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Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme

Programme Profile and Organisational Structure

The Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) was conceptualized and designed by the Government of the Republic of Namibia in 2006. H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba instructed then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Libertina Amadhila, to consult communities that had suffered during the German colonial period on how best to utilize a sum of
Euros 20 million (then approximately N$ 200 million) that the German Government had granted towards improving the social and economic living conditions of those communities.

The result was a uniquely participatory rural development programme with more than 200 small and medium scale projects identified and managed by the selected communities. These communities are amongst the most disadvantaged in the country in terms of access to economic and social welfare resources. They are located in 24 Constituencies of the 7 regions of
Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. Communities are able to select projects in any economic and social development sector according to their own assessment of priorities.

The implementation of the NGSIP is undertaken by the
National Planning Commission (NPC) which has formed a programme management team for this purpose. The German Development Bank, KfW, finances the programme on behalf of the German Government. In addition, NPC has selected technical advisors that are charged with the preparation and implementation process of the projects.

Phase 1 of the Programme
commenced in 2008 and included 40 borehole rehabilitation projects and 10 agricultural projects. In April 2011, phase 2 was launched with funding to the amount of approximately N$ 146 million for the purpose of project investments.

The German Government granted an additional Euro 11 million for the Programme in order to make up for project budget short-falls which arose due to inflation losses and initial under-budgeting. This enabled commitments to implement projects to be honoured as initially approved in the 2007 Feasibility Report. Formal inter-governmental agreements making these funds available were signed in June 2013.

During 2014-2015 some contracts with construction companies have been terminated due to slow progress and underperformance. Retendering of outstanding works for the already committed projects resulted in some new budget short-falls. The German Government therefore granted an additional Euro 3.6 million for the Programme in 2015.

The implementation phase of the Programme is
due to be completed at the end of September 2016.​

Key Milestones

2005MsHeidemarieWieczorek-Zeul, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development representing German Government offers Euro 20 million to Namibian Government following centenary commemorations in 2004 of the battle of Ohamakari.
2006Needs assessment led by Dr Libertine Amadhila, the Deputy Prime Minister.
Nov 2007Feasibility Report completedand  KfW-NPC Financing Agreement signed – Euro 12 mill.committed.
Jun ‘08-Jul ‘09Phase I (“Fast track”) projects implemented.
Sept 2010KfW-NPC Financing Agreement signed – Euro 8 mill. Committed.
Nov 2010Programme Management Consultants’ contract starts.
April 2011KfW acceptance of audit of Phase 1, and approval to finance Phase 2 projects.
Feb 2012Contracting of Design and Supervision Consultants and start of detailed project designs.
Mar 2012Government of Namibia requests additional Programme financing.
Sept 2012Start of livestock projects.
Nov 2012German Government’s Note Verbale agrees to provide additional Programme financing of Euro 11 million.
Feb 2013Start of construction projects.
June 2013Signing of Inter-governmental Agreement making available additional EUR 11.
May 2015Government of Namibia requests additional Programme financing.
October 2015German Government agrees to provide additional Programme financing of Euro 3.6 million.
2016The Inter-governmental Agreement making available additional funds to be signed by June 2016.

Programme Design

The Programme is implemented by the National Planning Commission with policy and strategy guidance provided by a Steering Committee of key line ministries and other stakeholders. These are:

  • the Office of the Prime Minister
  • the Ministry of Finance
  • the Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development
  • the Ministry of Youth, National Services, Sport and Culture
  • the Ministry of Education
  • the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
  • the Association of Regional Councils of Namibia
  • the Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations’ Forum Trust (NANGOF Trust)

The Country Director of KfW has an observer status on the Steering Committee.

Financing Agreements between the two governments of November 2007 and September 2010 provide for N$160 million for capital investments in projects and N$40 million for management and implementing costs. The latter includes the costs of establishing and operating for a five year period a Programme Management Team (PMT) in the NPC, including management consulting services procured through an international tender. It also includes funds for beneficiary capacity building, audits and evaluations, and a contingency amount.

The project investment funding formula, which was adopted in 2007, is based on a standard amount per targeted Constituency, with the remaining funds being allocated to the Constituencies according to the population size, and a range of development indicators including life expectancy; adult literacy rate and school enrolment rate; access to housing, safe water and electricity; formal and subsistence income sources; infant mortality and fertility rate.

Programme Implementation Structure

Programme Executing Agency

The programme is implemented by NPC as the executing agency. Full responsibility for programme implementation rests with the Permanent Secretary of the National Planning Commission (NPC). The NPC is supported by an experienced Programme Management Team for the execution of programme functions.

Programme Management Team

A Programme Management Team (PMT) assists the NPC to execute the programme. The PMT is accountable for the execution of the Programme and is in charge of planning, implementation and general management of the Programme, including the accountancy of the disposition fund account.

The Programme Manager is responsible for the overall coordination of the Programme’s implementation supported by a management consultant team, procured through an international tender. The Programme Manager was a member of the feasibility study task force and was fully integrated into the PMT. This ensured the continuity of the project and preserved institutional memory.

The management consultant team includes four staff including a Team Leader, a Technical Expert to deal with the technical issues, a Social Expert to deal with the social and development issues, and a Financial and Administrative Expert responsible for the administration and management of the disposition fund account.

Figure showing the Organogram of the Programme Implementation Structure

NGSIP Orgonogram

Implementation Strategy

The Programme’s basic modus operandi is that project requests are presented by communities, through elected committees, having gained the support of Traditional Authorities as well as Constituency and Regional authorities. Constituency Councillors are the Programme’s key coordinators through their Constituency Development Committees. After project viability and sustainability has been assessed, project requests are developed into detailed designs and tender documents by local consultants contracted following open tenders.  Likewise, project implementation is carried out by private services contracted after tendering. Supplies, works and services are procured using the tendering procedures of the German Development Bank (KfW).

Strategic Approach

Consultation starts with the community and the outcome is synchronised with Namibian Government’s Plans. A bottom-up approach is used.

  • Community-driven concept and methods whereby projects are defined and owned by communities. Some are co-owned by line ministries.
  • Project Management Committees are elected for each project and are answerable to communities.
  • Traditional Authorities are uniquely involved and empowered throughout the project management cycle.
  • Strong coordination role for Constituency Offices.
  • Unique demand-driven planning process whereby projects may be selected across sectors (i.e. not confined by the agenda/mandate of any Line Ministry or sectoral programme) and then coordinated with line ministry programmes.

This concept, method and planning process has resulted in several positive experiences.

  • Genuine community ownership
  • Real felt needs are addressed
  • Community decision making processes enhanced
  • Community project management capacity enhanced
  • Role of Traditional Authorities, Regional Councillors and other community structures in development project planning and implementation process enhanced

Project Implementation

Phase 1 Implementation

Phase 1, or the ‘fast track’ phase, which ran from June 2008 to July 2009, saw the implementation of 54 small projects at a total cost of some N$ 14 million (including VAT) of which N$ 12.6 million derived from German grant funds.

Phase 2 Implementation

After administrative delays in signing a second Financing Agreement to make the German Government’s grant funding fully available, and in auditing the Phase 1 projects, funding for Phase 2 was made available in April 2011. After tendering, Design and Supervision consultants were contracted and started work at the beginning of 2012.

Project implementation commenced in September 2012 with the start of 23 agricultural projects. Infrastructure construction projects started in early 2013 and are continuing. The Programme’s capacity building efforts have been on-going from the start and are focused on Project Management Committees and other stakeholders. Particular attention has been given to 25 community owned projects, not owned by a line ministry and for whom funds will have to be self-generated to ensure sustainable operations.

With the additional grant of EUR 11 million made available in June 2013 and given the prevailing exchange rates the Programme’s overall investment budget (specifically for projects) has increased from N$ 147 million to N$ 290 million (both figures excluding VAT), an increase of 98%.

Coming after the start of project implementation, the allocation of additional budgets to the existing projects presents an unusual management challenge demanding significant flexibility on the part of all involved. To maintain the integrity of the Programme’s participatory ethos, stakeholder consultations are required on priority needs. Infrastructure projects require new or expanded designs and bills of quantities etc. in order to cover the increased scope of works, the implementation contracts also had to be amended.

The general approach to allocating the additional funding can be summarised as follows:

  • Nearly all additional funds are being allocated to existing projects to enable them to meet the original project commitments. Only a few additional projects requests are being accommodated and these all benefit the San community.
  • Regional and Constituency budget allocations are based on the allocation formula developed in the NGSIP Feasibility Report of 2007.
  • Allocations to projects within Constituencies are being informed by a number of considerations including the priority needs as expressed by stakeholders and project sustainability considerations.
  • Essentially, funds are being committed to projects which are expected to be practically completed by September 2016, followed by a 12-months retention period.

The Projects

Phase 2 projects are divided into Lots and sub-Lots as follows:

Lot 1:  School, Youth and Sport Facilities and others – 41 projects in Kunene, Erongo,Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Karas regions

Lot 2:  Multi-purpose Cultural Centres & Commercial Centre Projects – 20 projects in Kunene, Erongo, Omaheke, Hardap and Karas regions

Lot 3:  Agriculture Projects (livestock and gardens) – 32 projects in total, including Phase I

Lot 4:  Water Supply Projects – 115 in total, including Phase I

Lot 5:  Others: Latrines, Road, Fire Truck, School Computers, Bridge, Quarantine Camp

Lot 6:  Capacity Building Services

Capacity building services focus on those infrastructure development projects that will not receive direct financial or other support from line ministry in future, and will therefore be managed and maintained by community structures or, in a few cases, local and regional authorities. This amounts to 25 projects, being mainly multi-purpose cultural centres, SME centres, youth centres, community halls, etc.

Activities included are:

(1) update business plans for the operations of the infrastructure projects being developed and the services to be provided;

(2) clarify systems, roles and practices with regard to the management, governance and ownership issues related to the projects; and

(3) develop management and technical skills of project management and staff needed to operate and maintain the physical infrastructure and the services being delivered.

Local non-governmental organisations have been contracted to provide such capacity building services. They are being supported by 17 community activators, selected by their communities, to provide communication, liaison and mobilization services.

In general, while infrastructure development activities are expected to last until September 2016, community capacity building activities will continue during the defects liability period.