is
currently being
reviewed which process will culminate in the preparation of a cabinet paper for
approval by
cabinet. The current review process will address amongst other things, the need
for private
sector participation in agriculture as well as the challenges o f the poverty
situation among the
farming community.

3.1.3. Promotingprivateprovisionof inputs

The department o f Agricultural services is promoting active private sector

participation inthe
agriculture through the establishment and operationalisation o f producer
associations and
group farms through out the country. These are closely associated with the
President's "back
to the land" policy. Other key programmes and projects being implemented include
Lowland Agricultural Development project jointly funded by IFAD, ADB and the
Government o f the Gambia, The Rural Finance and Community Initiatives project
funded by
IFAD and the Government o f the Gambia, the pen-urban smallholder improvement
funded by the ADB, The Pan African control o f Epizootics project funded by the EU
and the
FA0 initiated Special programme for food security co-funded with the Government o
f the

Government has established a mechanization unit under the Department o f

Services (DAS) to enhance and develop the sector's output through improvement o f
activity, scheduling operations and also providing 50 additional tractors with
farmers for the 2003/2004 farming season.
3.1.4. Impactof the droughton Crop production& support for the 2003 planting

With regard to agricultural production, the year 2002/2003 witnesseed an

difficult cropping season for most farmers in the country. Due to a prolonged dry
experienced inmost parts o f the country, crop shortage and imminent food shortage
became a
reality. Consequently a national Emergency on Crop failure and Food Shortage was
inNovember 2002. A National task force was thus setup to assess the situation and
put in
place appropriate measures to alleviate the plight o f the citizenry particularly
the rural
communities; the most affected. In view o f this grave situation, crop production
declined from 349,147 metric tons in 2001 to 208563 tons in 2002 representing a 40
decline incrop production as shown inthe table below.

The problem was further aggravated by the fact that the quality of the produce
also dropped
due to poor crop development. In view o f this, the government, in colloboration
with its
development partners endeavoured to assist in the provision and distribution o f

seeds gratis to farmers to ensure a successful current season (2003/2004). Thus

2300 metric
tons of groundnuts, 20 metric tons of maize, 7 metric tons of findi and 40 metric
tons of a
new rice variety, NERICA were distributed among farmers. In addition fertilizer
provided to the farming community on sale. This support provided coupled with the
rains for the 2002 -2003 cropping season resulted to improvements in production
productivity levels of all the major crops. Details of changes in production for
2001 - 2002
and2002 -2003 croppingseasonsare shown inthe table below.

Table3.I.Changeinproductionfrom 2001 -2002 and 2002 - 2003

2001-2002 2002-2003
Crop YOchange % change
Coarse grains -29.3 79.5
Paddy Rice -39.3 0.0
Cereals -30.8 66.7
Groundnuts -52.7 12.9
All crops -40.3 47.5

Cropproduction2001/2002to 2003/2004





2 o m o


m o o

coarsegrain paddy rice Cereals Grwndnuts

3.1.5. Developmentofirrigationschemes

The key to achieving the longdesired goal ofnational food security for the Gambia
lies inthe
lowland ecologies, which represent nearly one quarter of a million hectares of the
most fertile
and productive arable lands in the country. With the introduction o f low cost
which includes soil and water management techniques such as the construction of
dykes to
harvest rainwater and runoffs from uplands and for anti-salt intrusion, and the
construction o f
bridges and causeways for easy access to tidal swamps, most of the fertile
can be quickly brought under production of rice and other high value crops and
Enough lessons and experiences have been learnt from the Lowland Development
Programme (LADEP) to make this a reality very quickly.
Therefore, Government in
collaboration with FAD is inthe process of preparing a Lowland Development Master
The objective of the plan is to promote the sustainable development of the
lowlands to
stimulate the economic growth of the country in general and benefit the people
livelihoods depend on the existing natural resources in particular. This is to be
done with

adequate safeguards for the environment. The role o f the Master Plan i s also to
promote and
encourage local initiatives as well as to attract domestic and intemational
investment into the
development of lowland areas.

Several micro-irrigation schemes for horticultural development locatedparticularly

westem half o fthe country are being operationalised to ensure all year round
production o f
fruits and vegetables. The major beneficiaries o f such schemes are women.

3.1.6. Agricultural Research

The National Agricultural research Institute (NARI) has been involved in adaptive
on an improved rice variety NERICA for adoption in the Gambia. NERICA was
last year and preliminary results indicate high potentials in the country. Other
crops being
researched o n include improved groundnut, cassava and bean varieties. Trial and
adoption i s
being done in collaboration with programmes and projects such as the RFCIP project
as well
as NGOs and other agencies.

NARIhas made significant progress in its search for technologies aimed at

alleviating some
o f the crop production constraints o f Gambian farmers. Some o f these key
constraints include l o w and declining soil productivity, high incidence o f pest
and diseases,
insufficient supply of quality seeds and unavailability o f high yielding
varieties to our
farmers. To address these challenges, NARI embarked on research to restore soil
through agro-forestry techniques, 47 samples were received, analyzed and the
results made
available to the clients, researched into developing suitable drought tolerant
crop varieties
and also promoted the production o f NERICA. To reduce drudgery and at the same
time add
value to product, NARI has developed water lifting devices and food processing
such as pedal and chain pumps and a motorized cassava processor which processes
into gari and chips.

On the basis o f the assessment o f the sector, the way forward for achieving the
long desired
goal o f national food security, employment creation and increased incomes in the
possible time would require the implementation o f the following measures:
Immediatemeasures (1-2 yrs.)

The immediate establishment o f a private sector-led Integrated Marketing

with a mandate for the marketing, processing and sale o f agricultural
products and

The establishment o f an Agricultural Financing Institution with majority

sector shareholding to ensure adequate financing o f the sector

The promotion o f an indigenous seed industry, through the promotion o f

association o f seed growers, backed by an appropriate regulatory
framework and
technical support

The development o f a comprehensive agricultural policy and development

strategy for
The Gambia

The review and implementation o fthe proposed restructuring of DOSA


m Preparation and implementation o f a master plan, work plan and programme

for the
development o f the lowland ecologies

Medium and long term measures(2 - 5 yrs.)

The full and efficient utilization o f the abundantly available fresh

surface water o f the
River Gambia to consolidate and expand the work o f the ROC Mission
through the
development o f more lands under low-cost tidal imgation systems for the
o f rice along the two banks o f the River Gambia

Consolidating and expanding the work o f LADEP by identifying all o f the

areas for rice cultivation in the lowland ecologies and the construction o
f dikes for
water harvesting and bridges for access to more fertile lands through

The intensification and expansion o f the horticultural schemes through

the provision
o f good quality seeds to farmers, the provision o f solar-powered wells,
and the
training o f farmers in integrated pest management to eliminate the use o
f toxic and
hazardous chemicals

The rapid expansion o f the village small ruminant fattening schemes and
promotion o f more dairy schemes to satisfy the high demand for dairy and

A feasibility study for the establishment and financing o fa cassava

starch industry

Promoting upland rice production through the distribution o f good quality

seed o f
high-yielding, stress-tolerant NERICA varieties to enhance import
substitution and
food security

Devising and implementing control strategies for floating weeds such as

hyacinth and water lettuce in order to ascertain the sustainable
utilization o f our
inland surface water resources for increasedproduction o fboth crops and

3.2. Natural ResourceManagement

The Gambia i s faced with serious environmental problems. The capacity o f
agricultural and pastoral production systems to provide food, shelter and clothing
has been
exceeded by the rapidly growing population. The natural resource base
upon which
production depends i s being rapidly depleted, accelerated by the introduction o f
mechanization in the exploitation o f natural resources and the extraction o f
forest and other
resources, without replacement, for commercial gain. This situation has been
exacerbated by
successive years o f drought duringthe last two decades.

The impoverishment o f soil fertility through poor farming practices coupled with
a long
period of successive droughts has resulted in a decline in agricultural
production. Poor
management related to increasing extraction o f fuelwood, intensive grazing,
bushfires, timber
cutting and expansion of agricultural land has resulted in widespread land
degradation and
depletion o f the vegetation cover. Associated with the latter are loss o f
wildlife and reduction
in reserves o f undisturbed climax vegetation and biodiversity. The fisheries
resources are
likely to be adversely affected by a decrease in spawning and feeding areas
resulting from

siltation and harvesting o f mangroves. Groundwater recharge rates have been

affected by reduced rainfall with consequent heightening o f the dangers o f salt-
intrusion and over-extraction o f groundwater.

Increased rural poverty associated with the decline o f agricultural production as

well as other
factors has engendered rapid and uncontrolled urbanization. The rapid population
buildup in
the Greater Banjul Area has resulted in overcrowding and extension o f sprawling
into what were previously woodlands, arable and villages with consequent
overstretching o f
social services and infiastructure. The environmental impact o f all these
processes i s manifest
in poor environmental sanitation, high rates o f environmental pollution and
degradation o f
the contiguous coastal zone. The rural areas, particularly the growth
centres, are
experiencing similar environmental health problems.

Issues o f environmental concern are handled by a large number o f public

institutions in The
Gambia including non-governmental organizations. The common problems o f these
institutions are the scarcity o f human, financial, and material resources and an
legal framework to carry out their mandates. This situation i s aggravated by a
lack o f
effective coordination o f efforts and poor information management. The result i s
that well-
intentioned programmes for the protection o f the environment and sustainable
o f natural resources have failed to avert accelerated environmental degradation
and natural
resources depletion. A lack o f adequate public awareness o f environmental issues
remains a
major constraint to the success o f these programmes.

3.3. PrivateSector Development

3.3.1. Employment

The centrality o f private development to poverty reduction has been accepted and
adopted by
government as enunciated in Vision 2020. The PRSP i s seen as the first
operational block of
Vision 2020 and concentrates on only employment opportunities that will enhance
productive capacities. Employment i s both a source o f income and social and
empowerment. There i s a strong positive correlation between unemployment, and
The generation o f increased and sustained employment has been a major objective o
government and many direct and indirect initiatives have recently been undertaken
to achieve
employment promotion. As a first step inthe fight against unemployment, under-
and poverty, the government formulated the national employment policy, which i s
translated into the National Employment Action Plan 2000 - 2003. the plan i s yet
to be
implemented as funding i s not available and thus the need to shift the time span

The objective of the employment policy i s to increase the viability of this

sector as well as
support the various components within it. The areas covered are:

Income policy and social security as instruments for sustainable employment

Employment and human resource development as a poverty reducing strategy
Labour intensive and public works programme innational employment promotion
Labour administration systems in the Gambia-an assessment for national
design and implementation
Population dimensions o f employment with specific reference to youths and
.. 38

Technical and vocational education for mass employment

Institutional arrangements for implementation o f a national employment policy

3.3.2. Medium and Small Enterprises

The Department o f State for Trade Industry and Employment (DOSTIE) has formulated
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) policy with the objective o f improving the
environment for enterprise growth and performance o f the sector. Small and micro
enterprises are the main source o f livelihoods for poor people and therefore
deserve attention
for the successful implementation o f SPA I1particularly with the erratic rainfall
pattern o f
recent years as a result o f which farmers had to divert their sources o f
livelihoods. SME and
informal sector are part o f DOSTIE's comprehensive and holistic strategy o f
private sector
development which includes trade, invest and employment promotion.

3.3.3. Tourism

Tourism i s one o f the levers o f growth and contributes about 16 percent o f

GDP. It i s an
important sector for poverty reduction opportunities such as market outlets to
small scale
operators; fruit sellers, handicraft etc. as well as employment generation in
hotels bars and
restaurants. Tourist arrivals fell short o f the anticipated figures for the
season, which had some impact on the anticipated returns and related economic
such as employment creation inhotels and small-scale businesses. However a tourism
plan is being developed and a vision for the next 20 years also already been done.
components o f the strategic plan e.g. eco-tourism have also been developed and
implementation started with the 2003 tourist season which began in October.

3.4. Social Welfare and Protection

3.4.1. Social Welfare

The Department o f Social Welfare continues to provide a welfare programme to

vulnerable and destitute groups within society. With HIPC funding, the
supported income-generating activities such as sale o f phone cards for disabled
members o f
society as an alternative to street begging. Other social welfare
programmes being
implemented now include emergency relief for victims o f natural disasters such as
fire and
flood, food for work and the construction and operationalisation o f a home for
the elderly and
destitute in2003.

Inorder to realised significant poverty reduction within vulnerable groups and

families the
department provides rehabilitation services and supply mobility aid to the
disabled members
of society. Also 3 Disabled organisations were supported with D100,OOO Dalasis
each to set
up small scale business for the benefit o f over to of its members. This has
helped to boost the
activities o f it's the disabled persons and provided additional skills for the
female wings o f
the organization, which resulted insignificant increases inincome.

Educational scholarships have been expanded to priority areas o f orphans and

children and skills training for unskilled youths are also in progress. These
activities are
geared towards empowering disabled youths and children to engage in activities
that could
free then from the poverty cycle.

3.4.2. Foster care scheme

T h i s scheme has a strong element o f public/private/communitypartnership that i

s making it
possible for children abandoned or in orphanage to be placed back to the care o f
mothers, mostly from within the family, after about eight weeks of protective care
at the SOS
Bakoteh Village. The scheme i s serving as a responsive alternative to the
costlier option to
establishing formal institutionalised child pavement centre. It also encqurages
the public
(non-relatives) to serve as foster mothers, and in this way, affords children in
circumstances o f orphanage or abandonment the opportunity to grow and develop
lives in stable and child-friendly environment. These mothers are given focused
under the social support programmes o f government through DSW.

A study on orphans and other vulnerable children is underway the main thrust
ofthis study is
to determine the limited opportunities that will restrict individual development
as this has
repercussion for their community and country.

Orphans may be particularly vulnerable, but there are also other groups o f
children who may
be disadvantaged that could suffer in similar way. These include disabled
children, those
living in a household headed by an elderly person or a child, those not living
with their
biological parents, and those living inhouseholds where adults are sick or may
die. Children
growing up in vulnerable circumstance may be affected by poor nutrition, in
adequate access
to education, lack o f emotional support, and exploitation or abuse.

3.4.3. Social Fund for Poverty Reduction.

A study was commissioned to develop an operational strategy for a unified funding

mechanism for community driven projects and programmes. The study also developed a
protocol for the re-alignment o f multi donor interventions with the programme
identified in the PRSP as well as develop a plan o f action for operationalising
the strategy.
The purpose i s to improve efficiency and ensure greater impact at community level
as well as
save on operational and transaction cost o f implementation o f projects. The fund
has five
components namely; community development, employment creation, micro-finance,
works and human resource development. A draft o a cabinet to chart the way forward
has been prepared. Also the pre-project work for a Community Driven Development
programme for the Gambia i s about to start.

This i s expected to become the Gambia's main focus for support to community
programmes. Funding for establishing an appropriate trust fund mechanism, and
setting up
funds for the various activities to be included in the SDF is estimated to come to
US$ 4.4
million over the period 2003-2005. Technical cooperation to strengthen
capacity to
undertake this i s estimated US$ 0.5 million. Studies on modalities for the
operation of a
unified funding mechanism have been completed and plans are underway to
operationalise it
inlinewithupcomingprojects such as the CDDprogramme.



4.1. Education.

The Department of State for Education (DOSE) inter alia i s committed to

contributing its
quota towards improving the coverage of the basic social services inline with the
requirements of The Gambia's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The
maintrust o f
the New Education Policy (2004 - 2015) i s to provide quality basic education
for all. To
determine the performance o f DOSE, 5 key areas have been singled out and used to
the achievements o f the overall programme vis-&vis targets set. They include:
.....Access to basic education
Quality o f teaching and learning
Teaching and learning materials
Non-formal education
Skills trainindappropriate technology

Given that these areas have been identified as key to the Department's
contribution to poverty
reduction attempts have been made by government to focus the allocation o f
budget and other sources o f funding to these sectors. Investing in education i s
believed to have an impact in poverty reduction, hence the five key areas that
have a high
premium for reducing poverty are receiving due attentionby government.

4.1.1. Accessto Basic Education

Considering the fact that education i s a `merit good' that should be accessed by
all our
classrooms construction and rehabilitation programmes are being intensified
targeting the
poor, the "reached' and pockets o f resistant communities inthe country. Every
effort i s also
being made to utilise the existing physical and human resources more effectively
efficiently as well as making the relevant linkages with the Madrassa and the non-

The annual education data collection exercise for these 2 levels i s now being
impacting on the gross enrolment ratio for the lower basic cycle which has now
reached 91%
with the madrassa contributing 10%. Following on the synchronisation o f the
more and more English teachers are being posted to help the products o f such
schools fit
better within the society. The status o f some basic indicators inthe education
sector i s shown
inthe table 4.1 below.

Table 4.1 Basic education inindicators

Indicator Status (%)
Lower Basiceducation 200112002
GER excludingMadrassa 74 75
GER including Madrassa 85 90
% o f female enrolment including Madrasa 48 49
Cavcragc af ~ ~ h aTrust Fundr far~girt$ ~ ~
l ~ ~

Inthe formal school system the number o f double shift classes and multi-grade
teaching has
been expanded and increased to address the issue o f equity between boys and girls
and a
number o f interventions are being pursued to eliminate the disparity. Providing
basic quality
education for girls is a priority o f the education policy. Education i s made
free for all girls in
deprived areas through a number o f schemes funded by the World Bank UNICEF, the
President's Girls Empowerment Programme, and a number o f other international
sponsors. A
safe and supportive learning environment i s being provided for girls in addition
to supporting
parents to allow their children to go to school. Details are shown below.

4.1.2 Quality of Teaching and Learning

Although quality remains an elusive concept, which i s difficult to define but it

i s easy to
identify when one sees it a multi-pronged approach i s being used to tackle the
quality issues
inthe education system. By quality we mean a system that develops, flexibility
adaptability, confidence, concentration, motivation, open mindedness, lateral
thinking, skills,
knowledge and attitudes appropriate for what Gambia is striving to be. It enables
individual to apply what he has learned to different situations, be able to
improve his own
circumstances through personal effort and be able and motivated to continue

The number o f textbook per pupil i s being increased from 2: 1 to 1:1by the end o
f the policy
period and textbooks are provided free for girls at the upper and senior secondary
Inspection and continuous in-service o f teachers are currently being intensified
as a means o f
motivating them to deliver their service better. This year's budget has also made
for the application o f Learning Achievement Targets (LATs). At the Upper Basic
Level it i s
expected that children will continue to write GAMBECE exam.

The outcome o f these 2 different activities will provide us with the latest
benchmark on
quality. In the last LAT test 90% o f the learners did not achieve the mastery o f
70% in the
subjects tested. The increase in the resource allocations, the numerous, and
interventions that have taken place in the sector could lead to some modest
improvements in
the quality o f teaching and learning.
The provisions in the government budget plus support from other donors have made
improvement in these areas possible. The management status o f schools at the
regional level
has been upgraded to directorship level to enhance supervision, M & E, and
decision making
at that level.

Higher Teachers Certificate Teachers are being offered further training to degree
level and
the first batch o f students that graduated this year have been re-deployed to
Basic cycle
schools, and management positions within the Department o f State for Education,
to enhance
the quality o f teaching and learning inthe system.

The Department's regular Senior Management Meeting (SMT) and Co-ordination

Meeting (CCM) are held in different parts o f the country to provide those at the
including the Secretary o f State for Education, the Permanent Secretary,
Directors and other
relevant heads o f institutions to experience the realities on the ground. By so
doing their
capacities to make informed decisions would be enhanced

4.1.3 Teaching and Learning Materials

Ina bid to address the issue o f quality and relevance o f the teaching and
leaming materials
the curriculum at the level o f the basic education has been revised with emphasis
on the
strengthening of school-based assessment system and making it more relevant to the
needs o f the children.

Inthe Quality and Relevance component, expenditure inthis activity has

review the curriculum for grades 1-4, and has also evaluated the options for
instruction inthe national languages for grades 1-2. Furthermore, the syllabus and
for all subjects has been revised, free textbooks recycling scheme introduced for
grades 1-6,
and a continuous assessment manual for teachers has been developed.

4.1.4 Non-Formal Education

Inthe area of Adult and Non-Formal education the programmes developed target the
15+ and
out-of-school youth, and they vary partially according to the target groups, age,
occupation and other needs. More and more adult are now acquiring functional
skills that are
useful in family life (HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, prevention, household
health, childcare, nutrition and occupational skills)

4.1.5 Skills TraininglAppropriate Technology

Under the skills training and appropriate technology the govemment in December
through the National Assembly established the National Training Authority, which i
s private
led and autonomous to serve as an observatory for co-ordination o f all training
and regulate skills training and Appropriate technology in the country. The
priority areas for
the National Training Authority are:

The training and re-training o f technical teachers/instructors in the

different trade areas
i.e. Electric/Electronic, Building construction, Carpentry, and joinery,
Welding and
Fabrication etc.
Building the apprenticeship programme to a very high level to meet up the
requirements o f the country
Encourage the establishment o f more training institutions.
Encourage the exchange of instructors in skills training from the different
levels of
training inthe country

All these activities are geared towards empowering the youths o f the country to
engage in
activities that could free them from the poverty cycle. The government /private
partnershipwill make these programmes more viable and sustainable.

Apart from identifylng key priority areas to address these shortcomings, attempts
have been
made within these priority areas to focus govemment expenditures on certain
activities that
have a highpotential o f reducing poverty. For example, utilising existing
physical and human
resources more efficiently and establishing linkages between Madrassas (Islamic
and formal basic education are specific activities aimed at increasing access to

education. An analysis o f expenditures on this programme area shows how much

has spent on poverty reducing activities under this particular programme

4.1.6. EducationOutputs/outcomes

Under Basic Education, the expenditure inpoverty for 2001 has resulted inthe
Increasednumber o f double shift classes;
The expansion o fmulti-grade teaching;
Increase inteacher to student ratio;
Increase inthe assignment o f Englishteachers to Madrassas (Islamic schools);
Commenced Educationdata collection for Madrassa Institutions;
Increase inthe number o f needy and meritorious students assisted;
Constructed and rehabilitated classrooms and staff quarters, and purchased
Increasedthe Gross enrolment rate and number o f unqualified teachers.

Girls' education is one o f the mainpriorities o f educationpolicy. One o f the

objectives i s to
increase the overall enrolled in the Institution, and the poverty reducing
expenditure inthis
component has resulted to the following outputs:

1 Girls enrolment rate has beenincreased;
Scholarship has been expanded to priority regions;
A safe and supportive learning environment for girls provided e.g. by
separate toilets where the facility was lacking;

Secondary Education i s another vital component ineducation. Under the budget

spending inthis activity has resulted inthe following output, double Shift classes
increased; new secondary schools constructed, furnished, and equipped; higher
Certificate teachers were trained and upgraded to degree level, while Secondary
graduates are trained to degree level as well.

4.2. Health

4.2.1. Access to basic healthcare

The overall Government objective in investing in health is to improve the quality

of life o f
the population for greater productivity. Whilst investing in health as an entity i
s considered
in the PRSPiSPA IIas a priority for poverty reduction, however some health
activities are
considered the real priorities for poverty reduction. Making quality basic health
care package
accessible to the citizenry and available to the rest o f the population i s
considered the primary
health intervention for poverty reduction. The key elements of this package are:

Access to reproductive health care for the women population.

Access to an integratedmanagement o f Childhood illness (IMCI) for the 0-5
Access to a comprehensive adolescent health package includingHIV/AIDS
and control, prevention and control o f other sexually transmitted infections
counseling on reproductive health.
r t ill 1

4.3. Infrastructure

The country's ability to unleash its economic potential is closely linked to the
efficiency o f its
infrastructure support to the economic and social activities o f the population.
infrastructure programs are necessary to support economic enterprise and empower
people to
undertake income-generating activities that will reduce their vulnerability to
poverty and
want. Infrastructure services and private sector development are closely linked to
reduction inthe context o f the Gambian economy. Infrastructuredevelopment can be
a major
source of employment, besides providing for improved service delivery.
inequality o f access i s more pronounced on access to necessary infrastructure
such as roads,
public transport, piped water supply and ancillary services for storage o f
produce. A second
important feature o f the improved infrastructure i s that it reduces disparities
between rural
and urban communities. Lack o f adequate infrastructure in rural areas i s one o f
the key
impediments to engagement in viable economic activity. The level o f the stock o f
infrastructure within a community can also determine its ability to resist shocks.

4.3.1. Roads infrastructure expansion and upgrading

The development o f the country's road infrastructureinvolves not only the

construction and
maintenance o f highways, feeder and municipal roads, but also the provision o f
services as a complementary factor. The provision o f such infrastructure
facilitates increases
access to basic social services and also resolves problems o f rural

4.3.2. Road Infrastructure

The road infrastructure has been greatly improved during the last two years
especially in the
urban areas where major roads have been upgraded with the addition o f street
lights. In
addition there was rehabilitation o f a number o f access roads in the Kanifing
was undertaken in the recent past and the rehabilitation o f another nine roads in
Municipality i s already underway. Road infrastructural developments during the
include the following:
.. 120Kmfaraffeni- Laminkoto stretch
58 km Kerewan -Farafenni Road
Serre- Kunda - Mandina ba Road
141kmMandina- ba- Soma Road

4.3.3. PublicTransport

InMay, 2003, buses donated to The Gambia were deployed by the Gambia Public
Corporation (GPTC) in its urban service and refurbished buses deployed inthe rural
areas to
facilitate wider coverage. The Corporation acquired more buses has since deployed
buses in the school transport and urban services, thus making more buses
available. The
increase inthe fleet size coupled with progress inthe road maintenance/
rehabilitation has led
to an expansion o f rural services. It i s envisaged that as progress i s realised
in road
rehabilitationworks, new rural services will be established along bothbanks o f
the river.

4.3.4. River Transport /Ferries

Starting February, 2002 the Gambia Ports Authority(GPA), was mandated to operate
the ferry
services. The authority entered into a contract for the construction of three
ferry crafts which
would add to the exusting fleet. Work on these femes i s still inprogress.

4.4. Telecommunication


Cognizant o f the fact that the availability o f an efficient and affordable

service i s an ingredient for promoting socioeconomic and political development o
f any
nation, and that such service must be universally accessible and cost-effective,
The Gambia
Telecommunication Company Ltd (GAMTEL) has continued to
expand the
telecommunication infrastructure to the under-served areas, notably the rural
GAMTEL has continued to extend the fibre-optic cable and expand its functionality
the country.

The continuing connection o f villages, establishment o f public telephone booths

and the
proliferation of private tele-centres around the country have expanded access to
services. Fixed line telephone penetration rate (tele-density) in the country,
that is the
number o f telephone lines per 100 inhabitants, i s 3.1% (2003) compared to 2.9%
in2002 and
2.7% in 2001. With GSM combined, the tele-density rises to 11.8% for 2003, 9.4%
for 2002
and 5.55% for 2001.

The current AIRSPAN Project for the north bank of the country and areas around
(both North and South Banks o f URD) using wireless technology (WLL) will connect
villages across the region. Already, 24 villages have been connected.
Other network
expansion projects by both fixed line and G S M operators scheduled to start
this year will
extend not only access to telephone services, but also the range o f services
available on the

ii)AccesstoInformation andthenewtechnologies

Access to information usingthe new technologies like the Internet continues to

increase with
the expansion o f the Internet backbone bandwidth. the GAMTEL service centers and
private tele-centres in rural towns and villages offer access to multi-media
including access to information on the Internet.

Incollaborationwiththe Department of state for Education (DOSE) access to the

Internet and
other information and communication technologies (ICTs) by secondary school
students has
increased the establishment o f computer laboratories inthe secondary schools.

The dissemination of development information and other good practices via The
Radio and Television Services (GRTS) especially television programming, has
suffered a set
back in 2003 due to obsolete transmission and studio equipment. A s a result,
large swathes
o f the rural areas do not receive television signals. An emergency rescue package
is expected
to restore signals to these areas and strengthen those to the urban and pen-urban
areas inearly
2004. This notwithstanding, more sustainable and long-lasting solutions need to be
put in

place to enable the national broadcaster to continue its functions o f informing,

educating and
entertaining the citizenry.

4.5. Energy

An adequate, reliable, affordable and efficient supply o f energy is essential to

support the
country's continued socio-economic growth and development. With the rapidly
population, a substantial increase in the energy supply i s urgently needed to
meet current
demand and forestall major shortages inthe future by the adoption o f least-cost

An in-depth assessment o fthe Gambia's energy sector shows that the energy
resource base o f
the country is limited and the energy supply unreliable and unsustainable. The
electric power
supply has, over the past years, been grossly inadequate, inefficient, erratic and
unreliable, negatively impacting on investment and productivity. The existing
capacity at the main power station - Kotu, i s about 27 MW while the projected
demand i s
about 80 MW. This has resulted inacute power shortage leading to frequent

Inthe domestic energy sector, the over-reliance o f the city and major urban
centres on fuel
wood and charcoal i s destroying the country's forest resources and natural
vegetation cover at
an alarming rate, causing general environmental degradation and lower

All the petroleum fuels consumed inthe country are imported, resulting inheavy
on the limited foreign exchange and associatedproblems inthe balance o f payment.

Overall, the energy situation has not improved since 2002 but instead the energy
have worsened making energy a priority for any meaningful socio-economic
advancement in
the country. According to the Energy Balance 2002, 83.42% of energy consumed comes
from fuel wood, 13.86% comes from petroleum products, electricity accounts for
only 2.34%
and LPG and renewable energy account for less than 1%. The decline in electricity
coupled with increased fuel wood consumption over the last two years has resulted
in l o w
economic activity, less employment opportunities and hence increased poverty
especially in
the rural areas.
The long-term aim o f the Government o f The Gambia for the Energy Sector, as
enshrined in
Vision 2020, i s to maximise the efficient development and utilisation o f scarce
resources, and renewable energy resources in particular, to support economic
development in
an environment-friendly way, employment creation and poverty reduction.

Programs and projects identified that could greatly impact on the economy and
poverty are:

Increased electricity generation inboth the rural and urban areas;

. Promotion o f ethanol stoves and other improved cooking stoves and fuels
domestic cooking;
Promote solar PV and thermal applications in lighting, water heating,
water pumping,
health centre facilities and telecommunication especially inthe rural
Promote alternative bio-fuels production (bio-diesel and ethanol) for
reducing the
country's heavy dependence on imported fuels and for creating employment
increased rural cash incomes for poverty alleviation; and
. 50

Promote other altemative technologies such as wind, multifunctional platforms

especially in the rural areas for socio-economic development throughjob creation
increased cash incomes.



5.1. Decentralisation and Reform of Local Governments

The Gambia has now established a common arrangement for the viability o f
Chapter XV, Section 1931194 o f the (1997) constitution of the Republic provides
for local
government spheres, running along side the central government sphere in the state.
prescribes organic roles and functions for local government authorities
inaccordance with the
rule o f law and it provides directives for the identification, devolution and
implementation o f
competences from central to local government territories. The local government Act
and the local government Finance and Audit Act 2004 were formulated in line with
both the
constitution and VISION 2020, and the two have established a new local government
based on decentralization, with prescribed functions and authorities for local
authorities. They have provided the legal framework for the regulation and
o f the new system, and both documents were formulated based on wide consultations
with all
sections of Gambian Society.

5.1.1. Local Government System

Under the new system, the role of Area Councils has become important, complex and
diversified. They are now full stakeholders in social and economic development and
expected to full-fill the government mission o f continuity, presence and
proximity in the
implementation of national policies and the delivery o f public services in their
areas of
administrative control. Through decentralization the local government authorities
are now
expected to consolidate the spatial and institutional environments for the
performance o f
economic operators, guarantee equal access to social services and ensure the
consistency o f
urban development, social action, fight against poverty and social exclusion. The
ofthe local potential into the new national strategies of development is the basis
o f local
government policy and it is recognizedinparticular that, local government
authorities need to
be able to meet fully the demands relating to service delivery, local development,

5.1.2. Current Challenges

Much progress has been achieved inthe provision o f the enabling legislative and
reforms for decentralisation, but some o f the legislative policies and
arrangements prescribed in LG Act 2002 and the Local Government Finance and Audit
2004 however still remain to be fully established and operational. In the
context of the
provisions on Planning and Development, for example, the process has started in
setting up
planning units in the councils, with responsibility for preparing council
development plans
and providing other related planning services. The creation o f these units is no
mean task,
requiring extra human and financial resources as a matter o f urgency. At the
lower levels,
Multi-disciplinary Facilitation Teams (MDFTs) were proposed an out reach strategy
mobilizing and guiding extension resources in the Wards and Villages. They have

given an important role in the training o f the VDCs and WDCs in the participatory
and development process. The draft MDFT policy has proposed a horizontal approach
extension and out reach that would see all extension agents (not only DCD)
adopting this
methodology. For this approach to be coherent and effective each line ministry
will have to
decentralize and their agents come under local management. In line with this, the
policy needs to be revisited and made consistent with the human and financial
resources base
of LGAs. Prior to moving ahead with the approach, there i s a need to reconsider
its const
effectiveness and efficiency.

The prescribed transfer of financial responsibility and resources to councils

implies the
assumption of ownership by councils o f existing Local Govemment Assets in their
jurisdictions. The Acts also provide for larger institutional capacities at the
level o f local
govemment authorities including total oversight o f the organisations, management,
development of human resources. According to the Act, a local govemment
commission shall be established at each council with responsibility for overseeing
appointments, promotions, development and discipline o f council staff. This is to
be based
on a local government service scheme. The service commissions and scheme need to
be set
up and hnctional.

5.2. Support for LGA capacity building

A World Bank supported project focused on the sustainable provision of adequate

infrastructure and services; and the development o f a lasting, enabling
environment for
municipal investment financing and for employment creation and income generation
build capacity of councils for the new dispensation. However this project covered
only the
urban and growth centers and addressed the issues o f poverty and capacity
buildingin these
areas. Inaddition, studies, such as urban mapping and property identification and
meant to enhance the financial base o f councils were undertaken.

However certain aspects o f the capacity building for Local Government Authorities
was not
undertaken because o f policy and legal constraints, the late enactment o f legal
(i.e. Local Govemment Act 2002 and Finance and Audit Act 2004). The delay was due
to the
fact that the Local Government Act 2002, which legitimizes the operations o f
councils, was
three years late and, the Finance and Audit Act which provided the legal framework
for the
efficient management of financial and other resources o f councils are yet to be

Amongst the lessons leamt was that the strategy was limited and needs to move away
poverty alleviation to poverty reduction because creating temporary jobs only
alleviates the
poverty situations temporarily. However the project made some impact on reducing
because o f the high number o f contractors, consultants, maisoners, labourers and
clerks o f
works employed inthe execution of the various subprojects. Also the
conductive environment for retail businessmen and women, market vendors and
owners. The provision o f water and electricity supplies to the various
communities provided
means for petty businesses for the women folks (Le. ice making, etc) The
construction o f
proper drainage systems assisted in the creation o f a healthy environment
for these

Constraints encountered duringthe period include the following:

Legislative instruments that guide the legal operations o f councils were

late in being
. enacted and as a result, caused delays in implementation o f capacity
activities for LGAs
The management crisis at G A M W O F K S which lasted for about two years
affected the implementationo f sub-projects especially the civil works

5.3. NGOsin PovertyReduction

A government agency, The NGO Affairs, agency is responsible for the registration,
coordination and monitoring and evaluation o f NGOs activities and is charged with
mandate to provide a sound and enabling environment for the smooth running o f the
operation o fNGOs intheir efforts to alleviate poverty at the grassroots as
enshrined in SPAII.

The operational mechanism o f the agency i s highlighted in decree 81 which i s

now under
review to be promulgated as an act by the national Assembly in order to enable it
to be fully
operational with legal backing inher bid to alleviatepoverty.

With the Act in place, the facilitation o f the operation o f NGOs in their drive
to reduce
poverty could be more efficiently and effectively done. During the period the NGO
agency was relentlessly supporting NGOs as enshrined inthe protocol o f Accord
through line
departments such as the Department o f State for Finance and Economic Affairs,
department and the office o f the Vice President.

The association o f NGOs (TANGO) has a membership o f sixty-two national and

NGO's. These NGO's work with communities in different sectors, mainly in rural
areas o f
the GAMBIA in the areas o f right based approaches, civil education and health,
empowerment, and credit, as well as small enterprise development projects. TANGO
and its
members work in Agriculture towards the reduction o f poverty and the improvement
o f the
standards o f living o f the poor and marginalized members o f Gambian society.
Over the last
eighteen months TANGO members were involved ina number o f poverty reduction
inthe Gambia.
5.4. Capacitybuilding

TANGO continued to conduct capacity building programmes for its members during the
period under review. The Secretariat and Fight against Social and Economic
(FASE) signed a contract for a one year period targeting its members.
The capacity building focused on the following key areas:
. Participatory Planning.
Programme design and Implementations
Monitoringand Evaluations.
. Economic and social analysis.
. Organizational Development and Management.
Advocacy and Lobbying

A total o f 186participants from 60 organizations participatedinthe training


5.5. Education

Some member organizations are involved in functional literacyhmeracy and skills

development training programs with the ultimate aim o f enabling beneficiaries to
informed choices on issues affecting their lives and also helped them to
participate in
Business management training programs that will improve business management skills
those involved inincome generating activities.

Other members have volunteer placements with the Department o f State for
Education as
senior policy advisors, teacher trainers, skill center worker, school manager and
based teachers. The emphasis was on building human resources capacity and continue
offer services in the following sectors:

In the girls Education Unit, the school policy which includes components on sexual
harassment and corporal punishment has reached draft stage, and i s getting
closing to formal

Technical and vocational education has been well assisted via a productive
relationship with
GTTIleading to improvements infinancial and personnelmanagement.

5.6. Agriculture

Some NGO's continue working with Gambian Organizations inthe Gambia inthe areas
as food security and rural community development, Partner Development and capacity
buildingand Emergency preparedness& response.

5.7. Smallholderirrigationfor livelihoodenhancement(SMILE)

The goal o f this initiative is to improve the livelihoods and food security o f
the rural poor in
the Gambia through increasing the productivity o f smallholder farmers, especially
Partner organizations implementing this programme.

5.8. Outputs

Enhanced capacity to provide appropriate and relevant training extension to

farmers. (By
strengthening the Njawara Agricultural Training Center and Methodist Mission
Agricultural Programme).
... Improved gender equality, women's participation in decision-making,
division of
labor between men and women, access to and control over land and
Increased Agricultural production.
Improved management, protection and rehabilitation o f natural resources
and the
Improved post harvest storage and use o f produce.
ImprovedGender co-operation.

5.9. Health:SteppingStones

The i s helping to reduce the incidence o f HIV infection in rural Gambia by

communities to adopt safer sexual behavior, and mainstreaming HIV into all

activities. Because infertility is an issue o f prime concern among Gambian

communities, it i s
used as a stepping -stone to discuss sexually transmitted infections, including
This is done using voluntary peer educators.

instability in the sub-region. Though the security situation in the sub-region has
slightly, the number o f refugees and migrant workers as well as Gambian
returnees, coming
back as a result o f instability in Liberia and Ivory has been on the increase.
This puts a big
burdenon the already overstretched social services.

Table 6.1. Population growth rates 1993-2003

LGA Growthrate Percent change
1993-2003 1993-2003
Banjul -1.93 -17.71
Kanifing 3.52 41.28
Brikama 5.28 67.29
Mansakonko 1.08 11.36
Kerewan 1.oo 10.45
Kuntaur 1.56 16.71
Janjangbureh 1.93 21.02
Basse 1.67 18.04
The Gambia 2.77 31.44


The prevalence rate of HIVIAIDS as captured through sentinel surveillance data o f

the adult
sexually active population aged 15-54 years i s 1.9% for HIV-1 and 0.9% for HIV-2.
of these
about 70% are women. The HIV prevalence rate though relatively low has been
gradually particularly for HIV-lwhich has increased rapidly from a negligible rate
to its
present 1.9%. The rate o f infection of HIV-2 has almost stabilized over the last
few years.

The involvement o f major public agencies inresponse to the HIV/AIDS threat was
by the efforts o f government to mainstream its response in its development agenda
the implementation o f the World bank funded H A W project. Other international
involved in the response process include WHO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and FAO. At the
local level, international and local NGOs, CBOs, the British Medical research
Council and
private sector institutions like Standard Chartered Bank and private clinics have
involved. The last two years saw the coming into existence o f two support
organizations for
people living with the HIV virus. Responsehas been inthe following broad areas.

Caring for people livingwith HIV/AIDS

Mitigatingimpact on people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
Reducing vulnerability o f specific population groups
Promoting safer sex bahaviours
HIV andAIDS prevention for young people inschool
Promotion and distribution of condoms
Preventionand control o f STDs
Provision o f safe blood supply
Promotion o f safe drug injection behaviour
Humanrights and HIV/AIDS

A strategic plancontaining an integrated andholistic response to HIV/AIDS hasjust

formulated and will be partly funded by the GlobalFund.


For effective implementation o f the National Policy for the Advancement o f

Women, the role
o f the Women's Bureau shifted from implementation to a coordinating role, except
in the
areas o f Advocacy, Research and Monitoring and Evaluation. This strategic
approach i s
needed for the effective implementation o f gender issues by working in
partnership with
selected national institutions.

The Bureau has made remarkable strides during the year under review, especially in
following areas:

6.4. CapacityBuilding

T w o Women's Bureau staffs were trained on project management and

at PAIDWA in Cameroon.
Gender and Poverty Focal Points in Government; NGOs and the UN System
. been trained on Mainstreaming gender in policies at the Management
Institute inThe Gambia.
Members o f the National Women's Council were trained on decision-making
. leadership skills at Tendaba Camp.
. Women groups were trained on HIViAIDS prevention skills
Community video `halloperator were trained on safety video operations
Community video hall committees were trained on Management skills

6.5. Communicationand Outreach services

Under the DFID, most o f the Community Video halls have been rehabilitated,
through there
i s more to be done for them to operate effectively. Sensitisation and groups'
discussions were
held with women groups on the HIV/AIDS scourge. Also, Population Taskforce under
Gender and Development Project o f the UNFPA funded programme under the Women's
Bureau have been sensitizing on population issues.

Traditional Communicators and theatre groups have also been trained on population
issues as
well as on HIV/AIDS, CEDAW and NPAGW as dissemination agents o f these information
the community.

Under NOORAN Jammeh Suggestion, (back to the land for food sufficiency) women's
groups and communities engaged in extensive agriculture for food sufficiency
through the
support o f Department o f State o f Agriculture. Farming inputs in the form o f
seeds and
fertilizer as well as tractors were supplied to women

Through the intervention o f Social Development Fund(SDF) and Local

micro credit and labour saving devices, storage and processing facilities were
accessed by the
women. Inaddition, Through the Department o f State for Health, women were able to
good medical services, like RH, adequate supply o f drugs especially to children
and lactating

The CSIP Project provided women access to Functional literacy and numeracy
with skills training income generating activities and through the Department o f
State for
Education, PEGEP and Jammeh Foundation, school girls were able to access
and school girls retention in schools have increased. Inaddition, teaching
materials have been
reviewed to b e more gender sensitive.

A National Conference on Women and HIViAIDS was held were women delegates all over
the country mapped the way forward to fight HIViAIDS Pandemic. This supported by
National A I D S Secretariat and Action Aid The Gambia

6.7. Nutrition


Under the Micronutrient Control Program, vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iron

anaemia (IDA) and iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs). The objective i s to reduce
and mortality among children under five years old targeting children under five
years and
postpartum women within eight weeks after delivery.

Supplementationo f children under five with vitamin A capsule i s inprogress. This

i s done
through the routine supplementation at the MCH clinics, National Immunisation Days
(NIDS) held once a year and the Nutrition Surveillance Program, which i s
conductedtwice in
the year inmore than 400 PHC villages covering more than 50,000 children under
five. At
the moment 49 health facilities including all the hospitals and major health
centres are
implementing the vitamin A supplementation program. The supplementation o fpost-
mother's i s done within eight weeks after delivery i s also in progress.

One of the major constraints faced by the program is the high staff turnover being
experienced by the Department o f State for Health (DoSH). Staff already trained
either leave
the service or are transferred to other stations. This has really hampered the
program because
the new staffwho are not trained do not issue the vitamin A capsules or record it
on the infant
welfare card.

The improved the health and nutritional status o f the Gambian population,
especially children
and women. Production of quality salt has begum in a number o f salt mines and a
Association of Salt Producers and Traders with the membership drawn from all parts
country has been established. A behavior change communication package promoting
consumption of Iodised salt has been developed and i s currently being aired as
spots on both
the TV and Radio.

iii)IronDeficiencyAnaemia (IDA)

The objective i s to prevent and control Anaemia and thereby contribute to the
reduction of
maternal mortality, targeting mainly pregnant mothers. N a N A continues to

irodfolate tablets to complement the Department o f State o f Health's (DOSH)

effort in
meeting the requirements. The main constraint encountered in reducing anaemia and
negative consequences is the non-compliance o f the pregnant women to consume the
and the l o w intake o f iron rich foods. Thus the current strategy has to be
improved especially
the counseling of pregnant women by nurses at health facilities and other avenues
to deliver
the supplements.

iv) Infant and Young Child Nutrition

This programme aims to improve infant and young child feeding practices through
promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and the introduction o f complementary foods
at six
months and continue breastfeeding up to two years or beyond. Training o f VSGs
and during the period under review an additional 237 VSGs from 40 communities in
URD and the North Bank Division have been trained on the BFCIpackage. The VSGs are
trained on matemal nutrition and infant and young child feeding practices among

Work on the monnga study, which is a joint collaborative study between the I T C
and NaNA,
i s underway. The main thrust o f this study i s to determine whether adding
moringa powder to
the complementary foods o f the children has any effect on their growth and
health. Some
materialdequipment for the rehabilitation o f severely malnourished children in
hospitals and
health facilities have been procured and supplied. This is in line with
the integrated
management o f childhood illnesses.


The Baby Friendly Community initiative (BFCI), a comprehensive community based

and nutrition package aimed at improving the health and nutritional status o f
women and
children, targets members o f the communities especially women and children.

The increase inthe coverage o f the communities implementing the BFCIled to an

increase in
the prevalence o f children under six months who have been exclusively breastfed.
Environmental sanitation in these communities have also improved, but if the
sanitation,aspect o f the BFCI program is to have more impact, sanitary materials
have to be
provided to the communities and this would require the commitment of more funds.

The implementation o f some components in the BFCI such as the practice o f

breastfeeding earlier faced some resistance from some people inthe communities.
through persistent counseling and training there i s increased knowledge on infant
and young
child feeding issues and a gradual change o f attitude. Amongst the lessons leamt
was that the
inclusion o f men as members o f the village support groups has also increased
knowledge and
sense o f responsibility towards matemal, infant and adolescent nutrition. It was
also realised
that men are key in decision making in the communities even o n issues regarding



7.1. Progresson SPA I1Action Plan

Like most HIPCs, the first year o f PRSP implementation has uncovered a number o f
constraints faced by the GOTG in managing the long-term process o f reducing
These constraints are not only related to external shocks, although these shocks
(e.g. the
drought o f 2002) played a critical part inpoor development outcomes.

The preparation o f this report took place against the background o f a changing
Economic setting inThe Gambia, and significant delays inthe development o f
specific Sector
Investment Programs pursuing the PRSP objectives. The PRSP process has met up with
some significant setbacks: among these are fiscal slippages in 2001-2002, the
suspension o f
the PRGF program o f the IMF around October o f 2003, growing concem over debt
sustainability and price instability. There are a number of reasons for these
"slippages" over
the Macro-Economic Framework proposed in the PRSP, the most important o f which
failure to align day to day economic management with the policy directives
emanating from
the PRSP. The re-emergence of macro-fiscal instability has led to insufficient
resources being
available for poverty reduction programs, whilst poor sector ownership has
resulted in scarce
resources not being put to effective use within clearly defined poverty reduction

Likewise, the institutional framework within which PRS programs are to be

implemented has
suffered considerable delay in its formation. This has led to a lack o f ownership
of the sector
programs by Departments o f State and misunderstandings on the priorities to be
pursued in
the immediate aftermath o f the Geneva Round Table Conference.

Overall, the country got to a slow start for the first 18 months o f
implementation o f the PRSP
i.e. July 2002 to December 2003. Following the roundtable in November 2002,
started the setting up o f the structures required for implementation. This was
followed up by
the development o f systems and procedures such as the re-alignment o f the budget
PRSPBPA I1priorities, development o f the poverty monitoring strategy, and
activities at all levels o f society. Government i s making efforts to honour its
commitment of
devoting 30 percent o f its budget to priority poverty reducing actions identified
inthe PRSP.
Inaddition to reforms inthe budget process to ensure focus o f spendingon priority
sectors as
well enhance determination o f impact being realized.

It should be noted however that commitments and pledges made at the roundtable are
being honoured. This has brought about serious shortfall in revenue targets added
to the
shortfalls that already existed. Thus realizing that however good our strategic
towards poverty is, much o f how poverty i s reduced depends on availability of
resources to
fund priority programmes. Therefore vigorous follow-ups are being made with
donors on
their respective commitments and pledges made at the roundtable.

Implementationprogress i s detailed out inthe matrix below.


Table 7.1. Outputsand expectedimpacts of SPA I1Action Plan (2003-2005)

I Expected Impact outputs

Increasedsecurity Memorandumof A
StaffMonitoredProgrambetweenGOTG and the IMFto
against macro- Economic and pavethe way for
economic instability. Financial Policies for StructuralReforms.DOSFEA is also
2003-2005. addressingthe DomesticDebt
through the creation of a
DDF. An Aid CoordinationUnit has
been establishedat the
DOSFEA and shouldbe
operationalby early 2005.
Improved Program-based The Draft Letter of Intent for
DOSE SWAP has been
Coordinationand SWAParrangement finalisedand awaits signing. The
HealthPER up-datewill
Fundingofthe Social for the Social Sectors identifythe basic health
services to be integratedinthe
Sectors Investment (Health, Education, HealthSWAP.Unfortunately,the
Program. Agriculture, and AIDS working Group is still
not operatingas a unique
NP&HIV-AIDS). body. An update ofthe DOSA PER
will be conducted
after re-appraisal of
Agricultural Policy.
Improvedcoverage, Achievement of Acute
resourcerequirementshaveemerged inthe funding
efficiencyand social sector targets. of basic social services, dueto
the effect of debt servicing
sustainabilityof basic on allocations to the Social
Sectors. It is expected that
social services. addressingthe Domestic Debt
issue will free more
resources for
allocationto the social sectors.
Improved A multi-sector The Public Utilities and
Regulatory Authority hasbeen
Management of Public RegulatoryAgency. established, Professional
staffare beingappointedandthe
EnterpriseSector Authority is gradually
becomingfully operational.
A Social Fundfor Direct Fundingfor a At the initiative of GOTG, the
WB, the ADB, IFAD and
Protectionof the poor Country Risk the EUhave agreed, in
principleto the coordinationof
andvulnerable Management interventions within a CDD /
Social Fundprogram. GOTG
Framework. is workingto
finaliseprotocolsandto identify a domestic
seed fundingbasefor
discussionat the next RTC.
Improved Public Infrastructure Road Infrastructurehas expanded
significantly,but mainly
infrastructure for Investment Program through external financing.A
PERhasjust beencompleted
economic for the infrastructuresector
and will helpto rationalisea
empowerment and capital expenditureprogram in
privatesector suitablemeasuresto sustain the
recurrent cost implications
development. of expansionof
Enhanced A Secretariatto co- The Pro-Poor Advocacy Group, an
NGO fundedby DFID
participationof CSOs ordinate Civil Society has beenin operation since 2002;
the NGO is undertaking
at Macro-,Meso-and engagement in SPA I1 participatorybudgetingand social
Micro Levels. Process. with Grass Rootscommunities.
The thematic group on
ocessesis also actively
grassroots institutions
EnhancedMonitoring A Poverty Monitoring The Poverty Monitoring
Strategywas finalisedand
of SPA I1processes, System. validated in 2003,
integratingmonitoringofthe MDGs intc
outputsand outcomes. A Feed-back the plan.Capacity assessment for
implementingthe PMS
mechanismto has been effected and
fundingmeasures arebeing
decision-making. discussedwith the
Local Government Authorities
for povertymonitoring
activities at the

7.2. Major constraintskhallenges

At the macro level, the major constraint faced in current attempts at
implementation of The
Gambia's PRSP is human resource scarcity. As at now most o f the people who
worked with
the World Bank on the costing and financing exercise have now left the Civil
Service. The
highattrition and tum over within the "PRSP team" has also spread to the social
sectors with
poor transmission o f technical information from one team to another. Scarce
technical and

financial resources needed to address the critical implementation bottlenecks

faced at the
implementation stage aggravate the poor human resource base.

Both government and The Gambia's development partners have identified a whole
range o f
constraints and obstacles to accelerate PRSP implementation but the central
question i s one
of how the slow pace o f implementation can be accelerated. There is need for the
enlargement and increased intensity for broad based participation o f all
stakeholders in the
implementation and monitoring o f SPA I1

The recent Public Expenditure Review (PER) undertaken by the World Bank, DFID and
UNDP identified similar issues as constraints that impede effective implementation
o f the

The PER identified as constraints capacity gaps at policy, sector and LGA levels
due to
inadequacy o f skills, weak systems and processes and the high attrition rate in
the civil
service as well as the slow pace of implementation o f the decentralization and
government reform process.

As a result o f this serious human resource constraint across all the sectors,
sector investment
programmes remain undeveloped, the provisional costing o f the PRSP programme
could not
be finalized as yet and the status o f funding o f these programmes cannot be
determined. A
study o f absorptive capacities o f public institutions proposed as well as the
Civil service
reform agenda will be crucial inaddressing these constraints

7.3. Conclusions

The multi-sectoral PER made major recommendations relevant to improving

o f the PRSP and are being reproduced here as their implementation are crucial for
successful implementation o f the PRSP.

a) Reducingdebt servicethroughfiscal discipline should be a top priority.

Large debt payments have crowded out other expenditures, in particular PRSP
There i s need to achieve a minimumprimary balance of 3.0 percent inthe long
runinorder to
maintain fiscal and debt sustainability. Primary balance greater than 3.0 percent
will allow
the authorities to reduce the debt level. It will also require improving the
coordination o f
monetary and fiscal policies as high interest rates are the main cause o f the
large domestic
debt burden.

b) PRSPprioritiesneedto befurther reflectedinthe nationalbudget.

The decline in the share o f recurrent expenditures on social services,

particularly for the
Education sector, needs to be halted and reserved. Expenditures for
government bodies
directly supporting improvement o f governance should be increased. They include
Assembly, the National Audit Office, DOS for Justice and Judiciary. Expenditures
on non-
Defense General Administrations should be reduced in order to release more
resources for
PRSP priority expenditures.

c) Major imbalancesinthe structureo f the budgetneeds to be adjusted.

First, the imbalance betweencurrent and capital expenditures shouldbe addressed.

Given the
constraints in increasing current expenditures, government should considered
reducing the
rate o f increase o f capital expenditures. Second, major declines in salary and
wages should
be achieved through civil service reform and not simply by real wage reductions.
civil service morale and performance will be adversely affected, and efforts to
improve public
financial management will be undermined.

d) Phaseout cash budgetingbutinlinewith improvementinbudget management.

The current cash rationing system should be eventually replaced by a more

budget system, but the discontinuation o f cash budgeting should be linked with
improvements in overall budget management, particularly the strengthening of
control and intemal auditing. In the interim, the authorities should minimize the
effects o f cash budgeting on service delivery by various measures, including by
the centralized cash budgeting committee (NEFCOM) on issuing and enforcing broad
ceilings instead o f approving each payment item.

e) The MTEFand IFMISwork plans shouldbe revised.

The original schedule i s no longer realistically feasible. The revision o f the

work plan needs
to reflect the fact that there has been long delays due to Iocal capacity
constraints, lack o f
commitment, and lack o f incentives. The sectoral PERs will need to be
updated and
expanded. The MTEF will be difficult to implement with the cash budgeting system

f) Recurrent expenditures for the social sectors should be increased, particularly


For Education, the quality o f teaching should be improved through training and
monitoring o f teachers, and higher allowance for teachers should be considered to
attrition. For Health, administrative capacity needs to be strengthened, personnel
through financial and non-financial incentive schemes, and the supply o f drugs
increased and
better managed.
The proposed research agenda including: implementation o f PRSP programs and
poverty assessment using the 2003 census and household survey; agricultural sector
update o f the Development Policy Review; and assessment o f the tax policy and
needs to be implementedduring the upcomingyears.

g) Povertytargets no longer feasible

The results o f the poverty analysis o f the PER point to a scenario that both the
MDG targets
as well as the targets inthe PRSP are not likely to be achieved during the period.
Also given
that the macro-economic targets set for the period are way o f f tract at the
moment coupled
with the relapses inimplementation of the work plan, the most feasible thing to do
now i s to
lengthenthe time horizon required to achieving the stated objectives of the PRSP.