A sector study is undertaken within the context of the government's goals for the sector. Goals are statements which are generally too broad to quantify. For example, a goal of a government might be to improve the quality of rural living in order to reduce or even halt rural migration to the cities. Such a goal might also be a goal for the fisheries sector. Another national goal might be to increase the supply of food, both to the national population and also for export. This goal, also, might apply equally to the fisheries sector.
On the basis of a sector study, the government will be able, within the sector strategy, to refine goals into objectives for the sector. Objectives are more precise statements than goals of what is required from a sector. For example, an objective of a fisheries sector, associated perhaps with the goal of increasing food production, might be to reduce post-harvest wastage. The setting of objectives which are based on the information generated in the sector study will mean that they are compatible with the constraints operating on the sector and the opportunities available to it.
A characteristic of objectives is that they can be quantified as targets. The associated target of an objective to increase food supply might be a reduction of post-harvest wastage in the fisheries sector from 25 percent to 15 percent over a five-year period. In general, a government will only be able to define targets in the formulation of the sector plan when there is the quantification of the available human, financial and other resources to work towards all the objectives which have been determined.
The basis of the sound definition of objectives and targets is good sector study work.
It is helpful in understanding how sector study work should be approached to have an understanding of the pivotal role of a sector study in the sector planning process. This section of the Guide, therefore, is a diversion from a sector study itself to place a sector study in the context of the sector planning process.
A sector study is not a sector plan. It does not, therefore, include detailed proposals for projects or policies. Its prime purpose is to provide enough information and analysis for the government to formulate a preferred strategy, or strategies.
There is, however, another important distinction between a sector study, on the one hand, and a strategy and plan, on the other. This is the fact that they call for different levels of responsibility.
A sector study is a document which provides information about the industry, analyses this information, and assembles proposals for the industry's further development. It may be an extremely influential document but it does not commit the government to anything. Reflecting this situation, the preparation of a sector study is often the responsibility of consultants.
In contrast, the strategy and the plan represent commitments by a government to a course of action. Governments, of course, may often seek assistance in preparing a strategy and a plan but government ministers and senior officials can and should take responsibility for setting a strategy for the sector and the subsequent plan.
This arrangement of responsibilities and functions is consistent with organisational theory which states that the process of planning in any institution, such as government, an educational establishment or a commercial enterprise, is layered (Turner, 1993). Top level planning is concerned with strategy, principles and policies, setting out the framework for lower level detailed decisions. More detailed planning of projects and policies takes place at one or more lower levels of responsibility although under the general supervision of senior management. The basic work represented by a sector study-although the work calls for a high level of skill and experience-is at such a lower level of responsibility.
If a sector study process has worked as it should, the sector strategy document will be formulated by the government from the options for development presented in the sector study.
The strategy document reaffirms, or modifies, as may be the case, the sectoral goals, identifies the objectives and sets out the policies to be adopted which will enable the government's objectives to be met. A government may have two or more strategies. For example, there may be strategies for marine and for inland fisheries, or for different regions within the country. Strategies are made up of policies.
(Policies are the grouping of policy instruments- which may consist of legislation and/or regulations, economic instruments, such as financial incentives and/or disincentives, and public investment - to be used to achieve a given objective).
The strategy document should contain an analysis of policy measures to assess their impact both on the specific issue they are intended to address and their more general impact. A sector study team should be aware of this requirement for information in their selection and presentation of information and in the preparation of background working documents.
A strategy provides the basis of the sector development plan. Plans contain detailed proposals including projects, which follow from the chosen direction of change and include estimates of the resources (human and financial) required and the time frame within which specified activities are plannedto be undertaken. Aplan should not be merely a list of projects.
A plan typically includes detailed proposals for two years, but thereafter is updated - or “rolled-on” -as information on the progress of implementation becomes available and changes in circumstances are taken into account. Astrategy, however, is likely to be only slightly modified within a planning period, unless unforeseen significant changes in circumstances occur during the period.
A sector strategy and plan propose the allocation of resources at the disposal of the public sector. These resources might be quite limited compared to the total size of the fisheries sector. They depend on budgetary allocations and external soures, such as development banks. In most cases, governments cannot decide in detail what non-public sector companies decide to do. However, governments can create an intelligible and viable framework of infrastructure, research, regulation, taxation and other initiatives which will guide the sector. Indeed, given the character of the industry, dependent as it is on a renewable resource, it is imperative that governments take a very clear view of the appropriate sphere of activity of, and role for, the public sector in guiding the rational development of the industry.
Figure 1 is an illustration of the recommended sector planning process.
The welfare objective(s) is/are the driving force which stands at its apex.
A sector study looks at the industry from the point of view of the stated welfare objective and provides options or recommendations which are considered by a sector study team to enablethe government to meet its development objectives within the fisheries sector.
The government formulates the sector strategy on the basis of the selected option or recommendations for development.
The sector plan is the detailed working out of the sector strategy.
Figure 1 A representation of the process of sector planning and implementation
However, the plan cannot be implemented directly. It is necessary within the timescale of the plan to formulate and prepare policies and projects in sufficient detail to secure commitment and funding. The sequence in Figure 1 therefore includes detailed formulation of policy instruments and projects..
Implementation is the next stage with programme management, including monitoring, control and evaluation, as the integrating factor, feeding back to all the other stages in the process.
This last point deserves emphasis. The process of planning is always iterative. New information on markets, resources, technology or legislation is always emerging and the alert fisheries department is aware of this. New information may change the basis for any of the stages in the planning process.
The formulation of fishery resource management strategies and plans lies outside the scope of this Guide although much of the information will be the same. It is sufficient to state here that it will be necessary for sector development strategies and plans to accommodate fishery management interventions.
Increasingly, governments are recognizing the need to adopt an integrated approach to the management of coastal areas. The fisheries sector is generally far more affected by environmental changes originating outside the fisheries sector than other sectors are by environmental changes generated within the fisheries sector. It is important, therefore, that the fisheries authorities are able to show how fisheries sector plans are aimed at, inter alia, minimizing externalities generated outside the sector and having an effect on it, and externalities arising within the sector and having effects within it and/or outside.
The goals for the sector will be determined by the government. It may, for example, put a high priority on the creation of sustainable rural employment, and the strategy adopted for the fishery sector will reflect this objective.
In some instances, also, governments will set objectives for the sector and even targets without reference to the fisheries authorities. For example, a government may establish an objective of increased supplies of fish, although fish stocks may already be fully or over exploited with little chance of significant recovery within the planning period. In such cases, it would be desirable for a national development strategy to be revised to take account of significant constraints within the fisheries sector and, perhaps, elsewhere.
The sector study documents the following:
the current state of the industry;
most probably, the definition or refinement of sectoral objectives;
the basis of a strategy for achieving those objectives;
in certain situations, targets.
A sector study should be undertaken having regard to the following sectoral and cross-sectoral considerations:
many of the information requirements of a sector study are common to those for a fisheries management strategy and coastal area management strategy;
a sector strategy and subsequent fisheries development plan are complementary to, and should be consistent with, the following:
fisheries management strategies and plans;
integrated coastal area management strategies and plans;
sub-national (if appropriate) and national development plans;
the recognition that the sector study is not a sector plan; the latter spells out the policy and project implications of the sector strategy.