This is the body that provides strategic policy direction to the implementation of the APRM. This body must contain upstanding citizens who command the respect of the general public. The Country Guidelines provide that the National Commission established to manage the process at national level should be autonomous from government and inclusive of all key stakeholders. In this context, membership must be diverse and representative to ensure to the spirit of the APRM – broad-based participation.
Composition: Both state and non-state actors participate in the process. This includes some representatives of key line ministries, civil society, parliament, media, private sector, youth, women groups, disabled, marginalized groups, rural populations etc. The National Commission should offer a microcosm of the nation. Where possible, it should be chaired by a non-state functionary. If the commission is too small, it may bring perceptions of non-inclusivity. If too large, it may make decision-making cumbersome and would be encouraged to appoint an executive council from itself.
Responsibilities: In addition to providing guidance in terms of policy direction, the Commission/Council is expected to ensure professionalism, credibility and independence of the process. The NC/NGC is also to ensure that the process is technical and free from political manipulation. The NC/NGC is supposed to lead the sensitization programmes country-wide and ensure that all stakeholders participate in the process so as to create ownership
The NGC must have clear written terms of reference for operation. Other issues that need to e worked out include: legal status of the same (gazettement, inauguration etc), terms of service (honoraria etc) and duration of appointment. It is recommended that the NGC be involved in follow up of implementation of POA.
With regards to the POA, the NGC must ensure that all the concerns outlined in the self-assessment report are addressed in the POA. The NGC must also ensure that the POA meets all the criteria identified in the guidelines (i.e. costing, timeframes, outputs etc).