Namibia is one of the few African countries which have recognized the importance of decentralized development in nation building. The Constitution has established structures and functional responsibilities of regional and local councils.
The law has empowered Regional Councils to be responsible for the overall regional development planning of their respective regions. Currently Namibia is divided into 14 regions which are further subdivided into 121 electoral constituencies. At the constituency level elected representatives are custodians of the “public interest” and are therefore expected to identify strategies and solutions to address it. A constituency handbook has been prepared to guide elected representatives on the roles for legislation, oversight and local development. To strengthen local development Namibia aims to utilize bottom-up strategy, including preparation of constituency development plans that could in the end inform regional and national development strategic plans. Hence the need to train staff members from the ministry who would then train others at the regional /constituency levels to develop such plans in future.
Recently, the Government of Namibia sought technical assistance from University of Nairobi, Kenya to conduct training of trainers (TOT) for a small number of Namibian planners on the formulation and preparation of constituency strategic development plans while exposing them to other countries experience in the involvement of elected representatives in local level development. University of Nairobi has in the past offered training to Namibian students in urban and regional planning and other professional areas.
The TOT program now underway runs from 3rd to 7th November 2014 is five (5) day training program comprising of four days of training and one day of field learning. The program aims at: (1) to equip the participants with knowledge and requisite skills for the formulation and preparation of constituency strategic development plans; and (2) to expose participants through field work and case studies on the use of devolved funds in the implementation of grassroots projects and local development.