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Evidence-based national policies; hallmark of good governance

19 August 2015 05:43 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Prof. Siri Hettige addressing a news conference at the Campaign For Sound National Policies


A proposed thirty five Ministry Cabinet in par with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, will be presented to the Government by the Executive Committee of the “Campaign for Sound National Policies”. 
The proposed thirty five Ministry Cabinet will be for Government consideration and subsequent implementation, in the event a National Government comes into power after the General Elections.  This proposal comes in the wake of President Maithripala Sirisena’s request of the Executive Committee to design a suitable model for the Cabinet Ministry that could be incorporated after the General Election provided that a National Government comes into power. This request was made at the inauguration of the “Programme for the Campaign for Sound National Policies” that was hosted recently under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.  
Addressing a news conference last week, the Convener for the Campaign for Sound National Policies Prof. Siri Hettige said that the main objective of a Government should be to take the country forward and achieve its national goals. Prof. Hettige believes that the Government that would come to power after the General Election in August 17, would utilise these national policies as a guide; a mentor to lay the firm foundations necessary for the sustenance of Good Governance. These sound national policy frameworks are the best way forward to develop the country. He also said that in the event, a national government is formed after the election, the cabinet ministries should be between 30 and 35 and it must not exceed beyond this limit. If by chance the number of ministries increases beyond the recommended limit, all the efforts of the national policies might come to a standstill or face jeopardy.   




Ministries to be clustered under seven segments

“One of the key challenges that we face today is youth empowerment and developing their vocational training skills. This has been hindered by the failures we witnessed in the education system. Under the present context, securing a job is not an easy task owing to the backdrop in the education system which fails to focus more on enhancing the skills necessary for the job market. Taking these issues into consideration, one must take a closer look at the ministries that must work in collaboration to bring about the positive changes that are much felt and needed by the society. 
Based on these aspects, national policies for the educational sector will have to be developed in a logical and constructive manner. Similarly, youth empowerment is yet another specimen of what evidence- based national policies wish to achieve and it is important to focus and cluster the ministries that must work together to make this a reality. It must be noted that this is the first time that we are focusing on introducing national policies according to a cluster method to approach and resolve the burning issues faced by people. The thirty ministries will be clustered and networked with one another for better performance. We have clustered the ministries into seven different sectors” Prof. Hettige added. 

''Similarly, youth empowerment is yet another specimen of what evidence- based national policies wish to achieve and it is important to focus and cluster the ministries that must work together to make 
this a reality''



Another classic example of the cluster method to be employed in the national policy framework would be to classify affairs related to Housing and Urban Development under one section. Here the main focus would be on the development of human settlement both in urban and rural areas. Prof. Krishan Deheragoda, Coordinator for policy areas in Housing under the Programme for Forming Sound National Policies said that by 2030, the maximum human population in the country may reach 25.8 million. “We will commence focusing on an urban development scheme that would meet these demands by 2030. However, for the time being, it is more important to focus on the housing settlements. It is high time we employed sound national policies as such to address issues that we already face and to seek solutions for problems that are yet to rise” Prof. Deheragoda said. 
Addressing the media, Mr. Nandasiri Gamage said that the government and the private sector play a proactive role as representatives of development projects. However, these institutions have failed to obtain the active participation or incorporate the power of the civilians for the development process. ”The county will be able to address the burning problems of people only if the supportive, proactive role played by its citizens is utilised in the implementation process of evidence-based national policies” Mr. Gamage added. 
The policy outlines were formulated by over hundred academics and professionals through an inter-disciplinary workshop. These policy outlines would be the initial step in a five year programme for recommending sound national policy frameworks for Sri Lanka. The policy frameworks will focus on twenty three key areas; Health, Education, Agriculture, Economy, Industry, National Reconciliation, Poverty, Youth, Migration, Housing, Crime Prevention, Senior Citizens, Family Welfare, Environment, Land, Science and Technology, Local Government, Gender Equality, Foreign Relations, Disability, Public Sector Reform, Art and Transport. 


Nandasiri Gamage

''The county will be able to address the burning problems of people only if the supportive, proactive role played by its citizens is utilised in the implementation process ''


Prof. Siri Hettige

 ''One of the key challenges that we face today is youth empowerment and developing their vocational training skills. This has been hindered by the failures we witnessed in the education system''


Prof. Krishan Deheragoda

''We will commence focusing on an urban development scheme that would meet these demands by 2030. However, for the time being, it is more important to focus on the housing settlements''
 
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