Millennium Challenge Account – Gambia Holds Capacity Building Training on ROM

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By Assan Bah 

The Millennium Challenge Account – Gambia with support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation the Gambia Monday, June 10, 2024, held a high-level stakeholder training workshop on its Reform Operation Manual (ROM) aimed at enhancing the governance and operations of the power sector of the Gambia by instituting reforms that drive accountability and transparency .

The convergence was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba International Conference Centre. 

The Millennium Challenge Threshold Program (PSTP) for the Gambia which the US government funds through the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) with an implementation modality involving rigorous root–cause analysis, aims to identify and address the challenges of the power sector.

According to MCT-G, this reform manual aims to guide the root causes analysis and implementation of the two projects of the PSTP by the Reform and project terms.    

The MCT-G said: “The main objective of the program is to improve the National Water and Electricity Company’s (NAWEC) capability to operate the Gambian power system in a manner that reduces the frequency and duration of outrages and is consistent with the Gambia’s universal access and conditional emissions goals as put forward in its nationality determined contributions (NDCs).” 

Giving his welcoming remarks, Mr Soko Ceesay, the Power Sector Director of Millennium Challenge Account the Gambia, said the reform manual is developed by the GFA Consultants of Germany ‘with a vast experience in the power sector’ and said it (ROM) will serve as a guide to all the projects reform teams. 

Ceesay said: “The ROM is designed to outline the responsibilities of all the stakeholders and provide the monetary mechanisms on the work that we do and can be tracked. It is made up of project and reform teams, reform teams are traditional in traditional project setups.” 

MCA has since March worked with stakeholders across Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and public enterprises leading to the validation of a Terms of Reference.

Mr Ceesay further reported that within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) program, they have three projects on governance focusing on policy, project planning legal and regulatory reform as well as institutional structure of the stakeholders.

 Mrs Saffie Dambelleh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Account – Gambia, said: “The Reform Operations Manual (ROM) is the guiding document for the implementation of the Threshold Program. The approach outlined in this operation’s manual guides the identification and definition of problems, analysis, and breakdown of problems to identify root causes, and approaches to finding solutions, performance management, review, and iteration to refine strategy until problems are solved.”

He said the document also emphasized administrative and cross-cutting issues such as gender and climate response, adding: “The ROM is expected to detail the facilitated change management methodology and processes that the Reform and Project Teams for Governance, Accountability and Operations will use.” 

He said the strategic goal of the program is to support the implementation of critical institutional and policy reforms to address the binding constraints of the Gambia’s economic growth.

“The Reform Operations Manual (ROM) which is meant to support the implementation of the 25 Million US Dollars grant for the Millennium Challenge Threshold Program extended by the US Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). 

“The Threshold Program is designed to be implemented through a Power Sector Threshold Service Contractor (PSTSC), which is GFA Consulting Group,” he added.

He said the first phase of the program implementation, is focused on the fundamental change and building commitment through the Reform and Project Teams using Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) methodology to address power sector challenges.

“This gives a critical role to the Reform and Project Teams to identify root causes of problems in the power sector and explore possible solutions.

 “To facilitate the work of the Project Teams, MCA Gambia through the Threshold Program is providing Sixty-Eight (68) laptop computers costing GMD7 million. These laptops will be distributed in two batches; Twenty-one (21) will be delivered during today’s training and the remaining Forty-Seven (47) once procurement is completed, I would like to urge the project team members to take maximum care of these laptop computers and ensure they are utilized for the intended purposes,” he added.

He concluded by calling for the collaborative efforts of stakeholders, saying the success of the program highly depend on the efforts of the team members assuring their continuous support.