2019 Africa Forum on Managing for Development Results

Celebrating Successes and Drawing Lessons for the Future

October 28-29, 2019 Centre international de Conferences Abdou Diouf (CICAD) – Dakar, Senegal

Concept Note

2019 Africa Forum on Managing for Development Results

The African Community of Practice (AfCoP) is the premier African institution focused on Managing for Development Results (MfDR). It is a coalition of multiple stakeholders from 43 African countries, including government officials, development partners and parliamentarians, as well as representatives of civil society, the private sector, academia, and media. It was established in 2007 in the context of the Paris Declaration on Development Effectiveness, to support the commitment of African governments to adopt good principles, policies and practices to manage development results to ensure that national development plans are effective in transforming the living circumstances of African people.

For more than ten years, AfCoP operated as a programme of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with the World Bank (WB) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in supporting countries and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), focusing on delivery of tangible and measurable results of their development plans. The evaluation of AfCoP’s ten-year performance led the AfCoP members to register AfCoP as an independent Pan-Africa institution on managing for development results in Africa. Subsequently, the General Assembly endorsed the Constitution and elected the secretariat officials and executive committee members to move forward with the implementation of new mandates.

In response to the forgoing, the AfCoP together with the Government of Senegal, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and  the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is organizing the 2019 Africa Forum on Managing for Development Results, which will take place at the Centre international de Conférences Abdou Diouf (CICAD) in Dakar, Sénégal from October 28-29, 2019.

The objective of the Forum is to reflect on the achievements of AfCOP and draw lessons from what worked well or emerged over the past decade to meet the challenges of Managing for Development Results in Africa. Emphasis will be placed on reaching a consensus on the common principles of MfDR in the specific context of Africa; this will guide future actions of AfCoP to support African Countries to manage for development results as they develop  plans and programmes in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s Transformation Agenda (Agenda 2063).

The Forum will be attended by members of the AfCoP Executive Council, AfCoP facilitators, representatives of national and regional communities of practice and thematic platforms and groups, Development Partners, distinguished guests from the Government of Senegal as well as representatives from Asia/Latin America Continental Community of Practices (CoPs). In this Forum the African Community of Practice (AfCoP) will be officially launched by HE President Macky SALL of the Republic of Senegal.

Session One:

Thought Leaders’ Panel –Examples of MfDR in Africa positively impacting national development plans

At session One (the Thought Leaders’ Panel) high-level Officials from country and regional levels will lead a discussion on Management for Development Results (MfDR) in Africa and national development plans.

Often studies focus more on challenges and problems than on concrete solutions to maximize the opportunities and potential to solve them. Consequently, the management for results in Africa is most often considered in the context of bottlenecks and problems rather than breakthroughs and solutions. Lack of leadership is usually blamed for failures of development in Africa. But Africa cannot turn things around solely by looking at problems alone. There are areas that seem to be working better than others and supporting national and regional plans to achieve their expected results. It is very important to spotlight positive achievements and practices, as well as areas in Africa that are working. So-doing should encourage all actors and stimulate new thinking not only amongst policy makers but at the grassroots-citizen level as well.

Therefore, the Session One is not intended to lay out chronologically the stages of the African development trajectory. Rather the objective will be to discuss implementation of plans for results in Africa in the context of positive ideas for moving forward. The Thought Leaders’ Panel will inspire participants to begin to consider with positive achievements in countries and how to expand those areas to achieve more development results for positive change in the lives of people in Africa.

Session Two:

MfDR revisited in line with Africa’s aspirations and development priorities

Session two will focus on Principles of Managing for Development Results (MFDR). In the theory of change, nothing is built to last, regardless of the strategy and resources that are put in place. Technology changes – increasingly fast. As well, people change their minds and their priorities. Organizations redefine their strategic goals. This is as true in African as everywhere else in the world.

National development plans are not only dealing with countries’ current needs and priorities but must also take into consideration the new universal and African set of goals, indicators and outcomes articulated in the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and the UN-promulgated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The broadened framework for development adds pressure on the Managing Results for Development approach. Keeping the MfDR principles intact, no matter how universal they are, MfDR will be an inadequate ultra vires tool that does not capture current context of development in Africa.

AfCoP believes that adaptation of the Management for Development Results approach must fit into the context of emerging demands of African development. Thus, in June 2019, AfCoP commissioned a review of all six pillars:  1) leadership, 2) planning, 3) budgeting, 4) implementation, 5) Monitoring and Evaluation, and 6) accountability. Experts are currently re-examining the MfDR pillars to ensure they align with Africa’s emerging development realities and that they fully support AfCoP’s renewed mandates.

Key findings of the review will be presented in break-out-sessions to allow participants to focus their discussions on each MfDR pillar. Prior to the break-out-sessions, two keynote speakers will set the stage for discussion in a plenary session. One will focus on MfDR in the within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at global level; the second will highlight the emerging demands on MfDR in Africa.

Session Two will give participants the opportunity to revisit each pillar and reach some consensus on how the framework of each can be improved to create adequate tools to help policymakers understand how, why and to what extent change is happening due to the implementation of their national plans to strengthen development policies and practices.

Session Three:

Partnerships for Delivering Development Results in Africa

African Union Agenda 2063 Aspiration 7 on “Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner” and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) tackling inequality and combating climate change can only be achieved through south-south and north-south cooperation and partnerships. The framework of partnership will require everyone in developed and developing countries to share a common vision and assume responsibility toward achieving development results. It must be a relationship in which everybody matters – governments, civil societies, the private sector, academia, science and members of local communities – working together to mobilize what is required to realize the results.

In this context, AfCoP understands that any organization is unlikely to succeed if it tries to work alone. Thus, AfCoP is establishing a partnership framework to foster networks and relationships with like-minded institutions within and outside Africa to accelerate managing for development results. AfCoP is committed to work closely with sister institutions — the African Development Bank and the African Capacity Building Foundation. To avoid duplication, this partnership framework will emphasize coordination of the exchange of knowledge, expertise and plans with global institutions and communities, RECs, African Union and other similar institutions at the regional and country levels.

In Session Three, AfCoP members and regional and international partners will share past experiences of working together in managing development results, identify ways to streamline and enhance collaborations to explore new areas where synergies can be introduced to achieve more and better development results in Africa.

Session Four:

National Community of Practices: Experiences, innovations and future plans

AfCoP has created flagship programmes to ensuring that the efforts to managing for development results in Africa are widely inclusive at levels of society. These include national Community of Practices (NCoP4R), Youth for Results (Y4R), Gender for Results (G4R), Natural Resource Management for Results (NR4R), and Regional Integration for Results (RI4R).

  • NCoP4R assist governments in improving national systems to make them more results-oriented; building capacity of development actors; supporting programmes and projects to achieve quick results; and evaluating public policies and mobilizing non-state actors and communities to participate actively in managing results.
  • Y4R emphasizes meeting the needs of future generations, with a particular focus on youth empowerment, employment creation and innovation.
  • G4R addresses structural aspects of gender equality policies in all facets of life (social justice, decision-making, political participation). There is also a focus on mainstreaming gender indicators in national development plans, as well as increasing capacity for women’s economic empowerment and in legal status so that women can actively participate in managing and demanding development results.
  • NR4R, in addition to supporting countries on environment conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation, aims to promote transparency in natural resource policies so that they can effectively support economic transformation, inclusive growth, and the implementation of national development strategies.
  • RI4R focuses on building capacity in the RECs on MfDR to deliver results on regional integration and truck results on integration policies in the respective partner countries.

Session four will showcase some of the achievements of various activities from the selected National Communities of Practices and present their plans for moving forward to mobilize stakeholders at national and sub-national levels to achieve results. Further the accomplishments of the gender- and youth-focused programmes in Africa will be highlighted as well as the plans that are in place to support and encourage women and youth to engage actively in managing for results in Africa.

Session 5:

AfCoP’s strategy for the next five years (2019-2023)

In the context of its new mandate and the increasing demand to actually achieve development results in Africa, AfCoP has established a five-year strategic plan (2019-2023) to provide the required capacity through working with partners and countries to find solutions to address bottlenecks that currently hamper the delivery of development results.

In the next five years, AfCoP aims to collaborate with African Countries and the Regional Economic Communities to mainstream results-based culture into decision- and policy-making processes to support the implementation of development in the context of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and United Nations Agenda 2030 – specifically by

  • Increasing the capacity of institutions and the public sector to adopt MfDR principles so that designing and implementing policies and development programmes centre on results;
  • Fostering regional integration processes in Africa through engaging key government and private-sector stakeholders in dialogue that focuses on results;
  • Promoting MfDR research to inform policymaking and planning processes for meaningful knowledge-sharing, peer-peer learning and adaptation;
  • Increasing the internal capacity of AfCoP to become a functional and self-sustaining institution.

In Session Five, participants will have the opportunity to review the key priorities, suggest revisions and finally agree on the key priorities that AfCoP will concentrate on in 2020 and beyond.