The African Community of Practice (AfCoP) on managing for development results (MfDR) is a bilingual community launched in February 2007 in the context of the Paris Declaration, during the third international roundtable on the management for development results. The community was launched as an answer to African governments and practitioners’ call to share knowledge and best practices on management for development results in Africa.
Contributed by Jasson Kalugendo after AfCoP members unanimously agreed to build AfCoP to last, he focused on available capacity which AfCoP has put in place to transition itself into a leading institution in Africa in regard to managing for development results. #AfCOP19
Members of AfCoP Bureau are prepared take on the new task
“Successful transition to a MfDR leading institution in Africa” was the theme of the
AfCoP General Assembly in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in February 2019. The theme was a paradox for many participants. Like many projects that started around the Paris Declaration, AfCoP could have presented its achievements over the past ten-year work in Africa and ended on a high note.
Instead, AfCoP not only wants to stay in business but wants to take on a more ambitious mandate. The flag bearers and General Assembly of AfCoP decided to grow the AfCoP network into a formal entity that will continue supporting countries to transform the lives of Africans through their national development plans. Many organizations look to reinvent themselves and aspire to become the leading entity in a sector but few are able to achieve that goal. So, how can AfCoP be different from such organizations?
Potential of becoming a leading institution
Since 2007, the Africa Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the African Capacity
Building Foundation (ACBF) provided financial and operational support to the
implementation of the AfCoP agenda. With its first phase completed, AfCoP is now in its
transition phase. The fact that both AfDB and ACBF are providing support to AfCoP
during its transition towards becoming an independent entity is a clear sign that AfCoP
did well in its first phase and demonstrated the capability of turning itself into an
institution that could independently deliver results.
Both AfDB and ACBF are committed to ensuring AfCoP succeeds in implementing its phase two. Further, confirming its record of performance, the Government of Senegal has readily agreed to host the AfCoP Secretariat. Building on its multiple success stories, AfCoP should have no trouble carrying its success story forward and convincing sponsors, members and partner countries that it is indeed the leading organization, when it comes to facilitating managing for development results in Africa.
In addition to capacity building programs on MfDR, AfCoP has established active communities of practice (CoPs) in various countries on the Continent, including Benin, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Malawi, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda, Zambia, Senegal, and others. These networks have been working with both state and non-state actors to support planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting of development results. AfCoP is planning to enhance this experience and use it to create similar communities of practice in other countries. Since 2007, AfCoP has also produced various knowledge products focusing on what worked or did not work in managing for development results. In each knowledge product, lessons learned were highlighted with a view to inform future interventions. These knowledge products are not just for sharing and learning but provide directions to AfCoP on how it can improve its pillars to make MfDR responds better to real situations in each country.
True to its mandate, AfCoP does not shy away from its own evaluation. Internal and
external evaluations conducted in 2017/18 painted a positive picture and guided the
directions which AfCoP should take during the transition and beyond. Both assessments
were used as basis to prepare the five-year corporate strategic plan, focusing on
collaborating with Regional Economic Communities, governments and other partners to
mainstream the culture of development results into policies and development plans in
In its endeavor to successfully complete its transition phase, AfCoP Secretariat has set out to meet several requirements, from ensuring AfCoP is legally registered and operating, addressing funding challenge, and putting in place a communication plan to keep everyone actively engaged. The newly-elected AfCoP Bureau has taken on this challenge with great zeal. Members of the AfCoP community, along with national CoPs, should ensure that they facilitate this process for AfCoP to fully deliver on its mandate.