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6 Effectiveness

This chapter presents the evaluation’s assessment of the effectiveness of the APP, focusing on the extent to which the programme attained its objectives. As presented in Section 4.1 above, the main objective of the APP was to strengthen the institutional capacity of the APP partner organisations in support of the ‘African solutions to African problems’ maxim. In addition, two elements have run parallel to the formalised chain of logic. First, as an outcome of its assistance, Denmark was expected to achieve better access to key African officials. Second, the assistance would enable Denmark to better pursue its national security and trade objectives. This chapter will present the effectiveness assessment along the lines of the geographical focus areas of the APP: African continent (focusing on the AU), West Africa (focusing on ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP), and East Africa (focusing on IGAD).

6.1 Effectiveness of APP support to AU

Overall, APP support enabled the AU to increase its capacity across a range of functions that are relevant to the APSA and AGA. The Mid-Term Reviews of each APP phase, excluding the ongoing APP IV, pointed to AU institutional progress achieved. For example, under Phase I, the Mid-Term Review noted that substantial progress was made by the AU against its PSC mandate.[178]The Review stated that while it was difficult to follow the flow of events and the rationale for each individual activity (e.g. workshops), visible improvements were made as a result of the overall engagement. The Review highlighted that several concepts had been developed to guide the ASF, that the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) was in place, and that MoUs had been signed between the AU and RECs.[179]

Throughout Phase II, the JFAs employed were considered by both the AU and partners to be highly relevant, efficient and instrumental for the strengthening of the AU Peace and Security Department and its liaison offices in conflict areas. The Danish embassy in Addis Ababa also played an instrumental role as chair of the JFA for the liaison offices. Yet, the Review noted the continued difficulty in tracing the results of Danish APP II funding. Joint donor reporting made it impossible to extract data on the activity level of individual donor contributions. The bulk of the funds were provided to liaison offices and activities under the operationalisation of the APSA, especially the CEWS.

The APP III Mid-Term Review stated that the newly established Mediation Support Unit fits well with the AU’s preventative diplomacy and crisis response roles. It also noted that a considerable body of experience was developing around senior and credible African figures, and that a support function would make this more operational and effective. APP support has subsequently been used to set up such a support function.

The APP III Mid-Term Review also pointed out that a substantial AU role in post-conflict reconstruction and development remains remote despite the political wish from PSC members for the AU to be visible on the ground in crisis countries. The AU’s funding and capacity constraints are still too significant to compete with other qualified actors, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and NGOs. On the topic of liaison offices, some progress has been shown under the APP III. The offices continue to provide a necessary, visible political presence in crisis countries and linkage to the AU’s political role, despite being under-resourced in staffing areas. Finally, on the AU’s role in election observation, APP III support has been relevant and useful, e.g. the engagement with African civil society. However, across other areas of the AGA (including linkages to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism) the AU’s effectiveness is less evident and requires further attention.

In sum, with the APP support the AU has made progress across a range of programming, despite the AU’s continuing capacity constraints. As each Programme Review highlights, the AU has continuously required capacity building for administrative and financial staff on project and financial management.[180] Under the APP III, this was the case even as the AU introduced a new procurement manual (providing greater delegated authorities), sought steps to speed up recruitment processes, and brought in individuals from outside the AU to head up the Administration and Human Resources and the Programming, Budgeting and Accounting divisions.

Critically, narrative reports lack clear indicators, such as actual numbers, quantity, and completion rates. While AU activities are in alignment with their own annual work plans, it is not possible to validate AU narrative reporting against the overall results framework for the APP III. The APP III Mid-Term Review thus ends by stating that the poor quality of reporting is disappointing and surprising given the impression gained following consultations with AU staff that good results at the outcome level had been achieved.

In terms of the APP providing access to AU officials to engage in a constructive policy dialogue, it is clear that – given the decentralised management of the APP from the Danish embassy in Addis Ababa – the premises of AU are more frequented by Danish officials by any of the APP partner organisations’ officials. Danish officials emphasise that they have been able to gain access to key AU staff when necessary, and that they have achieved influence, for example, through discussions with the Strategy and Policy Planning unit. This is somewhat in contrast to other international donors, who struggled to schedule meetings with key AU staff members, even if they were a considerably larger donor, e.g. the EU delegation in Addis Ababa has been unable to set up monthly meetings with the AU Peace and Security Department. However, Denmark did not get specific points on the agenda EU-AU Summit in 2017, putting into question the tangible outcomes Denmark’s influence with AU officials.

6.2 Effectiveness of APP support to ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP

Overall, the APP support to the West African region has enabled the partner institutions to increase their capacity across a range of functions that are relevant from the perspective of implementing the APSA and AGA. Danish funding has allowed ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP to continue critical work on the one hand, and to expand and grow on the other.

The APP has enabled ECOWAS to increase its capacity across a range of functions related to the ECPF – most notably the ECPF Secretariat and the Mediation Facilitation Division (with salaries being paid for by Danida funding through ECOWAS recruitment schemes). Still, the staff capacity (both in terms of quality and quantity) remains weak compared to the organisation’s ambitions, and expectations fall short in terms of ECOWAS being an effective player in conflict management in the region. The organisation also remains weak from an administrative management standpoint, with ECOWAS not passing the EU’s ‘Pillar Assessment’, which indicates a weak ‘professional’ status of the organisation, resulting in other donors not putting their money through the ECOWAS system due to concerns of mismanagement.[181] Notwithstanding this fact, the APP support did allow ECOWAS to develop the ECPF and its subsequent action plans, and to bring in additional donors to fund these on the back of initial Danish support.

The APP contributions have allowed both WANEP and KAIPTC to strengthen their capacity. The core contributions have been used to pay salaries and to ensure implementation of the organisations’ Strategic Plans. Both organisations have also managed to bring in additional donor support on the basis of the core funding provided by Denmark (and Sweden and Norway), which established a level of trust for other donors to also invest. As is the case for ECOWAS, for KAIPTC there are questions regarding the effectiveness of the capacity that has been built. For example, despite the fact that the APP has allowed the Centre to build its core management capacity, financial administration and management challenges remain (as underlined by the various reviews that have been undertaken throughout the years). Other donors bypass the issue by bringing in their own staff (secondments) to get a specific job done. This does not solve the issues at the core of the organisation though, and in light of a lacking solid financial overview, it is difficult to assess where the issues lie. The current governance setup and linkages to the Ghana Ministry of Defence reportedly hinders progress in this regard, resulting in an abundance of external consultants while that money could be used to strengthen the capacity of KAIPTC’s own staff. This situation underlines the need for a more strategic engagement of the Centre’s partners – including Denmark (in the Governing Board, which should be better structured, more strategically focused, and with a more coherent approach of partners). The Danish embassy in Accra (which in practice acts as the main point of contact for KAIPTC) has raised some of these points to KAIPTC and is ready to engage with KAIPTC on the basis of a mandate from the APP management team in Addis Ababa.

For WANEP, the APP support has been used to improve the implementation of their Strategic Plans. They have made good progress in this regard, supported by positive reporting results, showing the effectiveness of the support. Notwithstanding these results, it was decided not to include WANEP as a separate partner organisation in the APP IV, but instead to make it eligible for unallocated funding (which does not provide a longer-term guarantee for support). The evaluation found that WANEP was only informed of this decision in the fall of 2017, and that other expectations were raised by the fact that Denmark signed a new JFA for WANEP in March 2017 (valid until 2020). As the WANEP Strategic Plan runs from 2015 to 2020, they were left with a funding gap in relation to their Strategic Plan. Denmark therefore undermined not only the effectiveness of WANEP – and its own achievements over the years – but also its reputation of being a trustworthy donor.

On the question of whether support has enabled more effective access to African officials to exert policy influence, there are mixed results. For the West Africa region, the support may have enabled better access, but it has yet to be determined whether this has been leveraged to deliver policy influence. For ECOWAS, there are no clear indication that the Danish support has enabled better access to African officials. On the contrary, it seems that Denmark has missed opportunities to engage in strategic dialogue with ECOWAS. ECOWAS officials indicated that Denmark could have, and according to them should have, interfered when ECOWAS was faced with management challenges during the APP II and specifically during the APP III – with the President of the ECOWAS Commission blocking expenditures on programme activities. Given Denmark’s core support to the Commission, it was expected that they would have engaged in a political dialogue (at ministerial level) to break open the impasse, which was hindering the success of the Danish support as much as it was hindering the success of ECOWAS activities. Yet Denmark did not engage in such a dialogue. By being mostly absent from the partner dialogues in Abuja, and with dialogues with ECOWAS (and now specifically the ECPF Secretariat) focusing mostly on administrative and management issues related to the APP contributions, the predominant feeling is that Denmark does not exert the policy influence it potentially has vis-à-vis ECOWAS. The effectiveness of the APP support to ECOWAS as such seems to be affected by the fact that the APP is managed out of Addis Ababa, with Danish officials not engaging with ECOWAS officials on a day-to-day basis as they do with AU officials, and with Danish officials not being able to visit Abuja as often (and as ad hoc) as a strategic partnership would require.

For KAIPTC, the embassy in Accra indicates that the provision of core funding to KAIPTC allows more direct access to the Ghana Ministry of Defence and national security actors (such as police and law enforcement). They use this access to get information (security assessments) and to discuss security concerns (including the use of violence in suppressing popular protests). However, the embassy cannot provide concrete examples of impact in this regard. As for WANEP, Denmark does not use WANEP for access to African decision makers (even though WANEP’s vast network across the region would provide opportunities for this). Conversely, WANEP did make use of the access provided by Denmark to the AU (with the Danish embassy facilitating conversations for WANEP), when they were setting up an office in Addis Ababa. KAIPTC has just signed an MoU with the AU (after seven years of negotiations), but there are no indications that Denmark played a facilitating role in this process.

6.3 Effectiveness of APP support to IGAD

Whereas the evaluation found that APP’s support to IGAD was clearly relevant, it is questionable whether its funding has led to discernible outcomes. IGAD officials point to a range of activities they have engaged in, including a series of conferences, seminars, and trainings. Some of these initiatives have been pursued with the purpose of increasing internal or member states capacity, and others in the context of the peace processes on Somalia and South Sudan. With approximately 100 staff members in the Peace and Security Department, the officials assert that their presence promotes stability in the region and that they have increased the capacity of member states. IGAD cannot point to actual results, however; only member states would be able to measure any changes in capacity. Similarly, on its compliance pillar, IGAD officials note that they have sensitised member states towards ratifying international agreements. Results are not yet evident, however, as member states are sovereign and ultimately decide whether to ratify agreements.

Aid officials have been more critical of IGAD’s results. They lament that IGAD is still unable to document that they have increased capacity, despite years of investment in exactly institutional capacity. IGAD reports on workshops, events and trainings but does not link such activities to strategic priorities. Part of the challenge is that IGAD has been unable to define its strategy and thus has not allocated responsibility to those who should deliver results. Denmark has sought to invest directly in this issue, for example in APP Phase III, supporting results-based management, resource mobilisation, communication and interaction with member states. Yet IGAD capacity is still lacking, a condition acknowledged by Danish officials and consultants in Africa and in Copenhagen.

IGAD can demonstrate better results on early warning, an area that APP has focussed on in several of its phases. IGAD’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) is highly developed in comparison to similar systems of other RECs. The system has received much praise for its design and methodology, which has a broad reach of thematic and geographic areas. Like other early warning systems, however, CEWARN has uneven quality and limited data collection capabilities in all areas. Another shortcoming is that it is a very state-biased mechanism in its institutional setup, suggesting a very marginal role for other non-state actors and civil society organisations in the analysis.[182] Finally, although CEWARN operates with state-of-the art technology, it falls short in how its reports are translated into action by member states. Critics have expressed frustration at IGAD’s inability to prevent conflict.[183]

IGAD’s mediation work has a strong record on facilitation. The organisation has been critical in its ability to convene parties on both the Somalia and the Sudan-South Sudan peace processes, as noted in the case studies in earlier chapters of this report. Foreign officials in Addis Ababa highlight that IGAD’s convening function is its real strength. Impact, however, is also difficult to discern, as discussed below.

The main obstacle to a more effective organisation, aside from institutional capacity, is the political relationship between the IGAD Secretariat and its member states. According to an aid official, it is not clear who should deliver what. Given such poor results, it is questionable whether Denmark was correct in continuing APP funding into Phase IV, especially under the JFA where donor is different to that of a bilateral funding relationship: only with joint, sustained efforts will the synergies materialise. Sweden has recently pulled out of the JFA, whereas Norway remains a member. The pooled funding mechanism was set up in 2012 and was focused on specific budget lines, not just budget support. Intended as an incentive for IGAD, the organisation has not yet delivered fully on its promise to fulfil these institutional requirements.

The evaluation noted a sense of inertia in the manner that the APP now funds IGAD. Given the indispensable nature of the organisation, and given Denmark has a long history of support, it has become nearly inconceivable to not continue the funding into Phase IV. Discussions among donors to IGAD include ideas on engaging directly with IGAD member states, who may hold the key to a better functioning regional organisation. Danish officials appear open to such engagement but have not yet felt compelled to leverage the years of investment and help to coordinate a joint donor approach across the region. According to other donors, to influence IGAD member states and generate political will for a stronger IGAD, the Scandinavians in particular could use their embassy networks, their position as co-chair of the JFA on peace and security, and the overall access to IGAD officials created by APP support. The EU model that is being rolled out now might be the mechanism to get real progress on the political level, but Denmark is no longer leading the way.

[178] Danida, Africa Programme for Peace, Phase I (APP I) – 2005-2009 – Project Completion Report – p. 15.

[179] Danida, Africa Programme for Peace, Phase I (APP I) – 2005-2009 – Project Completion Report – p. 15

[180] Danida, Mid-Term Review Africa Programme for Peace – Phase III (APP III) – Review Aide Memoire, July 2016.

[181] ECOWAS is working to pass the assessment by addressing the shortcomings identified by the EU.

[182] Fisher 2014.

[183] Lucey & Mesfin, 2016.


This page forms part of the publication "Evaluation of the Africa Programme for Peace 2004-2017 – November 2018" as chapter 6 of 12.
Version no. 1.0, 2018-12-13
Publication may be found at the address http://www.netpublikationer.dk/um/evaluation_africa_programme_for_peace_2004-2017/index.html