This chapter presents the evaluation’s assessment of the sustainability of the APP, focusing on the question whether the benefits of the APP are likely to continue after APP funding is (or has been) withdrawn. Specifi-cally, this assessment focuses on long-term benefits of the APP, resilience to risk and ownership. The chapter will present this assessment along the lines of the geographical focus areas of the APP: the African continent (focusing on the AU), West Africa (focusing on ECOWAS, KAIPTC and WANEP) and East Africa (focusing on IGAD).
The sustainability of APP-supported AU programmes has continuously been undermined by the high level of donor dependency. In fact, aid officials in Addis Ababa characterised the AU a donor organisation rather than a member state organisation, portraying it as ultimately controlled by external parties and not directly involved stakeholders. The APP Reviews noted, however, that the establishment of the JFAs created more independence (and thus ownership). Additionally, the AU Reform process is bringing forward several innovative ideas for funding.
The Agenda 2063 is presented by AU officials as the vision that will carry the continent and the AU forward towards more integration, not only in the area of peace and security but also regarding economic and social issues. The early statements from the AU reform process and the recent Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (April 2018) are supportive of this stronger, integrated vision. The APP’s investment in the AU seems sustainable in the sense that there is political backing for the organisation and a future-oriented agenda. Officials in Addis Ababa proposed that in the past five years the AU had surpassed the EU in developing as an intergovernmental organisation, despite continuous transparency and accountability challenges. Officials also noted that the AU now tackles a much broader set of issues with renewed energy. The forthcoming pillar assessment of the AU will serve as a critical evaluation for its future development.
The sustainability of the APP support to the West Africa region is undermined by the high dependency of its partner organisations on external funding. While the APP has managed to support capacity building in all three partner organisations, it is not clear that this capacity will remain in place if Danish support ends.
ECOWAS in theory has the financial means to carry its peace and security staff capacity, but for now the bulk of its member states’ contributions is used for the non-peace and security agenda of ECOWAS (with the exception of the military components of the ESF and the electoral monitoring missions). However, these contributions have been diminishing due to financial crises. One may question whether the payment of salaries within ECOWAS and PAPS (most notably the ECPF Secretariat and the Mediation Facilitation Division) is sustainable if ECOWAS does not take over the contracts at some point (which up until now has not happened due to a hiring freeze in the organisation). According to the agreements made, salaries should be taken over by ECOWAS by the end of 2018, but for now, no progress has been made in terms of ECOWAS acting to tackle its own internal administrative issues.
One conclusion is that ECOWAS still is not structurally putting money against the ECPF. As one interviewee stated: ‘If you want donors to support it, you must also commit your own resources.’ Even if all ECOWAS Directorates involved in the ECPF had committed just 5% of their budgets, the ECPF would have gone much further. Interviewees underline that even though it is not in the Danish culture to flex its muscles on these types of issues, Denmark should not underestimate its importance as a funder to the ECPF. While the EU may be the biggest donor in terms of budget, it also have the largest amount of money returned due to the fact that often EU rules and regulations are too difficult for ECOWAS to work with. Denmark could ask for more in return on its investment, as the ECPF would not be where it is today if it were not for the Danish support provided. The flagship projects of ECOWAS and PAPS are all heavily supported by Denmark, including mediation and elections. This links back to having Danish capacity in Abuja in the embassy, and the need to build a relationship that allows for a more strategic dialogue.
As for KAIPTC and WANEP, Denmark’s decision not to include these organisations as pre-determined partners under the APP IV undermines the sustainability of its efforts. In theory, core funding provides a flexible and sustainable way to fund institutions; by going through the system rather than bypassing it, one can strengthen capacities and systems. However, this only works if institutions have a substantially strong enough basis in terms of being able to generate their own income (or have a realistic outlook in this regard in the near future). While WANE is making progress, it was still an unfortunate and unforeseen decision (from their perspective) for Denmark to reconsider their support in the middle of the implementation of the WANEP Strategic Plan 2015-2020. By only allowing WANEP to be eligible for unallocated funding under the APP IV, Denmark does not provide a longer-term guarantee for support. This has left WANEP with a gap in terms of its ability to implement its Strategic Plan. WANEP has approached the other JFA partners (i.e. Austria and Sweden) for assistance but has not yet found a way to fill this gap in its budget. As for KAIPTC, Denmark’s decision not to continue its support for the organisation under the APP is the result of the Centre not showing enough progress in terms of its effectiveness and internal management capabilities. However, one might question whether or not such progress could have even been achieved, given the hands-off approach applied. For both WANEP and KAIPTC – in their role as supporting ECOWAS in the implementation of the APSA – a larger part of their funding should come from ECOWAS (and its member states), making them less dependent on donor funding. This is not something that Denmark could tackle on its own, but something that should be addressed by a group of donors (both in terms of aligning efforts vis-àvis ECOWAS and aligning efforts vis-à-vis WANEP and KAIPTC). There is a need to balance the core funding with the projected and earmarked contributions from other donors).
Given the continued state of conflicts in the Horn of Africa, regional cooperation mechanisms are likely to be required for several decades ahead. IGAD member states have not been contributing substantially to the organisation and seem unlikely to do so soon. For IGAD to continue its functions, it will require external funding. Meanwhile, this evaluation assesses that Denmark’s security commitments to the region are likely to continue given Copenhagen’s interests in secure shipping lanes and controlled migration.
While Denmark was a pioneer in its support to IGAD, today other donors recognise the importance of IGAD regarding peace issues. Norway, for example, continues to be engaged in IGAD’s mediation activities. Starting in 2018, the EU will contribute EUR 40 million to IGAD to better control the situation in the Horn. This will ensure continuation of the efforts Denmark has initiated and may also lead to a more concerted effort to increase the organisation’s impact. By co-chairing the JFA on peace and security, Denmark could use this new funding momentum to guarantee a stronger political member state engagement. But this requires vision, time allocation, and coordination by Danish officials, features that have not been fully developed thus far.
The continuous support by external partners has meant that IGAD has become largely ‘donor-driven’ in its focus, which has created chasm between the organisation’s technical and political levels. The APP III Mid-Term Review notes that IGAD’s dependency on donor funding to maintain its Secretariat and implement its projects has prevented it from being proactive in its activities and thus diminishes its ability to become a sustainable regional organisation. Member states are not invested in IGAD’s programming both because they are not donors and because IGAD activities are dictated by foreign donors. Denmark, with its inclusive partner approach, could help facilitate a stronger commitment from member states to guide programming. Aid officials in Addis Ababa noted that this type of conversation would result in IGAD realising that it is not an implementing agency, but a political body, and that the technical activities should be in support of its convening role rather than vice versa.
Recent political developments may contribute to a more resilient IGAD. Changes in Eritrea and the affiliation of the new Ethiopian Prime Minister suggest that the future may hold more cordial relations between the two countries. The UN and the EU have also declared themselves prepared to engage when member states are ready for broader integration within the Horn of Africa.Top