Category: Education

Africa Needs Skills and Data to Better Evaluate, Monitor and Post-evaluate Development Projects and Programmes

There exist significant challenges in many development projects and programmes implemented in Africa, irrespective of the sector, from the design to the operational stages.Monitoring and evaluation is cited as a major weakness in the management of projects and programmes in Africa. Measurable objectives, indicators, methods for the measurement of benefits and the determination of costs, funding sources are examples of factors crucial in evaluating a project or a programme that are often lacking in many African countries.

IDEP was approached by the Republic of Benin and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for the delivery of training sessions on the Evaluation, Monitoring and Post-Evaluation of Development Projects and Programmes for the benefit of the country’s officials.

The intensive two-week session sponsored by BADEA that ran at IDEP from 3-14 June 2013 gathered a group of ten officials and fifteen officials from the Autonomous Redemption Fund (CAA) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Development, Economic Analysis and Prospective (MDAEP) of Benin respectively. Its aim was to provide the twenty-five participants with knowledge, tools and techniques for the efficient management of the development projects and programmes they are involved in implementing. It is expected that thanks to this tailor-made course that had been designed to be “hands-on”, they will be able to effectively and efficiently apply the knowledge and skills acquired at IDEP for better performance. They are also expected to train their colleagues.

The discussions at the opening ceremony pointed out the importance of various issues including the availability and use of data already addressed by IDEP through its short term course on Data Analysisfor Development Planners (the 2013 session ran from 6th to 17th May).

Capturing the 21St Century: African Peer Review (APRM) Best Practices and Lessons Learned

A newly published study by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) seeks to respond to key questions about the relevance of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), on the margins of the ongoing celebrations to commemorate 50 years of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union. The book’s launch this week also coincides with the screening of a video documentary “The APRM: Working for the African People”.

Entitled Capturing the 21St Century: African Peer Review (APRM) Best Practices and Lessons Learned, the publication is the outcome of a two-day workshop held in 2012 by scholars and academics involved in governance, development and democratization issues in Africa; practitioners and consultants in the various aspects of the operation of NEPAD and the APRM; as well as those who had been closely involved in the initial stages of the crafting, structuring and implementation of the APRM.

The report highlights the importance of situating the APRM within the history of African development since colonial times and the struggle for democracy on the continent. It also teases out the presentations and discussions that provide insightful comparative analyses of the APRM and development and governance policy issues that have emerged from the APRM country processes.

The report discusses the limitations of the APRM and proposes the need to focus on what it can deliver. The report further provides an insight into the complementary debate on democracy and development and the way forward for Africa amidst the challenges of globalization and African continental integration.

Both the study and the video documentary are seen as important for responding to questions about why countries should participate in the lengthy, but important review process. As reiterated at the 10th anniversary APRM Colloquium this week by Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the ECA, the APRM has received acclaim for its contribution to sustainable growth and development in the continent. The homegrown governance mechanism has consolidated Africa’s ownership of its development agenda.