The project management structure of SWIOFP was developed by participating countries and will operate solely as a means to achieve project implementation. It is designed to achieve effective coordination and to manage the inherent complexity of the project.
The project management structure will therefore consist of three levels:
(i) a high level political steering committee,
(ii) a ‘Regional Executive Secretariat’, which will act as the project’s core operational unit, and
(iii) national management units for each of the participating countries.
Most of the implementation of the technical aspects takes place through National Management Units that are entirely staffed by civil servants. The Regional Management structure acts as a kind of Project Management Unit which provides financial management, regional procurement, ship coordination and harmonization services to the ‘National Management’. The Political Coordination of the Project is through a Regional Political Steering Committee (delegates being “permanent secretary-level staff” that has authority to speak for their respective governments.
Regional Political Coordination: The political nature of the fisheries organizations, departments or institutions in the different member States, and the complex relationship between these organizations and the international bodies engaged in fishery activities in the region, raise vital political issues that cannot be ignored in the structural framework of any regional programme established to address management of common fisheries resources. The political interests of the member States must be taken into account in the structural arrangement of the project, and this must include relationships with the fisheries departments or directorates of the SWIO coastal States, as well as involving these States in policy formulation at ministerial level. The project has thus established a regional political steering committee comprised of Fisheries Ministers or Permanent Secretaries that will provide a forum for engaging in the resource management issues raised by the project. The steering group would meet annually and exercise oversight over the technical teams at the regional and national level.
Regional Technical Coordination: Technical coordination at the regional level will involve two structures: a Regional Executive Secretariat, which will manage the operational aspects of the project, and a Regional Management Board, comprised of the technical heads of fisheries that will provide technical oversight over the secretariat and the project.
The Regional Executive Secretariat will be staffed by five full-time professionals: 1) a Regional Executive Secretary; 2) a Data and Information Technology Manager, 3) a Regional Procurement Specialist (a two year appointment); 4) a Financial Manager; and 5) a Ships Manager. An appropriate level of support staff would also be hired in the Secretariat, including translation capacity (depending on language skills of the permanent staff). The Secretariat has been established in Kenya.
The Regional Secretariat and the nine national management structures will regularly submit their various reports to the regional management board for assessment, monitoring and evaluation.
National Implementation Coordination: Although the exact structure of each national implementation unit will vary, there will be a standard national structure in each country that has the following posts: a National Executive Secretary, a Sub-component Manager, a National Procurement and Financial Manager and Component coordinators depending on the specific component being coordinated by that country. Although Component Coordinators will be situated in a given country, their responsibilities will have a regional scope.