Suriname's Multi-Annual Development Plan 2022-2026
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A housing plan shall be determined by law, aimed at the provision of a sufficient number of affordable houses and State control on the use of real estate for public housing. ...
Minister of Finance and Planning
In addition to the various ministries, more than 140 companies, experts, associations, interest groups, political parties, etc. were consulted for the preparation of this Multi-Year Development Plan 2022-2026. These include various organizations that are concerned with people with disabilities, the interior, youth, women, and nature conservation. In addition, a semi-national survey was conducted. Through conversations, exchange of information, focus group sessions and feedback on concepts, this Development Plan 2022-2026 was finally established.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Central Government, Surinamese Monitoring and Evaluation Institute, Regional Administrative Bodies, corresponding Government Ministries
Some of the main issues identified can be summerized as follows:
- Resource dependence: Suriname relies mainly on the export of natural resources, such as rice, oil, gold and (until recently) bauxite/alumina.
- One-sided government policy: Because of the abundance of revenues mainly from bauxite/alumina, gold and oil, the Surinamese government has paid relatively little attention to the private sector.
- Government and the inability to transform: Since the aforementioned sectors did not create enough socio-economically acceptable employment (i.e., employment that meets aspirations) for the labor force, and the private sector was not enabled to properly develop, many found employment in the government (but often below their aspirations).
- Private Sector and the unfavourable business climate: Due to a high degree of focus on a few companies that generate most of the revenue for the state, there is no entrepreneur-friendly climate, as evidenced also by the long-standing poor position in all kinds of rankings touching the entrepreneurial climate.
- Government income and other sectors: Sectors such as health, education, social protection and security are of course also hugely important in creating and maintaining a just society; however, it requires many inputs to develop and keep these sectors running. The vast majority of government funding for these foundation sectors goes to salaries; only a small portion is dedicated to actual policy development and implementation.
Urban dimension of policy
The Multi-Annual Development Plan has no urban focus, but sections dedicated to Suriname's land policy and spatial planning, including housing.
Main objective of the urban dimension
Although no specific objective is stated, the document provides an overview of current challenges in the sector:
"The current pattern of land use shows a strong dispersion and fragmentation ("urban sprawl"), with almost all socio-economic activities and developments taking place along the primary access roads, arterial roads and waterways. In the absence of adequate urban planning and regulations, almost 70% of the Surinamese population now lives in the urban areas of Paramaribo and Wanica, with a growing need for housing, employment and services." (Page 184)
"The lack of relevant data also creates a challenge within the planning of spatial use (for living, working, recreation, production, moving from one place to another, etc.) and thus planning for spatial planning in Suriname, especially when it comes to transportation or transport planning. Because of transportation, employment, climate change and poor drainage systems, decentralizing of urbanization is necessary (see A6.27, B3 and Appendix E). This should be done according to an established pattern, taking into account the natural environment such as wind direction for minimal nuisance of the different land uses on each other. [...] There is a structural shortage of adequate and affordable housing, due to reduced housing construction activities by both the government and the private sector. This situation is further exacerbated because of declining real incomes and huge increases in land prices, construction costs -and rents. In the districts and the interior, facilities in the areas of education, health, transport, electricity and water are less available or accessible compared to the city. As a result, there is increasing urbanization. People tend to settle in and around the city, for young people there are more opportunities in the city in terms of education, employment and recreation." (pages 148/149).
Strategic Action items regarding Suriname's land policy:
- Per State Decree, change the residential areas in specified areas
- Recognize land rights of tribal communities; indigenous organizations (e.g., the VIDS) will write a specific development plan based on this recognition
- Draw up and legally enshrine zoning and structure plans
Strategic Action items regarding Suriname's spatial planning:
- Adequate implementation of existing legislation, including Planning Act, Urban Planning Act, Agricultural Act, Nature Conservation Act, Nuisance Act and Building Act. Introduce sanctions for violation of these laws
- Database of spatial and environmental information: demographics, utilities, education, labor market, medical facilities, wet and dry infrastructure, transportation, climate, soil, air, water, biodiversity, etc. by district and/or resort for planning purposes (important method is remote sensing)
- Composition of the Spatial Planning Act, the framework for the physical planning of Surinamese territory. This contributes to socioeconomic development (at district and resort level), increase the competitiveness of the economy, ensures a more efficient and effective use of the territory, and increases the quality of life. Consideration should be given to pedestrian-friendly traffic, bicycle lanes and alternative routes for slow traffic, optimal access to public spaces and buildings, neighborhood and nature parks in residential areas for young and old, recreational spaces in village communities for young and old, greenery with trees and plants in urban areas for cooling, and sports and recreational activities in city and district
- Increase resilience to flooding by constructing basins in low-lying areas to collect rainwater to prevent or minimize flooding, and by regularly maintaining waterways (canals, ditches, etc.) to prevent siltation
- Deployment through PPPs of water cabs and water buses for passenger transport / optimal utilization of Suriname's waterways for transportation of people and goods; for example, across the Suriname River (particularly for freight traffic)
- Listing and registration of public lands. List of Ministry of Public Works with parks and squares (rural) is available. Subsequently: listing, provide lands or areas with parcel identification number and register in public registers with appropriate restrictions. However, registration does not (at present) mean that such lands cannot be entrusted to management bodies
- Maintenance of public lands in PPP context
- Continuation and expansion of successful programs, especially 7% financing and LISP
- Adoption of the Apartment Rights Act, which will stimulate the supply of apartments, making housing accessible especially for young people (and the elderly). This assumption is that this will serve as a catalyst for entrepreneurship, production, employment and housing (in other words, local investment and attracting FDI), and allow Suriname to be in line with international developments in this area
- Supporting Foundation for Labor Mobilization and Development (SAO) and Foundation for Productive Work Units (SPWE) to implement training and education program for the benefit of the construction industry. This will lead to improvement in speed and accuracy of routine operations and increase efficiency in housing construction
- Start housing projects in a PPP context (with landowners, building and construction companies, and infrastructure companies, among others) on a small scale (dozens of houses per year) and then expand after evaluation (housing projects that have already been prepared must be tested for feasibility, so that investments already made are not lost). Expansion could include decentralization of the housing program, thus allowing for the construction of social housing in the various districts
- Draft legislation/regulation regarding housing is already in place which, among other things, allows the establishment of a Housing Authority.The Housing Fund is intended to make funds available forthe benefit of (social)housing activities through housing corporations. This law must be adopted and promulgated.
The implementation of the Development Plan 2022-2026 is done through the National Annual Plans. Annually, the National Annual Plan is presented to the National Assembly for approval together with the State Budget; the intention is to merge the Annual Plan and the Financial Memorandum into one document for the fiscal year 2022. The MPU elaborates the ministry's policies into programs and projects and defines them in project documents, monitors implementation and evaluates (The Planning Office will play an active role in supporting the ministries in all these phases). With regard to the choice of indicators for monitoring and evaluation, it will make proposals in consultation with policy departments. Periodically, it will prepare and offer standard monitoring and evaluation reports to the ministry director(s) and minister on the Ministry's projects and programs.
A similar structure will be established at the district level, with a Regional Planning Unit to provide planning technical assistance to the district administration and regional planning bodies in the identification, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of their programs and projects. It is planned for the Planning Office to begin with this in 2022.
The Planning Office will use the progress and evaluation reports by ministry and district to provide national monitoring and evaluation reports to the Minister of Finance and Planning, who will then in turn forward them to the Vice President for the Council of Ministers, the President and ultimately DNA.
In view of decentralization of governance, SPS intends to translate the 2022-2026 Development Plan into district and resort plans. In 2022, SPS will strengthen and expand its Monitoring and Evaluation Department to help with planning, monitoring and evaluation at the district level, in order to concretize the 2022-2026 Development Plan into district plans, along with input from the local population.
For the 2022-2026 Development Plan, a goal, outcomes and indicators were formulated for each policy area (Appendix A of the document, starting on page 212). The SDGs were used in the formulation; however, a close look was first taken at which SDG outcomes and indicators are relevant and realistic for Suriname, and then included in the development plan. In those policy areas where SDG outcomes and/or indicators are missing, these have been formulated. Also, in some cases the goal has been formulated more simply than in the case of the corresponding SDG.The appendix shows for each of the indicators what the current value, and target values are for 2022-2026, 2030, 2040 and 2050.
Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience planning
The plan includes actions for all the pillars, mitigation, adaptation and resilience planning.
The Multi-Annual Development Plan presents a solid analysis of current climate change trends in the country, and its current environmental situation, including waste management and biodiversity and resourses.
In the vision of environmental planning, both acute environmental problems and medium-term environmental issues should be addressed. The objective of environmental planning is to maintain the beneficial functions of ecosystems, thereby enabling sustainable socio-economic development. Some environmental issues, which Suriname faces, are climate change, pollution, waste management, deforestation, and use of toxic substances such as mercury. Deforestation is addressed in the forestry section (A6.8), and use of hazardous substances in the section on gold (A6.14).
Some strategic actions include:
- Public Private Partnership (PPP) for waste management and treatment, where the possibilities for a nationwide system of separate waste collection and a formalized infrastructure for reuse of waste (recyclable waste) are the necessary requirements and a "Sanitary Landfill" set up according to international requirements.
- Introduction of a deposit for plastic and glass packaging materials (research has shown that with an investment of 2-3 million USD, almost 60% of these packing materials can be recycled).
- Introduction of harsher penalties for environmental crimes (e.g. uncontrolled burning of waste).
- Establishment of an Environmental Authority responsible for the technical implementation of environmental policy, with the means to take corrective and incentive action.
- Drafting and promulgation of waste law to regulate collection and disposal.
- Establishment of a monitoring station in the sea off the coast of Suriname.
- Conversion of NDCs into concrete projects by the ministries.
- PPPs with local and international NGOs with co-management of local populations of natural areas - and their biodiversity - for: the establishment of data collection systems in order to secure green financing; rehabilitation (including reforestation) of damaged areas; see strategic action item A6.10.3 with respect to NTFP development
- Introduce "carbon tax" on greenhouse gas emissions of multinational actors in the extractive non- renewable sectors, such as oil & gas, gold, bauxite, etc.
- Adoption of Nature Protection Act (already in draft)
- Forest operation certification: export markets of the United States of America and European Union require wood and wood products to be certified
In 2050, Suriname will have a just society in which its values are realized. Everyone can decide freely within the system of law and justice about the realization of his / her own potential while taking into account the sustainability of the environment. With a rich and eventful past, a vibrant culture, and a natural wealth, every resident (regardless of gender, ethnicity, etc.) has self-confidence, responsibility and respect, and is proud of a life and country that offers prosperity and well-being. Through good governance (founded on law anddemocracy), trust is built (and the positive image of our country is improved and strengthened), creating many (national and international) collaborations that ensure accelerated development.
Values that are central to this Development Plan are:
Specific numerical models have been designed to estimate the impact of the Development Plan. Some of the expected results of this plan are:
- Average real wage increase of 17%
- Regionally distributed and inclusive development, in particular with an emphasis on employment and entrepreneurship
- Stimulation of apartment building and construction of 500 social homes per year
- Stimulating value creation in agro and service sectors
- Drastic reduction of animal feed to 0.25 US$ / kilo
- A modern government that is efficient, transparent, and customer-oriented
- Increase in tourists by 50,000, creating 9,000 new jobs
In short, the strategic action items outlined in the Development Plan 2022-2026 include:
Production, Entrepreneurship, Employment, Exports
- Establish Local Content Development Office in view of the offshore industry
- Improve the business climate
- Operationalize the residue and veterinary laboratory for food exports
- Increase value addition and economic diversification by: Conducting value chain analyses; Lowering import tariffs for green technology and production; Establishing and stimulating Product Boards, such as tourism and fruit and rice farming
- Establish a Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and better use of other funds
Land and Housing
- Apartments can be sold separately which gives a boost to the construction of apartments and shopping centers, the construction industry, and provides people - especially the young and elderly - (cheaper than is currently common) with a roof over their heads
- More affordable and faster handling of family land transfers
- Construction of 500 social housing units on an annual basis
- Recognition of land rights
Social Protection and Employment
- Adopt Basic Bank Account Act and encourage cashless distributions
- Accommodate homeless people in a specific location
- Determine poverty threshold and minimum hourly wage
- Set up a job bank
- Offer decentralized training, education and project opportunities
Education and Health Care
- Implement educational innovations with cognition as the starting pointReduce healthcare costs through decentralized supply of specializationsIntroduce ICT systems for distance learning
Liveable Environment & Nature and Safety
- Ban mercury use in accordance with the Minamata Convention
- Start phase 2 of Safe City
- Protect and sustainably utilize freshwater resources, forest and biodiversity
- Promote regionally dispersed development and production opportunities
- Surveillance for monitoring and detection of illegality and crime using drones
Transport and Infrastructure
- New connection across the Suriname River
- Spread out junctions for arrival and departure of public transport
- Restructure the 't Hogerhuysstraat
Efficient and Effective Government
- Stepping back from government: privatize state-owned enterprises and act in partnership with the private sector and NGOs
Improve the collection of tax revenues
- Make government processes more efficient and transparent: Digitization and automation of processes, with services available online; Implementation of early retirement and pension, lending to the private sector, and other modalities to reduce the civil service workforce
- Strengthen institutions
- Adopt new Civil Code, Public Administration Law, General Administration Law Act
- Establish corruption hotline and ban conflict of interest
- Earn foreign exchange from overflight fees with implementation of radar systems
- Monitoring of natural areas, with rehabilitation of degraded areas, in community settings
Altough there is no specific target regarding gender in the document, it is expected that all goals strive for gender equality. In its "gender policy" section (pg. 176) the following is highlighted:
"The principle of equality between men and women is laid down in article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Suriname: No one shall be discriminated against on the basis of their birth, sex, race, language, religion, origin, education, political opinion, economic position or social circumstances or any other status. In addition, article 35 of the Constitution also states that men and women are equal before the law.
Gender equality plays a role in all goals, but SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls) focuses specifically on gender. The main goal of this SDG target is to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
According to the Global Gender Gap Index, Suriname scores well in the areas of educatio n (gender parity 0.991) and health (gender parity 0.973), but in the area of economic participation and opportunities we still have much to do (gender parity 0.638). In the area of political empowerment, we score poorly (gender parity 0.177). Gender parity is the ratio of the number of women to men for a given indicator. If the GPI is equal to 1, it means full gender parity, i.e., equal number of women and men. A GPI less than 1 reflects the presence of more men; a value greater than 1 reflects the presence of more women.
The Gender Policy Document 2021-2035, from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which sets gender policy for a longer term, focuses on a number of priority areas for the period 2021 - 2035:
- Labor, income and poverty reduction
- Education, upbringing and training
- Health care
- Power and decision-making
- Gender-based violence
- Legislation and regulation
- Environment and climate change"
For each policy area:
- A timeline is presented containing the most important strategic action points, so that the reader can see at a glance what needs to be done right at the start; Some specific action points, complex in nature but necessary, are briefly elaborated in steps in time. This is done in separate boxes.
- Global trends and developments are taken into consideration;
- A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities et threats) analysis is made, with a ranking of weaknesses and threats according to impact and risk;
- Key action items are listed, ranked according to impact and achievability (finances, political support, implementation capacity, etc.). This is the input for the timeline at the beginning. All identified strategic action items are linked in Appendix B to ministries, budget codes (so they can also be budgeted for), SDGs, time periods, and standards.
The Planning Office has been working for some time on the establishment of a project database. Such a database would include all government development projects, and be defined by content, responsible ministry, performance indicator, completion date, responsible project manager, etc. Overviews can be shown with the project status (depending on the value at that moment of the performance indicator versus the desired value), and the status of all projects by ministry, by policy area and by Sustainable Development Goal. The intention is to have all Development Plan projects included in this database.