Christine Kataike Abong

Christine Kataike Abong

Principal Data Analyst
Local Government Finance Commission
Uganda

More about me

Christine currently work with the Local Government Finance Commission in Uganda.  She is in charge of Research and Data.  Christine’s work mainly is to carry out research and evaluation of policies related to fiscal decentralization and to generate evidence aimed at assisting Members of the Commission to develop and offer evidence-based advice to the government on financing of service delivery at the local government level.    

Prior to joining Local Government Finance Commission, Christine worked with the British Council in Uganda and with several NGOs in programming. She worked also with the Department of Health in London in London on a Quality Protects project which was a government wider policy aimed at improving the quality of life for children under the care of Social services.  Christine has participated in varies professional trainings and workshop in participatory monitoring and evaluation.

My contributions

    • Dear all,

      Apologies for the delay in getting back on this exhange. This discussion was very fruitful and I thank the many members of the EvalForward network for sharing their ideas on the problems that prevent agriculture to get more funding and on ways to increase attention and resources in this sector.

      We all know the importance of agriculture in Africa. However, this does not mean that governments regard it as a priority and the share of the budget allocated to agriculture is very low in many countries. Beyond structural problems such as the insufficient tax coverage, some reasons of low attention to agriculture put forward in the discussion include lack of trust in the Ministry of Agriculture itself in some countries, the inability of agriculture to demonstrate the return on investment of funding and to package attractive programmes for donors and investors. The fact that most of the agriculture sector is still dominated by the informal economy and not able to show its contribution to GDP does not help.

      Several contributors stressed the need for increased attention to the efficiency of expenditures and for a focus on program-based funding instead of funding based programming. This links also to M&E’s role, which should help in raising the case for agriculture spending by improving performance and tracking the impact of agriculture activities.  

      It is proved that agricultural growth has a special capacity to reduce poverty in all countries and this is what we are struggling with in Africa. The example of China shared by Emile Houngbo is striking where it is estimated that the growth from agriculture has been 3.5 times more effective that growth from other sectors in terms of poverty reduction.

      I am quoting below some of the ways forward and calls for action from the discussion:

      ·         It’s time we start talking about the efficiency of the expenditures in terms of returns to investment rather than focus on the potential of the sector (Tim Njagi);

      ·         Clear results-based programming could improve government funding and we should discourage blanket allocations  (Abubakar Moki); 

      ·         Enhance private banking sector financing by supporting agriculture insurance implementation at large scale in order to mitigate the risks of climate change (Jean Stanislas Ouedraogo); 

      ·         A number of international Agreements and Decisions could help to mobilize more funding for the country’s agricultural sector. In addition to the Malabo Declaration, the Paris Climate Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 15 and 17, the African Union Agenda 2063 on Africa we want, the Nairobi Package on Agriculture, Cotton and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) issues, the Addis Ababa Action Plan on Sustainable Financing for Africa (Paul Mendy and Emile Houngbo); 

      ·         The example of FISAN from Niger (Fonds d'Investissement pour la sécurité alimentaire et Nutritionnelle), with the establishment of an agriculture bank to promote private and public investment in this sector (Abdoulaye Falla); 

      ·         It is important for the policy/decision makers in the agriculture sector, depending on country context and underlying donors’ interests, to ensure their projects’ proposals are well packaged so they “speak the language” of potential donors in order to increase their chances of funding (Ahmedou OuldAbdallahi);

      ·         Establish and leverage the value chain by creating functional value chain and value chain financing to help farms interlink with markets and benefit from this (Masresha Yimer Kelkele);

      ·         Make agriculture a revenue generating activity along with value chain, which will create an environment conducive to private investment (Bertin Dakouo);

      ·         Specify and enhance the functions of M&E: the functions of M&E and its linkages to other ministries should be articulated in order to receive more resources (Kelvin).

      Best regards, 

      Christine

       

    • Dear all,

      Thanks to all who are participating and interested in this discussion.

      Below is a summary of the main points raised by participants so far. 

      I look forward to more comments and ideas on how to improve the funding of Agriculture. 

      Reasons for poor funding:

      • “No taxes, no services”: tax is the basis to finance government and it is clearly insufficient in many countries.
      • Donors and governments perceive Ministries of Agriculture and related institutions to be problematic / not able to manage funds (and in some countries, alternative channels / institutions have been created to channel agriculture funding). 

      What can institutions do to change and manage funding in Agriculture: 

      • Focus on program-based funding instead of funding-based programming;
      • Discourage “blanket allocations” and question the Maputo concept of a share/fraction of GDP without knowing in a logical flow how it is to be used;
      • Funding should be determined based on issues and interventions well backed up with evidence, and I would add here the importance of strengthening evaluation of government programs; and the interventions should be practical for implementations and be managed in a realistic manner;
      • Policy/decision makers in the agriculture sector, depending on country context and underlying donors’ interests, should ensure their projects’ proposals are well packaged so they attract potential donors in order to increase their chances of funding;
      • Engage all key stakeholders such as donor agencies, NGOs and other CSOs to effectively diagnose current agricultural funding situation and plan for future interventions.

      I would also add the importance for Agriculture Ministries to focus their programs on SDG indicators, as this will also help in attracting more interest and funds.

      Christine