(Ecofin Agency) - The new network, spearheaded by the African Development Bank and the President Delivery Unit of Senegal (Bureau Operational de Suivi du Plan Senegal Emergent), was launched 19 January at a ceremony held on the sidelines of the International Conference on the Emergence of Africa. Its purpose is to provide a unique platform for peer learning and sharing of best practices and expertise in the field.
Delivery units – small highly skilled teams working at the center of government to help line ministries accelerate delivery of top priority programs and initiatives - have become increasingly popular in recent years.
The launch was preceded by a lively panel discussion moderated by Bank Division Manager Armand Nzeyimana, during which delivery unit heads from Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, and Idris Jala, CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit of Malaysia (PEMANDU), shared insights and lessons on setting up and running delivery units within the context of ambitious economic transformation targets.
Jala presented PEMANDU’s delivery model: “Big Fast Results,” generating rich discussion about its relevance to the African context and circumstances. Panel members also shared their experiences, achievements and challenges in tracking and reporting results, organizing delivery labs and instilling a high performance culture.
The panel also highlighted the critical success factors to establishing delivery units, including: strong leadership focused on a limited set of top level priorities, tight budget alignment with key priorities, relentless focus on execution through routine tracking and reporting, strong analytical capability and effective relationship management.
Nzeyimana underscored the critical role of government delivery units in driving high impact flagship programs and reforms in support of national development plans.
“Delivery Units respond to rising public expectations for faster results, tangible benefits, effective accountability in the use of resources and greater value for money,” he said, adding that the Bank is committed to supporting regional member countries desiring to use the model. The Bank recognizes the role of delivery units in supporting its accelerated delivery agenda, he stated.
The African Delivery Units Network is made up of government delivery units established on the continent and development partners.