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Abbreviations and Acronyms
1.0 The Ghana Program Evaluation
2.0 The Ghanaian Context 3.0 Evaluation Approach And Methodology 4.0 Major Findings and Observations 5.0 Conclusions, Lessons and Recommendations 6.0 Management Response

Table 1—Profile of CIDA Programming in Ghana, by Branch, 1999-2005
Table 2—Comparative Disbursements in 2006-07 (Direct Costs)
Diagram 1—Overall Sectoral Allocation of Program Disbursements in Ghana, 1999-2005
Diagram 2—Yearly Sectoral Allocation Disbursements in Ghana, 1999-2005
Diagram 3—No. of Boreholes in NR (2001-2004)
Diagram 4—Water Coverage in NR (2001-2004)

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Africa and Middle East Branch
Basic Human Needs
Canadian dollar
Communications Branch
Country Development Programming Framework
Canadian Executing Agency
Canadian High Commission
Canadian International Development Agency
Canadian Partnership Branch
Community Water and Sanitation Agency
District Assembly
District Environmental Health Unit
District Capacity Building Project
Development Partner
District Wide Assistance Project
District Water and Sanitation Teams
Environmental Assessment
Environmental Protection Agency
Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support
Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy
Farmer-Based Organization
Food Security Program (bilateral)
Food Security Strategy (bilateral)
Gender Agriculture Development Strategy
Gender Development Officer
Gender Equality
Government of Ghana
Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy
Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Services
Logical Framework Analysis
Monitoring and Evaluation
Multi Donor Budgetary Support
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Ministry of Women and Children
Multilateral Program Branch
Micro, small and medium enterprise
National Decentralization Action Plan
Non-governmental organization
Northern Region Water Sanitation Project
Performance Assessment Framework
Program-Based Approach
Performance Measurement Framework
Private Sector Development
Public Sector Reform
Program Support Unit
Sector-Wide Approach
United States dollar
Water and Sanitation Committee
Water and Sanitation Development Board

1.0 The Ghana Program Evaluation

This Evaluation of Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) Program in Ghana was undertaken in 2006 and 2007 by CIDA's Evaluation Division, Performance and Knowledge Management Branch (PKMB) to inform the development of the Agency's new programming strategy in Ghana for the next cycle. In order to carry out the Evaluation, PKMB commissioned an independent assessment of CIDA programming in Ghana delivered through various CIDA channels, and focussed on the 1999-2005 Country Development Programming Framework (CDPF). This independent assessment was complemented with the results of a number of other independent project/program evaluations and reviews undertaken between 2005 and 2007.

The information contained in this report is intended to help inform how well the investments made by CIDA have performed, and how well they have achieved the objectives of both CIDA and Ghana. The report presents the evaluation findings in terms of the five criteria that are generally recognized by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), namely: Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Impacts, and Sustainability. The report also includes a modest assessment of program risks, including fiduciary, operational and developmental risks (as defined by the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada), and offers some lessons and recommendation that may help to inform future programming.

2.0 The Ghanaian Context

Ghana ranks as one of the poorer countries in the world. According to the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Index, Ghana ranked 133rd out of 174 countries in 1999, and 136th out of 177 countries in 2006. It has, however, recently had some of the best development outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana is well endowed with natural resources that constitute the base of the country's economy. By improving policies and institutions and investing in infrastructure and basic services, growth has accelerated and poverty levels have fallen over the past 15 years. According to Ghana Living Standard Surveys, the percentage of people living below the national poverty line dropped from 51.7 percent in 1991-02 to 28.5 percent in 2005-06. The national level of extreme poverty (less than $1 a day) has nearly halved since 1991 and has declined in every region except the Upper West. Inequality between the richest and the poorest people has increased. In 1998-99 rural poverty was estimated at almost 50 percent, while urban poverty was estimated at 19 percent.1 This, however, masks regional differences, as poverty is lowest in Greater Accra and highest in Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions. In 2005-06, poverty levels are still the highest in the three northern regions ranging between 52 percent in the Northern region and 88 percent the Upper West region. In these regions, access to education, health care, safe drinking water and key indices such as child nutrition are below the national average. Along with its various partners, the Government of Ghana (GoG) has embarked on a challenging series of growth and poverty reduction strategies, undertaking efforts such as stabilizing the economy, reforming the agriculture sector, making the business climate conducive to private sector investment, deepening the decentralization process, devising a public reform agenda, and more globally reinforcing national governance systems2. Although an older long-term Vision 2020 strategy outlined national priorities during the first part of the CDPF programming period, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS I—2003-2005) has been the key policy and strategic document for the GoG throughout the latter half of the 1999-2005 programming period.

In terms of governance, political freedoms introduced in recent years mean that a number of Ghana's governance indicators—political rights, civil liberties and freedom of speech—are close to the OECD country average. Transparency International's 2007 Corruption Perception Index ranks Ghana 69th out of 179 countries, which is moderate among developing countries. The GoG has taken significant steps to address corruption, including passing key legislation and strengthening law enforcement agencies including the judiciary. However, the GoG needs to deepen reforms and consistently enforce them. Civil society will also play an important role in public policy and anti-corruption efforts. In terms of the devolution of responsibilities to local levels, the incorporation of decentralization in the GPRS and the development of the National Decentralization Action Plan (NDAP) have been among the most significant developments of late in Ghana's decentralization policy. However, the decentralization process continues to be severely challenged by issues like fiscal devolution, bridging the gap between districts and sector ministries, and re-inventing the role of regions in facilitating decentralization and promoting accountability and transparency3. Ghana will hold its fifth consecutive multi-party Presidential and parliamentary election in December 2008.

Ghana's overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth has averaged 5.2 percent across major economic sectors of agriculture, industry/manufacturing and service since 2001. In the northern savannah of Ghana, there are severe challenges to food security and planned agricultural transformation. In these regions, the incidence of poverty is high among subsistence farm families. Private sector involvement in the agri-food business is institutionally weak: smallholder farms are traditionally organized within the extended family, with poor enterprise management and product marketing skills. Environmental degradation has resulted from traditional "extensive" cropping and livestock-rearing farming practices and other environmental problems, amounting to an annual loss of 10 percent of GDP. The agriculture sector, however, remains the largest growth-producing sector in Ghana, providing approximately 41.1 percent to the total growth effort in 2005 4. Agricultural growth trends moved upward from 2000 to 2006 by 5.1 percent.5 Ghana's economy is overwhelmingly reliant on agriculture, as 55 percent of the population works in this sector (up from 37 percent in 1998/99)6, which provides employment, directly and indirectly, for about 70 percent of Ghanaians. Agriculture accounts for 40 percent of GDP. The GPRS and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture's (MOFA's) Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP) envisage a transformation of rural farmers from a subsistence orientation towards commercially-viable businesses, based on their "modernization." The latter emphasizes the importance of transforming agriculture and rural livelihoods to achieve poverty reduction on a significant scale. However, inequalities between women and men prevail, and women have limited access to resources and are hard pressed to generate income. In Ghana, 53 percent of women in rural areas feature among the poorest 20 percent of the population7. Although women are considered as being responsible for nearly three-quarters of labour in agricultural production, processing and marketing, and though they play many roles both in primary activities and household nutrition, as well as off-farm income generation, they generally face more barriers in terms of accessing inputs, services, credit, land and information.

Inadequate sanitation and supply of potable water still constitute major developmental issues in Ghana, especially in rural areas. Ghana is water abundant, but experiences seasonal and perennial water scarcities, in particular in the northern regions. Even those connected to the piped water system frequently suffer from cut-offs when the capacity to deliver fails. At the end of 1999, it was estimated that the national coverage for potable water supply in rural communities and small towns was 39 percent8, a proportion that increased to 46.3 percent in 2003. The sanitation coverage for rural Ghana in 2002 was 28 percent. Recent data shows progress in urban compared to rural water access. Ghana's national policy is aiming for 85 percent access to water and sanitation by 2015, which is higher than the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of 75 percent. Given current constraints, the country will most likely meet the urban portion of the water and sanitation MDG target, but will need donor support to meet the rural component. The GoG's GPRS recognizes that improving access to potable water and sanitation is critical to achieving favourable health outcomes, which in turn facilitate economic growth and sustained poverty reduction. In particular, improved access to safe water can enhance school attendance, reduce women's workload and free them to participate effectively in economic empowerment and governance activities. As a consequence of water scarcity, women and children often spend hours every day finding and collecting water.

In addition to these challenges, discrimination between women and men exists at all levels in Ghana9. While the country has very progressive legislation related to equality between women and men, there are numerous areas where discriminatory practices exist as a result of the conditions in which women work, as well as cultural beliefs and attitudes, value systems and behavioural norms. This imbalance is perpetuated by traditional systems and practices such as marital rape, which is condoned by the domestic violence clauses in the criminal code, and under-representation of women in formal political organizations and institutions. Acknowledging that "over the past ten years, Ghana has experienced growing and deepening poverty, an evidence of intensification of vulnerability and exclusion among some groups and in some areas," the first GPRS sought to reverse the situation. It aimed "to create wealth by transforming the nature of the economy to achieve growth, accelerated poverty reduction and the protection of the vulnerable and excluded within a decentralized, democratic environment." However, many observers believed that the degree to which the GPRS addressed equality between women and men and mainstreamed the issue was insufficient.

Ghana's environmental resources suffer from the effects of global phenomena such as desertification, climate change, and widespread pesticide use. At the same time, some of the major environmental concerns relate mainly to the direct effects of human activities such as poor farming practices, bush fires, and inadequate water and waste management. Many parts of the country also face environmental challenges related to safe and sustainable water supply. Escalating and unsustainable pressures from a fast growing population, expanding agricultural and industrial activities, and rapid urbanization, have increasingly threatened Ghana's environment and key natural resources. The GPRS recognizes the fact that environmental degradation has contributed to the state of poverty in Ghana, particularly because the poor depend largely on natural resources for their livelihoods and health needs.

2.1 CIDA Program in Ghana 1999-2005

Ghana has had a bilateral partnership with Canada since 1957. In the past decade, Canadian ties with Ghana have broadened from focus on health, education, engineering and agriculture to include trade and investment, election observation and peacekeeping. Over the course of the programming period (1999-2005), approximately $215 million was disbursed on initiatives in Ghana through the various programming channels used to deliver the program in the country (see Table 1). Funding through the bilateral channel (Africa Branch) accounted for 74 percent of the portfolio disbursements ($161 million), while funding through Canadian Partnership Branch (CPB) accounted for 14 percent of disbursements ($29 million) in its support to the activities of Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Ghana. As for Multilateral Programs Branch, its share was 12 percent ($25 million).

Table 1—Profile of CIDA Programming in Ghana, by Branch, 1999-2005

Number of Initiatives % Total Disbursements %
Communications Branch 8 1.9 176,663 0.1
Africa and Middle East Branch: 159 37.3 160,755,005 74.8
- Traditional and Hybrid projects
155 36.4 101,822,865 47.4
- Budget support (General and Sector)
4 0.9 58,932,140 27.4
Multilateral Programs Branch 26 6.1 25,041,109 11.6
Canadian Partnership Branch 233 54.7 29,028,962 13.5
Total 426 100.0 215,001,739 100.0

In terms of sectoral breakdown for the programming period, governance accounted for 44 percent of the budget, while food security/agriculture and private sector development (PSD) accounted for 43 percent. Water initiatives received 11 percent of funding, while programming that did not fall specifically into these three sectors accounted for the remaining 2 percent. With regard to evolution in sectoral programming, the governance and food security/agriculture (including PSD) sectors secured the largest share of program funding over the latest programming period (between 2003 and 2005). This is linked to the fact that in 2003-2004, the Minister for International Cooperation approved funds for the Ghana program, tied to two major initiatives: the Food and Agriculture Budget Support (FABS) and the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Budget Support (GPRS_BS/MDBS). This represented $22.5 million in 2004-2005 alone. Diagram 1 illustrates the breakdown of sectoral allocations. Diagram 2 illustrates trends witnessed in these sectoral allocations.

From 2000 to 2007, CIDA's bilateral program in Ghana quadrupled in value, dispersing $55.8 million in 2006-07, compared to $12.3 million in 2000/01. Canadian Partnership Branch funding has also increased from $0.5 million in 1985 to about $6 million in 2006, suggesting a growing level of interest among Canadian partners.

Diagram 1Overall Sectoral Allocation of Programming Disbursements in Ghana, 1999-2005

Diagram 2Yearly Sectoral Allocation Disbursements10 in Ghana, 1999-2005

2.2 The Overall International Assistance Context in Ghana 1999-2005

Developments in the international development assistance context such as efforts relating to financing for development at Monterrey in 2002, the G8 meeting in Kananaskis in 2003, the Paris Declaration in 2005, and the Agency's own policy on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness (SAE) have set in motion a movement towards greater aid effectiveness and new ways of approaching development assistance, including the requirements for a "more effective division of labour". Development partners (DPs), including CIDA, and governments are increasingly operationalizing these arrangements at a country level.

Selected as a CIDA country of concentration in 2002, the bilateral program's collaboration with Ghana strengthened and expanded between 2001-02 and 2005-06. By 2005-06 CIDA's annual bilateral budget of $55.8 million, represented between three and four per cent of total annual ODA to Ghana. Other key country donors are the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, the European Community, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Kuwait Fund and, recently, China. Key multilateral donors include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Institutions.

In the context of CIDA's 2002 policy on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness (SAE), and in light of the vigorous democracy that has taken root in Ghana, CIDA's bilateral program moved in 2003 to join a number of other donors in better supporting the development and reform policy framework outlined in Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy 2003-2005 (GPRS I). Since then, CIDA's bilateral program has coordinated much more intensively with other donors seeking to strengthen local systems of planning, budgeting, control and oversight by gradually increasing the level of reliance on government systems whilst focusing dialogue on their continuous improvement. It has done this by using program-based approaches, traditional projects and technical assistance at the national, sectoral, and district levels.

Programming via CIDA's other channels, similar to that of other donors' non-bilateral flows, continued to focus in a more traditional, primarily responsive, and non-aligned fashion as the emerging international movement towards greater harmonization did not directly apply to these non-bilateral programmes.

2.3 Evolution of the CIDA-Ghana Bilateral Program 1999-2005

The overall goal of CIDA's 1999-2005 Ghana programming strategy was "to achieve an equitable, sustainable reduction in poverty."11 In light of the contextual challenges, and building on previous cooperation, the CDPF proposed a continued geographic focus in the three northernmost and poorest regions, and two priorities were identified for programming, wherein equality between women and men and the environment were cross-cutting themes. These were:
  • Basic Human Needs (BHN)—A focus on water and food security with poorer women as major beneficiaries; food security focused on improved local food production, while a sustainable and safe water supply was emphasized; and

  • Governance—A focus on capacity and performance, as well as democratic processes.
These priorities were in line with CIDA's overarching policy framework of that era, which outlined five priority areas for potential programming: Basic Human Needs (BHN), Private Sector Development (PSD), Human Rights/Good Governance/Democratic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Services. In effect, the two programming priorities identified by the bilateral program covered three priority sectors: water, governance and agriculture/food security.

Two types of developments influenced the bilateral country program between 1999 and 2005. The first was CIDA's Strengthening Aid Effectiveness policy statement of 2002, and an updated CIDA policy on untied aid in 2004. The second was the GoG's development of the GPRS (2003), which was part of a broader process to ensure the design of a more coordinated approach to poverty alleviation and development planning in Ghana.

Given these changes, the Program evolved, introducing modified delivery mechanisms such as hybrid projects, pooled funds, sector and general budget support. This shift was essentially intended to promote more effective aid delivery through harmonization and alignment with Ghana's national priorities, management frameworks, systems, and procedures—all within the perspective of enhanced accountability.12

As part of this harmonization and alignment process, in March 2003, the GoG signed a framework memorandum with nine Development Partners to govern the first year of budget support operations. This gave birth to Multi-Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS), a key feature that essentially constitutes the official development assistance arrangement through which DPs collectively contribute to the budget of the GoG to implement the GPRS13. CIDA's bilateral contribution to the MDBS, valued at $93 million over five years, was called the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy—Budget Support Project (GPRS-BS).

Thus, the program that evolved from 2003 onward integrated its projects into local systems, using three mechanisms that consisted of:
  • traditional projects targeted at discrete outputs and implemented by CEAs;
  • enhanced traditional projects targeted at discrete outputs, but implemented by an authority of the GoG, and sometimes supported by technical assistance;
  • pooled funding arrangements, and;
  • budget support programs that provide a consistent and timely level of funding for the implementation of particular GoG policies, including the GPRS, district plans, and selected sub-elements of the GPRS.
By enabling CIDA to work at different levels simultaneously (macro, meso, micro), this program evolution helped to address the systemic constraints to poverty reduction in Ghana.

3.0 Evaluation Approach and Methodology

The findings in this Report draw on a major evaluation of the Ghana Program, commissioned by the Evaluation Division and undertaken by independent consultants (Ghana Country Program Evaluation -2006, by Baastel Ltd). The findings from that evaluation were complemented by the findings from three other independent assessments: a 2007 Joint Evaluation of Multi-Donor Budgetary Support in Ghana (GPRS‑BS), commissioned by DFID on behalf of MDBS partners and undertaken by the Overseas Development Institute and Centre for Democratic Development; a 2007 initial assessment of the District Wide Assistance Project, commissioned by the Program and undertaken by GeoSpatial/Salasan Consulting Inc; and a 2006 Results Assessment of the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support Project, commissioned by the Ghana Program and undertaken by Trevorrow Inc.

3.1 Scope and Coverage of Investments

Baastel Ghana Country Program Evaluation (2006)

For its review of all CIDA programming in Ghana between 1999-2005, the Baastel evaluation team selected projects using criteria such as priority sectors, level of disbursement during the programming period, balanced coverage of different delivery mechanisms and aid modalities, as well as implementation status and relevance to current programming, as follows:
  • 25 bilateral and regional projects funded by CIDA's former Africa and Middle East Branch (AMEB). These totalled nearly $67 million and represented 42 percent of the $161 million disbursed for the period through AMEB, and 33 percent of the entire $215 million disbursed for programming during the review period. All 25 projects were examined through a desk review, and nine were selected for a field review.

  • 21 projects funded by CIDA's Canadian Partnership Branch (CPB). Valued at $8.9 million, these accounted for 31 percent of the entire amount disbursed in Ghana by CPB, and for 5 percent of the entire amount for Ghana programming over the review period. Of the 21 CPB projects, 2 were designated for a field visit.

  • Two projects funded by CIDA's Multilateral Programs Branch (MPB), representing total disbursements of approximately $16 million, or 64 percent of the CIDA's multilateral investments, and 8 percent of the entire Ghana programming disbursements during the review period.
The project sample outlined above accounted for nearly half of the entire Ghana programming budget disbursed during the review period (46 percent), while reflecting a very similar percentage breakdown of project disbursements.

Evaluation coverage of disbursements was enhanced by taking into consideration the findings and conclusions of the three other independent assessments of non-traditional bilateral investments, namely: the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support initiative (a 5-year, $93 million investment); the District-Wide Assistance Project (DWAP—a 5-year, $15 million initiative); and the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support Project (a 5-year, $85.0 million investment). Collectively, these assessments allowed for coverage of an additional coverage of approximately $58 million or 27 percent of the $215 million invested by the Program, bringing the overall coverage to about 73 percent of disbursement over the evaluation period.

Joint Evaluation of Multi-Donor Budgetary Support in Ghana (MDBS), Overseas Development Institute and Centre for Democratic Development (2007)

The MDBS Program has operated in Ghana since 2003 and, as noted above, CIDA has contributed to it via the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Budget Support project (GPRS-BS) as part of the Ghana bilateral program's overall program strategy as well as its governance sector strategy. It is the official development assistance arrangement under which 10 bilateral and multilateral donors, including CIDA, collectively support the implementation of Ghana's poverty reduction strategy through policy dialogue and direct contributions to the GoG's national budget.

In 2006, Ghana MDBS donors, including CIDA, and the Ministry of Finance contracted the UK-based Overseas Development Institute and Ghana's Centre for Democratic Development to undertake a joint evaluation of the MDBS program. The purpose was to determine to what extent and under what circumstances the MDBS arrangement, during the first three years of program implementation, had proved relevant, efficient and effective for achieving sustainable impacts on poverty reduction and growth.

The evaluation methodology was based on OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC)'s general budget support evaluation framework, looking at inputs, immediate effects, outcomes and impacts. In addition, it attempted to better integrate gender issues into the OECD-DAC framework.

District Wide Assistance Program (DWAP) initial assessment (2006), GeoSpatial/Salasan Consulting Inc.

CIDA's District Wide Assistance Program (DWAP) is an important part of CIDA's bilateral governance sector program's support for decentralization in Ghana. The DWAP underwent an assessment in August 2006 with the intent of providing a report card on DWAP's progress to date and to determine if there was enough evidence of success to warrant a further phase of support to district development planning, especially in the context of an emerging multi-donor District Development Fund and accompanying assessment tool.

In particular, the assessment of DWAP focused on identifying and documenting lessons learned and best practices to inform national policy in decentralization, local government, equality between women and men, and environment. It also shared experience and lessons learned with key stakeholders and other donors active in decentralization, district capacity building, equality between women and men and environment.

Results Assessment of the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support Project (2006), Trevorrow Inc.

An independent results assessment of Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support (a sector budget support program) was undertaken in fall 2006 by Canadian consulting firm Trevorrow Incorporated. FABS is the largest investment under the Ghana bilateral program's Food Security Strategy, which is inclusive of the agriculture sector.

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess initial FABS performance and results in supporting the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in its efforts to increase food security and reduce poverty through its Food and Agriculture Sector Development Program (FASDEP), and in light of the mid-term achievements of FABS, provide guidance as to whether CIDA should move forward with a second phase of FABS. The evaluation identified and documented lessons learned and best practices to inform national policy in equitable agricultural development and growth. It also generated information that can be used to inform ongoing GoG and donor programming related to intersectoral collaboration, mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues and agricultural Sector Wide Approaches and funding modalities.

3.2 Data Collection Strategies

All of the above evaluations used multiple lines of evidence, employing a variety of data collection strategies such as document reviews, interviews with key stakeholders at headquarters and in the field, as well as field visits and site observations.

3.3 Challenges and Limitations encountered by the Evaluation

The evaluation drew on a mix of joint-donor and CIDA-only evaluation efforts, reflecting the evolving mix of initiatives making up the Program. This led to some delays in getting the evaluation done in a more timely fashion as the joint approach to the MDBS took more time.

Secondly, as some of the initiatives (such as the MDBS and DWAP) had only been operational for a limited time, the evaluation is only able to provide a partial picture of the unfolding of expected results from these initiatives.

Finally, given that CIDA is one among several donors whose resources are pooled with the resources of the partner country in some initiatives, the difficulty of separating out the effects of, and attributing specific results to, the Agency's intervention in these initiatives will be a continuing challenge.

4.0 Major Findings and Observations

The evaluation of CIDA programming between 1999-2005 served to demonstrate the positive contributions that CIDA continues to make in Ghana in its areas of focus. It further served to highlight Canada's bilateral program leadership among Development Partners, both in the increasingly harmonized and coordinated aid environment and, in particular, in key sectors like food security/agriculture and water. The evaluation team found that CIDA's programming during the period should be viewed in a positive light and should be recognized for having achieved a significant portion of its expected results. In addition, CIDA should be commended for demonstrating flexibility and the ability to adapt and respond well to the evolving development context in Ghana, and shifting to new approaches and aid modalities. The presentation of both successful findings and more challenging aspects was brought forth in the hopes of highlighting key areas for learning in an evolving context, and to inform the next programming phase without taking away from the achievements of CIDA during the period.

The ODI/CDD Joint Evaluation of Multi Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS) to Ghana concluded that the Ghana MDBS has been an efficient and effective use of aid resources. According to the independent evaluation, the MDBS arrangement has generated a number of benefits, which could not have been generated as efficiently by any other aid modality or combination of aid modalities. It also found that it is not yet possible to say anything robust about the impact of MDBS on poverty (although Ghana's poverty rate did fall dramatically during the period of MDBS implementation this result was not known at the time of the MDBS joint evaluation). The evaluators concluded that without MDBS it would not have been possible for the GoG to simultaneously reduce the stock of domestic debt and increase poverty reduction expenditures. However, the evaluation did find weaknesses in the design and management of MDBS, with too much focus being put on external accountability to donors and not enough attention to the internal dynamic of the central budget and promoting national structures of domestic accountability.

The results of the 2006 initial assessment of the District Wide Assistance Program (DWAP) undertaken by Geopatial/Salasan Consulting Inc. were particularly positive in terms of this program's success. Most notably the assessment endorsed further support to the Government of Ghana's decentralization activities, and noted that the DWAP should be "mined" for lessons learned to inform the design of either a DWAP II and/or the proposed multi-donor District Development Fund (DDF). The evaluation found only minor problems with the DWAP. For example, it found that the implementing partner, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development's capacity to undertake strategic environmental assessments as well to address equality between women and men issues remained weak.

The Results Assessment of the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support Project (FABS) conducted by Trevorrow in 2006 concluded that it was too soon to find substantive results related to intermediate outcomes, but that there were partial results at the immediate outcome and output levels which allow a degree of confidence that the longer term results may be met. The report also highlighted inconsistencies between project indicators and data collected by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) as a potential contributor to these findings.

4.1 A Relevant Program

To varying degrees the evaluations assessed that CIDA's bilateral program and individual investments were well aligned in terms of GoG priorities for sectoral focus, and for targeting needed areas of the country, both sectorally and geographically. An analysis of CIDA's program in light of Vision 2020, the GPRS, and key sectoral policies and strategies clearly showed that the program targeted key areas for the GoG, both supporting its priorities and assisting it down its development path. Both the GoG and other DPs view CIDA as a major player in the move to increased donor harmonization, which serves to demonstrate alignment with key international policies such as the Paris Declaration and CIDA's policy on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness. CIDA's Key Agency Results were also well reflected in the program, including:
  • Development Results—Focusing on economic well being, social development and governance; and

  • Enabling Results—Demonstrating appropriate programming orientation (including the move to policy-based programming and facilitation of local ownership), sectoral/thematic focus (including BHN and governance), geographic focus (i.e., the poor rural areas of the North), and other aspects.
The governance programming focus on local, district, regional and national capacity building—including administration, policy formulation, fiscal devolution, public finance management, and accountability—followed GoG priorities, and was particularly relevant in the current decentralization context.

Along similar lines, CIDA's focus on water provision in the North successfully targeted relevant strategic areas and beneficiaries, in harmony with such initiatives as the Vision 2020 and the GPRS, both of which emphasized the priority of improving water supply coverage. In particular, working through existing institutional arrangements to focus on capacity building at key decentralized levels in water management was a strength of CIDA's water sector programming overall, which is particularly relevant in the Ghanaian context of public sector reform. CIDA's focus on sanitation was also relevant, in light of the requirements of the national strategy (i.e., the National Community Water and Sanitation Program) and of the health benefits entailed in jointly addressing water, sanitation, and health and hygiene education. In addition, significant portions of programming aimed to integrate women into decision-making bodies for water at the community and district levels, thus properly targeting a marginalized group in Ghana and demonstrating coherence with CIDA's GE policy, which aims to "advance women's equal participation with men as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies; to support women and girls in the realization of their full human rights; and to reduce inequalities between women and men in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development14."

CIDA's food security/agriculture programming targeted key Ghanaian priorities, as detailed in FASDEP and the GPRS. The program is focused on smallholders' farming practices and rural livelihoods, in the interest of food security, and this is especially relevant in light of the fact that approximately three-quarters of the total agricultural production is dominated by smallholder farms. The focus on more sustainable and ecologically sound agricultural practices in sectoral programming adequately targeted key environmental challenges. The shift to sectoral budgetary support was consistent with CIDA's more recent policy and programming shifts towards espousing more counterpart ownership and leadership in programming, and having CIDA support system-wide change rather than shorter-term interventions. Working specifically with MOFA also allowed CIDA to play a stronger capacity development role, and helped in building consistency among DP programs as part of a broader program being supported by DPs towards a SWAP in the sector—while also allowing for a more integrated sectoral program to emerge.

4.2 An Effective Program—Key Results Achieved

The program was assessed for effectiveness by comparing results achieved versus key expected results for both sectors and the program as a whole.


Major expected results—"increased access to sustainable water services" aimed at improving the quality of life of poor groups in Northern Ghana. Significant results have been achieved in this sector. Outcome results included the following:
  • 420 rural communities in Northern Ghana have access to safe drinking water—About 26 percent of targeted communities had access to potable water as of October 2005. A 53 percent coverage rate was originally planned for October 2006.

  • 420 rural communities and 20 small towns in Northern Ghana have knowledge of improved health and hygiene practices—Key capacity building and needed equipment has been provided to District Environment Health Units (DEHUs) to facilitate hygiene outreach programs. CIDA partner organizations have also carried out hygiene promotion in a total of 747 communities in the seven project districts. As a result, 88 percent of households surveyed in studies conducted during the programming period (2004) have demonstrated improved water storage practices, including improved hand-washing practices and safe feces disposal. It should be noted however that sample size in these studies was fairly small.

  • 90 percent of the 420 rural communities and 20 small towns own and manage community water supplies—CIDA programming has helped to ensure that most communities with water points now have trained and functional Water and Sanitation Committees (WATSANs) and pump caretakers to manage community water supply. There was a noteworthy increase in the number of women on committees and Water and Sanitation Development Boards (WSDBs). The skills of key actors at district/community levels (in nine pilot towns) have improved, and needed equipment has been provided to District Water and Sanitation Teams (DWSTs), although the application of such skills has been mixed thus far.

  • Spare parts and repair services are available from the private sector to maintain established water supply systems—Key targets were reached, including the establishment of a district-based outlet in Yendi and a regional depot in Tamale. In addition, 14 area mechanics were operating in their target areas, as envisaged. However, limited private sector involvement in the distribution of spare parts remained a major challenge.

  • Provision of 7,000 household latrines—3,143 latrines had been completed as of October 2005, while 1,715 were under construction. The target of 7,000 was likely over-ambitious.

  • 20 small towns in Northern Ghana have access to safe drinking water—Although programming was not initiated to target this result during the programming period, a project will begin in to address it specifically.
In terms of equality between women and men:
  • Approximately 50 percent of those involved in the planning, operation and management of the water systems are women—This result has largely been achieved, as approximately 50 percent of WSDBs WATSANs, and pump caretakers are women. A female systems operator has been trained in each of the nine targeted small-town systems. Many of these positions were historically predominantly male.

  • Capacity of local government bodies for sensitivity in planning and management related to equality between women and men of potable water is increased and participation of women in local government decision making, including potable water programming, is increased—Among CIDA's significant achievements was support for the establishment of the Gender Desk Officer (GDO) network. This contributed to the inclusion of issues of equality between women and men, and women themselves, at the DA level, and GDOs have provided key training in target districts. In addition, the key CIDA initiatives in the sector-the District Capacity Building Project (DISCAP) and the Northern Region Water Sanitation Project (NORWASP)-have been recognized for the successful handling of equality between women and men. However, GDOs are not sufficiently mainstreamed into DA-level bodies and processes. They continue to face challenges in accessing and receiving funds, and the enabling environment for their role is weak.
Some of the major factors that limit the achievement of results included: over-ambitious design in some dimensions of certain projects; unexpectedly low borehole drilling success rates; inadequate pre-implementation assessments and incorporation of key data; unacceptable levels of fluoride found in some boreholes; low level of responsive practices to equality between women and men at the DA level; and inadequate support given by DAs to District Water and Sanitation Teams (DWSTs), District Environmental Health Units (DEHUs) and GDOs. Clearly, CIDA has little control over most of these issues and many of them stemmed from the fact that, at the start of programming, nobody in Ghana had adequate information about water resources in the North. The CIDA Program launched a Hydrological Assessment Project at the end of the CDPF period to address this knowledge gap on behalf of all stakeholders.

Food Security/Agriculture

Major expected results—CIDA's bilateral Food Security Strategy's (1999-2009) program result was "to increase food security in Northern Ghana," with specific outcomes "to promote food, nutrition and income security among the rural people in Northern Ghana through an approach that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable" and "to enhance the capacity of regional, district and local institutions to deliver improved services to address the food security needs of the rural people of Northern Ghana, in particular women." Included among the objectives of CIDA's bilateral Food Security Strategy is: "the empowerment of women and other marginalized groups to fully participate in and benefit from economic and social development."

It should be noted that the bilateral Food Security Strategy takes a balanced approach with respect to the three key components of food security: availability (production of food); access (income generation); and utilization (consumption, storage, transformation, nutrition, food quality and safety). This supports a food system approach, which aims to reinforce technical, institutional, policy and human dimensions of food production, consumption and use. Special attention is paid to sustainable food systems, including the underlying problems of water, soils and the environment. While agricultural programming plays a major role in addressing food insecurity, CIDA considers food security programming within a larger, more integrated context that includes linkages to other sectors, such as health, education, water and sanitation, and is based on a clear understanding of off-farm employment and livelihoods strategies. The survival strategies of the rural poor are increasingly complex, with the result that income-earning activities in both rural and urban areas are frequently inter-related.

The Food Security Program was originally comprised of traditional projects. However, in 2003 it was expanded to include a sector food and agriculture budgetary support (FABS) project to capitalize on work undertaken by the program to move towards a Sector-Wide Approach (SWAP) in Agriculture under an Agency pilot initiative (Track 3-B) and the desire of the Minister, at the time, to test budgetary support programming ($20 M/yr was given to the program for this sector budgetary support initiative).

By 2006 FABS had demonstrated partial results at the immediate outcome and output levels. These included: "progress towards the immediate outcome result of improved and effective sub-sectoral policies"; "promotion of farmer-based organizations (FBOs)"; "collection and provision of timely, reliable and relevant data on agriculture for strategic sectoral purposes". Progress is summarized below.

The projects within the food security program (FSP), including FABS, have concentrated more on the availability pillar of Food Security, to a lesser extent on access, and on utilization only if CIDA multilateral and partnership branches' investments in maternal and child health, school feeding and micronutrients in the three northern regions are considered. In addition, the FSP has really focused on its transformative objectives and to a lesser extent on the practical, near-term food security objectives targeted towards households in the north. CIDA's FSP has also been effective in capitalizing on CIDA changes (Track 3-B, piloting of Budgetary Support) as well as achieving some practical and transformative results although it is early in many cases to conduct a fair and thorough assessment of interventions, many of which began in 2003.

Increasing Food Security in Ghana

The FSP has contributed to the increase in production (availability) of key crops and livestock rearing particularly through the Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support Project however other projects including FARMER (Farmer Driven Research) have also contributed. The access component of FSP included training and research examples in crop diversification, support to the creation of 'off-farm' enterprises and new processing methodologies such as soap production from shea butter. Research through the FARMER program has afforded producers the required capacity to add value to their harvest. An example of this is the development of solar drying of chilli peppers, reducing post-harvest losses and increasing the shelf life of this produce.

Improving Capacity of the Government to Support Pro-Poor Growth through the Agriculture Sector

CIDA has made some useful contributions at the policy and strategic planning levels within the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. CIDA has played a leadership role in policy coordination through the Donor Coordination Desk and the FBO Secretariat. FABS has also supported new "linkages built among levels of government," including a decentralized strategic planning process and the introduction of a management information system and a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system. In addition, FABS has requested that MOFA comply with targets regarding strategic planning (with linkages to the GPRS and FASDEP), and mainstreaming equality between women and men and environment with MOFA investment programming. While the Gender Agriculture Development Strategy (GADS) was developed by MOFA prior to FABS, the FABS targets include development of institutional capacity for implementing GADS and the development of a workplan for its mainstreaming. District-level extension officers in MOFA have been provided with training on mainstreaming of equality between women and men. Data suggests that a number of female officers at district and regional levels are functional in some of CIDA's programming areas.

Regarding the "availability" pillar of food security, key results have been achieved through bilateral programming, CPB programming and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, as well as through sectoral budget support (FABS-funded local initiatives). CIDA has built key capacities, improved farming and agricultural systems and technologies, and catalyzed some income generation at the local level, while also making modest contributions to improved livelihoods, including the following examples:
  • Producer groups in the northern regions were provided with key assistance from the farmer-based organization development fund, with matching grants supporting 108 FBO sub-projects and 299 FBO executives trained by September 2005 (out of a target of 300 for the review period). According to the data collected, approximately 50 percent of FBOs are women's groups. Farm diversification and off-farm enterprises that provide extra income were also found by the evaluation team in areas such as the district of Bawku West.

  • The Research-Extension Linkage Committee system, which is meant to identify adaptive research at the community level, has thus far reached 1,344 female and 1,488 male farmers through project interventions.

  • CIDA also contributed to a 10,000 increase in the number of members in cooperatives-exceeding targets set for the review period—and a 13,500 increase in the number of women belonging to credit unions.

  • In places like Yendi and Cereponi, CIDA CPB projects promoted participatory technology development for low-cost mechanization, and low external-input and sustainable agriculture farming systems. 500 female shea butter producers were supported, and improved income was reported by beneficiaries who were visited in various communities. In Saaka and Yikurugu, capacity building provided through CPB projects resulted in reduced post-harvest loss and increased income for nearly 200 producers (male and female) in the northern regions.

Private Sector Development

Investments in this area were carry-overs from the previous CDPF with no intention, at the program level, to develop this sector further within the current CDPF. These initiatives primarily focused on Medium-Scale and Micro Enterprise Development and have contributed to the development of the bilateral Food Security Program. The CIDA bilateral program complemented its small-farm development emphasis with some modest PSD interventions focused on MSME development. For instance, while the third phase of Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Services (GRATIS III) provided key technology and enterprise management extension services to micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs), support was also provided to the GRATIS Foundation—a major local and regional PSD institution—to become a nexus for appropriate technology development/transfer and for business development services. Through Developing Rural Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship training and enterprise support services are being planned, although little progress had been made at the time of the evaluation.


Major expected results—"to improve central and local governments' capacity to support and sustain an equitable development process." Outcome results included: "improving the capacity of local and central governments to plan and deliver poverty reduction programs," and on "increasing accountability, transparency, and participation in local and central government activities." In terms of addressing equality between women and men, CIDA's initiatives intended to "strengthen the capacity of the GoG to undertake analysis related to equality between women and men, to influence line agencies to integrate concerns related to equality between women and men in policy and planning and to advocate for implementation of existing laws and policies," and to "develop national and district level capacity to identify constraints related to equality between women and men, analyze underlying causes, identify appropriate policies and programming responses, implement and monitor results to address women's priority needs and concerns." It should be noted that the CIDA bilateral governance program was expanded in 2003 to include a general budget support investment (GPRS-BS/MDBS) and support to the budgets of the 34 districts in Ghana's north. Overall spending on governance increased dramatically since 2003.

While some key results were attained in this sector, the achievement of expected results was not always observable, in part because many projects were still early in their implementation phase, and in part because the process of governance reform is slower and sometimes difficult to measure in the short term (as opposed to achievements in water, for example). Additionally, CIDA is addressing many of these results in a harmonized fashion -through initiatives such as MDBS, for instance. Nonetheless, key contributions were made to achieving expected results, which constitute shared successes for which the GoG should also be commended. Results included:
  • GoG spending on education, health and social services increased—GoG made significant increases in the real level of spending on identified poverty-reducing areas and in their relative share of total spending. In real terms, actual spending doubled during the period of MDBS/GPRS-BS delivery (2003-2006), increasing from 28 percent to 35 percent of expenditure. At the district level, direct investments through DAs in District Development Plans for Education, Health and Social Services have also increased, and improvements have been made in the education and health sectors following projects in which CIDA had a part. Significantly more efforts are required to ensure that results achieved so far are sustainable.

  • Capacity for government (and civil society) in the delivery of public services increased—Data from various documents and interviews show that the capacity-building efforts within the DAs are helping to improve service delivery and make more efficient use of resources. However, this continues to be a challenge.

  • The capacity of the Parliamentary Finance Committee and the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee increased—Since 2001, policy making and budget processes have shifted from a nearly exclusive focus on the Executive Branch and the Ministry of Finance (MoFEP) to greater involvement of Parliament and non-state actors. There remain problems of under-resourcing of Parliamentary Committees and time constraints on the budget debate. CIDA has also contributed to increasing the capacity of Ghana's Finance Committee to evaluate budget performance, monitor government actions, improve transparency, and monitor spending and international loan agreements. As strengthening the parliamentary process is challenging, continued efforts are required.

  • The Cabinet approval processes are more efficient and transparent—Several guidelines and tools have been developed with CIDA's assistance through the Central Governance project, but most still need to be used and implemented. At the central budget level, participation of non-state actors and independent research and advocacy organizations in the budget process has increased since 2003. The MoFEP has created entry points for private sector and civil society bodies to provide input into the budget and policy process. These opportunities have been actively taken up by civil society and private sector, with support from organizations like the Canadian Parliamentary Centre, whose inputs now extend well beyond the traditional post-budget analysis.

  • Establishing mandates, roles and functions among policy management bodies—As noted in GPRS II, though improvements have been noted, progress has been slow in this area. Key GoG progress made notwithstanding, slow PSR and limited fiscal devolution feature among the key challenges. The evaluation of MDBS found that it has helped to fill a governance void within the GoG by creating operational structures for sectoral and cross cutting dialogue where none previously existed. This networked scope of policy dialogue covered important cross cutting issues and could not have been reproduced, even through a series of sector arrangements. There has also been an active programme of public financial management reforms, which has introduced changes across a number of areas, notably procurement, internal and external audit, financial management systems, payroll and cash and treasury management. The overall scope and number of reform actions that have been implemented between 2002 and 2006 is exceptional and suggests a Government commitment to an effective PFM system. On the other hand, reform implementation has been slow and there are signs that political commitment is fluctuating and incomplete and that there are underlying weaknesses in the civil service.
The District Wide Assistance Project (DWAP) is also credited with key contributions during the period, and although implementation is only halfway through, it is assessed as being on track to achieve expected outcomes. It is achieving results on two fronts. First, the DWAP is contributing to the reduction of poverty through the financing of small-scale social infrastructure projects, which have a direct bearing on building local government capacities to deliver basic services to poor communities. Second, by providing resources to district governments with maximum freedom of investment choice, but within a strict culture of compliance with government regulations, the DWAP is contributing to the empowerment of district level government in Ghana and to strengthening GoG decentralization processes.

The participation of women as elected representatives has increased from 9 percent to 11 percent at the national level and from 4 percent to 7 percent at the DA level.15 Albeit indirectly, and alongside other efforts, CIDA has helped through funding to the Ghana Electoral Commission that focused on educating women about participation in the electoral process and bringing women's issues to the political agenda.

Cross-cutting Themes

Cross-cutting priorities for the Ghana bilateral program between 1999-2005 were equality between women and men and environment.

Equality between Women and Men

The evaluation found that most projects could have made better provisions, such as specific action plans and budgets, for addressing equality between women and men. However the program has two gender specialists on staff in the field and in the process of articulating a strategy on equality between women and men and a related tool kit, which should address this deficit.

Expected results from key projects that target capacity building related to equality between women and men, budgeting and performance were not fully achieved, and the issue of mainstreaming of equality between women and men into district level decision-making remains a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. Still, there are opportunities to continue to make progress on the issue, for example by implementing the MoFA's Gender and Agricultural Development Strategy and related triggers in the policy environment, as well as through other policy mechanisms such as MDBS, and by continuing to support the local gender desks officers of the Ministry of Women and Children (MOWAC). However, it should be noted that during the CDPF period, the Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) was established. This is notable, as it enabled a deepening of the Ministry's involvement in sector wide work related to the welfare of women and children. GoG funding to MOWAC has increased a bit but has remained quite small. Indeed, in many cases, equality between women and men remains a low priority for the GoG, in particular in the North.


While CIDA has succeeded in achieving some environmentally-related results in food security/agriculture programming through contributions made to more sustainable farming and land management, as well as through successful water and sanitation initiatives, the issue has not been mainstreamed or sufficiently addressed by the programming during the review period. The program experienced significant challenges in terms of conducting environmental assessment (EA), in particular as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for EA of initiatives, does not have adequate capacity to carry out this mandate. The CIDA bilateral program began the development of a program level Strategic Environmental Assessment in 2006-07.

With regard to budget support at central and sector levels, it should be noted that the GoG's budget guidelines for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) were revised in 2005-06 to include equality between women and men, environment and HIV/AIDS as priorities under the GPRS II.

4.3 Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness

In assessing efficiency, the resource use and timeliness of delivery, synergy and complementarity between CIDA's bilateral program and other DP programs, coherence among CIDA branch delivery mechanisms, and aspects related to program management—including adaptive management, collaboration and partnerships, and the utilization of M&E tools and approaches were considered.

In terms of resources, the Ghana Program had an approximate annual budget of $62.0 million in 2006-07, which was delivered by a core staff of 12, of which 8 are based at Headquarters (HQ) in Canada and 4 at the Canadian High Commission in Accra, Ghana. The approximate annual O&M costs (salaries for the 12 staff plus other administrative expenses for travel and professional services, etc) amount to about $1.4 million. As demonstrated by Table 2, Ghana's program performed comparatively well to other CIDA programs, the Africa branch as a whole, as well as the Agency itself.

The Ghana HQ core staff is supported on an "as needed basis" by some additional shared resources within the Africa Branch (e.g. specialists in areas of environment, equality between women and men, contracting, etc). The field-based Canadian staff are supported by 3 locally engaged staff in the High Commission and a Program Support Unit with 7 cooperants hired as advisors in the different thematic areas of programming such as agriculture, equality between women and men, decentralization/governance, public finance management and planning.
Table 2—Comparative Disbursements in 2006-07 (Direct costs)16

  Aid ($)17 Total Direct Costs (O&M) Ratio direct O&M/Aid Budget
Ghana18 $62,047,000 $1,405,641 2.3%
Tanzania19 $37,299,000 $1,102,638 3.0%
Mali $49,304,000 $1,299,780 2.6%
Africa Branch $582,994,000 $32,997,132 5.7%

Some key findings are outlined below:
  • The portfolio's financial management was sound. In light of the results achieved at local, district, regional, and national levels with the budget at hand; the program should be seen as providing a high degree of "value for money." Appropriate technology choices in food security/agriculture programming and water also contributed to an efficient utilisation of resources.

  • Timeliness of delivery was an issue with several traditional bilateral project initiatives because of: delays with implementation start-up; problems with contractors; and procurement issues or disbursement delays. New partnership/management arrangements and delivery mechanisms were utilized during the review period, so a certain degree of time lags and learning were to be expected. Key lessons were learned that may improve future efficiency.

  • With respect to general and sector budgetary support interventions, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) staff stated that, in relation to the value of disbursements, they believed transaction costs to government to be significantly lower than for projects and common basket funds.

  • A significant challenge to efficient (and more effective) overall CIDA management (not just bilateral management) is of a corporate nature. As coordinated programming approach between branches was often not actively pursued, there appears to be a lack of complementarity and coherent linkages between bilateral and non-bilateral projects in achieving bilateral program objectives, leading to a lack of internal coherence across CIDA programming in Ghana. This is a corporate issue as the different CIDA branches generally operate independently (as no decision has been taken to operate otherwise), and are only minimally consulted during CIDA CDPF preparation processes. Programming is generally not harmonized among branches or delivery mechanisms, to ensure coherent and complementary collaboration aimed at achieving program results. For instance, although CPB projects must contribute to Canadian priorities for Ghana in order to receive funding, they are not accepted or rejected on the basis of complementarity with the existing programs of other branches per se, or used effectively to fill key gaps or target beneficiaries that would otherwise receive inadequate attention.

  • Overall, the increased use of program based approaches was assessed as being generally positive, thanks to close collaboration among DPs, and CIDA's active participation and leadership in DP coordinating groups in sectors like agriculture and water. Under MDBS, increased coordination and harmonization with other DPs should also lead to increased efficiency in program delivery. Synergies and complementarities could be improved in some areas. For instance, in the water sector, the number and size of DP programs has increased in CIDA target regions, and continued efforts in coordination are required to ensure complementarity, enhance synergy, and reduce duplication.

Program Management

The more decentralized management structure, with the Program Director in the field office, appears to have served the bilateral program well. Instrumental to this success has been the good communication between CHC and HQ senior management, supported by a clear division of roles. The PSU is generally seen as efficient in program support and service delivery, including key advisory services. Program staff at all levels should be commended for the efficient and particularly adaptive and flexible manner with which the move to new approaches and delivery mechanisms has unfolded. Although some efficiency was gained with the move to budget support, such as lower transaction costs, evidence suggests that it was also at a high cost to program staff. Beyond staffing numbers, the shift has implications on staff requirements, administrative work, and program consultancy requirements. In the field, the need is increasingly being felt for sector specific and public financial management knowledge and for a greater focus on diplomacy and negotiation in addition to project and program management expertise. There is likely to be even more focus on longer-term cooperants to provide adequate backstopping to senior counterparts in various ministries that implement or prepare budget support schemes, and this requires adequate preparation in the field.
Overall, M&E systems and tools feature among the more challenging aspects for the program. Significant gaps were found in the development and utilization of indicators related to specific expected results for the sectoral programs, and no PMF (including indicators) was utilized for the overall program, although this was not a CIDA requirement at the time of development of the last CDPF.

4.4 Impacts

Canadian added value to Ghana exists at a number of levels. Canada is recognized for its support to poverty reduction through consideration of aspects such as focus in the northern areas (which are the poorest parts of the country), the agriculture sector, equality between women and men, and good governance.

Given that Canadian ODA is approximately 4 percent of the total ODA flows to Ghana (e.g. 4 percent of an estimated US$1.3 billion in 2007), CIDA's investment effectively uses Canadian public funds and brings value-for-money not only by strategically pooling funds with other donors and channelling them through the budget system, but also through leveraging and influence within the policy environment.

CIDA also strategically engages in policy discussions, such as food insecurity and regional inequalities. Policy dialogue activities, help Canada leverage its aid through policy influence, analytical support, and monitoring of progress. CIDA participates in joint GoG/development partners working groups in areas such as Public Financial Management (PFM), Public Sector Reform (PSR), governance, decentralization, agriculture, environment, equality between women and men, and monitoring and evaluation.

This overall CIDA approach occurs within the context of donor coordination and harmonization, and consists of program-based approaches plus other complementary initiatives. It enables Canada to play a role in the ongoing development of Ghana, while the country directs and steers the course in realizing its development agenda.

The bilateral program has succeeded in achieving some modest impacts in Ghana between 1999 and 2005. With respect to governance, however, at the time of the evaluations it was still too early to observe impacts in most areas, although improvements in service delivery were evident in the Ghanaian society at large.

With respect to education, for example, Ghana's national Gross Primary Enrolment Ratio increased from 85.7 percent in 2002-2003 to 86.3 percent in 2003-2004. The northern regions in particular exceeded their 2005 targets. Data suggest that measures for bridging the gap between girls and boys in school enrolments yielded positive results, though the pace has been slow. There could be a correlation between such improved statistics and CIDA programming, through modest contributions made to increase social spending (i.e. governance programming), and through contributions made at the community level in water programming. Data collected in the field confirmed that improvements in water availability have allowed more women and children in various communities to attend school. In addition, the passing and initial implementation of three public financial management reform bills (i.e., the Financial Administration Act 2003, the Internal Audit Act 2003, and the Public Procurement Act 2003) suggests that accountability and transparency may be improving.

With respect to food security/agriculture sector programming, some impacts to be expected from CIDA's efforts for household food security for poor farmers, for improved rural livelihoods of both women and men, and for improved food affordability in the North were generally demonstrated (alongside others). However, because most programming only began in 2002-2003, it is still too early to perform an in-depth assessment of the impacts of many sectoral interventions.

In the water sector, building on its previous efforts over a period of nearly 40 years, CIDA can be regarded as part of an "elite" group that lays claim to the achievement of key (longer-term) impacts in terms of safe/potable water provision and, to a lesser extent, sanitation (i.e., latrines), in particular for communities in the northern regions. It is estimated that 57,300 additional people now have access to safe water through the 1999-2005 CIDA programming. Access to safe water in the northern regions has increased by about 2.7 percent, a success to which CIDA's efforts have clearly contributed through initiatives undertaken during the review period. The increase in access is highlighted in the diagrams below: Diagram 3 shows the increase in the number of boreholes with time, while Diagram 4 depicts how the corresponding coverage also changed with time.

Diagram 3

Source: CWSA, 2005.

Diagram 4

Source: CWSA, 2005.

In terms of the program's overall impact on poverty reduction, various sources point to key impacts and progress made on a national scale in Ghana. Such broad national impacts cannot be solely or directly attributed to CIDA programming, but are worth mentioning since poverty reduction was central to the CDPF20.

The results of the fifth round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS5), undertaken in 2005/06 and released in May 2007, revealed a 11 percent drop in the national poverty rate and a 9 percent drop in the national extreme poverty rate between 1999-2000 and 2005-06. Thus, there was a dramatic decline in poverty over the implementation period of the bilateral program. This positive result was tempered by increasing inequality. Nevertheless this poverty reduction likely reached more people than an earlier reduction in the 1990s as the GLSS5 reports that poverty declined in every region of Ghana except the Upper West. It is reasonable to conclude that CIDA's bilateral program contributed to this poverty reduction, through investments such as budget support, which increased the scope for a more conducive growth-enhancing environment and more responsive service delivery. For example, GoG spending on poverty reducing areas more than doubled in real terms between 2002 and 2005, increasing from 28 percent to 35 percent of total expenditure. However, given that the field work for the evaluations occurred before the GLSS 5, the evaluations did not fully explore the links between CIDA's programming in Ghana, and Ghana's steady GDP growth and large reduction in poverty levels.

4.5 Sustainability

Sustainability was assessed in terms of characteristics such as the appropriateness of technology choices, local ownership and commitment, the policy environment, and recurrent financing and the capacity to continue.

CIDA employed several effective strategies to build prospects for the sustainability of key initiatives. In the water sector, for example, the water supply technology choices made by CIDA are in line with national guidelines and will generally enhance the sustainability of facilities, as they are relatively easy for community caretakers to maintain and repair, with the support of area mechanics. In addition, CIDA initiatives focused extensively on capacity building at both community levels (e.g., WATSANs, Hygiene Volunteers) and district levels (e.g., DWSTs, GDOs, DEHUs), as well as in the private sector (e.g., pump caretakers, area mechanics), which bodes well for sustaining improved management of community and district-level water systems. In the food security/agriculture sector, although early on in implementation, CIDA program resources concentrated on small-scale, low external-input, ecologically-sustainable farming systems and membership-driven producer associations to encourage village-based, low-risk commercial activity to increase rural employment, incomes and prospects for food security. In addition, FABS has begun a process of strengthening MOFA program planning at national and regional levels and current efforts in the area of budget planning and strategic action planning may lead to long-term improvements in capacity for effective and efficient sector management. However, sustainability challenges in these areas remain and include:
  • A shortage of GoG financing in the water sector, as about 95 percent of the funding comes from DPs;

  • The lack of a finalized policy and of clear, coherent strategies for water management at all levels continues to inhibit comprehensive sustainable management for the sector overall. This issue is also related to a lack of DA commitment to water issues and to the required support for entities such as DWSTs and GDOs;

  • The need for a continued focus on the overall sustainability of the resources from an environmental perspective;

  • For food security/agriculture results to be sustainable and to serve as a stepping stone, there is a need to build the sustainability of FBOs and producer groups by addressing more directly marketing capacity and market linkages overall. The sustainability of sectoral programming could be enhanced with well-planned commodity supply chains that will supply the required farm incomes to encourage longer-term farm improvements.
MDBS/GPRS-BS remains a strong element of CIDA's governance program, as it supports the strengthening of GoG management in a range of sectors and areas, including public financial management, PSR and decentralization-to name a few. This work has a direct impact on reform and improvements from ministries down to districts. The continued release of funds based on agreed-upon triggers suggests that the GoG is making ongoing progress, which should be commended. One should also note the results of a recent Public Finance Review that gave the GoG average to above-average scores for public finance management transparency21.

In addressing sustainability, it is important to consider whether the effects and impacts of budget support investments will be durable. Sustained processes of institutional change are clearly of far greater value than the benefits of more transient changes. There were three types of changes generated by MDBS: flow of funds effects resulting from the injection of funds; policy effects resulting from the influence of policy dialogue and conditionality and institutional effects resulting from influence over planning, budgeting, monitoring and decision making.

In terms of flow of funds effects, the MDBS permitted a faster reduction in the domestic debt stock and a moderately higher level of public spending. Regardless of whether the MDBS continues, the domestic debt stock and hence the interest rate on Treasury Bills will both be lower than they would have been in its absence. Given the GoG's fiscal strategy, it seems reasonable to assume that the control over domestic borrowing levels will be sustained at least until after the 2008 elections. Additionally, since MDBS flows have been relatively small in scale (about 10 percent of budget spending) expanding revenues could more easily replace them.

On the question of policy effects, the package of policy and reforms covered by MDBS dialogue and the MDBS Performance Assessment Framework (PAF) have been drawn from the GoG's poverty reduction strategy and the GoG's ownership of these. The fact that ownership has been respected suggests that any effects in terms of selecting policies or the speed of their implementation are likely to be sustained, at least as long as the present administration remains in power.

The sustainability outlook for institutional and process effects is less favourable. For example, the establishment of the PAF matrix as a tool for prioritizing reform efforts and measuring progress and a related structure of core and sector groups filled a policy vacuum within the GoG and created opportunities for cross sectoral dialogue where none existed. There are concerns, however, over whether this has been the right way to fill the policy management vacuum. Over time, it will be better if domestic reform design and management roles played by the PAF are taken up by the budget/MTEF and GPRS design and review structures. This would imply a stronger role for the GPRS annual progress reporting and the MTEF and budget processes as well as a greater emphasis on the roles of the GoG and CSO stakeholders. The purpose would be to convert these into GoG structures for sectoral budgetary and policy formulation and monitoring, in which donors might act as observers.

With a view to PSR and continued decentralization, the ministry responsible for PSR will need further capacity building, while regional-level entities will require adequate budgets and human resources to carry out their increasing mandates. Continued GoG commitment to fiscal devolution is also critical to the sustainability of progress made. Decentralization and reform also require that all levels of society take an active part in developing and implementing relevant strategies. So far, however, although key Ghanaian and Canadian stakeholders note that it is more effective in integrating equality between women and men into the dialogue, the process leading to GPRS II still lacks structured and meaningful participation and dialogue with the civil society overall. This deficiency undermines the potential for sustainability of plans and strategies that are being developed, and of results that are expected to trickle down from these initiatives.

To sustain progress made with regards to equality between women and men, the strengthening and adequate provision of support for MOWAC will remain of central importance in Ghana. Evidence suggests that MOWAC has inadequate resources and staffing, and support has not been provided to implement the Strategic Plan. CIDA has voiced its concern on this issue, along with other DPs, in particular relation to the MDBS matrix. The lack of understanding on the part of politicians and civil servants of what mainstreaming of equality between women and men entails needs to be addressed, and capacity building for needs related to equality between women and men to move beyond awareness-raising and sensitivity training in order to provide key skills for action and implementation.

4.6 Risks and Mitigation

There are key operational, fiduciary and development risks associated with CIDA's programming in Ghana. Some of these are already being mitigated adequately, while others require further attention in future programming.

Notwithstanding strong arguments against the traditional "projectized approach", as CIDA now has about 62 percent of its annual bilateral aid budget going through general and sector budget support in Ghana (MDBS and FABS), there are risks associated with these new modalities that should be monitored. The issue of corruption remains a potential issue related to risk, and there are mixed findings on this issue. On the one hand, the allegations of political corruption—as witnessed in the recent downward trend on the Corruption Index of Transparency International—have implications for CIDA's management of risks. On the other, a recent report suggests that "despite a general recognition that the fiduciary risk environment in Ghana is one of high [to medium] risk, the presence of a credible reform program to address public financial management systems provides reasonable assurances of safeguards being in place for mitigating the actual level of risk perceived by donors DFID22." Another risk area that requires monitoring is the balance between budget support flows and self-generated GoG fiscal receipts. It should be noted that this risk declined during the period under consideration as revenues increased while the MDBS declined as a percentage of total GOG budget spending. Lastly, another key challenge in the future may have to do with the ability of DPs, such as CIDA, to find developmentally efficient and sustainable alternatives for swift utilization of their unused budget support performance tranches. This risk should be weighed against the challenges to traditional project disbursements related to the time that it takes CIDA to identify, plan, approve, contract and implement traditional projects. This process can stall disbursements for years. On balance, on the Ghana program, disbursements through direct support to Ghanaian budgets have been far more reliable than disbursements through traditional projects. Technical assistance is still required to continue to build GoG capacity in public sector reform, fiscal resource mobilization and financial management (among other areas), needs that are being addressed under relatively coherent multi donor programming. Hence, CIDA's budget support should continue to be considered as one of several potential delivery mechanisms under a sectoral governance program, though in terms of disbursement volume, it should continue to be the primary mechanism.

The Program has demonstrated an awareness of the above-mentioned risks, and has put in place a number of mitigation strategies to address some of them, including:
  • The use of a number of performance-based assessment and reporting mechanisms and processes—Audits and annual verification reviews are in place, as is the use of monitors and quarterly missions and associated reporting. Policy matrices guide monitoring and reporting, centering on triggers and targets for performance assessment and allocation of funds, policy reforms, mainstreaming of critical issues, and the development of M&E capacity.

  • A "three-tiered approach" to "on budget" support—MDBS is intended to impact on economic reforms at the national level, and FABS is a sectorally focused initiative to help ensure that policies and procedures dealing with food security and agriculture are addressed, while providing support within the overall macro context23. In this context, DWAP, while not technically pure "budget support", is on budget funding which flows through a District Assembly Common Fund, and is earmarked for the poorer northern districts. It is intended to provide better insurance that developmental benefits and impacts will flow to the poor at the local and district level.

  • The use of a mix of delivery mechanisms—These include "traditional" and "enhanced traditional" projects, as well as budget support. Indeed, CIDA's bilateral program still utilizes projects in tandem with its budget support endeavours. The continued utilization of traditional projects as part of the mix can be considered as another form of risk mitigation in this context—in particular to build the capacity required for faster PSR and public financial management improvements (among other areas) with the GoG, as complements to budget support programming.

  • The use of risk-based audit frameworks, and results-based management and accountability frameworks to ensure the proper use of aid funds through budget support modalities.
In sum, though the implementation of PBAs and new aid modalities like budget support will continue to require due diligence, the Program continues to strengthen its risk management framework and approaches generally, and recognizes that risk analysis and management play an important role with respect to PBAs.

In the food security/agriculture sector, operational risks identified as part of the evaluation included the need for monitoring of CIDA technical assistance to ensure the effectiveness of sectoral budget support, as well as the limited capacity in MOFA and the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Department to harmonize DP contributions and monitor utilization of sectoral program funds. Indeed, along with other initiatives directed at building capacity in these areas, CIDA's placements of key specialists inside MOFA act as mitigation to this risk, but further emphasis on capacity building to address the above will be required

With regards to water sector programming, key operational and fiduciary risks to be accounted for include the lack of adequate data and assessment in the continued emphasis on borehole and well drilling. CIDA's Hydrological Assessment Project serves to mitigate this risk well in the next programming period. Resource sustainability and water quality present key development risks, and integration of ongoing monitoring-including the required capacity building at the local level—could help to ensure that this risk is mitigated further in future programming.

5.0 Conclusions, Lessons and Recommendations

5.1 Overall Conclusions

The evaluation findings suggest that CIDA's program in Ghana continued to make positive contributions to the development of Ghana in its areas of focus during the 1999-2005 period. In particular, there was a dramatic decline in Ghana's poverty rate, and CIDA programming contributed to this success with poverty reduction as a central component of the CPDF. The evaluation found that, during the period under review, the program has addressed relevant needs, and has achieved a significant portion of its expected results, particularly in key sectors such as food security/agriculture and water. The portfolio's financial management was sound and in light of the results achieved at the local, district, regional, and national levels with the budget at hand, the program provided good "value for money."

The Program should be commended for demonstrating flexibility and the ability to adapt and respond well to the evolving development context in Ghana, shifting to new approaches and aid modalities. It further serves to highlight Canada's leadership among development partners, both in the increasingly harmonized and coordinated aid environment. The decentralized management structure appears to have served the bilateral program well. Instrumental to this success has been the good communication between CHC and HQ senior management, supported by a clear division of roles. Program staff were able to be efficient, adaptive and flexible in the move to new approaches and delivery mechanisms, and the increased use of program based approaches was assessed as being generally positive, thanks in part to close collaboration among DPs, and CIDA's active participation and leadership in DP coordinating groups in sectors like agriculture and water.

Program management has also demonstrated a good awareness of the risks, and has put in place a number of mitigation strategies to address some of them, including the use of a mix of delivery mechanisms which include "traditional" and "enhanced traditional" projects, as well as budget support through a "three-tiered approach" to "on budget" funding involving instruments at the national (MDBS), sectoral (FABS) and district (DWAP) levels, the latter earmarked for the poorer northern districts to provide better insurance that developmental benefits and impacts flow to the poor at the local and district level.

The above notwithstanding, significant challenges remain in areas such as mainstreaming equality between women and men and environmental consideration in initiatives in governance, and in ensuring sustainability. Timeliness of delivery also continues to be an issue with some traditional bilateral project initiatives on account of delays with implementation start-up, problems with contractors, and procurement issues or disbursement delays.

The successes and more challenging aspects both highlight key opportunities for learning in a changing context, and should inform the next phase of the program without taking away from CIDA's achievements to date. Indeed, any underlined challenges should help CIDA build on its successes, while allowing the whole of the Agency to learn from this "pioneering program" in many ways.

5.2 Lessons

Some of the key lessons that emerged through the evaluation include the following:

Regarding the overall program

  • Country programming delivered through different branches and delivery mechanisms can be made more effective by enhancing coordination, to ensure coherence among branches and delivery mechanisms both in terms of planning and implementation, and by seeking out complementarity and synergy between branches and delivery mechanisms on the ground. Lack of such coordination means that key opportunities can be missed.

Regarding aid modalities and delivery mechanisms

  • As one of the modalities under PBAs, budget support can bring efficiency gains in development aid management overall, and for governments in managing the development agenda. At the same time, budget support puts a greater burden on DP program staff, due to the elimination of intermediaries such as CEAs and the added focus on public finance management and policy dialogue, which require different expertise. The introduction of budget support must thus be accompanied by the right set of skills in program management and policy dialogue and adequate human resources allocation.

Regarding specific sectoral programming

  • In light of the lessons above, budget support can only be seen as one of the potential modalities that will allow for the implementation of a program. Different building blocks of a sound sector strategy are likely to require different delivery mechanisms to ensure effectiveness and efficiency

  • In Ghana, the DA's role can be critical for ensuring some degree of complementarity among DP initiatives in sectors such as water and environment within particular districts. Working with and through district-level entities can provide good opportunities for addressing environmental management challenges at the local level. "DAs as custodians of the local environmental resources offer a good forum for the involvement of people and their communities in pursuing development without destroying the resource base. Indeed DAs will be the organ through which national policies and programs on the environment will be translated into action at the local and district levels Environmental Protection Council. 24."

  • Significant benefits can potentially be reaped in terms of effectiveness and efficiency in water programming in the North of Ghana by:

    • improving harmonization, coherence and complementarity between CIDA's water initiatives among and within the different branches of programming (such as between CPB and AMEB), as well as between delivery mechanisms in order to reduce overlap, enhance synergy, and best target beneficiaries;
    • building on potential inter-sectoral linkages in programming among CIDA projects in the same region (in particular with food security/agriculture initiatives), in order to improve environmental sustainability; and
    • continuing to enhance planning, coordination and implementation with other DPs and large NGOs active in the same region(s), as the number and size of assistance in the sector and region(s) continues to grow, and as potential for enhanced synergy exists.

  • Capacity-building for equality between women and men and related issues goes beyond sensitivity and awareness training. Indeed, an integrated approach can include the implementation of skills acquisition, the identification of further training needs, the provision of needed resources, addressing institutional challenges, and other approaches to capacity building (such a mentoring, networking and impact monitoring).

5.3 Recommendations

  • A Results Framework for the new CDPF: As part of an enhanced focus on monitoring and managing for results at the program level, it is recommended that a Results Framework encompassing the expected program results, with appropriate performance indicators and data collection strategies to collect the necessary baseline and performance data at key points, be developed and put in place for the next CDPF. The inclusion and monitoring of emerging risks should be an integral part of this important management tool.

  • Mix of Traditional Projects with Budget Support and other Program-based Modalities - In the context of continuing general and/or sectoral budget support and other Program-based modalities with the GoG and other DPs, there is still a place for traditional projects as a complementarity programming modality to reach target groups and intended beneficiaries in areas that are difficult to reach with such modalities, or for initiatives not specifically covered in those modalities. Non-bilateral initiatives could be considered within the context of the next CDPF, which may play a useful role outside of the bilateral strategy, for example in raising Canadian visibility. An integrated framework encompassing both non-bilateral and bilateral initiatives may better guide program-level evaluations. It is therefore recommended that the Ghana Program continue to take advantage of opportunities that utilize traditional projects, both as a complementary programming mechanism and as a key risk mitigation strategy in the utilization of these aid modalitiesthe latter through further capacity building with relevant GOG ministries and institutions, in areas such as procurement, public financial management, monitoring and reporting.

  • Governance: Ghana continues to make progress in this area, albeit slowly. Bearing in mind that this is a rather sensitive area which is highly influenced by the cultural and political fabric of the society, changes are likely to be slow and programming in a way that respects country ownership is likely to be very challenging, requiring patience and perseverance. If programming efforts by donors in the area are to be effective, they must not be seen as purely technical responses to such issues, which are often highly sensitive. In order to sustain CIDA's efforts in the governance sector in Ghana, it is recommended that the Program develop a clearly articulated approach, which selectively focuses on strategic aspects such as the policy and enabling environment, including a decentralization component, in line with the NDAP. Continued policy dialogue with the GoG and other DPs would also need to be an essential component.

  • Cross-cutting ThemeEquality between Women and Men: In the context of the GoG's low priority accorded to equality between women and men, the Ghana Program's commitment to Budget Support and other Program-Based Approaches would require a continuing vigilance by CIDA to ensure a balance in the Program's portfolio between the more macro-level support and specific initiatives to advance equality between women and men. It is therefore recommended that the Program develop a carefully articulated strategy on equality between women and men, taking into consideration the need to mainstream equality between women and men at various levels in the country, opportunities to build the capacity of selected key ministries and institutions that can facilitate this, and possibilities of pooling resources and coordinating efforts with other like-minded DPs for specific equality between women and men investments.

  • Cross-cutting ThemeEnvironment: With an increasing population and a growing economy that is largely rural and agriculturally-based, the pressures on an already fragile environment and concerns about managing this growth in a sustainable way are likely to become even more intense. It is recommended that the Program pay greater attention to the environmental sustainability of CIDA interventions in Ghana by mainstreaming environmental considerations in all its interventions through the use of available tools such as Environmental Impact Assessments and opportunities for pursuing inter-sectoral linkages in its areas of programming (such as food security/agriculture and water).

  • Early Scheduling of Joint Evaluations: As programming is undertaken more jointly with the GoG and other Development Partners, there is a need to evaluate together. As with joint programming, joint evaluations require significant up-front planning and coordination, and should be considered at an early stage when discussions about the joint programming among the partners are taking place. It is therefore recommended that the CIDA Program take the lead in initiating discussions with the GoG and DPs about the scope and scheduling of possible joint evaluations early in the process when joint programming initiatives are being planned. The Evaluation Division would be a useful resource for needed advice and support in this process.

6.0 Management Response

Overall management response to the evaluation report (in a corporate context):

  • Brief introduction about the utility of the report:
    The Ghana Program has found the report to be useful. Many of the observations were known to the Program before the evaluation was undertaken. This is to be expected because the depth of knowledge of program staff about the issues and challenges should usually be greater than is possible for an external evaluation team. Nevertheless, the evaluation provided a third party perspective, highlighted some of these challenges, gave the Program reason to reconsider and reassess some of its operations and orientations and served to reassure the program of the validity of its approach. In that context, it helped the Program team to refocus, better define and articulate its objectives, its internal linkages, its architecture and its approaches.

  • Acceptance of the findings and recommendations:
    Generally, the program agrees with the findings and recommendations. As indicated below, the Program is moving forward to implement most of the recommendations to the degree that they make sense in the local context. However, the Program Management does not agree that traditional project mechanisms are necessarily effective risk mitigation strategies. The Program Management feels that the relative risk of direct budget support vs traditional project support could have received more attention. In the experience of the Ghana program, it would be difficult to conclude that traditional projects are less risky than budgetary support programming in the context of disbursements, cost effectiveness, local ownership or sustainable results. A comparative analysis of these risks, perhaps in a broader context than the Ghana program, might give very interesting results.
Recommendations Commitments / Actions Responsibility Centre Target Completion Date Status
As part of an enhanced focus on monitoring and managing for results at the program level, it is recommended that a Results Framework encompassing the expected program results, with appropriate performance indicators and data collection strategies to collect the necessary baseline and performance data at key points, be developed and put in place for the next CDPF. The inclusion and monitoring of emerging risks should be an integral part of this important management tool.
1.a Agree with this recommendation. It is now contained in CIDA's draft CDFP guidelines.

1.b Under the Ghana 2007-2015 CDPF the program will monitor and manage results through a Performance Measurement Framework that identifies key indicators for program results. These CDPF results flow up from sector strategies, which in turn, flow from Ghana's goals and targets.

Where feasible and logical, CIDA will use local systems for measuring broad progress against key results. Some results, such as control of corruption, for example, will be monitored through international indicators and surveys such as Afrobarometer and the Ghana Integrity Initiative. The broad information will be augmented by ongoing information emanating from monitoring and evaluation of individual program initiatives. Each spring, information from CIDA's investment level results will be reviewed alongside progress monitoring at the national and sector levels and integrated into an annual report for the program. Each fall, at a retreat, the Ghana program team will review progress against results and lessons learned and make adjustments to results, indicators and programming.

At the CDPF implementation mid-way point (about 2010-11) the program will undertake an internal reassessment of the Ghanaian environment and results to date, the program risk profile and management strategy. Adjustments will be made to the CDPF, if required.
Ghana Program Deputy Director, Planning and Programming and Ghana Country Program Analyst. First reporting against results in draft 2007-2015 PMF commences Spring 2008.

Session at Fall 2008 program retreat on performance.

Ongoing annually.

CDPF internal review in 2010-11.
Draft Program and Sector PMFs in place.
In the context of continuing general and/or sector budget support and other Program-based modalities with the GoG and other donors there is still a place for traditional projects as a complementary programming modality to reach target groups and intended beneficiaries in areas that are difficult to reach with such modalities, or for initiatives not specifically covered in those modalities. It is therefore recommended that the Ghana Program continue to take advantage of opportunities that utilize traditional projects, both as complementary programming mechanism and as a key risk mitigation strategy in the utilization of these aid modalities - the latter through further capacity building with relevant GoG ministries and institutions, in areas such as procurement, public financial management, monitoring and reporting.
2.a Agree.

The Program agrees that there is still a place for traditional projects as a programming modality. The program takes this recommendation into consideration in the context of the state of overall donor coordination and harmonization in Ghana and the state of donor-government interaction. The rationale for the use of traditional projects to address "areas that are difficult to reach" has to be balanced with the ever-growing genuine Ghanaian leadership and ownership of their development agenda and the need for Ghanaians to invest in these "difficult to reach" areas themselves. Traditional projects, and even more so policy dialogue, can help bring attention to certain issues (e.g. regional inequalities between north and south), but the country is leading its development agenda and targeting "difficult to reach" areas on their own volition.

2.b All this said, the Ghana program feels it is important to have some balance in our programming portfolio and to use a limited variety of complementary delivery modalities. Current planned traditional and pooled-traditional investments include: projects aligned with Government sector strategies (e.g. Central Governance Project II); projects that provide technical assistance to Government and non-state actors; and investments that support the capacity and role of independent governance institutions and civil society. Moving forward, it will be critical for CIDA not to duplicate what other donors are supporting but rather to rely on their capacity when it is more efficient and effective to do so.
Ghana Program Director and Deputy Directors, Ghana PTLs,
Project Team Planning members
Ongoing for new projects as per the CDPF pipeline. Approvals in process.
In order to sustain CIDA's efforts in the governance sector in Ghana, it is recommended that the Program develop a clearly articulated approach which selectively focuses on strategic aspects such as the policy and enabling environment, including a decentralization component, in line with the National Decentralization Action Plan. Continued policy dialogue with the GoG and other donors would also need to be an essential component.
3.a Agree that the Program should have a clearly articulated governance approach. A revised governance strategy with a PMF is nearing completion. The focus of this strategy is being determined through dialogue with both state and non-state actors and donor colleagues.

3.b In the 2007-2015 CDPF the emphasis on good governance as both a separate sector and as an imbedded element of the other two focus sectors will increase. The Program's shift towards supporting country-owned strategies and delivery systems has highlighted the importance of good governance. This implies ensuring that Ghana is a capable state - accountable to its citizens and operating under the rule of law - and that the entities representing citizens are knowledgeable participants and in policy and spending decisions, capable partners in program delivery and credible monitors of performance.

Under its governance program, CIDA will incorporate a number of GoG strategies for improved governance, including Ghana's updated Decentralization Policy, its Public Sector Reform Strategy, a Public Financial Management Work Program and its Gender and Children Policy. Enhanced civic engagement is a Ghana Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy priority that the program will support by contributing to civil society and capacity building initiatives.
Governance is a sector where the potential for synergy with other CIDA and DFAIT support channels (as well as with other donor and GoG programmes) is particularly strong.
Program Director; Governance Team Leader and the Governance Team members Draft Governance Strategy due March 31, 2008 Draft Strategy and PMF about to be submitted to Director.
It is recommended that the Program develop a carefully articulated Gender Equality Strategy taking into consideration the need to mainstream GE at various levels in the country, opportunities to build the capacity of selected key ministries and institutions that can facilitate this and possibilities of pooling resources and coordinating efforts with other like-minded donor for specific GE investments.
4.a Agree.

4.b Equality between women and men is a cross cutting theme under the 2007-2015 CDPF.

4.c The program has developed an internal Strategy for equality between Women and Men to comprehensively articulate the issues and approaches to this cross cutting theme. This features: a program-led GE PMF, a practical GE tool key and the roles and responsibilities and accountability of all CIDA staff, as well as Canadian and local partners. Gender results have been integrated into the draft CDPF and Sector Strategy PMFs. The Program will adopt a two-pronged approach to the integration of gender issues at the organizational and operational levels. First, gender will be integrated into the design and implementation of all initiatives and within that, gender will be directly targeted though specific initiatives and resources for equality between women and men. Second, there will be a continued strong focus on policy and budget support dialogue which will focus on providing support for equality as a category for analysis, inclusion and measurement as well as for equitable polices and fair distribution of GoG resources. Another element of the program will be the inclusion of gender targeted programming that complements the main program foci
Program Director, all Project Managers and field representatives, Sector Advisors and two GE Advisors. Ongoing GE Strategy Drafted
It is recommended that the Program pay greater attention to the environmental sustainability of CIDA interventions in Ghana by mainstreaming environmental considerations in all its interventions through the use of available tools such as Environmental Impact Assessments and opportunities for pursuing inter-sectoral linkages in its areas of programming (such as food security/agriculture and water).
5.a Agree.

5.b The Ghana Program has moved to pay greater attention to the environmental sustainability of interventions via the preparation of a CDPF Strategic Environmental Assessment and the hiring of a Senior Environmental Advisor working out of the Program Support Unit. The Program has also retained the position of one Canada Based Officer responsible at the CHC responsible for overseeing both the work of the Environmental Advisor and complementary direct environment sector programming initiatives.
Program Director, all Project Managers and field representatives, Sector Advisors and Senior Environment Advisor. Ongoing CDPF SEA under development; completion slated for March 31, 2008.
As programming is undertaken more jointly with the GoG and other Development Partners, there is a need to evaluate together. As with joint programming, joint evaluations require significant up-front planning and coordination and should be considered at an early stage when discussions about the joint programming among the partners are taking place. It is therefore recommended that the CIDA Program take the lead in initiating discussions with the GOG and DPS about the scope and scheduling of possible joint evaluations early in the process when joint programming initiatives are being planned. The Evaluation Division would be a useful resource for needed advice and support in this process.
6.a Agree. When undertaking joint initiatives, the Ghana Program normally engages in joint appraisal and design missions with other donors and GoG stakeholders. Before joint programming commences there is usually a joint MoU or Framework Memorandum that outlines agreements on the scope and scheduling of joint monitoring and evaluation as well as other arrangements (e.g. steering group) for the joint management of the investment. The Program will definitely discuss the scope and scheduling of joint evaluations during the planning stage of joint initiatives.

6.b Normally, the sector or steering group undertakes regular joint monitoring reviews and, when the previously identified time for the joint evaluation nears, the chair (sometimes CIDA) of the group leads the partners in the preparation of the joint evaluation. In the past the Program has found PKMB to be a good resource for support in the joint-evaluation process. For example with the evaluation of the Multi-Donor Budget Support Program a PKMB HQ representative assisted the evaluation steering committee team (comprised of four donors plus the GoG) in the preparation of the ToRs for the evaluation. PKMB also assisted with the post-evaluation results dissemination process.
Director, Deputy Director Planning and Programming, Project Managers and other staff and consultants engaged in investment planning processes. Ongoing  


1 The Ghana Living Standards 4 1998/99 does not provide detailed regional poverty projections, since regional economic growth rates were not available until the GLSS 5 survey. Ghana Living Standards Survey 4 1998/99. October 2000.

2 National Development Planning Commission. Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy I. Accra. 2003.

3 CIDA/Ghana: Draft Governance Strategy for Ghana. Accra. 2003, page 9.

4 2005 Budget Speech to Parliament by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. February 2005.

5 Statistics taken from: Strengthening Efforts for the Eradication of Poverty and Hunger Ghana: Country Review Report, The Annual Ministerial Review Geneva, Switzerland, July 2007.

6 Statistics taken from: Ghana Living Standards Survey  4 1998/99. October 2000.

7 Statistics taken from: Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy. February 2003.

8 Community Water and Sanitation Agency Strategic Investment Plan, page 3.

9 CIDA Ghana Country Development Programming Framework 1999-2005, page 7.

10 Figures in CAD millions. Governance sector disbursements include balance of payments in the first three years (2000-2001 to 2002-2003) and direct budget support in the following three (2003-2004 to 2005-2006). Figures for 2005-2006 refer to CIDA projected disbursements for the upcoming year.

11 CIDA Ghana Country Development Programming Framework 1999-2005.

12 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. 2005.

13 Republic of Ghana. Understanding Multi-Donor Budgetary Support, 2003.

14 CIDA. CIDA Policy on Gender Equality. 1999, page 7.

15 NETRIGHT. Status of Women Report. Accra. 2005.

16 This table represents direct costs (O& M) but does not include the full cost of delivery, such as Program Support Units.

17 Rounded to the nearest thousand, "Aid" represented by Grants and Contributions.

18 The Financial Management Advisory Service in Africa Branch provided the breakdown numbers for Ghana, Tanzania, Mali and Africa Branch on May 6, 2008.

19 For various reasons, the 2006-07 aid budget spending for Tanzania was low, therefore caution is required when using ratio for comparison among these 3 countries.

20 Data here are taken primarily from: GoG. GPRS Annual Progress Report  2004.

21 World Bank. Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Review. June 2006. Note: On a scale of A to D, the GoG scored Bs and Cs in relation to transparency.

22 DFID. Ghana Poverty Reduction Budget Support 2006-2008.

23 CIDA. Result Based Management and Accountability Framework for the Ghana Food and Agriculture Budgetary Support (FABS) Project. January 2004.

24 Environmental Protection Council. Guidelines on Environmental Management for DAs. Undated.

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