Country Program Evaluation Mali 2006-2011

The Mali Country Program disbursed $486.5 million between 2006 and 2011 to help alleviate poverty and promote development in Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries. The program placed particular emphasis on children and youth, economic development, and public sector reform.

Why conduct this evaluation?

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess results and management performance, and to document lessons learned.

The program’s mechanisms for aid coordination and policy dialogue were recognized as best practices by other donors.

What did the evaluation find?

  • Effectiveness: Long-term investments in education, health, and food security achieved good results in addressing the root causes of poverty. In education, the program increased the number of textbooks available in schools, and through local procurement, developed a Malian textbook industry. It also facilitated the decentralization process of Mali’s education sector.
  • Relevance: The program supported the Government of Mali in meeting its commitments to promote redistributive growth and poverty reduction by boosting productive sectors and consolidating public sector reforms. The program also reflected Government of Canada priorities and maintained a focus on key long-term themes.
  • Sustainability: Long-term engagement allowed time for development gains to mature. At the same time, more robust risk analysis could have strengthened sustainability planning.
  • Gender equality and environmental sustainability: The program achieved progress in gender equality mainly through policy dialogue, but paid less attention to matters of environmental sustainability.
  • Coherence: There was excellent coordination of aid-delivery mechanisms with other donors and the Government of Mali. One challenge was to ensure effective collaboration among Canadian and local partners in the field.
  • Efficiency: There was an improved balance between management costs and investments from the last evaluation period (2000–2005). The program has one of the lowest ratios of field staff to total disbursements.
  • Performance management: The application of results-based management and risk-analysis tools improved over the review period.

What is next for the Mali program?

There is an opportunity to improve the program’s performance by:

  • maintaining up-to-date risk-assessment and mitigation strategies;
  • undertaking more systematic monitoring and evaluation as informed by risk assessment;
  • increasing efforts to integrate gender equality as a crosscutting theme; and
  • placing increased emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Full Report — Mali Country Program Evaluation 2006-2007 – 2010-2011 - Synthesis Report