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Abbreviations
Currency and Exchange Rate

1 Introduction
2 Evaluation Methodology
3 Key Findings of the Evaluation
4 Conclusions and Recommendations
5 Lessons Learned
Appendix I: Management Response

List of Tables

Table 1—Relevance: Strengths and Challenges
Table 2—Results and Sustainability of Results: Strengths and Challenges
Table 3—Consistency, Coordination and Complementarity: Strengths and Challenges
Table 4—Efficiency of Management: Strengths and Challenges
Table 5—Cross-cutting Priorities: Strengths and Challenges


Abbreviations

AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
ANICT
Agence nationale d'investissement des collectivités territoriales (national territorial communities investment agency)
CCAS
Common Country-Assistance Strategy
CDF
Common Development Fund
CDI
Commissariat au développement institutionnel (institutional development commission)
CDPF
Country Development Programming Framework
CEAA
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency
CPB
Canadian Partnership Branch
CPSU
Canadian Program Support Unit
CSA
Canadian Support Agency
CSCRP
Cadre stratégique pour la croissance et la réduction de la pauvreté (strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction)
CSLP
Cadre stratégique de lutte contre la pauvreté (strategic framework for poverty reduction)
D/D
Decentralization/devolution
EIS
Environmental impact study
ESIP
Education Sector Investment Program
FCFA
African Financial Community franc
GE
Gender equality
GoM
Government of Mali
GSBS
General and Sectoral Budgetary Support
IDP
Institutional Development Program
INFSS
Institut national de formation en sciences de la santé (national health sciences training institute)
M$
Millions of dollars
MDGs
Millenium Development Goals
MOPOD
Mobilisation des populations et décentralisation (community mobilization and decentralization project)
MPFEF
Ministère de la promotion de la femme, de l'enfant et de la famille (Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family)
NGO
Non-governmental organization
OAG
Office of the Auditor General
ODA
Official Development Assistance
P&S/GG/RL
Peace and Security, Good Governance and the Rule of Law
PAD
Project Approval Document
PACCEM
Projet d'appui à la commercialisation des céréales du Mali (Mali grain marketing support project)
PAGAMG/FP
Plan d'action gouvernemental relatif à l'amélioration et à la modernisation de la gestion des finances publiques (government action plan to improve and modernize the management of public financing)
PAGE
Program for Advancement of Gender Equality
PAMOFE
Projet d'appui à l'élaboration et à la mise en oeuvre de la formation continue (project for the development and implementation of continuing education)
PAMORI
Projet d'appui à la mobilisation des finances publiques (mobilization of public finances support project)
PASMIF
Programme d'appui au secteur de la microfinance (microfinance support program)
PAFA
Projet d'appui aux filières agricoles (Support to agricultural supply chains in Mali)
PCDA
Programme de compétitivité et diversification agricoles (program for agricultural competitiveness and diversification)
PDDSS
Plan décennal de développement sanitaire et social (ten-year health and social development plan)
PEFA
Public Expenditure and Financial Assessment
PKMB
Performance and Knowledge Management Branch
PODI
Plan opérationnel de développement institutionnel (institutional development operational plan)
PRMC
Programme de restructuration du marché céréalier (grain market restructuring program)
PRODEC
Programme décennal de développement de l'éducation (ten-year education development program)
PRODEJ
Programme décennal de développement de la justice (ten-year justice development program)
PRODESS
Programme décennal de développement sanitaire et social (ten-year health and social development program)
RBM
Results-based Management
RRMAF
Risk- and Results-based Management and Accountability Framework
SHIG
Security and household income growth
SWBS
Sector-wide Budgetary Support


Currency and Exchange Rate


At the time of writing of this report, the exchange rate for the CFA franc is approximately: C$1=460 FCFA.

Unless otherwise indicated, all monetary values given in dollars are expressed in Canadian dollars.



1 Introduction

Evaluation Context

Canada-Mali Cooperation Program deals with the implementation of the CIDA Country Development Programming Framework (CDPF) for 2000/10, which was approved by CIDA and Malian authorities in 2000. While taking into account Canadian priorities, the CDPF supports the policies of Mali's strategic framework for poverty reduction, CSLP 2002/06 (Cadre stratégique de lutte contre la pauvreté), adopted by Mali in May 2002. Due to events in Mali and abroad since approval of the CDPF, the program's delivery approaches and procedures were updated in 2005 via the Policy Framework Implementation Strategy (2005/10).

With execution of the CDPF well underway, and Mali preparing to implement its new strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction for 2007/11 (the CSCRP—Cadre stratégique pour la croissance et la réduction de la pauvreté), the Performance and Knowledge Management Branch (PKMB) deemed it appropriate to perform an evaluation of the Canada-Mali Cooperation Program, one of the largest the Agency has put in place. The timely and systematic evaluation of CIDA's country programs is a crucial activity for the Agency, serving a variety of ends: communicating lessons learned, inculcating a culture of best practices, establishing future strategies, strengthening aid effectiveness, and meeting the demands of accountability.

1.2 Evaluation Objectives, Scope and Directions

The objectives of the present evaluation are to:
  • gauge the relevance of CDPF-Mali and its implementation strategy, in terms of the evolving context;
  • measure the effectiveness of the strategy based on an analysis of results achieved to date;
  • propose avenues and directions to ensure sustainability for the results of development initiatives, while accounting for new realities facing the Mali program.
Development cooperation between Canada and Mali covers a variety of programs and activities that are carried out through a range of mechanisms, including bilateral and multilateral programs, the Canadian Partnership Branch, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and so forth. Although corporate in focus, the present evaluation gives special attention to bilateral programming.

1.3 Mali Country Program: Overview

Canada's bilateral cooperation program with Mali has existed since 1972 and ever since has been an important country in CIDA programming. Since the signing of the General Agreement on Development Cooperation between Mali and Canada in June 1984, CIDA has implemented four intervention programs, for the periods 1985/90, 1991/95, 1995-2000 and the CDPF under study—2000/10. The latter is designed to help Mali achieve its poverty-reduction goals via three main priorities:
  1. improved access to basic services (health and education);
  2. security and household income growth (SHIG);
  3. the strengthening of peace and security, good governance and the rule of law (P&S/GG/RL).
The Canada-Mali Cooperation Program also focuses on three cross-cutting themes: promotion of equality between women and men, better environmental balance, and the strengthening of decentralized structures, particularly in Northern Mali.

In 2005, in order to adapt its programming to the evolving context in recent years and to comply with Canada's new policies on official development assistance (ODA), CIDA revised its strategy in Mali, as set forth in a document entitled Policy Framework Implementation Strategy (2005/10). The new strategy updates the program's delivery approaches and procedures. Thus, CIDA intends:
  • to continue to support program-based approaches wherever national programs are in place;
  • to emphasize budgetary support as the preferred delivery mechanism;
  • to better target interventions, particularly in the area of economic development;
  • to foster better synergy and collaboration among the Agency's various programs and funding mechanisms.
From the financial period of 1996/97 to 2005/06, CIDA's total disbursements in Mali totalled $326 million, for an average annual expenditure of $33 million. During this time, 75 percent of disbursements were made by the bilateral program, 13 percent by the Canadian Partnership Branch and 12 percent by the Multilateral Programs Branch. Investments were relatively stable until 2002/03, when Mali became a partner country and began to see a considerable increase in its funding allotment. Disbursements including all of the branches, reached a peak of $60 million in 2004/05, falling to $34 million the following year due to delays in the approval and launch of certain projects. During the period 1996/97 to 2005/06, the sectors receiving the greatest investments were governance (26 percent of expenditures) and education (24 percent), followed by health (11 percent), energy (7 percent), agriculture (6 percent) and population and fertility policies (6 percent).


2 Evaluation Methodology

2.1 Evaluation Themes and Issues

The evaluation study considered the fundamental direction changes in the program in recent years. These changes were in response to the evolving context of Mali, the fact that the CDPF covered two CSLPs, the progressive adoption of the program-based approach, and the incorporation of the parameters of the Paris Declaration, which resulted in increasing recourse to budgetary supports, etc. The principal issues and themes of the evaluation have been organized as follows:
  • the relevance and appropriateness of the design of the CDPF and of CIDA programming in Mali, in terms of the context and needs of the Malian population, the priorities and policies of the Government of Mali (GoM), the priorities and strategic directions of CIDA, and the interventions of other donors;
  • development results in terms of outputs, effects and (where appropriate) impact on poverty reduction, and whether the resources invested are consonant with the expected results;
  • the sustainability of results in terms of choosing the right partners, the closeness of the resulting partnerships, local ownership and appropriation, and absorption capacity;
  • consistency and coordination at four levels: CIDA's corporate strategy; the synergies and complementarities among Canadian interventions; policy dialogue and the influence of Canada; and coordination between Canada, the GoM and donors;
  • management efficiency, including the integration of results-based management (RBM), risk management, the logic behind choices of funding mechanisms and approaches, strategies to optimize cost/effectiveness, and the soundness of partial decentralisation of the program team, including its management;
  • lessons and future directions, both in terms of management and of development.
The evaluation team chose the framework used for the expected sectoral results for the 2000/10 CDPF. It served as a guiding thread for the issues, themes and questions at hand. These are defined in terms of the three themes and three cross-cutting priorities in section 1.3. Particular attention has been paid to the evolution of delivery approaches and mechanisms during the period covered by the evaluation. Another important theme in the Malian context is the role of civil society, a growing challenge as Canadian investments focus on budgetary support and the strengthening of the government's capacity to implement the CSCRP, the strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction.

2.2 Sources and Methods of Data Collection

Multiple sources and methods of data collection have been used. They include:
  • selection of a significant number of projects representative of the program (CDPF priority domains, funding mechanisms, spreading of execution times, and scope) chosen to represent the greater part of Canadian investments, with different funding mechanisms (bilateral, Partnership, Multilateral), sizes and time frames, and a diversity of approaches (responsive projects, directive projects, core funding, budgetary supports, etc.). A total of thirty projects were analyzed in depth and/or visited directly in the field, representing over 80 percent of the investments during the period;
  • an extensive literature review (over 250 documents were analyzed), including key documents on the strategies, policies and priorities of CIDA, on CIDA programming as such, on the Malian context and on the policies, priorities, programs and interventions of the GoM; theme papers and analyses by the many development players in Mali, including documentation on CIDA's three main sectors of intervention and its cross-cutting priorities; documents on collaboration/coordination among donors; and lastly, numerous documents pertaining to projects funded by CIDA, notably the projects chosen for in-depth analysis;
  • meetings with CIDA administrators involved in some way with programming in Mali (bilateral, Partnership, Multilateral);
  • two missions in the field that enabled the evaluators to gather very extensive documentation, to meet over 250 people from various organizations, to visit projects in the areas of Bamako, Kayes, Gao, Timbuktu, Ségou and Mopti, and to organize workshops on the three main foci of Canadian programming.

2.3 Limits of the Evaluation

The evaluation focused on the Mali country program and not on its particular programs and projects. A sample of programs and projects has been studied as concrete examples of the approaches and delivery mechanisms of the program. The level of development of partner institutions, the variety of sectors, the terms of delivery and the data collection methods are such that the observations and conclusions reflect pertinent common denominators of the overall program, not of each of the projects.

The formalization and generalization of a certain number of tools supporting results-based management are recent such that the underlying methods to the evaluation of the program performance have evolved with time, limiting comparisons between phases.

Regarding the evaluation of the results, the evolution of the aid delivery mechanisms implemented by CIDA and by the other donors has made the cause and effect relationship more difficult to establish. As such, in a budgetary sector support program in which several donors are adding their funds to those of the GoM, it becomes challenging to attribute a gradual increase of sector indicators to the different funding sources.

The time available, the distances, the geographic scattering of projects, and in certain cases, the security situation prevailing in project sites have constituted constraints which the evaluation has had to take into consideration. Thus, not all of the stakeholders could be met, nor all of the viewpoints heard. The evaluation team endeavoured nonetheless to base its analysis on a sample of the most representative programs/projects and on a relatively exhaustive documentary study, given the budgetary and time constraints.

Finally, the non-availability of a few key players of projects, particularly projects completed a few years ago have presented obstacles to obtaining information.


3 Key Findings Of The Evaluation

3.1 Relevance and Appropriateness of the Canada-Mali Cooperation Policy Framework Design

3.1.1 Mali Priorities

Despite efforts made during the 90s, Mali has remained one of the poorest countries in the world: in 2004, 64 percent of its population was living under the poverty line with less than $1/day. There are major inequalities between different regions, as there are between women and men. Women continue to suffer from high maternal mortality and lack of access to reproductive health care, while girls receive far less education than boys.

The roots of poverty in Mali are numerous: insecurity, and the conflicts affecting Northern Mali in particular; an overly centralized educational system; major inadequacies in access to primary health care; the slow implementation of institutional reform; the inability of grass-roots communities to climb out of poverty by their own means, due to a lack of infrastructures, technical and organizational capacities, and access to material and financial resources to increase productivity. The vulnerability of rural communities, which have had to face—along with climatic adversity—liberalized markets without adequate support or strengthening to help them achieve ownership of their own development, is another factor contributing to poverty in Mali.

The three priorities of the CDPF deal directly with the fundamental problems for Mali's population:
  • improvement of access to basic services
  • security and household income growth
  • peace and security, good governance and the rule of law (P&S/GG/RL)
The 2000/10 programming framework covers two strategic periods with respect to the GoM's development priorities: its strategic framework for poverty reduction, CSLP 2002/06 (Cadre stratégique de lutte contre la pauvreté), and its strategic framework for growth and poverty reduction, CSCRP 2007/11 (Cadre stratégique pour la croissance et la réduction de la pauvreté). During this time, major changes in direction affecting GoM-donor cooperation were made following the Paris Declaration of March 2005, including the introduction of general and sectoral budgetary support (GSBS). The Policy Framework Implementation Strategy for 2005-2010, produced by the Agency in 2005, proposes adjustments to account for the new vision of development cooperation, which is essentially a recognition of the central role that must be played by partner countries in pursuing their own development. The document introduces important changes to the program's delivery mechanisms, with a greater focus on core funding and budgetary supports, and a progressive reduction of funding for directive and responsive projects.

In 2006, the GoM adopted a new five-year framework, CSCRP 2007/11. This framework proposes a major change in focus and strategy in the fight against poverty, by giving much more importance than its predecessor to economic development and income growth.

Though CSCRP 2007/11 keeps institutional reform and the strengthening of social sectors as its main focus, it gives priority to the development of infrastructures and of the productive sector. While CIDA's 2005/10 Implementation Strategy is in line with present trends in international cooperation, its objective of devoting 60 percent of disbursements to the social sectors is less in tune with the new CSCRP. However, like many donors, CIDA is considering the possibility of aligning its country planning cycle with the GoM's next strategic framework; this would contribute to greater consistency between the two parties' objectives and strategies for cooperation.

3.1.2 CIDA Priorities, Policies and Strategic Directions

CDPF-Mali is a good reflection of the overarching priorities and strategies of CIDA, as exemplified by the importance given to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), respect for the principles of aid effectiveness, recognition of ODA priorities, and the fact that the programming touches upon each of the Agency's priority sectors. Nonetheless, the evaluators believe the program should place greater emphasis on the environment and on the advancement of civil society as cross-cutting priorities.

With regard to the comparative advantages of CIDA relative to other donors, the Agency has developed key strengths, standing among the leaders in certain areas of intervention, including the management of public finances, the setting up of financial and political controls, microfinance, equality between women and men, basic education, access to primary reproductive health care, grain marketing, and the setting up of local governance structures in civil society. These are achievements on which the Agency should continue to build.

Table 1Relevance: Strengths and Challenges

Level Strengths Challenges
Malian priorities CIDA programming addresses critical factors in the fight against poverty and reflects the needs of grassroots communities. CDPF-Mali 2000/10 is consistent with CSLP 2002/06; CIDA's updated Implementation Strategy (2005) reflects the new approaches and principles of international cooperation, which Mali hopes to see expressed in its relations with donors. The weight accorded to each of the three programming priorities merits reflection: the CDPF and the 2005 Implementation Strategy, in continuing to emphasize basic services, no longer coincide with CSCRP 2007/11, in which the top priority is economic growth and development of the productive sector. Particular attention to this issue, in complementarity with other donors, as well as better synchronization of Canadian and Malian program cycles, are clearly desirable.
Priorities and comparative advantages of CIDA The CDPF incorporates the priorities and principles of ODA and CIDA. The Agency has developed expertise and advantages in Mali that should be systematically exploited in the future. The private sector, the environment and the strengthening of civil society could receive greater attention as cross-cutting priorities in future CIDA programming.


3.2 Results of Canadian Programming and Sustainability

It is difficult to evaluate with any precision the overall results achieved by Canadian programming since it is not always based on sectoral strategies, except for the education and health sectors. Instead, it consists of an amalgam of more or less interrelated projects, deployed in sectors with differing needs and where various partners play different roles. It incorporates a variety of approaches that sometimes seek to create favourable development conditions and sometimes, strictly speaking, development results. Compounding the issue is the inherent difficulty of common measurement for the results of a cooperation program.

Canada's investments in Mali stand 7th among donors. Canada has made an important contribution in a number of key sectors where Mali has made significant progress. Though Mali has not achieved the poverty reduction objectives set forth in CSLP 2002/06, the fact remains that the overall level of poverty fell from 68.3 percent in 2001 to 59.2 percent in 2005, which is not negligible.

3.2.1 Governance

Programming in Peace and Security, Good Governance and Rule of Law (P&S/GG/RL) focuses on results that create favourable conditions rather than on development results, strictly speaking. In fact, it seeks to provide the country with institutions capable of playing a genuine part in the fight against poverty. What development results may be obtained are therefore diffuse and impossible to measure precisely.

Aside from the project for judicial reform, most of the projects examined generated their expected outputs and made a positive contribution to the progress observed in what is a huge domain. For example, thanks in large part to Canadian support for Mali's tax and customs directorates, public revenues have increased considerably. This is a major justification for Mali's eligibility for general and sectoral budgetary support (GSBS), since a condition imposed by donors is that the GoM increase its share of investment every year.

An example of results: thanks in large part to Canadian support of Mali's tax directorate via the PAMORI project ($20M between 1997 and 2002), the GoM's fiscal revenues doubled between 1997 and 2005. While internal revenues represented only 61.2 percent of the total in 1996, by 2005 they contributed 72.2 percent of state revenues.

Canada has helped put in place control mechanisms for public finances, notably the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), which at present is one of the principal instruments for good governance in Mali. Regarding the program-based approach, we should underscore the praiseworthy support Canada has provided to several ministries, which has allowed the introduction of program budgets on top of traditional budgets, together with RBM. In the area of equality between women and men, though Canadian programming has not fully generated the results expected, it has at least led to the institutional strengthening of the ministry for the promotion of women, children and the family, the MPFEF (Ministère de la promotion de la femme, de l'enfant et de la famille) and of a number of organizations in civil society, along with the creation and adoption of a national equality strategy, training, and the establishment of focal points in the technical ministries.

In the area of institutional governance, sustainable results are very much dependent on the duration of Canadian support, since such interventions require profound cultural change. This means that, when a project is over, Canada should maintain technical support in order to provide—even if in a reduced way—the motivation, impetus and prudence required for attitudes and work habits (such as transparency and integrity) to continue to change.

Policy dialogue is another key element for effects to be sustainable, as is the setting up of an effective system to monitor results when the project ends. It goes without saying that appropriation by the partner—notably the mobilization of financial and human resources to assume recurrent costs and carry a project further—is a sine qua non of long-term, enduring results. Lastly, the collaboration of donors is essential to ensure that there is neither duplication nor contradictory action in efforts to strengthen good governance.

3.2.2 Education and Health

Significant progress has been made regarding basic education in Mali. Canadian programming has produced good results in this sector and has clearly played a part in the progress. Whether in terms of school management, production of school manuals, the development of tools and continuing education for teachers, or the strengthening of communities in Northern Mali in their ability to manage schools, projects considered "traditional" have generally produced the expected outputs and had most of the desired effects. Moreover, ongoing financial support for basic education has made it possible to distribute nearly 3 million school manuals to date, and to provide complementary training to 1 280 teachers.

With regard to education, in aligning itself with the GoM's sectoral strategy CIDA had to give a major role to the State as a privileged partner, as well as to the territorial communities responsible for basic education. Here the sustainability of results is still fragile. Centrally, the scarcity of resources, political interference in nominations, and high turnover rates among staff constitute a daunting barrier when trying to make results sustainable. On the other hand, it has been observed that, on the front lines, attitudes toward change are more positive and the desire for appropriation stronger than in the central administration.

Thanks in part to Canadian support, the rate of elementary-school education jumped from 56 percent in 2000 to 75 percent in 2006, while the gap between girls and boys was lessened.

On the health side, progress indicators are positive, particularly in the North of Mali where Canadian activities are concentrated. In total, the percentage of assisted births rose from 40 percent in 2001 to 53 percent in 2006, while child vaccination increased from 75 percent to 94 percent.

In the area of health, sustained technical assistance is also an essential factor in the sustainability of results, since health administrators and professionals in the regions receive very little support from the GoM. Sector-wide budgetary support may represent a risk in terms of strengthening capacities, since it does not guarantee any transfer of expertise, unless beneficiaries decide to use the funds to that end. Moreover, SWBS will involve more sizeable sums and, by definition, they will not be targeted to particular regions or sub-sectors. In zones where Canada has been investing for years and where our interventions are producing excellent results, resources may well become less available than in the past, putting at risk the continued strengthening of capacities and the maintenance of what has been achieved through Canada's cooperation.

Canadian support to PRODESS, the ten-year health and social development program, especially in the North of Mali, together with various interventions (training for paramedics, community health, etc.) has contributed to improving the health situation.

In health as in education, an important factor in the sustainability of results is the local absorption capacity, which so far has been relatively adequate. However, as support by donors continues to grow, increasingly through sector-wide budgetary support (SWBS), it is less than certain that the absorption capacity will always be sufficient. Nor is it clear that funds transferred to communities will arrive promptly and when needed, since the GoM is already experiencing treasury problems that delay budgetary execution, particularly in outlying areas.

3.2.3 Security and Household Income Growth (SHIG)

Between 2000 and 2005, per capita income in Mali rose from US$220 to US$380. The Canadian Cooperation program was partly responsible for this improvement.

Nyèsigiso Network: 128,000 individual members and 8,700 groups now receive financial services in the Bamako, Ségou, Kayes and Timbuktu regions and saw their income increase as a result.

PACCEM: in the Ségou region, 134 cooperatives, including 12 of shallot producers, with a total of 4,000 members, have in the last 10 years seen sales increase from 74 million FCFA to 1.3 billion FCFA.

MOPOD: 60 villages in the Bamako region, with a total population of 50,000, now have governance structures geared toward economic development, and are earning significantly higher incomes.

Canada's main contributions dealt with implementing the grain market restructuring program, PRMC; setting up coops for grain marketing and the purchase of crop inputs; setting up a large microfinance network; and developing local governance structures geared toward economic development. The models developed have a good chance of being reproduced in, or extended to, several other regions. For example, under its new Support to agricultural networks project, the PAFA (Projet d'appui aux filières agricoles), the GoM plans to adopt the model developed by Canada for product/industry marketing, and local governance structures bear promise for the participation of civil society in decentralization.

In view of the multisectoral nature of the Security and Household Income Growth programming component, it is difficult to draw general conclusions about sustainable results. But it is here that sustainability is the most fragile, due to the fact that Malian reforms to create an environment favourable to investment and private sector development, through legislative, fiscal and institutional changes, are still under way. On the other hand, the partners involved generally have a high degree of motivation and appropriation since in principle they benefit directly from development results, with increased incomes and improved living conditions.

The risks to SHIG sustainability include:
  • at times ill-inspired interventions or interference by the GoM;
  • the fragility of systems for the surveillance, control and management of credit funds, whether microfinance or rural credit;
  • absorption capacity: the pool of professional expertise and financial resources at the disposal of grass-roots businesses and organizations can be rapidly exhausted, reducing the chances for administrative and financial autonomy.
Table 2 summarizes the main results achieved, along with the conditions for sustainability, for the three main priorities of the Canadian Cooperation program.

Table 2Results and Sustainability of Results: Strengths and Challenges

Sector Strengths Challenges
Peace and Security, Good Governance and Rule of Law (P&S/GG/RL) Mali has acquired key strengths in public finances, controls, and to a lesser extent equality between women and men, as a result of successful interventions. Canadian interventions are designed based on the needs and sectoral strategies of the GoM. Policy dialogue is fairly limited, as is collaboration with donors. The program-based approach under the IDP and PAGAMG/FP will make sustainable results more likely, since leadership and appropriation by the Malian partner are required. The capable experts of the Canadian Program Support Unit (CPSU) keep a close watch on sustainability conditions. Deficiencies in the management of the civil service, the slowness of governmental reforms, a culture of impunity, weaknesses in the execution of budgets and in spending controls, combined with the lack of participation of civil society, limit the effects and impacts of Canadian interventions.
Canada tends, at times, to withdraw too quickly from a given area of support, a long-term presence being necessary for cultural changes to come in the wake of technical improvements and the strengthening of capacities. To foster sustainable results, Canada could set more rigorous conditions, requiring the GoM to provide assurances as to the mobilization of resources.
Education
and health
Overall, the projects generated good results: continuity, synergy between projects and well-targeted interventions made for a real contribution by Canada to the improvement of indicators in these sectors. SWBS and the alignment of interventions, along with a program-based approach, have increased the impact of Canadian support. The motivation and appropriation of partners in the field are high. Technical assistance makes it possible to respond to needs in a timely fashion, thus transferring tools and knowledge effectively so that partners can play an active role. So far, absorption capacity has proven sufficient. In education, much remains to be done to achieve the MDGs, equal schooling for girls and boys being one example. Reforms must be accelerated for Canada's efforts to have all the results expected. In health, while the accessibility of services has improved in zones receiving Canadian support, primary health care structures are under-used for cultural, social and economic reasons. Many local NGOs have an under-exploited potential for complementarity with bilateral projects. The slowness of decentralization is a major preoccupation for Canadian support.
The GoM's absorption capacity, as SWBS increases, represents a risk, both in terms of budgetary execution and of the human resources needed for reform to be successful. Merely providing funding, without technical assistance, is not enough to ensure that all the necessary skills are acquired and that qualified human resources will be available in sufficient numbers.
Security and Household Income Growth (SHIG) Canada's interventions have had positive results on the access to financial services by the poor, on the development of expertise and capacities for local ownership, and on the incomes and living conditions of the communities they touch. This is the only sector where interventions are concentrated on strengthening civil society and the private sector-two things that, together, constitute the engine of economic growth. The models developed offer excellent chances of being reproduced and of having multiplying effects. The emphasis that the GoM intends to place on economic growth could be an asset, increasing the impact of Canadian projects and the longevity of their results. Despite synergies between projects, Canadian programming in this sector is sparse, and would benefit from the development of a sectoral strategy. Coordination between donors is weaker than in sectors where the State is the focal point.
Despite the liberalization of the economy, the GoM still tends to intervene in the private sector, with consequences that are not always conducive to growth. The reforms that would create a favourable environment for private sector development are far from completed.
In the impoverished communities where Canada intervenes, there is a dearth of the financial and human resources that would allow for more sustainable results.


3.3 Consistency, Coordination and Complementarity

3.3.1 Consistency of the Program Framework

The coherence between the CDPF and the priorities, policies and programs of CIDA was established in section 3.1.2. The coherence between the CDPF and CSLPs 1 and 2, combined with the introduction of aid delivery mechanisms that reflect the Paris Declaration (such as budgetary support), confirm the relevance of the CDPF.

Generally speaking, CIDA's investments in Mali are correctly aligned with the three programming priorities set forth in the CDPF. Where the improvement of—and access to—basic social services are concerned, the program targets two sectors: basic education and health. Projects in these sectors tend to be focussed on a few themes and sub-sectors constituting the overarching priorities of the sectoral plans and programs adopted by Mali.

Unlike the previous priority, where there is a unique sectoral framework for each of the two sectors (education and health), the SHIG priority potentially touches a great number of sectors, and the GoM has a multitude of policies, plans and programs affecting their development. Nevertheless, CIDA has relatively resisted the temptation to spread itself too thin, focusing its investments on three priority themes: decentralized financial services, development in rural areas and local development in response to requests and needs of grassroots communities.

The P&S/GG/RL priority is also potentially vast but, again, Canada has focused on a manageable number of investments: in the sub-sectors of democratic governance (particularly elections), institutional governance (the management of public finances and the putting in place of control systems like the OAG), governance for a strengthening of equality between women and men (both institutionally and at the civil level) and local civil organizational governance.

While some of the potential synergies may be under-exploited, the degree of complementarity among interventions is relatively satisfactory.

3.3.2 Coordination Between CIDA, the GoM and Donors

While the main mechanism for coordination among donors is the group of technical and financial partners, collaboration between donors and the GoM occurs through several mechanisms. At the highest level is the donor-Mali joint commission. This body plays an important role in ensuring a coordinated, concerted vision of aid and permitting ownership by the GoM of both programming itself and the implementation of development aid. The commission would be more effective if meetings were more frequent and more regular, and with better preparation of and follow-up on points of discussion.

To deal with questions regarding specific sectors, sectoral groups have been put in place for consultation and collaboration between the GoM and donors. There are 18 sectoral groups, and Canada participates in 11 of them.

A study funded by the European Development Fund in 2006 made the following recommendations: that donors exchange much more information with each other, that Mali assume greater control over its own development, and that aid be aligned and harmonized with Malian procedures. In response, the donors created a limited executive group known as Troïka. After several sessions devoted to reflection and analysis, this group decided to revise some of the organizational aspects of the framework for collaboration among donors, and set up a Technical Pool with the following objectives: to make this framework more dynamic, to encourage donor support for implementation of the Plan national d'action sur l'efficacité de l'aide au développement (national action plan on development aid effectiveness), and to implement the agenda for harmonization and alignment by carrying out joint work and by preparing a Common Country-Assistance Strategy (CCAS).

The evaluators view the 2007 work plan approved by the donors, the implementation of which is entrusted to the Technical Pool under the supervision of the Troïka, as quite ambitious, for it includes a number of arduous tasks, especially in terms of aid harmonization and improving the effectiveness of dialogue with the GoM. The workload is heavy, yet participation in these working groups seems essential if Canada is to have an influence commensurate with the financial scale of its support and with its rank among donors in Mali.

Policy dialogue is such an important element in Canadian programming that it should be considered a program component. In the evaluators' opinion, the debate over strategic issues, Canada's position, and how much of the results obtained can be attributed to Canada's influence on the GoM and donors were not sufficiently documented. The various reports by members of the field team are not always explicit on these points, and one cannot expect the official minutes of meetings to put more emphasis on the contributions of one donor over those of another.

The strengths and challenges, in terms of consistency, coordination and complementarity are summarized in Table 3.

Table 3Consistency, Coordination and Complementarity: Strengths and Challenges

Level Strengths Challenges
Canadian policies and priorities The scale and composition of the CDPF seem to be in keeping with Canada's priorities and policies for Africa and the region. The program's compliance with the policies and economic priorities of Canada for Africa and the region will have to be confirmed after foreign policy direction is confirmed.
Consistency between the projects and program priorities The great majority of interventions are correctly aligned with the priorities of the CDPF. There is good concentration of investments, especially for the health/education priority. Complementarity among SHIG projects is more difficult to achieve, due to the variety of sectors and partners; nonetheless, synergies have been established and show good potential for multiplying effects if the models are simultaneously extended and systematized over a wider scale.
Coordination among CIDA, the GoM and donors. Canada has a high level of involvement in collaborative bodies. It seems desirable to avoid spreading the field team too thinly over too many themes and working groups, so that a strong contribution can be made to certain strategic issues from among those the Technical Pool plans to address.
The results in terms of influence of Canada's policy dialogue with the GoM and its participation in collaborative bodies should have been better documented.

3.4 Efficiency of Management/Cost Effectiveness

3.4.1 Integration of RBM into Programming and Projects

RBM tools (logical frameworks, accountability frameworks, risk management strategies, etc.) are widely used by the CIDA team in managing the program. The performance reports for each of the projects, prepared annually, contain precise information on the outputs, effects and impacts of the project, as well as on the results obtained in terms of cross-cutting priorities.

On the other hand, the performance monitoring framework for the program as a whole, rather than being a genuine performance management tool to track results and effects of Canadian programming, is something quite different. It is more like an operating report on the evolution of Mali's national (and in some cases regional) indicators for sectors targeted by the priorities of the country program. The framework's usefulness also suffers from the difficulty of obtaining recent and up-to-date statistics. It should be noted that other CIDA programs share this problem and that efforts are currently being undertaken internally to improve the situation.

3.4.2 Attribution of Effects and Impacts

The causal relationship between Canadian aid and the progress achieved by the country, a sector or a region is more and more difficult to establish as one moves from individual projects to a sectoral program or approach, and finally to budgetary support. The question of attribution becomes less and less relevant, as the forms of development aid and the types of intervention in a country like Mali reflect principles of aid effectiveness that are jointly advocated by industrialized countries.

To the concept of attribution is often attached that of visibility. Raising Canada's visibility abroad in general, and in beneficiary countries especially, was traditionally a sought-after result of aid. Today, in the case of Mali, the evaluators believe that visibility should not necessarily be sought as such, but rather should follow from the role Canada plays in donor coordinating bodies, from its policy dialogue with Mali, and from its influence.

3.4.3 Risk Management Strategy

On the whole, the evaluators consider that the risk management strategy used at the program level was adequate. The risk analysis for the SWBS project, and the identification of mitigation measures, are particularly thorough thanks to use of the Risk- and Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (RRMAF), a tool that complies with the latest directives of the Treasury Board and consequently is rather new to CIDA. The analysis of risks related to budgetary support in the health and education sectors does not cover all of the risks, notably those concerning the achievement of development results.

3.4.4 Use of Resources

The program team is structured like those of partner countries whose program leadership is decentralized in the field. It is composed of a field team led by the program director, and a team at headquarters led by the assistant program director.

The program team is reinforced by the Canadian Program Support Unit (CPSU), which is directed by a cooperant and composed of sectoral specialists, for the most part nationals. The decentralization of this program, while not massive in terms of staff yet effective, in principle, for decision-making, results in Canadian programming being constantly in touch with the many contextual factors affecting development in Mali, through collaboration with a wide array of national stakeholders and donors in the country. This enables the program to exert an influence on governance improvements while responding to the evolution of local parameters.

With the CPSU, Canada's program has a team of experts who are experienced in virtually all areas of Canadian intervention. These advisors contribute to informed decision-making, while also playing an important technical assistance role through their advice and direct participation in the design and monitoring of programs and projects.

However, given the time sensitivity associated with sectoral budgetary support initiatives, delays in securing final approvals have weakened the program's ability to react promptly to opportunities while hindering the predictability of financial resources.

The strengths and challenges of the program in terms of management efficiency are summarized in Table 4.

Table 4Efficiency of Management: Strengths and Challenges

Aspects Strengths Challenges/avenues for the future
Integration of RBM RBM tools are extensively used by CIDA's team in managing projects under the program. The format of performance reports seems to be not very user-friendly, which does not facilitate their use as an aid to decision-making (a general problem at CIDA, not specific to the Mali program).
The performance monitoring framework for the program as a whole is in reality an operating report on the evolution of sectors targeted by Canadian programming. Its utility is affected by the difficulty of obtaining up-to-date statistics.
Attribution of program effects and impacts Canada has contributed significantly to progress in a number of the sectors supported by the CDPF, notably governance, decentralized management of schools, microfinance, grain marketing, and local development. The concept of attributing results to one donor instead of another, or of ventilating the attribution of effects among several donors working in the same domain, is not operational. It does not correspond to the application of the principles of aid effectiveness advocated by the Paris Declaration.
Risk management strategy The risk management strategy used is in general adequate. The analysis of risks related to budgetary support in the health and education sectors does not cover all of the risks, notably those concerning the achievement of development results.
Use of resources The program's management model, with partial decentralization of the team, seems to work well. The support of the experts who compose the CPSU is a significant asset to the program. The future increase of disbursements, barring a major increase in personnel, could improve the cost/effectiveness ratio, as measured in delivery costs (CPSU, personnel) against annual amounts of aid, after taking into account the inevitable concomitant increase of efforts at coordination, harmonization and policy dialogue.

3.5 Cross-Cutting Priorities

The three cross-cutting priorities (equality between women and men, environment, and institutional reforms and decentralization/devolution) are discussed in Chapter 4. The strengths and challenges associated with these themes are summarized in the following table.

Table 5Cross-cutting Priorities: Strengths and Challenges

Themes Strengths Challenges
Equality between women and men The equality dimension is tightly bound with interventions in education and health.
In SHIG, much effort has been invested in equality, with positive results.
Results are mixed for P&S/GG/RL, in terms of its incorporation into Canadian programming as well as that of the partners.
The Gender and Development (GAD) Fund has not led to a satisfactory incorporation of equality principles into the technical ministries, due notably to an inappropriate approach: promotion of women instead of equality between women and men.
Neither the Project Approval Document (PAD) nor the trigger indicators of the SWBS, which covers education, health and PAGAMG/FP, make any reference to the equality issue.
Environment Environmental impact studies of physical accomplishments (e.g. water outlets for schools) have been performed. Workers have had an improved procedure for such studies since 2005.
Canada has shown renewed interest in the environmental problem at the national level by funding a workshop on this theme.
Certain projects in rural and local development do not pay sufficient attention to environmental impacts.
The relation between the management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty is not explicitly recognized in CSLP 1 and 2. Canada could change this through active participation, together with other interested donors, in the policy dialogue on this theme, and ultimately by funding actions to support Mali in making environmental governance an integral part of its policies and programs.
Institutional reforms and decentralization The P&S/GG/RL priority supports or intends to support (through the IDP) decentralization in governance.
Decentralization is a strong cross-cutting priority in CDPF interventions in education and health.
Partners supported under the SHIG priority most often operate in the regions, and with time become major stakeholders in decentralization.
Canada's support for decentralization/devolution-related reform in Mali must overcome the difficulties of implementation confronting that country: insufficient financial resources transferred to the regions, the inadequacy of human resources, local governance and the supervision of decentralized services, and the partial nature of transferred skills and responsibilities.


4 Conclusions and Recommendations

4.1 Program as a Whole

4.1.1 Relevance

The CDPF 2000/10 and the 2005/10 Implementation Strategy are very much in tune with Malian priorities, particularly in two respects: the 3 priorities of Canadian programming correspond closely with the priorities of CSLP 2002/06, while the 2005/10 Strategy was formulated to be closely aligned with the Paris Declaration. The new approaches, especially SWBS, embody the objectives and principles of a philosophy of development in which the interventions of donors are aligned with the strategic priorities of the supported country, and in which donors act in complementarity.

CSCRP 2007/11 places much stronger emphasis than the first CSLP on economic growth relative to social services. Canadian programming, which provides for 60 percent of its bilateral budget to go to the social sectors, could devote special attention to economic growth, in complementarity with other donors, in order to support Mali in its efforts to increase growth, the central objective in an effective fight against poverty.

Recommendation 1

That the Implementation Strategy of the Canada-Mali CDPF be reconsidered to ensure a better fit between the Cooperation program and the new Malian priorities, specifically greater priority on economic growth, while accounting for and in complementarity with the programs and interventions of other donors.

This rethinking of the Strategy could take the form of greater financial and technical resources invested in the area of SHIG, and ultimately in the synchronization of Canadian programming cycles with those of CSCRP 2007/11, a measure that is already being considered. If need be, the elaboration of a genuine SHIG sectoral strategy, aimed at multiplying synergies and maximizing the impact of Canadian programming through its key strengths, with greater consistency between interventions of the Multilateral Programs and Canadian Partnership branches, should also be considered.

4.1.2 Results

The new approaches, and SWBS in particular, embody a development philosophy in which the interventions of donors are aligned with the strategic priorities of the supported country, where the latter is placed in a position of leadership, and where the procedures of donors are harmonized with local procedures.

In Mali, education, health and the improvement of the management of public finances are all the subject of national development strategies. They therefore lend themselves to program-based approaches and SWBS. Other sectors however do not yet lend themselves either to core funding or to SWBS and, for them, the traditional approaches are more suitable. These include private sector development and sectors that still require massive capacity building and strong technical assistance.

Traditional projects have often yielded excellent results. They have provided a technical assistance without which the desired results would never have been produced, and have permitted the establishment of close and enduring partnerships between Canadian and Malian organizations. They have often been innovative, setting orientations on which some national policies are based.

Recommendation 2

That CIDA continue to make use of the traditional mechanisms of directive and responsive projects for sectors which, while being crucial for development, do not lend themselves to SWBS; and to support both institutional and civil society partners that, above all, need strong technical assistance and long-term support. At the same time, these projects should follow the principles of the new approaches, i.e. by being fully integrated with Mali's national, regional and sectoral strategies and priorities, while being complementary with the interventions of other donors.


4.1.3 Sustainability

The evolution and transformation of Mali affects all stakeholders, including the representatives and structures of power, the institutions and machinery of government, the private sector and civil society. Government reform in particular has major impacts on civil society and the private sector. Financial support and technical assistance generate excellent results. However, sustainable change toward a participative and pluralist democracy, one that responds to the needs of communities and is truly favourable to development, also demands a major change of culture, mentality and work habits. Thus it is important that support for responsive or traditional projects, or of SWBS, often be prolonged beyond project time frames, and reduced only gradually, even when short-term results are positive. The establishment of close and enduring partnerships between Canadian and Malian organizations will also be effective in sustaining results.

4.1.4 Consistency, Coordination and Complementarity

The scale and composition of the program are in keeping with Canada's political and economic priorities for Africa and the region, assuming that those priorities are unchanged in the future statement of Canadian foreign policy.

With respect to the coordination of CIDA, donors and the GoM, Canada has shown a high level of involvement in collaborative and coordinating bodies, and contributes actively to the work of thematic groups that interest it.

As for consistency and corporate complementarity, the situation is more ambiguous. In certain sectors there is obvious complementarity between actions of the Canadian Partnership Branch (CPB) and those of the bilateral program. This is less so in other sectors, which can be attributed in part to the lack of information on interventions funded by the CPB. Thus the following recommendation:

Recommendation 3

That more attention be paid to ensuring complementarity between local actions funded by the CPB and those funded bilaterally. That, to achieve this objective, the following measures be taken: hiring of a full-time advisor to the CPSU to monitor projects funded by the CPB; search for mechanisms to ensure the alignment of responsive projects with the policies and directions of Mali and complementarity with other interventions in Canadian programming; and collection and utilization of more precise and complete data on actions funded by the CPB..

Local actions funded by the CPB become particularly important as Canada's preferred delivery mechanism in the education and health sectors becomes budgetary aid. In these sectors, a multifaceted approach seems advisable so as to best ensure that SWBS funds have maximum impact on poverty reduction. Here we're talking about technical assistance to encourage the effective transfer of skills to central and decentralized services and territorial communities, and directive/responsive projects to support civil society.

Recommendation 4

That, to the greater possible extent, SWBS for the education and health sectors be accompanied by technical assistance and local actions, the latter in the form of directive/responsive projects to support Mali's civil society and the communities that would most benefit from development in these sectors.

4.1.5 Efficiency

When part of projects, RBM tools are extensively used for the program, both by CIDA and by Canadian support agencies (CSAs). In some sectors however, notably education and health, the evaluation team concludes that the periodic reports submitted by CSAs would gain from referring to the initial logical framework, in the form of a synthetic presentation of the results achieved at the time of the report.

Canada has contributed in a significant and sustainable way to advances in development in Mali. However, the attribution of a given result to one donor instead or another has become less and less appropriate in the evolving context of foreign aid. For this reason, the most one can say is that advances in Mali are the result of the combined efforts of the country itself and of its donors, including Canada. Traditionally sought-after, Canada's visibility will increasingly come from active participation in coordinating and collaborative bodies, alongside other donors, rather than from results for which it is more and more difficult to claim responsibility.

Policy dialogue constitutes a genuine program component. However, the evaluation team is of the opinion that the debate over strategic issues, Canada's position and the results obtained through Canadian influence with the GoM and donors, was not sufficiently documented.

The risk management strategy put in place at the program level is on the whole adequate, as shown in part by the program's positive results. The analysis of risks related to budgetary support in the health and education sectors does not cover all of the risks, notably those concerning the achievement of development results.

The organizational schema for the management of the program, with partial decentralization of the team in the field, appears to be effective. In terms of cost/effectiveness, the performance of the Mali program is comparable to that of other CIDA programs that used the same schema. However, the investment per person-year of the field team is relatively high, and the workload due to participation in collaborative bodies and in policy dialogue is very heavy.

4.2 Peace and Security, Good Governance, Rule of Law (P&S/GG/RL)

4.2.1 Context

The GoM has undertaken a process of decentralization and devolution, motivated in part by the need to maintain peace and fight against poverty in outlying zones such as Northern Mali. This process, involving a systematic program of institutional reforms, should ultimately result in a significant increase in the levers held by territorial communities in controlling their own development.

Efforts invested in institutional reform have generated significant results, including the adoption of two successive CSLPs and creation of the territorial communities, with powers particular to each level of government and the provision of technical and financial support. So far, technical support has been relatively embryonic, and financial support has been provided by ANICT, the Agence nationale d'investissement des collectivités territoriales (national territorial communities investment agency), which manages the Fonds d'investissement des collectivités territoriales (local governments investment fund). Mayors and counsellors have been democratically elected in the 703 communes, in the circle councils and in regional assemblies.

Management of public finances is improving, with increased fiscal pressure, growing computerization, the adoption of program budgets, medium-term budgetary frameworks (and for some ministries, medium-term expenditure frameworks), and progressive adoption of control and surveillance measures. But large blocks of institutional reforms remain to be implemented, including major elements in the program to modernize public finances and judicial reform.

4.2.2 Relevance of the Program

The P&S/GG/RL priority is highly relevant to the principles, objectives, sectoral priorities and approaches of ODA and CIDA. It also corresponds to Malian priorities as expressed in CSLP 2002/06, in which governance is the top priority, and to CSCRP 2007/11. Though the latter accords greater importance to economic growth, it maintains the pursuit of reforms in public administration and justice. The same framework also emphasizes the strengthening and participation of civil society, a theme that at present is not the subject of any major interventions on the part of Canadian programming.

Yet the emergence of the NGOs and of Malian civil society is in large part attributable to partnerships between Canadian and Malian organizations that developed in the past through programs funded by Canada. This priority deserves to be revitalized, by capitalizing on these partnerships to reinforce the capacities of umbrella organizations so that they may have genuine impact on political decisions.

Recommendation 5

That Canadian support for civil society be revitalized, since good governance cannot but go hand in hand with a strong civil society, one capable of exerting vigilance over government policies and actions, and whose capacities for public expression can influence in a concrete and effective way the functioning of government in its essential role, that of assuring the population of services favourable to development.

Aside from the interventions in education and health, which bolster the process of decentralization and devolution as well as peace in Northern Mali, Canadian programming includes major, well-targeted actions in the areas of governance and the rule of law, including the control and management of public expenditures (PAMORI, OAG, and more recently budgetary support for the action plan to improve and modernize the management of public financing, PAGAMG/FP), judicial reform and eventual support for the Institutional Development Program (IDP) (in preparation).

Joining these actions are the institutional supports for integrating equality between women and men into all reforms, supports for the electoral process, and a number of complementary interventions funded by regional programs of CIDA, the CPB and the Multilateral Programs Branch.

But whether Canada's supports for governance reforms result in positive change will depend on some serious constraints, foremost of which is poor human resources management in the public administration. Excessive centralization of human resources, a shortage of technical skills in strategic functions, strong demotivation, weak accountability among government employees: these are just some of the shortcomings observed, bringing with them poor management practices, little consideration for user satisfaction and a high turnover of qualified personnel. Institutional reform will have little chance of succeeding if there is not a genuine strengthening of the civil service.

That exercise could be overseen by the Commissariat au développement institutionnel (institutional development commission) and by the Direction générale de la formation de la fonction publique (national directorate for civil service training), Malian structures responsible for implementation of the IDP and the development of national policy on civil service training.

4.2.3 Results and Building on Achievements

The customs assistance project, the public finances mobilization project (PAMORI), the setting up of the OAG and presumably the support for PAGAMG/FP, together represent one of Canada's key strengths: the management and control of public finances. It would seem essential to continue efforts in this area, through long-term technical assistance, specialized supports to be gradually reduced over time, and sustained policy dialogue. Maintaining a close long-term partnership between Malian and Canadian stakeholders will considerably increase the likelihood of sustainability.

A structure embodying a unique set of skills, the OAG is essential to good governance in Mali. The longevity of the OAG is still however threatened in an environment where corruption remains a major challenge. Its success depends on strong political support and good comprehension, by all stakeholders, of its powers and functions as compared to other systems of control and surveillance, which suffer from serious deficiencies.

Canada has undertaken to support PAGAMG/FP through the mechanism of budgetary support. The project includes a technical assistance component that will be aligned with the needs expressed by Mali's Ministry of the Economy and Finance. However, various other donors will also want to support PAGAMG/FP via one mechanism or another, requiring more communication and collaboration between all parties.

Monitoring the SWBS for PAGAMG/FP will be accomplished using public expenditure and financial assessment (PEFA) indicators, indicators taken in large measure from the government action plan. Since their utility for monitoring the project is limited (they include no measurements of performance or annual targets, and contain no references to equality) it will be necessary to translate them into trigger indicators for the payment of fixed and variable tranches by CIDA.

Recommendation 6

That, in so far as the SWBS project for PAGAMG/FP is approved by the Government of Canada, the priority components of Canada's technical support be determined as quickly as possible; that the project's technical committee develop a technical support strategy, including the mechanisms and modus operandi of its implementation; that operational indicators for monitoring PAGAMG/FP be identified, and that these indicators include consideration of equality between women and men.

Judicial reform in Mali is at a standstill for several reasons, primarily the lack of political will and ownership. Canada's project for judicial reform depends on there being a will to move forward, and on a refocusing of reform in terms of results. Our efforts to date in this area are therefore at risk of not producing the sustainable results expected.

Lastly, with the results and lessons learned from the Gender and Development Fund (GAD), Canada is preparing to launch a large-scale project to support equality between women and men. This project will focus on three themes: rights, health and governance. It will work in collaboration with the MPFEF and civil society, and will concentrate interventions on key ministries corresponding to those three themes. However, in view of the fact that the project supporting the implementation of PRODEJ has not produced the expected results in equality between women and men, it is not certain that, barring a major change, significant progress can be achieved in terms of justice.

4.3 Education

4.3.1 Relevance

The education program was found to be highly consistent with the policies and sectoral programs adopted by Mali, as it is with Mali's strategic framework for poverty reduction, both the 2002/06 version and the current CSCRP. This finding was expected, since most of the projects were specifically designed to be complementary with those of other donors, with the policies of the ten-year education development program (PRODEC), and the Education Sector Investment Programs (ESIP) 1 and 2. The program is also highly relevant to the policies and priorities of CIDA.

4.3.2 Results

Projects in this sector have so far generated most of the expected results, in terms of outputs and effects, aside from a few minor exceptions having to do primarily with shortcomings in the partnership between one CSA and some of its Malian partners. Though on the whole positive, the results obtained should not however hide the immensity of the task that is still to be accomplished if Mali is to achieve its objective of basic universal schooling.

The evaluation team has thus presented Recommendation 4, above, that Canada's support for education and health should be enhanced by technical assistance and local actions as a complement to SWBS.

Certain projects, in particular PAMOFE (project for the development and implementation of continuing education) and AGDEF (project for decentralized management of basic education), are models that work well. Their features suggest a formula that could well be reproduced in future, in complementarity with SWBS, providing that the targeted funding they imply is coordinated with Malian procedures for managing public finances. Canada's targeted financial supports are appreciated because their disbursements reach the regions in relatively good time. These projects have often allowed Canada to play a pioneering role in the radical reform of Mali's education sector, often in helping to develop innovative new models.

Performance indicators for the educational system have improved, albeit modestly, in part thanks to the contribution of Canadian projects. Decentralization is a dominant cross-cutting priority in Canada's program in education, which satisfactorily incorporates equality between women and men. The provision of water outlets in schools, which could have an impact on the environment, is systematically accompanied by an environmental impact study (EIS). Apart from that, Canadian programming in education is environmentally neutral, with perhaps a positive impact from school manuals being repaired instead of replaced.

4.3.3 Sustainability

Several factors favour sustainable results in this sector: the political will of the GoM to achieve its objectives in education; coordinated, complementary and financially significant support by numerous donors; and a positive attitude toward change, with a strong will for appropriation, on the part of certain Malian partners, especially in the field though not always so at the central level.

On the other hand, sustainability continues to be compromised by the difficulties hampering the effective implementation of decentralization: inadequacies in capacities and training (especially in the field), failings in the management of human resources in the civil service, the instability of staffing, an unspoken reluctance toward the devolution of powers, etc. Accomplishing the objectives of the IDP will add longevity to the progress made in the education sector, but considerable effort must still be expended for schooling rates to be comparable with certain other countries in the sub-region.

4.3.4 Consistency and Complementarity

While the bilateral program has strong internal consistency, in corporate terms there is room for improvement. CPB disbursements during the period studied were significant, but multiple interventions were funded and there is little documentation for them. Thus the recommendation given earlier to the effect that ways and means be identified to get maximum value out of this component of Canadian aid, which appears to have a very high potential for synergy with other forms of intervention.

4.3.5 Efficiency

The principles of RBM tend to be systematically applied in all projects of the education program. This is also the case with SWBS preparatory documents. Nevertheless, the evaluators suggest that there is still room for improvement.

Among the risks initially identified for the bilateral projects currently underway, the most real are those concerning the qualifications, motivation, stability and availability of personnel. Resistance to change is also a major constraint, as was generally expected. The problem of human resources management goes beyond the sector of education. Recommendation 11 (see below) is an attempt at a solution.

The risk analysis for the SWBS project struck the evaluators as incomplete. Risks were identified as to the GoM's behaviour in terms of prudential and effective management of the funds entrusted to it, but to these must be added the risks pertaining to the behaviour of beneficiary communities regarding education (and in the case of health, the use of primary care).

4.4 Health

4.4.1 Relevance

The expected results of projects in the Canadian health program over the last ten years (essentially 6 bilateral projects and 2 regional projects), are directly in line with the directions and objectives of the ten-year health and social development plan, PDDSS (Plan décennal de développement sanitaire et social) and the successive phases of its implementation, PRODESS I and II (Programme décennal de développement sanitaire et social I et II, or ten-year health and social development program). They are entirely in line with the priorities, policies and strategic objectives of CIDA, and they support Mali's objective of achieving the MDGs for health by the date scheduled, which is a major challenge.

As in the case of education, the contribution of the field team, through participation in the principal collaborative bodies of PRODESS, through work in the thematic groups to which it belongs, and through ad hoc assistance to the central health and social development structures, is an important component of the program in this sector.

4.4.2 Results

Canadian programming in health and social development displays good continuity between successive projects, and a very good level of internal synergy. The results obtained to date, in terms of intermediate outputs and effects, are in keeping with expectations. They have led to a generally favourable evolution in a certain number of health indicators in the regions aided, particularly the Kayes region. The regional epidemiological surveillance project has also given good results, as shown by the improvement of epidemic control in Mali.

The progress recorded for certain health indicators, such as vaccination coverage and geographic access to primary health care, is indeed encouraging; but in other areas, like reproductive health care, contraception and maternal and infant mortality, much remains to be done. The cost of medicine and of medical consultation, though modest, is a powerful constraint against the use of health services, especially in rural environments. But cultural resistance also works against the use of health care services.

Canada's increased aid in this sector, in the form of an SWBS of $60 M, will help ensure the extra effort required to improve decisively the health conditions of the people of Mali, and to reduce appreciably the rates of morbidity/mortality, still among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. The struggle against cultural and economic constraints, however, has more to do with social development, security and household income growth. The necessity of that struggle prompts the following recommendation:

Recommendation 7

That Canada contribute, alongside other donors, to a more decisive effort for education, information and awareness-building aimed at changing attitudes and behaviours in rural communities in particular, notably with regard to pre-natal consultations, family planning and birth spacing, child vaccination, protection against AIDS, and basic measures of domestic hygiene such as the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Actions aimed at increasing and securing the incomes of rural families are equally important, since improved geographical access to health care would be accompanied by improved economic access.

Among Canadian projects in this sector, the support for community health in the Kayes region is a model that, in view of its good results, could be applied in other regions. The next evaluation of the regional epidemiological surveillance project will determine whether it should be prolonged in one form or another. It is expected that Canada will continue its support for the fight against AIDS at the regional level, which the evaluators view as justified.

Decentralization is a major preoccupation of Canadian programming in health, whether in the two principal bilateral projects, the regional epidemiological surveillance project or the SWBS project. The latter's performance will be judged in part by the effectiveness of financial transfers to the regions and communes. Canada's projects give particular importance to equality between women and men: they operate within a national program to reduce maternal and infant/juvenile mortality and morbidity, which are still much too high.

With respect to the environment, the health program has no particular impact, except so far as concerns the proper disposal of biomedical wastes, which the program supports indirectly, and the impacts associated with construction of community health centres and health referral centres, which are mitigated or avoided as much as possible.

4.4.3 Sustainability

Political will, strong and coordinated support from sponsors, high motivation and a desire for appropriation and progress, often noted at the field level in the areas visited, are among the factors for sustainability that were observed by the evaluators. Constraints working against sustainability include the slowness to engage in effective decentralization and the inadequacy of human resources in health. It is satisfying to note that one of the projects in Canadian programming, support for the Institut national de formation en sciences de la santé (INFSS), the national health sciences training institute, is aimed particularly at improving the numbers and skills of care-givers.

Qualified and motivated technical assistance from Canada is viewed by the evaluators as a powerful factor for sustainability in the community health project in Kayes. The strong opportunity for skills transfer, the use of advisory support provided by the CSA, the resultant networking, the improvement in the monitoring process and its documentation thanks to the CSA, all contribute both to the speed of progress in health care and to its sustainability at the end of the project.

Projects in the health program have not run up against problems of absorption capacity, either in terms of strengthening capacities or mobilizing funds. The evaluators believe that the SWBS project is equally unlikely to encounter problems with absorption capacity, for while the sums involved are much greater, they will be distributed across all of the regions and to head offices.

4.4.4 Consistency and Complementarity

The internal consistency and synergy of the health program are excellent at the corporate level—as far as bilateral and regional projects are concerned. As with education however, they are less than perfect when it comes to the understanding of the complementarity between those projects and interventions funded by the CPB. Yet the local actions generally funded by the CPB in the health sector have a very great potential for complementarity with the bilateral projects. Presumably there is strong complementarity among actions funded by the Multilateral Programs Branch.

Coordination with other donors is satisfactory. The implementation of an SWBS project demonstrates Canada's desire to support the harmonization of aid.

4.4.5 Efficiency

CSAs in the health sector should better integrate RBM principles in their reports. In the PDDSS support project in Northern Mali, the technical reports produced by the monitoring, coordination and evaluation bodies of PRODESS show no connection with the logical framework of the PAD. In contrast, the concepts of RBM have been successfully introduced in the Kayes region, and are currently being introduced into the management methods of the INFSS.

The risk analysis seems on the whole correct for projects in the health program. Those involving the management of funds in Northern Mali have not come to pass, no doubt thanks in part to monitoring by the CPSU. The risk analysis for the Kayes project takes into account the behaviour of beneficiary communities and proposes mitigation measures (information, education, awareness-building), the pertinence of which can perhaps be judged by the encouraging progress in the indicators.

4.5 Security and Household Income Growth

4.5.1 Context

Canadian programming in SHIG is concentrated on microfinance, development in rural areas and local development in response to the requests and needs of grassroots communities. Most interventions are located in rural zones.

Mali's microfinance sector has experienced explosive growth. While this phenomenon has given growing numbers of Malians access to financial services, it has weakened the financial system as a whole, which is marred by insufficient regulatory control, deteriorating loan portfolios, inadequate management and information systems, a lack of financial resources, etc. There is also insufficient coordination among donors. In response to this situation the GoM has produced, in collaboration with all of the stakeholders in the system, an action plan for the development of microfinance, which should henceforth serve as the reference for all interventions.

The rural sector, including agriculture, accounts for 80 percent of jobs and 40 percent of the gross domestic product. Despite interventions by the government and donors, agricultural production including animal husbandry and fishing continues to face serious problems. Most donors are conducting support actions in this sector, some of them major. But despite there being mechanisms for collaboration, these supports lack consistency and are therefore less effective than they could be. In the absence of a national strategy and a partnership framework it is difficult to function in any way other than project mode. The PRMC (grain market restructuring program) has led to the liberalization of markets and prices, but has also badly shaken farmers: the strengthening needed for them to take charge of their own development, and of the decentralized services, has been terribly inadequate.

The national food security program, recently published by the GoM, should provide a frame of reference for interventions in this sector, including the new and important programs in support of bio-food channels.

4.5.2 Relevance

The SHIG priority is the only one in which Canada's bilateral interventions have as their principal partners private operators or grass-roots economic organizations. Equally, food security and rural development constitute the first priority of CSCRP. Canadian supports in the area of SHIG are therefore highly relevant.

The Nyèsigiso projects, PACCEM (Projet d'appui à la commercialisation des céréales du Mali—Mali grain marketing support) and MOPOD (Mobilisation des populations et décentralisation—community mobilization and decentralization) touch these priorities directly. However, greater emphasis could be placed on promotion of the bio-food channels and rural employment. The project now being considered by Canada in support of the bio-food channels could build upon existing skills.

4.5.3 Results and Building on Achievements

Canada's projects in SHIG are characterized by being directly addressed to poor communities, by attentiveness to needs, by an iterative approach, and by seeking the development of capacities. They have thereby achieved very positive results in terms of poverty reduction, income growth, and improvement of living conditions, all while paying significant attention to equality between women and men.

Microfinance

The entire microfinance system is undermined by the relatively anarchical development of decentralized financial systems, most of which are weak and unprofitable, and compete unduly with each other. Direct support of operators by sponsors is progressively diminishing in favour of a sectoral approach. The interventions of the GoM in this area have had uncertain or even harmful impacts. However, recognizing the importance of local financial services for the development of the country, the GoM has developed a national development plan for microfinance.

A Canadian success-story is the setting up of the large Nyèsigiso network, which is at once more sustainable and more dynamic than many others. This network is succeeding in every respect, in an often hostile environment, thanks to applying from the get-go a philosophy of financial profitability. The result is that Canada is currently considered to be a leader of microfinance in Mali (and indeed throughout the sub-region). To build on Canada's achievements in an area where it has developed recognized skills and leadership, Canada should proceed rapidly to put in place its program of support for the microfinance sector.

Recommendation 8

That Canada set up a PASMIF (microfinance support program) in line with the GoM's 2008/11 action plan for the development of microfinance, in complementarity with the interventions of other donors.

The PASMIF (Programme d'appui au secteur de la microfinance, or microfinance support program) could contribute technical supports to certain networks and to the principal umbrella organizations for microfinance. In view of the existence of a national action plan, setting up a donor common fund could prove effective as a weapon in the fight against poverty and by contributing to the modernization, strengthening and consolidation of private sector development. Concerted policy dialogue would help promote the PASMIF and the achievement of results, by ensuring among other things that GoM interventions (ensuing from its action plan) not prove damaging to the sector.

The process of consolidating the Nyèsigiso network (fusion, computerization, reengineering at all levels) is not yet finished, and despite considerable effort Nyèsigiso has still not achieved a satisfactory level of loan repayment. Here as in other cases, long-term technical support is needed to be gradually reduced over time.

Development in Rural Areas and Local Development responding to the Requests and Needs of Grassroots Communities

Canadian programming has allowed the emergence of solid peasant and village organizations that are considered unique to Mali.

Not only has PACCEM had major benefits in grain production and marketing, it is also seen as a model that could be applied to other regions and other cultures. The GoM's PCDA (Programme de compétitivité et diversification agricoles—program for agricultural competitiveness and diversification) and Canada's future bio-food support project could work in complementarity with what PACCEM has already accomplished.

As for MOPOD, which is based on the ongoing development and acquisition of knowledge, it has a good chance of being reproduced in Mali and other countries, especially those undergoing decentralization. The local governance structures put in place allow everyone concerned, including women, youth and the castes, to participate in decision-making. They can also develop economically thanks to rotating funds created when groups reach sufficient organizational maturity.

Recommendation 9

That in view of the results generated, CIDA continue to support the setting up of responsive projects which offer significant potential benefits including innovation and knowledge building, the appropriation of results by partners, and a genuine openness to participation by Canadian civil society in contributing to development in a wide range of sectors and contexts.

These responsive projects have generated excellent results. They have been carried out by Canadian civil society organizations that are competent and well-equipped to work directly with poor communities, with the goal of the latter eventually taking charge of their own development.

Such model projects, innovative and adapted to needs, experimental and iterative in approach (with the right to make mistakes), should be launched on the basis of a strategic vision on the part of CIDA that would ultimately see them deployed on a wider scale. However, this type of project would need long-term technical support, which is indispensable since the development of "models" requires great flexibility, the transfer of skills and profound changes in culture and ways of thinking.

With respect to PACCEM, CIDA's withdrawal from Diré had solid justification. However, taking into consideration a number of factors (the necessary quest for peace in the North, the existence of a concerted action plan for development of the wheat sector, the interest shown by new players in Northern Mali for that sector, the restructuring of Baabahuu Jici), it might be wondered whether CIDA should not, with a different approach perhaps, renew its involvement in the wheat sector in the Timbuktu area. This would ensure that our accomplishments there would not be entirely lost, and that this very poor region would continue to benefit from strengthening directed toward ownership of its own development.

As for MOPOD, it has been underscored that Ben-Ba (the technical and financial facilities of the territorial communities) could perhaps be in a situation of conflict of interest, and that the role, functions and mandate of village organizations and of Ben-Ba are not sufficiently clear relative to the GoM's decentralization and devolution process.

4.6 Support Funds

The Common Development Fund (CDF) has given good results: facilitating the importation of essential goods and services, supporting the balance of payments, directly supporting 3 sectors of concentration in Canadian programming: education, health and justice. The CDF has also permitted support for decentralization and to a lesser degree for governance and the management of public finances.

The evaluators consider that support funds like the CDF, the Fonds d'infrastructures communales (community infrastructure fund) and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives are useful mechanisms for reinforcing the interventions of the country program. However, given the ongoing review by the program of the existing Canadian support funds, and due to the setting up of SWBS, the evaluation team is unable to make a recommendation on the future renewal of existing funds or the creation of funds of the same type, except for the creation of a local fund for microeconomic development.

4.7 Cross-cutting Themes

4.7.1 Equality between women and men

Canada is perceived in Mali as the prime leader in equality between women and men, and its programming reflects a special interest in this issue. However, results vary depending on the sector of intervention, while the situation of women in Mali remains of great concern.

As part of Canadian programming, a major project will soon be launched: the Program for Advancement of Gender Equality (PAGE), specific to the equality priority, which will draw upon lessons from the past and impart a strong impetus toward the integration of equality into the policies, strategies and action plans of the GoM. It goes without saying that PAGE will encounter significant challenges, notably in the form of resistance to promotion of the rights of women, a lack of cohesion among the approaches of different donors, cultural constraints, and resistances proper to Malian society.

Recommendation 10

That Canada, perceived as one of the leaders in equality between women and men, intensify its collaboration with donors toward conducting policy dialogue and developing common strategies to maximize the momentum of the future PAGE. The goal is to make the equality dimension a central priority in all considerations, programs and interventions, both at the governmental level and among donors and civil society, not only with respect to the social sector but in economic sectors as well.


4.7.2 Environment

Impacts of the CDPF

The environmental impacts of CDPF projects, based on the evaluators' examination of the principal interventions and on observations made in the Strategic Environmental Evaluation of 2004, may be summarized as follows:
  • Rural development and agriculture: the implementation of PACCEM and MOPOD projects did not pay sufficient attention to the harmful environmental impacts of these projects.

  • Education: the main activity with a potential environmental impact is the creation of water outlets in schools. It is accompanied by the performance of an EIS in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).

  • Health: the principal impact has to do with the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of biomedical waste. Actions to this end are performed in the regions where Canada intervenes, at the initiative of decentralized services, and by the INFSS.

  • Development Support Funds: any actions financed by these funds that are projects as defined by the CEAA are subject to EIS.

  • Environment and Poverty Reduction
During a mission in 2005, a team of environmentalists found weaknesses in the legal and institutional framework for the environment in Mali. They also noted that the relationship between poverty reduction and the management of natural resources was not explicitly recognized in CSLP/CSCRP 1 and 2. Subsequently, a workshop was held in February 2007 on integrating environment into Mali's projects and programs. Its recommendations bore primarily on institutional strengthening and the application of EIS procedures. But there are other needs of broader import: i) more active collaboration between donors and the GoM on environmental questions; ii) stronger and more explicit integration of sustainable development into the implementation of CSCRP; and iii) an action plan to strengthen the institutional and operational framework of environmental and natural resource management.

4.7.3 Institutional Reforms and Decentralization

Decentralization and the CDPF

The P&S/GG/RL and education/health priorities of the CDPF give strong support to decentralization. Though projects in the SHIG priority do not directly target decentralization/deconcentration, supported partners primarily operate in the regions and will increasingly become major players in decentralization.

The IDP

Launched in 2003, the Institutional Development Program (IDP) has so far taken the form of preparatory studies and an operational plan for 2006/09, PODI (Plan opérationnel de développement institutionnel), which is supposed to correspond to a pilot phase. In the view of the evaluators, PODI is unrealistically ambitious. Its time frame is relatively short and the means required to implement it would be significant. Overly technical and theoretical, it seems ill-adapted to the reality of Mali, multiplying the number of administrative agencies and technocratizing the GoM in a way that will be hard to pull off in such a brief time.

The human resources development component seems the best structured. It is also the most likely to help move forward towards desired results in other components. Quantitative and qualitative inadequacies in human resources are an insurmountable barrier to rationalizing government functions and implementing decentralization policy.

Recommendation 11

That support for implementation of the IDP, which Canada is considering, be applied first and foremost to the PODI component on strengthening human resources. That this support be financial and reinforced if possible by technical assistance entrusted to a competent CSA, to the extent that such assistance is complementary with related interventions by other donors.


5  Lessons Learned

5.1 Development Lessons

5.1.1 A Fine Balance Between New and Traditional Approaches

Traditional projects, both directive and responsive, have often generated excellent results. They have allowed technical assistance to be given that was crucial to generating sought-after results. They have laid the foundations for close partnerships between Canadian and Malian organizations. They have contributed to knowledge building, particularly through innovative responsive projects whose good results were thanks to their closeness to grass-roots communities. The evaluators are of the opinion that the traditional approach is still extremely viable and that it will enable CIDA to build on its achievements. And we must not neglect the importance of developing and maintaining partnerships. This applies particularly to Mali, where apart from the governmental sphere, which already receives the biggest share of ODA, large sections of society, notably the private sector and civil society, continue to need massive, long-term support. Nevertheless, in keeping with the new approaches, a closer alignment of directive and especially responsive projects with the national, regional and sectoral priorities of Mali will be critical to increasing their impact.

5.1.2 Policy Dialogue: a Program Component

The new approaches call for Canadian cooperation to concentrate on large-scale programs and reforms in collaboration with the other donors. In view of this fact, and in view of the evolving context, special attention must be paid to the role of policy dialogue. For if policy dialogue has always been considered an essential tool for the smooth running of projects, today it is proving to be much more than an instrument: it is a genuine program component.

This policy dialogue, in collaboration with donors, will be critical at all levels. From the beginning, the great Malian reforms and action plans, such as the provisions for technical and financial support of territorial communities, the institutional development program, and PAGAMG/FP, have greatly benefited from the feedback and joint responses of the donors. The latter have expressed their comments and concerns in generally concerted and unanimous fashion, which has incited the GoM to react positively by improving its reform projects.

5.1.3 Better Attribution of the Respective Roles of the Public and Private Sectors

In Mali, the state has resolutely undertaken a process of liberalization and withdrawal from activities more suited to the private sector, be it financial services, agricultural development or business, in order to focus on its kingly missions and on the creation of an environment favourable to investment and private sector development. This process has encountered major stumbling blocks, including the weakness of private operators and the lack of means to strengthen their capacities. Additionally, long decades of interventionism have left deep traces in ways of thinking. Some of the measures the government has put forward, notably in the financial and agricultural sectors, have proven counter-productive for private sector growth, even if generally there were good intentions behind them. The donors, in collaboration with the economic operators concerned, must therefore keep a close watch on the government's tendency to intervene in the private sector, ensuring that it concentrates on supervision, the creation of an optimal environment, and the provision of support services for private sector development.

5.2 Management Lessons

5.2.1 A Major Handicap: Management of the Civil Service

All the goodwill displayed by the GoM toward reform cannot hide the fact that grave problems in civil service management are a major handicap for the implementation of those reforms, indeed in some cases dooming them to failure. Management of the civil service should therefore be a cross-cutting theme in all actions pertaining to reform. The donors, in collaboration with the GoM, will need to analyze needs more carefully, to communicate closely on strengthening current interventions and actions, and to draw up a complete table of actions and needs, both at the central and decentralized levels.

5.2.2 The Growing Importance of a Solid Base of Advisors in the Field

It has been mentioned several times that the CPSU's resources in technical expertise are a major asset of Canadian programming, one that is the envy of many other donors. The evaluators believe that the role of the CPSU in program support can only continue to grow, basing their opinion on the following observations:
  • the supports of Canadian cooperation will be in the context of large-scale reforms and programs;
  • the results of investments will become more difficult to measure with the traditional tools of RBM;
  • the risks of a reduction in traditional projects will have to be compensated by close monitoring of the evolution of major reforms in the field, from the regions to the communes;
  • profound knowledge of the evolving context will be more essential than ever for timely and informed decision-making;
  • technical assistance previously delivered by CPSU experts will continue to contribute to implementation of the ambitious reforms and transformations undertaken by Mali;
  • learning, the generation of knowledge and corporate memory, to which the CPSU team contributes, will continue to be indispensable in avoiding the repetition of mistakes, in building on strengths, and in mitigating the risks of the new approaches, which for now are still experimental.

Appendix I: Management Response


Recommen-
dations
Commitments
/ Actions
Responsi-
bility Centre
Target Com-
pletion Date
Status
1. That the Implementation Strategy of the Canada-Mali Country Development Programming Framework be reconsidered to ensure a better fit between the Cooperation program and the new Malian priorities, specifically greater priority on economic growth, while accounting for and in complementarity with the programs and interventions of other donors. • The management team agrees with the recommendation. The Bilateral Program is developing a "security and growth in household incomes" strategy, taking into account CIDA's other projects in Mali, the new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2007/11) and other donors' planned programming.

• The Bilateral Program is currently planning two major initiatives for income growth in the agri-food sector and the area of micro-finance. Depending on conclusions drawn in the Strategy, the Bilateral Program may further increase investments in this sector.

• Canada is participating in preparatory work toward developing the Joint Assistance Strategy aimed at increased complementarity among donors. Thus, the next Canada-Mali Country Development Programming Framework will be aligned with the Joint Assistance Strategy. The latter will establish a division of work based on the complementarity of donors as determined by their real comparative advantages.

Bilateral Program Director; the coordinator of the "security and growth in household incomes" team; program analyst. The Sector strategy will be completed by April 1st, 2008.


Launch of the Support to agricultural supply chains project in first quarter of 2008.



Launch of the Micro-finance support project in 2008.





Development of the Joint Assistance Strategy is under way.
Sector strategy: the consultant has been hired; his mandate begins in January 2008.

Planning of the Support to agricultural supply chains project is done; approval expected in January 2008.

Planning of the Micro-finance support project will be done by January 2008, and the project will be launched in April 2008.

Joint Assistance Strategy: Canada has been participat­ing in prelimin­ary work since September 2007.
2. That CIDA continue to make use of the traditional mechanisms of directive and responsive projects for sectors which, while being crucial for development, do not lend themselves to sector budget support; and to support both institutional and civil partners that, above all, need strong technical assistance and long-term support. At the same time, these projects should follow the principles of the new approaches, i.e. by being fully integrated with Mali's national, regional and sector strategies and priorities, while being complementary with the interventions of other donors. • The management team agrees with the recommendation. As indicated in the Bilateral Program's Implementation Strategy, a balance among aid delivery mechanisms is planned for the next few years. The Program intends to implement a "portfolio" approach, combining sector budgetary support on a national scale (and if appropriate, general budgetary support later on), geographically targeted sector budgetary support, and directive and responsive projects.

• All of these initiatives will fall within the sector strategies the Bilateral Program is currently developing, which will take into account any existing national programs and the complementarity of actions among donors.

• The choice of delivery mechanism is made with a view toward minimizing risks and maximizing the impact of initiatives. The rationale for each choice will be presented in the project approval documents.

Bilateral Program Director, the sector team coordinators, program analyst. The sector strategies will be completed by April 1st, 2008; the programming orientations established in these strategies will subsequently be implemented. The strategies are currently being developed.
3. That more attention be paid to ensuring complementarity between local actions funded by the Canadian Partnership Branch and those funded bilaterally. That, to achieve this objective, the following measures be taken: hiring of a full-time advisor to the CPSU to monitor projects funded by the CPB; search for mechanisms to ensure the alignment of responsive projects with the policies and directions of Mali and complementarity with other interventions in Canadian programming; and collection and utilization of more precise and complete data on actions funded by the Canadian Partnership Branch. • The management team agrees with the recommendation. A civil society advisor was recruited to the Program Support Unit in May 2007, with a mandate to: 1) support existing bilateral projects targeting, in whole or in part, civil society; 2) act as Canadian Partnership Branch respondent for projects funded by this Branch, and as an interface between the Canadian Partnership Branch and Canadian NGOs working in Mali; and 3) act as the focal point of Canada's program for all questions concerning civil society, by liaising with both Malian civil society and relevant governmental structures.

• It should be noted that CIDA is currently in the renewal phase of the partnership program and that the Canadian Partnership Branch strongly supports the strengthening of the Head of Aid position to ensure better coordination of all funding mechanisms in the field as well as better coordination of networks with partners.

• At the end of discussions in Mali between the Canadian Partnership Branch, the Program Support Unit and the partners operating in the field, the bilateral Program submitted a proposal for a pilot initiative to the Canadian Partnership Branch in May 2007. The proposal consists of a interface component between the Canadian Partnership Branch and the Mali program and a support component to the Malian civil society, to be managed in the field.

• The Canadian Partnership Branch considers it timely and strongly supports the recruitment of a Malian civil society advisor in Bamako.

Canadian Partnership Branch (Francophone Africa regional desk);
Deputy Director — Mali program at headquarters; civil society advisor to the Program Support Unit.
Under way.

Requires regular dialogue with the Canadian Partnership Branch.
The civil society advisor was recruited in May 2007.
4. That, to the greatest possible extent, Sector-wide Budget Support for the education and health sectors be accompanied bytechnical assistance and local actions, the latter in the form of directive/responsive projects to support Mali's civil society and the communities that would most benefit from development in these sectors. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. Indeed, in March 2007, the report on the operationalization of capacity-building components in CIDA's SWBS in Mali (Rapport d'opérationnalisation des volets de renforcement des capacités dans les appuis budgétaires sectoriels de l'ACDI au Mali) recognized the importance of technical assistance directed toward civil society. This same report admits however that needs far exceed the resources allocated to technical assistance in the SWBS. So it is implicitly recognized that other initiatives complementary to the SWBS should be undertaken.

• A retrospective/prospective study, headed by the West and Central Africa Branch, is underway in Mali, as in other countries of the region. The purpose of this study is to better understand the role of civil society in Mali's health sector, its comparative advantages and its prospects for the future.

• More generally, a health strategy, together with a concept paper to define initiatives that will be complementary to sector budgetary support in health, are being developed and will be completed in the first quarter of 2008. They will lead to both directive and responsive projects.

• Similarly, an education strategy will be developed in 2008. This will serve to identify complementary initiatives to the SWBS, focussing on strengthening local capacities.

Bilateral Program Director; the Sector Budget Support team; the health, education and governance teams; program analyst. Governance Strategy, Winter 2008.

Health Strategy, Winter 2008.

Education Strategy, Spring 2008.
Governance Strategy, and Health concept paper and Health Strategy currently being develop­ed.
5. That Canadian support for civil society be revitalized, since good governance cannot but go hand in hand with a strong civil society, one capable of exerting vigilance over government policies and actions, and whose capacities for public expression can influence in a concrete and effective way the functioning of government in its essential role, that of assuring the population of services favourable to development. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. There is a need to analyze the complementarity of Canadian cooperation with that of other donors in this area. To this end, the governance strategy (in development) will analyze this question and ultimately confirm which avenues of support for civil society the Bilateral Program should consider. From the preliminary analysis, it appears that the best approach would be to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations in terms of policy analysis and dialogue.

• It must be underscored that, over the last year, the Bilateral Program has actively supported Malian civil society. Examples of funding include support to Malian civil organizations to encourage their participation in the 2007 presidential and legislative elections, and to Malian umbrella organizations that hosted a national day of reflection on civil society's role in implementing the Paris Declaration. This latter initiative is in preparation for participation by Malian civil society in the Ottawa Forum and in the 2008 Accra High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness/Paris Declaration.

See point 4.

Bilateral Program Director supported by the governance sector team.

The Deputy Director, Field for the study of the role of civil society in Mali's health sector.
See point 4.

National consultations have already taken place.

Other consultations will be conducted by Malian umbrella organizations.

The study should be completed by March 31, 2008.
See point 4.

National consulta­tions: completed.


Under way.
6. That, in so far as the SWBS for Public Finance Modernization Plan is approved by the Government of Canada, the priority components of Canada's technical support be determined as quickly as possible; that the project's technical committee develop a technical support strategy, including the mechanisms and modus operandi of its implementation; that operational indicators for monitoring Public Finance Modernization Plan be identified, and that these indicators include consideration of equality between women and men. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. The reference to a "project's technical committee" needs clarification, since the kind of bilateral committee one finds on more traditional projects do not exist in the case of budgetary support. On the other hand, the Government of Mali has created a joint technical committee for Public Finance Modernization Plan. By participating in this committee, CIDA can support the implementation of this recommendation, alongside other donors and representatives from government and civil society who are also on the committee.

• With Canadian support, a logical framework for Public Finance Modernization Plan was developed in 2006, and work continues in the technical committee toward the adoption of a results measurement framework by the end of 2007. The bilateral program is also currently recruiting a Canadian cooperant in public finance whose role will be to provide support for the team and for the activities of the Public Finance Modernization Plan technical committee.

• The issue of the incorporation of equality into Public Finance Modernization Plan indicators remains a challenge that the Bilateral Program intends to take up through policy dialogue on the technical committee. The Gender Equality Project will help meet this challenge as it provides a cross-sector approach among all government ministries.

The Sector Budget Support team under the responsibility of the Deputy Director, Field. End of 2007 for the Public Finance Modernization Plan monitoring tools, and 2008-09 for gender equality integration. Under way
7. That Canada contribute, alongside other donors, to a more decisive effort for education, information and awareness-building aimed at changing attitudes and behaviours in rural communities in particular, notably with regard to pre-natal consultations, family planning and birth spacing, child vaccination, protection against AIDS, and basic measures of domestic hygiene such as the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Actions aimed at increasing and securing the incomes of rural families are equally important, so that improved geographical access to health care be accompanied by improved economic access. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. A concept paper is being prepared as part of the Africa Health Systems Initiative, the objectives of which correspond to this recommendation. The Africa Health Systems Initiative is aimed at increasing the number of front-line health workers, deploying them in disadvantaged areas and improving their working conditions, thereby increasing the population's access to quality health care services. In putting the emphasis on sustainable, measurable results, this initiative will support specific activities, notably the fight against the priority diseases. At the heart of the new initiative will be the strengthening of human resources.

• The concept that will be proposed is based on an integrated, harmonized approach, using the complementary delivery mechanisms to the planned SWBS project. Health interventions, together with those in the area of security and growth in household incomes, will lead to improved socio-economic conditions and increased access to better quality health services.

• In parallel, important initiatives by other bilateral programs of the Africa Branch (the Canada Fund for Africa, the Pan-Africa Program) and by other branches of CIDA, such as the support from the Multilateral Programs Branch for the Canadian Red Cross, contribute to Canada's positive impact on the health of the people of Mali. A new campaign to distribute 2.24 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to children under five years of age will be launched in December 2007.

• The Canadian Partnership Branch has implemented several programs aimed at the health sector, involving the Canadian Association for Public Health, Care Canada, and Collaboration Santé Internationale to name a few.

Mali Program Director supported by the sector team for health, together with experts from Africa Branch and the Multilateral Programs Branch.





























Canadian Partnership Branch
Mid-February 2008 for approval of the concept document.

March - July 2008 for the planning of specific initiatives.

Approval of specific initiatives -December 2008.























Ongoing
Develop­ment of the concept document is under way.


































Ongoing
8. That Canada set up a Micro-finance support project (PASMIF) in line with the Government of Mali's 2008/11 action plan for the development of micro-finance, in complementarity with the interventions of other donors. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. The Bilateral Program is currently planning a joint initiative with Denmark in support of the micro-finance sector, in support of the national action plan for the development of micro-finance.

• The Bilateral Program team participated in the evaluation of the 2005-08 micro-finance development action plan and will participate actively in efforts leading to the drafting of the next action plan, starting in December 2007 under the leadership of the Malian ministry responsible for the promotion of micro-finance. The team also participates in the national consultative group on micro-finance and in the donors' technical group on micro-finance, so as to complement the interventions of other donors as recommended in the evaluation.

The Micro-finance support project team under the responsibility of the local CIDA project officer. The project should be presented to the Minister for approval by the end of 2007-08. Planning is under way.
9. That in view of past results, CIDA continue to support the establishment of responsive projects through both its bilateral and Canadian Partnerships programs, which offer significant potential benefits including innovation and knowledge building, ownership of results by partners, and a genuine openness to participation by Canadian civil society in contributing to development in a wide range of sectors and development environments. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. It is true that, in Mali, several responsive initiatives have given rise to innovative approaches that subsequently have made it possible to set up larger-scale programs by building on lessons learned. This was notably the case in education, micro-finance and local economic development.

• However, for the Bilateral Program to accept a responsive proposal, the latter must meet the following key criteria, among others: it must be in one of the priority sectors defined in the Country Development Programming Framework, and correspond to a priority of the sector-wide policy frameworks that are themselves harmonized with the country's national plans or programs; it must have an innovative or indeed experimental component for the production of new knowledge or expansion on lessons learned from previous initiatives; and it must of course be approved or requested by the government, and be among the priorities of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.

• This recommendation is well received by the Canadian Partnership Branch. In Africa, Mali was the Branch's largest recipient in FY 2006-2007.

Bilateral Program Director. The program will respond to non-solicited proposals as they are submitted. N/A
10. That Canada, perceived as one of the leaders in equality between women and men, intensify its collaboration with donors toward conducting coordinated political dialogue and developing common strategies to maximize the momentum of the future Equality project. The goal is to make the gender equality dimension a central priority in all considerations, programs and interventions, both at the governmental level and among donors and civil society, not only with respect to the social sector but in economic sectors as well. • The management team agrees with this recommendation. The Bilateral Program has in fact intensified its coordination with other donors. Since June 2007, it has assumed a leadership role in the gender thematic group, a mandate that will continue into 2008. Thus, the informal leadership position that Canada has enjoyed is now official. It is in a position to conduct intensive policy dialogue both with other donors and with government authorities.

• The Bilateral Program has analysed the matter and produced a thorough review of its gender equality strategy. The Bilateral Program will ensure that it is applied to all initiatives funded by Canada, and that its employees and those of its partners are trained accordingly.

• Canadian support is being provided to the Government of Mali for the adoption of a national gender equality strategy. Other donors, including Sweden and Denmark, also jointly support this exercise, coordinated by the Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and Family. This strategy will be applied across all ministries in the Government of Mali. As a partner of the Institutional Development Program, the Bilateral Program will also be in a position to influence the implementation of this strategy.

The Bilateral Program Director; the Gender Equality team coordinator. Increased policy dialogue is now occurring, notably through Canada's lead of the equality thematic group.

The Gender strategy will be finalized in January 2008.

The Government of Mali's national strategy will be finalized in 2008/09.


Approval of a Canadian contribution to the Institutional Development Program in the first quarter of 2008.

Ongoing







January 2008



2008/09





Planning nearly completed.
11. That support for implementation of the Institutional Development Program, which Canada is considering, is applied first and foremost to the PODI component on strengthening human resources. That this support be financial and reinforced if possible by technical assistance entrusted to a competent Canadian Executing Agency, to the extent that such assistance is complementary with related interventions by other donors. • The management team agrees with the recommendation. The project to support the Institutional Development Program will be presented to the Minister for approval during the last quarter of 2007-08. It will be strongly based on the element of strengthening human resources (50 percent) as recommended in the evaluation, while also focusing on two other strategic components of the operational plan. The project will be delivered in the form of targeted sector budget support for these three components, and some funds will be devoted to funding technical assistance, primarily by a Canadian Executing Agency. CIDA will retain responsibility for recruiting a cooperant to act as technical assistant to the Commissariat au développement institutionnel (institutional development commission), the body in charge of implementing the Institutional Development Program. As recommended in the evaluation, this technical assistance will be designed to complement that of other donors. This complementarity is worked out through our participation in Institutional Development Program coordination and monitoring bodies, including the donor technical group for decentralization and government reform.

The team in charge of the Institutional Development Program support project. The project will be presented to the Minister for approval in the first quarter of 2008. Planning is nearly completed.



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Executive Report of the Canada—Mali Cooperation Program Evaluation
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