The government’s five-year Strategic Action Plan was unveiled on Wednesday night with development priorities, targets and a timetable for delivery of manifesto pledges.
The 439-page document will serve as a central policy framework to guide government agencies and offer yardsticks for the public to track progress, measure success and hold the government accountable, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said at the launching ceremony.
“It includes what to do, how to secure financing and dates for completion. So check off [the lists] and go forward,” he said.
Solih urged ministers, political appointees and government employees to implement the SAP despite differences of opinion over specific policies, each of which he stressed was determined after consultations with the public and stakeholders.
The SAP is divided into five sectors and 33 sub-sectors: Blue Economy, Caring State, Dignified Families, Jazeera Dhiriulhun (Island Life) and Good Governance.
In line with Solih’s Jazeera Raajje (Island Nation) slogan and his Maldivian Democratic Party’s Agenda 19 parliamentary campaign, key pledges include providing housing for 20,000 families and fiscal decentralisation with tertiary hospitals and higher education institutions on five islands to be developed as urban regional centres.
The SAP was compiled over a five-month period with contributions from line ministries, independent institutions and state-owned enterprises as well as recommendations from civil society organisations.
In his foreword, Solih blamed the lack of a long-term national development plan for “an overly congested capital; stark regional disparities in socio-economic and infrastructural progress; environmental degradation; unequal opportunities to accessing basic goods and services; and difficulties accessing meaningful employment, quality education, and affordable housing, among a plethora of other issues that previous governments not only neglected to solve but exacerbated.”