These case studies are in the author's language of choice. Unless otherwise indicated, a summary is provided in the other official language.
Using Bioscience to Combat Food Insecurity in Africa (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
If Africa is to overcome food insecurity, a major contribution must be made by Africa’s science and research community. Unfortunately, Africa hosts few world-class scientific research institutions. One instrument for addressing this situation is the African Bioscience Initiative (ABI), which operates four regional networks and the African Bio-Safety Network of Expertise. This case study describes a CIDA-funded project to assist ABI with the development of a new strategic plan. The project unfolded in three stages during 2011-12: the first stage, culminating with the completion of ABI’s draft strategic plan, was characterized by a robust, motivated collaboration between client, consultant and stakeholders. The second stage saw progress frustratingly grind to a halt when the project’s local partner was relieved of his ABI coordination duties. The third stage began unexpectedly when ABI’s strategic plan was suddenly seized upon as a potential model for developing a broader, Africa-wide policy on science, technology and innovation. Fortuitously, the project’s new champion was well aware of ABI’s strategic plan, having originated the 2010 request to CIDA for technical assistance to ABI. With renewed purpose, this nearly moribund project suddenly assumed an influence well beyond its original scope. Sometimes a little luck helps. The project’s dramatic ups and downs provide lessons learned that underscore the importance of engaging stakeholders, actively managing risk and persisting when setbacks occur. Beyond the roller-coaster ride of changing clients and shifting momentum, this case study highlights the importance of boosting the quality of African bioscience research. Scientific breakthroughs by organizations supported through ABI will better equip Africa to meet its formidable food insecurity and economic development challenges.
The People’s Defender: Strengthening the Office of the Ombudsman in Peru (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
In developing countries, the national Ombudsman often assumes a broader mandate that deals not only with individual complaints of maladministration by public institutions, but with systemic human rights and democratization issues. This is certainly the case in Peru where the Defensoria del Pueblo (DDP) has long-played such a role and is viewed as the most credible public institution by the Peruvian people. This case study describes a successful, CIDA-funded project to introduce results-based management (RBM) in DDP. What is unique about the project is the decision by the Canadian team and Peru’s Ombudsman to do this as part of a comprehensive change management process. Within a year, remarkable progress had been achieved, notwithstanding a leadership transition early in the project and initial resistance to the approach by DDP management and staff. The project demonstrates that RBM should not be viewed simply as a methodological tool, but rather as a vehicle for strengthening organizational effectiveness and accountability. Moreover, if RBM is to be meaningful, it must be embraced by senior management and embedded in all key processes at both strategic and operational levels. The payoff can be significant: for an ombudsman’s office, a well-managed, effective organization will be better equipped to pursue its critical role in defending individuals, preserving human rights and strengthening democratic institutions.
Deployment for Democratic Development: Doing Better With Less
By Gordon Evans
CIDA’s Deployment for Democratic Development (DDD) program has supported democracy promotion since 2007 by funding multiple short-duration (18-24 month), low-budget (less than $250,000) projects. This article focuses on the advantages of this unique, responsive approach to foreign aid, arguing that the DDD model can in many circumstances deliver sustainable results at much lower cost than traditional project delivery models which rely on resident advisors, project teams and lengthy assignments. Moreover, DDD’s unconventional preference for selecting current or former civil servants over development professionals has also proved beneficial.
Ten DDD case studies developed by IPAC elaborate this perspective. From civil service legislation in Mongolia to decentralization in Peru’s regions to a code of ethics for Tanzania, DDD has demonstrated that placing the right Canadian expert with a motivated client can produce solid results notwithstanding limited time frames and budgets. Lessons learned from DDD describe how problems such as unrealistic client expectations, miscast policy problems, and unanticipated political interventions were effectively addressed on very short notice. Although there are many circumstances where the traditional project structure will prove more appropriate, this assessment suggests that this innovative model for delivering technical assistance should certainly be considered more widely.
Beginning the Healing Process:Canada’s Participation in the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
The international community swiftly condemned the military coup that deposed the Honduran President in June 2009. Although the de facto government formed after the coup only lasted until the next scheduled election in November, Honduras did not return to diplomatic normalcy for another two years. Meanwhile, the deep political, social and economic divisions that underpinned the crisis remained largely in place. To determine what actually happened in June 2009 and identify a way forward for the country, the newly-elected President established the five-member Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in April 2010. The Commission comprised two Honduran and three international members, including Michael Kergin, former Canadian ambassador to the United States and Cuba. In just over a year, the TRC travelled to all eighteen Honduran provinces, held over three hundred meetings, and received testimony from one-hundred and fifty-five political, judicial, military, and legislative figures linked to the events. Its final report, titled “So That These Events Will Never Reoccur,” was released in July 2011. This case study examines how the Commission, facing significant skepticism concerning its mandate, reached out to its critics, dealt directly with the highly-charged issue of human rights violations and crafted a balanced, well-received set of recommendations. The Honduran experience described below is rich in lessons learned and provides some critical insights on the effective use of truth and reconciliation commissions as a catalyst to begin the healing process in conflict-affected nations.
Against the Odds: Free and Fair Elections in Guinea-Bissau (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
Guinea-Bissau, a small West African nation, has endured violence, suffering, political repression and military coups since its independence from Portugal in 1974. Despite constant setbacks to its democratic aspirations, the nation has managed to conduct several peaceful, free and fair elections. This case study describes Canada’s successful efforts to support the United Nations with coordination and logistical support for the 2008 and 2009 elections. Undertaken amid political tension, against virtually impossible time lines, the two projects made significant contributions to the effective coordination of the international observer teams. Reflecting on the experience, both projects concluded that future election monitoring efforts could be strengthened by sufficient advance planning and efficient, timely execution of administrative tasks. In essence, the key lesson learned has been to take care of the little things so that one can focus on the real problems. From a democratization perspective, the high degree of competence and impartiality demonstrated by Guinea-Bissau’s National Electoral Commission and the high level of satisfaction expressed by citizens in the voting process provided some grounds for modest optimism. Sadly, after experiencing yet another military coup in April 2012, Guinea-Bissau’s one significant democratic accomplishment, achieved against formidable odds, may be at serious risk.
Improving Policy Skills in Indonesia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
This case study describes a highly-successful project delivered through the CIDA-funded Deployment for Democratic Development program in 2010 to strengthen Indonesia’s foreign policy analysis and research capacity. What distinguished the project was the job relevance of the policy training, strong political buy-in from the Minister, the training techniques used and the high degree of ownership by its client, the Policy Planning and Development Agency in Indonesia’s Department of Foreign Affairs. The policy training focused on the development of policy proposals and presentations that addressed actual departmental and Ministerial strategic priorities (e.g., policy positions for an upcoming G-20 meeting). The end products were presented in a live situation to the Department head. A train-the-trainers program was developed in parallel to ensure that the new policy analysis process could be sustained and continuously improved going forward. A component on conducting policy research using electronic sources was fully integrated within the training program and used to support the development of the policy presentations. Remarkably, the project itself was completed in less than a year. Given the relative scarcity of technical assistance projects which work directly on foreign policy or which provide job-relevant policy training, the knowledge transfer potential for and lessons learned from this project are significant.
Supporting Civil Service Reform in Mongolia: A Case of Consensus Building (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
This case study describes a 2011 CIDA-funded project to support civil service reform in Mongolia. The project enabled Canada’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to work with Mongolia’s Civil Service Council (CSC) and a working group formed by the Prime Minister to revise the national civil service legislation. Initially, the project grappled with the policy challenges of adapting Canada’s federal model to a unitary country and simplifying Mongolia’s highly complex, New Zealand-style public administration model. The greatest challenge, however, arose when a second working group on civil service reform was formed by Mongolia’s President. At this point, Ms. Maria Barrados, the project lead and former PSC President, had a critical decision to make on whether and how to respond. Although the project’s remaining resources and time were limited, Ms. Barrados determined that the best course of action would be to work directly and intensely with both working groups in an effort to achieve consensus on fundamental policy positions. Through this engagement, it is hoped that common policy grounds will be evident when the two sets of legislative proposals are presented to Parliament for review later in 2012.
Strengthening Media Governance in Guyana: Mission Impossible? (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
This case study describes efforts to strengthen media governance in Guyana though CIDA’s Deployment for Democratic Development (DDD) Program. According to the original work plan, the government, media industry and civil society were to engage in a tri-partite national dialogue to increase media independence and responsibility. At the outset, the expected results included modern broadcast legislation, establishment of a permanent regulator, a new media code of conduct and public complaints process, and creation of a media industry association. Then problems began that would change the project dramatically. First, the project’s client was unable to continue. Then, the government and the state-controlled media unexpectedly withdrew their participation. What followed was an on-the-fly reinvention of the project from a consensus building to an advocacy role with a new client outside government. In place of facilitating dialogue, obviously impossible given the government boycott, the project focused on establishing the Guyana Media Proprietor’s Association (GMPA). The lessons learned from the project are both cautionary; i.e., what to do when the work plan is undermined by an uncooperative partner, and proactive; i.e., what could have been done in advance to mitigate risk. Notwithstanding the perpetually turbulent project environment, the establishment of a media industry association stands as a solid accomplishment. If and when the government pursues meaningful reform of Guyana’s media governance, GMPA will be well-positioned to contribute. Democratization is clearly not a linear process.
Strengthening Regional Government in Peru
By Carlos Salazar and Gordon Evans
With the collapse of the Fujimori government in 2000, the democratization of Peru began in earnest. Since 2002, the decentralization of state powers to Peru’s twenty-four regions (similar to Canadian provinces) has been pursued by each successive government as a core element of Peru’s emerging democracy. Although progress has been uneven, the decentralization process is now clearly irreversible. This DDD case study summarizes the technical assistance provided over an 18-month period to strengthen institutional and management capacities in Peru’s Piura Region and Piura Provincial Municipality. The three key project outputs included: developing a detailed proposal to establish a regional strategic planning centre for Piura, integrating a balanced scorecard approach with the development of a Regional Agreement and Regional Development Plan, and developing the Provincial Municipality of Piura’s urban development plan through a highly participative process. Interestingly, this DDD project evolved from a pre-existing agreement between CIDA and the Piura Regional Government. Recognizing that considerable time would be required to design and initiate the more ambitious project planned for four Regions, CIDA turned to DDD as a quick-response mechanism to provide some bridging assistance. Ultimately, the project not only provided the desired assistance to the Piura Regional Government, but valuable input to the design of the broader CIDA project, which is now being tendered.
Supporting Development Finance Institutions in Southern Africa (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
Increasingly, regional solutions are being advanced to spur economic growth among developing nations. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), comprising fifteen member states, supports a regional network of 27 development finance institutions. The project described in this case study outlines the technical assistance provided to SADC’s Development Finance Resource Centre (DFRC), through the CIDA-funded Deployment for Democratic Development initiative. The project’s core outputs included 5-year strategic and 2-year business plans and a results-based management framework for SADC/DFRC. What is noteworthy about this project is the intensity of effort applied during the inception stage to consult with members (involving some heroic travel logistics) and redefine the original problem statement, which miscast relationship issues between DFRC and senior SADC personnel as flawed governance arrangements. This refocusing of the project paved the way for the successful effort by Stuart Kufeni, DFRC’s CEO, and Frank Schwartz, the Canadian consultant, to develop and obtain buy-in for the strategic plan.
Using a Participatory Approach to Develop Phase II of the Government Action Plan for the Improvement and Modernization of Public Finance Management (PAGAM/GFP II)(UPDATED) (only available in French)
By Lucie Rouillard, Pierre Martineau, Jean-Philippe Lapointe
This case study describes an initiative funded through the Deployment for Democratic Development Mechanism (DDD). Using an organizational development participatory approach to support the development of Phase II of the Government Action Plan for the Improvement and Modernization of Public Finance Management (PAGAM/GFP), this initiative, which was accomplished in Mali between April 2009 and June 2010 by three Canadian consultants, involved and integrated the work of nearly a hundred representatives from the Public Service, the Civil Society, the National Assembly, various other Institutions in Mali as well as Technical and Financial Partners. While the new approach required more than twice the time originally estimated and costs initially budgeted to carry out the initiative, it aimed at sustainably building the capacity of the various participants and a better appropriation of the Plan by those responsible for its implementation and other stakeholders. The Action Plan was adopted by the Mali Government in July 2010. The participatory approach used, as reported by Malian officials, greatly helped the adoption process by the Government.
Using Social Marketing to Promote Ethics in Tanzania's Public Service(UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
In 2009, Ms. Adieu Nyondo, Director of the Ethics Promotion Division in Tanzania’s Office of the President, had a novel idea. She believed that the application of social marketing techniques to the advancement of ethics in Tanzania’s public service might succeed in changing attitudes where other efforts had fallen short. Securing CIDA support, she worked closely with Canadian advisors Mary Gusella and the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing to develop an effective social marketing campaign. However, a year and a half later, the project’s prospects appeared bleak owing to an inability to secure sufficient funding for local consultants to complete the audience research in the pilot ministry. Sometimes, eureka moments are born of necessity. With few if any alternatives, the Canadian advisors and Ms. Nyondo devised a creative approach that fit within project budgets and timelines: do it yourself. In February 2012, the social marketing team received intensive training before successfully conducting 315 employee interviews, 301 client surveys and four focus groups. In April, the baseline results and proposed strategy were presented to and enthusiastically endorsed by senior management of Public Sector Management, Office of the President. The social marketing team then geared into overdrive to implement the strategy, including desk drops of the ethics code, employee briefings on the Code and signed compliance declarations, one-page notices tallying complaints received and resolved posted on ministry’s public notice boards, notices welcoming citizen feedback on complaints, and an e-mail dashboard and supporting IT system for senior managers indicating the status of complaints resolution. In January 2013, the Canadian team returned to assist with an evaluation of progress-to-date. Notwithstanding the short time frames, marked improvements were observed in employee awareness of the Code and client experience with ministry officials. Given the pilot’s success, phase-two implementation is slated to begin later this year.
Gender Budgeting: Influencing Policy Choices in Niger and Ukraine
By Gordon Evans, Marie Fortier-Balogh and Diana Ivancic-Skinner
Many developed and developing countries are attempting to increase the gender-responsiveness of government policy and budgetary choices. Two projects delivered through the CIDA-funded Deployment for Democratic Development (DDD) present different approaches in dissimilar countries to this common goal. In Ukraine, analysts in the Office of the President now assess the state budget using the project-produced Budget Analysis Manual, which includes a chapter on gender impact assessment. In Niger, three pilot ministries have adapted Quebec’s model on collecting gender-differentiated data in order to understand the differential impacts on men and women of ministry policies and programs. Although neither project was specifically tasked with facilitating a gender budget, their work invariably leads to and confronts the traditional, “gender-blind” government budget process. Both projects recognize that evidence-based policy decisions cannot be made in a data vacuum and recommend practical tools to address these gaps.
Strengthening Checks and Balances: Budget Analysis in Ukraine’s Office of the President(UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans
The CIDA-funded project, National State Budget Analysis by Secretariat of the President, continues Canada’s long-standing commitment to democratic development in Ukraine. Led by the Conference Board of Canada and its local partner, the Ukrainian International Centre for Policy Studies, the project was initially conceived as a straightforward capacity building exercise where methodological expertise would be transferred through workshops. However, a more ambitious project emerged at the client’s request during the inception mission. First, the consultants were tasked with drafting a budget analysis manual; second, the manual was to include a gender budgeting chapter. The manual was duly produced and tested over a three-month period. Client ownership of the manual was certainly cemented during the October workshop where the President Office analysts and consultants applied the model “live” to the actual 2009 budget. Since the project’s conclusion, the Ukrainian partner reports that the analysts have contacted her regarding application of the methodology. Sustainability appears promising.
Dreaming Big, Implementing Not-So-Big: Development Coordination in Jordan’s Ministry of Labour (UPDATED)
By Gordon Evans (Based on an earlier case study by Leslie Shimotakahara)
Jordan faces daunting employment problems, from high youth unemployment levels to low labour-market participation rates, particularly among women and youth to an underdeveloped private sector. To address these deficiencies, Jordan’s Ministry of Labour coordinated the preparation of a strategy for the technical and vocational education and training sector and established a Donor Coordination Unit to oversee its implementation. Unfortunately, the strategy had been developed through lengthy, highly-participative stakeholder consultations undertaken without any fiscal parameters. Not surprisingly, the estimated implementation cost of the resulting strategy ($163 million) far outstripped available funding ($16 million). This case study retraces the efforts of a six-month consultancy funded by the Canadian International Development Agency to set up the new coordination unit and guide them through the sensitive process of scaling-down stakeholder expectations to a realistic level without losing their buy-in. The success of these efforts provides some important lessons learned for any country faced with implementing an under or un-costed strategy.