This is a comprehensive framework for development management that emphasizes a participatory approach based on a strategy. LTPS is a process, in that it mobilizes national capacity (broad stakeholders) for exploring alternatives for the future; but LTPS is also a product or rather a set of product in that it will have as outcomes, for example, retrospective analysis, different scenarios, strategic analysis of the systems etc. In short, LTPS is about creating a vision for the continent, region or a country.
The operationalisation of the vision involves the implementation of Millennium Development Guidelines (MDGs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and other programmes. The challenge therefore is to facilitate the interface between the long term plans as contained in the LTPS, with medium term goals contained in MDGs, as well as short term goals in the PRSPs.
To address such challenges, the African Futures Institute will provide advice and support to countries to think through their long-term development prospects and the various possible scenarios of their future development and articulate them with major initiatives they have embarked upon so that their different objectives are mutually reinforcing.
The overall objective is to contribute to shifting from the conventional and classical approach to development management to a long-term perspectives approach more holistic, people centred.
- Advocacy for long term perspectives.
Such a constituency has to be motivated and fed with examples of best practices if the participatory processes which are at the moment rapidly spreading are to be sustained.
As an example, it is envisaged, in partnership with CODESRIA, to organize a forum whose main objective will be to take stock of the various efforts at promoting long-term perspectives in Africa. This forum will serve as a platform for the renewal of constituency for long-term perspectives and futures studies. The forum will also chart an agenda for the expansion of the long term perspective approaches.
Publications will also serve the purpose of advocacy.
- Assistance to implement national, regional and continental LTPS.
NLTPS will continue to play a central role in formulation of national and regional strategies and approaches to development management. This calls for the continued support to national and regional initiatives intended to develop long term perspectives and approaches.
Countries that have undertaken NLTPS in the past shall be assisted to revise their NLTPS in light of internal and external developmental changes occurred since the completion of their exercises, especially in pursuit of MDGs, PRSPs and NEPAD. Countries initiating NLTPS will receive support to launch their studies.
Also, wherever it is possible, AFI will assist countries to gradually evolve a framework for effective policy analysis from a longer term perspective.