CAADP: Mutual accountability framework
19 May 2011
CAADP is the Africa-owned plan for agriculture-led development in Africa to eliminate hunger and reduce food insecurity. Following a slow start after the signing of the first CAADP country compact in Rwanda, significant momentum has been achieved. By 2009, the CAADP agenda was generating increasing commitments from African governments and Development Partners. The challenge of translating pledges and commitments into tangible actions was the main trigger for the CAADP Mutual Accountability Framework. The primary objective of the CAADP mutual accountability process is therefore to provide ongoing incentives to CAADP Partners to effectively deliver on their commitments and thereby achieve substantive impact on poverty and hunger.
Following the agreement on mutual accountability as an area for joint working, a task team was constituted during the 5th Partnership Platform to develop the CAADP MAF. The process of developing the CAADP-MAF entailed the following;
1) a desk review of literature on accountability mechanisms in general and mutual accountability in particular;
2) an on-line and face to face stakeholder consultation process and;
3) a validation of the proposed CAADP-MAF through a stakeholder workshop.
As opposed to other forms of accountability, Mutual Accountability is the process by which two or more parties hold one another accountable for the commitments they have voluntarily made to one another. Accordingly, the commitment of diverse stakeholders to the process is maintained, largely, through positive incentives and the desire to protect reputation as opposed to sanctions. The following conditions should obtain in a mutual accountability process.
- Existence of performance information based on mutually agreed performance criteria
- Genuine dialogue and debate process based on mutual consent, common values and trust
Since accountability mechanisms and relationships exist at global, regional and national levels, efforts should focus on steering some of these towards mutual accountability. Also, while all partners should participate in any mutual accountability process, most will be sovereign governments and therefore, the framework will necessarily be non-binding and collaborative in nature. At country level the existing accountability mechanisms such as the Joint Agricultural Sector Review should serve as mutual accountability platform. At the REC level, there is need to create space for additional stakeholders in the existing accountability platforms. For example, in preparation for the Council of Ministers Meeting, a stakeholder mutual accountability session should generate a report for endorsement. At the continental level, the CAADP partnership Platform is an ideal mutual accountability mechanism.
The monitoring and evaluation systems at country and REC level should capture data on common performance indicators, including custom indicators for specific partners such as donors. In order to facilitate genuine dialogue and debate, non state actors, especially beneficiary target groups should play a more active role in the interrogation of the performance report. At continental level, the Mutual Accountability Session of the CAADP Partnership Platform should be facilitated by a coalition of non-state actors.
An independent CAADP mutual accountability report should guide the deliberations and an endorsed CAADP Mutual Accountability Report prepared. The validated CAADP Mutual Accountability Report should be taken to higher level fora, such as the African Platform, APRM on the African side, while Development partners could use it to feed into higher political fora like the G8 group.Coordination of the CAADP Mutual Accountability is the responsibility of NPCA.
* Executive summary to the Mutual Accountability Framework for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, written by Leonard Oruko, Ian Randall, Martin Bwalya, Simon Kisira and Maria Wanzala, dated March 2011. The full report, 27 pages, can be accessed here.
Keywords: donor aid, aid effectiveness, Nepad, African Union