The purpose of the Contribution Fund for projects and development activities resulting from Francophonie summits (Fund 608), established in 1993, is to fulfill Canadian commitments regarding follow-up on the summits. Managed by the Francophonie Affairs Division (GIF), the Fund is an instrument of action and political presence that provides financial support for concrete cooperation initiatives included in the programming of the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF). These initiatives heighten Canada's prominence internationally through La Francophonie, one of the thrusts of Canadian foreign policy. Canada's contribution to projects and activities under Fund 608 is accomplished through a transfer of funding to the AIF in Paris and to the New Brunswick government's Department of Intergovernmental and International Relations.
The Francophonie Affairs Division is required to present a submission to Treasury Board for the renewal of Fund 608, and that submission must be accompanied by a recent evaluation. The Evaluation Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) has therefore prepared a summary evaluation report on Canada's participation in projects and development activities resulting from Francophone summits (Fund 608). The evaluation was to provide a summary description of the results of the program supported by the Fund, as well as determine whether the Fund and the terms and conditions of its operation and management continued to be an effective way of funding development of the Francophonie.
The summary evaluation was to be based on the reports, strategies and findings of evaluations performed by the AIF and New Brunswick, the recipients of the funding. The methodology comprised a review of reports of evaluations and follow-up conducted between 2001 and 2003, telephone interviews with AIF stakeholders, and meetings with GIF managers involved in managing Fund 608.
The summary evaluation determined that Fund 608 helps promote Canadian interests to partners and is consistent with the political and economic objectives Canada has set itself in the area of support for the Francophonie. Activities under the Fund have made it possible to foster increased cooperation among international organizations, particularly in the areas of human rights and democratic development. Fund 608 has also aided joint action in the area of cultural diversity and helped broaden access to and command of new technologies. In the area of cooperation, Fund 608 has enabled Canada to discuss the priority thrusts of multilateral Francophone cooperation and work in cooperation with more than 60 Francophonie member states and governments. The funding provided to the AIF and New Brunswick has been used to finance programming and activities in support of the development of the Francophonie in a number of areas agreed upon by all the bodies of La Francophonie.
The reports and different evaluations consulted revealed the necessity and desirability for the AIF of implementing evaluations and tools to improve the future performance and impact of the initiatives funded. Moving from biennial to quadrennial programming should facilitate more results-based management, enhance the effectiveness of Francophonie programming and, with four years for observation, make it possible to more properly determine impacts on target populations and recipient countries.
In conclusion, Fund 608 has met its objectives and its impacts have been positive for both Canada and La Francophonie member states and governments. Fund 608 also supports New Brunswick's participation in the La Francophonie summits, ministerial conferences and international consultations.
That the Francophonie Affairs Division, through its active involvement and ongoing presence in the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF), continue to press for the AIF to develop true results-based project management using precise indicators to measure attainment of short, medium and long term results. By linking project objectives with program objectives, developing indicators for determining impacts would ensure that project activities would contribute to the attainment of results in either a cumulative or complementary manner.
Fund 608 is a resource envelope for making Canada's contribution to development projects and activities arising from the Francophonie summits. The Evaluation Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) has prepared a summary evaluation report on that contribution, for attachment to the Fund 608 renewal submission to Treasury Board.
Canada makes its contribution through funding transfers to the AIF, located in Paris, and to New Brunswick's Department of Intergovernmental and International Relations. The AIF is an international agency that receives both operating funds (through other funds such as Fund 633 (AIF), which covers Canada's statutory contribution to the AIF) and voluntary contributions from a number of countries and governments, such as Canada's contribution through Fund 608. The AIF has its own evaluation and audit procedures for the projects it manages. The summary evaluation was to be based on the AIF's reports, strategies and evaluation findings and on information obtained from New Brunswick.
The methodology used for the summary evaluation consisted in reviewing reports of evaluations and follow-up conducted between 2001 and 2003, conducting telephone interviews with AIF stakeholders, and holding meetings with GIF managers involved in managing Fund 608, as well as performing searches of the Websites of FAC, AIF and New Brunswick.
The summary evaluation report was to describe the results achieved by the program supported by the Fund and determine whether the Fund and its terms and conditions of operation and management continued to be effective for funding development of the Francophonie. The summary evaluation was also to review the evaluations of projects stemming from the Canadian contribution and produce findings on project evaluation and follow-up.
The questions proposed in the terms of reference were:
The summary evaluation was expected to take into account government policy decisions that affected Fund 608. Until 2003, Fund 608 comprised $12.5 million, $5 million of which was earmarked for "tied" funding, meaning that FAC submitted to the AIF a series of projects to be carried out exclusively by Canadian executing agencies; another $7 million was set aside for "untied" funding, meaning that the AIF was the one to choose the executing agencies; finally, $500,000 was earmarked for the Government of New Brunswick. After repeated requests from the AIF to have the Canadian contribution fully "untied," this was done in 2003. The AIF now selects both the executing agencies and the projects, wherever it deems appropriate. CIDA has taken over $5 million of the Fund and handles its allocation to the AIF.
The Canadian government's participation in the Francophonie began in the late sixties. Institutional Francophonie was born in the early seventies, at the instigation of heads of states with French as a common language meeting in Niamey, Niger. This cooperation originally targeted and indeed continues to target fields where a common cultural and linguistic heritage brings French-language communities together: culture, communication, education and higher education, research and teaching of French. Over the years, other fields of action deemed crucial by and for most countries of the Francophonie were added to the list of areas of cooperation. These include peace-building, justice, democracy, sustainable development, support for young people, information technology, and promotion of linguistic and cultural diversity.
The first Summit of Heads of State and Government using French as a Common Language was the logical outcome of those initiatives. It was held in Paris in February 1986 and attracted 41 delegations. A second Summit was held in Quebec City in September 1987, then a third, in Dakar, in May 1989. There followed summits in Paris (1991), Mauritius (1993), Cotonou (1995), Hanoi (1997), Moncton (1999), Beirut (2002) and Ouagadougou (2004).
Recognizing the importance of the French fact in Canada, Canada was one of the first countries to promote the Francophonie by taking an active part in the creation and development of a number of institutions, including the AIF. Canada has since played a leading role in La Francophonie and is a member of all Francophonie institutions and ministerial conferences. Supporting the Francophonie program is in direct keeping with one of Canada's foreign policy thrusts, i.e. the promotion of Canadian values and culture. In the Government of Canada, management of international Francophonie matters falls to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT).
The purpose of the contribution fund for projects and development activities resulting from Francophonie summits (Fund 608), established in 1993, is to fulfill Canadian commitments regarding follow-up on the summits. The fund is an instrument of action and political presence aimed at:
The mission of the AIF is to take action to enable developing countries and countries in transition to build their capacity to take control of their development in order to achieve equitable and sustainable human and social development while preserving cultural diversity. To this end, the AIF develops cooperation programs in the fields of education, culture, media, the economy and good governance.
Founded in 1970, the AIF operates in a complex environment with a multitude of entities, each with its own methods of operation. This has consequences on the AIF's operation, its implementation capacity, and its accountability for outcomes. The description of the decision-making authorities was examined in detail in the AIF's 2001 evaluation report. This summary evaluation therefore provides only a brief description of the decision-making aspect and a look at the impact of the last summits on the AIF's operations and programming.
The summits of heads of state and government of La Francophonie define the major cooperation thrusts of La Francophonie, which are set out in a declaration and actions plans that serve as the AIF's programming framework. While the summits define the AIF's mandates,(2) the other bodies elaborate on and oversee implementation of those mandates. The ministerial conferences, CONFEJES and CONFEMEN adopt action plans which the multilateral programming is intended to address. In addition to the mandates flowing from the summits and sector-based action plans, the AIF also has responsibilities associated with reporting to its financial backers which, through voluntary contributions, give the AIF mandates that are subject to special conditions and reporting mechanisms.(3)
AIF programming for the last two-year period (2004-05) centred on five major policy sectors:
At the last summit, held in Ouagadougou, at which the heads of state adopted a ten-year (2005-2015) strategic framework, four key missions were identified as priorities:
In 2001, given its multiple mandates and the programming mechanisms in place, the AIF was the subject of an outside evaluation aimed at reviewing the programming structure and making recommendations for increasing the AIF's relevance and effectiveness as an instrument for enhancing the status and influence of La Francophonie. This evaluation was provided for under the Moncton Action Plan, which proposed an outside evaluation of operators receiving monies under the FMU. The evaluation report set out findings and made recommendations concerning the length of the programming cycle, the organization of decision-making entities in the programming process, and the need to consider longer term strategic programming and address programming funding problems. Following the AIF evaluation process, monitoring and evaluation procedures were developed to help improve the effectiveness of action taken. These included: strengthening the programming and evaluation branch, implementing a monitoring and evaluation policy that would include setting up ad hoc program review committees, creating an evaluation committee to monitor programming, and improving the Système d'information global (SIG), as well as carrying out an initiative to develop indicators, to make it possible to measure the real impact of action taken.
In 2003, the AIF conducted an internal review of its programs to assess the relevance of cooperation activities carried out in the different sectors over recent years, taking into account the many internal and outside evaluations already conducted. Two reports covering the period 1970-2000, in the fields of language and education and culture and communication, provided the AIF with food for thought and highlighted the added value provided by the AIF in these areas. It also conducted a consultation with its partners in the field, expert networks and national correspondents, to gather their observations and comments on the programming.(4)
In 2004, following the 10th summit, held in Ouagadougou, La Francophonie adopted a ten-year strategic framework, to be implemented through quadrennial programming beginning in 2006. Decreased tying of all or most funding has become more and more accepted among donor states and governments and should enable the AIF to adopt multi-year programming, the key to truly multilateral cooperation. It is with this aim in mind that Canada decided to untie its entire contribution for the AIF's benefit.
In 2005, given the plan to move to quadrennial programming, the AIF commissioned a study to look at its existing programming practices and methods, with a view to proposing a new four-year methodological framework based on results-based programming and management concepts and tools. That study should identify the main consequences of moving toward RBM on strategic programming and its tools, programming accountability, piloting of projects and required monitoring tools.
The AIF has shown considerable flexibility for meeting the expectations of La Francophonie member states and governments and for improving the management and monitoring of multilateral projects and programs for which it is the main agency. It is worth noting that, because of the short periods of time between summits, the AIF's programming is constantly undergoing changes, as by the time programming is approved, it is already necessary to start planning for the next programming cycle.
SIG, a project monitoring system introduced in 2000, has led to improvements in project monitoring, but efforts must be more systematically sustained by incorporating the measurement of the real impacts of La Francophonie action and tools, to more accurately measure such impacts. RBM depends on the definition of specific indicators that will make it possible to measure attainment of results in the short, medium and long terms. Measurements are of course easier to develop for projects in the field, but quantitative indicators for political action and consensus-building will be more difficult to determine for measuring the soundness and impact of the action taken.
In the early seventies, the Government of Canada proposed a formula whereby Quebec and New Brunswick would be given participating government status, to facilitate provincial participation in La Francophonie activities. As a result, the Government of New Brunswick attained participating government status in 1977, enabling it to make a separate, active contribution to La Francophonie and take part in Francophonie summits. Pursuant to an agreement signed with the federal government in 1986, New Brunswick is an active participant in matters of cooperation. Moreover, after consulting with and obtaining the approval of the Prime Minister of Canada, New Brunswick can act on global economic issues of interest to it and has "interested observer" status when international political issues are discussed during the summits. Under the memorandum of understanding on New Brunswick's participation in and observation of the authorities of La Francophonie, the province is required to produce an annual report on its expenditures for activities funded through the $500,000 annual contribution under Fund 608.
The different aspects of the Fund's structure and operation were analyzed by reviewing information derived from a number of sources. The findings are essentially based on the following sources: interviews with Fund managers in the Francophonie Affairs Division (GEF) of FAC and documents placed at the evaluators' disposal.
Responsibility for managing and coordinating Canadian participation in La Francophonie is assumed by the Francophonie Affairs Division (GIF) of the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada. The Division coordinates all Canadian activities connected with La Francophonie, including the formulation and implementation of and follow-up on the decisions of all authorities, including summits, ministerial conferences, CONFEMEN, CONFEJES, permanent councils of La Francophonie, and theme-based conferences. Managers are involved in setting priorities, drafting policy statements, and following up on decisions, especially with regard to the programming of the different operating agencies.(5) GIF prepares the instructions of the Canadian representative to the Conseil Permanent de la Francophonie (CPF), whose mandate is to see to implementation of decisions made at summits and ministerial conferences, make decisions concerning the allocation of the FMU, and coordinate and oversee the different areas of cooperation. Management therefore involves departmental and interdepartmental coordination of the different related programs, as well as management of budgets earmarked by Canada for activities arising from summits and ministerial conferences, in particular budgets for the AIF and the Government of New Brunswick.
Until 2003, monitoring of part of Canada's tied funding was a highly collaborative undertaking, accomplished through a joint committee comprising representatives of the Francophonie Affairs Division and CIDA on the one hand, and AIF representatives on the other. The joint committee continues to operate despite the fact that the Canadian government has completely untied its funding and various changes have been made. Canada views the committee as a forum for discussing AIF programming and ensuring that Canada's objectives in the area of La Francophonie are taken into account. In 2005, the Francophonie Affairs Division invited representatives of the departments of Justice and Canadian Heritage to sit on the joint committee, given their expertise in the AIF's fields of activity and their interest in La Francophonie.
With regard to the projects, the AIF is responsible for everything related to the receipt and processing of proposals, allocation of grants, and monitoring of projects. In 2000, the AIF introduced SIG to track all projects within a programming cycle. The system makes it possible to compare the action taken and results obtained with planned action and expected results. However, it is still not possible to use SIG to determine outcomes and impacts of projects. The two-year programming cycle is too short to measure lasting effects in the field.
SIG describes the issues, background and objectives for the AIF as a whole, which translate into projects and activities for a given field of action. Determining expected results is problematic in terms of defining indicators, as the AIF's role is not that of a direct executing or operating agency. It must therefore rely on the completion reports generated by SIG, which is still a highly passive instrument.(6) GIF thus receives programming completion reports. Upcoming programming looks at past programming and takes into account recommendations made and joint action taken within La Francophonie, and reviews initiatives taken by the AIF to improve programming and performance.
The budget for the Department of Foreign Affairs' Fund 608 has remained unchanged since it was set up in 1993. A total of $7.5 million is divided between the AIF and the Government of New Brunswick, the main recipients under the Fund. Some $3.3 million is allocated to the AIF each year for programs and projects in keeping with the main thrusts and priorities identified by the heads of state. The $500,000 allocated to New Brunswick each year is to enable it to participate in the activities of the international Francophonie. In addition, $500,000 is earmarked for the FFI, $200,000 goes to the CIJF [international committee for the Games of La Francophonie], and $3 million is allocated to the AUF [university agency of La Francophonie] for its programming.
Up until 2003, Canada supported AIF by contributing to unique Multilateral Funds in two ways: either through grants which were attributed without conditions within the four intervention streams or through conditional funds from CIDA which makes up the Canadian program of which follow-up was assured by joint committee at AIF. Specific status reports, records of decisions of meetings and discussions with the joint committee (which GIF was a member) were regularly gathered in GIF.
The intervention strategy for 2002-2003 incorporated the following six fields of activity derived from the Charter of La Francophonie:
A number of criteria have been set for selecting programming, including the need to address of fundamental issues, the AIF's added value in relation to other agencies of La Francophonie, and the critical mass required to achieve effectiveness and visibility.
The SIG management information system for projects and programs incorporates the structure of the six-field programming framework and is used to produce the biennial programming document and the report on activities for each two-year period. The document is structured according to the different fields of activity and summarizes project activities for each project. The document's usefulness is limited to describing the extent to which activities have been carried out. It provides a description of implementation difficulties encountered and corrective action to be taken, but is not useful for determining to what extent project objectives or expected impacts have been achieved.
Before moving to the factual assessment of the activities of the AIF, it is important to clarify the AIF's cooperation activity programming, planning and management process. According to the study conducted by Universalia, the AIF's programming process may be defined as reactive, as the AIF must react and act in response to orders flowing from ministerial conferences and summits, which are presented in the form of action plans.
The program review process involves several decision-making levels:
Such projects are defined in terms of activities. The AIF's programming framework has been using an activity-based management approach, which has provided the rationale for the main directions adopted. Moving from biennial to quadrennial programming should result in tighter programming with greater impacts by linking project objectives to program objectives and ensuring that activities contribute to the attainment of results, in either a cumulative or complementary manner. Moving from biennial to quadrennial programming should therefore make it possible to move from activity-based to results-based management.
The report by Universalia accordingly recommends the development of strategies for action that include specific objectives at all levels of the programming. This means developing strategic frameworks that state the key objectives for each of the AIF's fields of action, leading to identification of the goal of each program and the development of a ten-year programming strategy that sets out the objectives of each of the programs and makes it possible to establish a clear connection between the programs and the key objectives for the different fields of action.
The factual assessment was prepared based on data contained in the business reports for the different two-year periods and available evaluation reports. The approach taken included consulting fact sheets summarizing the key information relating to the projects.
A review of those reports for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 reveals that Canada provided funding for a wide range of initiatives. For the purposes of this study, we focussed on the most recent report regarding Canadian tied funding in 2002-2003. Thirty-seven projects were funded via tied contributions in the Beirut Biennium.
Fund 608 provides support for a wide range of initiatives such as carrying out specific projects in response to needs expressed by eligible countries or organizations, organizing conferences and symposiums, and implementing action plans adopted at the summits. These initiatives may come from Canadian companies or organizations, or from institutions or operating agencies of La Francophonie.
The table below illustrates some areas of focus and types of projects funded by the Canadian contribution.
Activities in New Brunswick funded by this contribution include participation in CONFEMEN and CONFEJES, the organization of the Games of La Francophonie, organization of and participation in the Ouagadougou Summit, a youth mobility program, participation in the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie [assembly of French-speaking parliamentarians] and New Brunswick's contribution to the FMU.(7)
|Support program for parliaments||Several technical and documentary assistance projects, including provision of equipment and assistance in organizing documentation services.|
|Support program for justice modernization|
|Legal and judicial cooperation program|
|University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law||Bijuralism in aid of legal certainty (OHADA--organization for the harmonization of business law in Africa).|
|Support for Education and Youth Sectors|
|Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise|
|Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF)||Support for education programs for girls and literacy programs for women and young girls.|
|Société éducative de l'Alberta||Virtual school - Yaoundé Campus.|
|UNCTAD and Université Senghor||Training on negotiating trade and investment agreements.|
|International Trade Centre (ITC)||Fund to help involve SMEs in globalization by sending experts and consulting missions, providing marketing assistance, and organizing cooperation meetings, training workshops, seminars and training for entrepreneurs.|
|Fondation Paul-Gérin-Lajoie||"Courir la Francophonie:" promotion of the French language by means of a virtual meeting place designed to foster discovery of cultural diversity within the Francophonie and a sense of international community.|
|Collège Boréal and Collège de Dieppe||"Action Formapro:" identification of promising sustainable development projects as part of the redesign of occupational and technical training systems.|
|AFIDES (international association of French-speaking directors of educational institutions) - Montreal||"PMJ Franco-Jeunes" [Franco-Jeunes youth mobility program]|
Support for the publication of an on-line newspaper on the AIF youth Website and establishment of relations with INGOs that work with young people.
|Support for the development of national basic education policies||Organization of three regional scientific and technical training seminars.|
The purpose of Canada's contribution is to defend and promote Canada's interests with multilateral partners (countries and institutions), while ensuring that Canada plays a leading role in strengthening the institutions of La Francophonie.
The review of available documents and the interviews revealed that Fund 608 helps promote Canadian interests among partners.
Canada's contribution to the AIF is second only to that of France. A review of the initiatives funded through contributions to the AIF and New Brunswick show that they address Canadian interests to a certain extent and make it possible for Canada to support the strengthening of the institutions of La Francophonie.
The relevance of the fund is seen in its consistency with Canada's policy and economic objectives in the area of support for La Francophonie.
The policy objectives are to strengthen areas of policy discussion, promote increased cooperation among international organizations, increase the focus on matters of human security, human rights, democratic development and conflict prevention, and promote New Brunswick's active involvement.
The review of available documents and the interviews confirmed that Canada's Fund 608 contribution takes into account Canada's priorities in regard to human rights and democratic development.
AIF programming includes a specific area of focus centred on promoting peace-building, democracy and justice, through which it strengthens institutions, electoral processes and the promotion of democratic culture. For example, in 2002, through the AIF, La Francophonie supported a conflict prevention and resolution program and also instituted support measures in relation to democratic crises in Togo, Comoros and Côte d'Ivoire. Initiatives helped fund facilitation sessions in Togo to arrive at an agreement between the parties to hold legislative elections. In 2003, for Côte d'Ivoire, AIF programming helped set up a working group and open an OIF office to support government efforts toward national reconciliation. Canada was actively involved in efforts to support 17 member states(8) endeavouring to improve the operation and accessibility of their judicial systems. Initiatives funded include technical and documentary assistance, the provision of equipment better adapted to supported structures, and judicial training for judges and articling students. Several training courses were organized in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Niger, Rwanda and Senegal.
Canada wants to promote cooperation on the issue of cultural diversity within La Francophonie, as well as improve access to and command of new information technologies and support the production of Francophone content.
The 2002-2003 biennial report describes the initiatives in support of cooperation in the area of cultural diversity. The cultural policy program helps the states and governments of La Francophonie define and implement cultural policies and legislation so as to promote and strengthen their roles and capacities for organizing and regulating cultural life; it also helps strengthen and enhance Francophone skills and expertise with regard to cultural policies and implement a consensus-building forum. Although the biennial business report does not systematically refer to Canada as an involved country, we did note initiatives funded to bring audio-visual productions from developing nations to the attention of professionals, the media and the public. AIF programming helped fund the 19th edition of Vues D'Afrique in Montreal.
In the area of improving command of new information technologies, the FFI information highway project is a good example of the type of action supported by AIF programming.
The aim of this project is to increasing the use of information and communication technologies and build local capacity by creating digital French-language content on-line. After four years of existence, the FFI has helped launch eight invitations to tender and support 131 projects (out of 944 applications), for a total of $9.8 million euros in grants, a clear indication of the interest generated by the FFI. The evaluation carried out in 2002 showed that the FFI kept to the objectives that had been set for it and had positive spin-offs. French-language content on the Internet gained some ground when compared with English, even though English remains the predominant language. In terms of impacts identified, the FFI helped increase information and discussion, increase appropriation and awareness of information technologies, and develop skills and expertise.
Canada hopes to strengthen La Francophonie programming by promoting synergy and cooperation with the other international organizations working in that area. Fund 608 helps Canada propose directions and formulate Canadian positions regarding the international Francophonie and ensure implementation and monitoring of decisions resulting from summits and ministerial conferences.
Activities supported through the Fund make it possible to discuss priority areas of Francophone multilateral cooperation and work in partnership with over 60 member states and governments of La Francophonie.
How can this Fund contribute to the development of La Francophonie in member states and governments? The goal of the Fund must be to help raise awareness among the states and main operating agencies of La Francophonie. It does this by providing organizations with financial contributions to help carry out projects/programs that generate a ripple effect.
The document review process and interviews make it possible to measure the effectiveness of the Fund, i.e., determine if the Canadian contribution through Fund 608 in support of the AIF and Government of New Brunswick is an effective process or mechanism for funding projects for La Francophonie.
Analysis of the information available indicates that that question can be answered in the affirmative.
Generally speaking, the financial contributions made to the AIF and New Brunswick have helped fund programming and activities that support the development of La Francophonie in certain areas of focus approved in advance by all official bodies of La Francophonie and foster the sharing of expertise through international symposiums and conferences.
Finally, the projects help Francophone organizations involved in the projects to showcase their know-how in their areas of expertise and develop and maintain contacts throughout La Francophonie.
However, the information from the available sources was insufficient to precisely determine the benefits of Fund 608 on the target populations or recipient countries.
The reports and different evaluations consulted revealed the necessity and desirability of implementing evaluations and tools to improve the performance of the AIF and the spin-offs from initiatives. As mentioned before, the AIF's existing programming framework is representative of an activity-based management approach that provides the rationale for the main directions adopted. Up until just recently, the biennial programming cycle was inadequate for obtaining sustainable and measurable effects in the field.
Moving from biennial to quadrennial programming should result in tighter programming and the identification of indicators for determining impacts by linking project objectives to program objectives and ensuring that activities contribute to the attainment of results, in either a cumulative or complementary manner.
Moving from biennial to quadrennial programming should therefore make it possible to move from activity-based to results-based management.
SIG describes the issues, background and objectives for the AIF as a whole, which translate into projects and activities for a given field of action. The system facilitates ongoing monitoring of projects during a programming cycle and makes it possible to compare the action taken and results obtained with planned action and expected results. SIG generates information on activities carried out, but cannot as yet be used to determine the impacts on target populations and recipient countries. The information produced by SIG serves to produce the business report for a given biennium, but the instrument could be improved. The many advances made in project management in recent years give the impression that SIG's shortfalls could eventually be corrected. The AIF wants to place greater emphasis on the attainment of results. It wants to use a formal evaluation approach to develop its capacity to know and understand more about the results of its action in the field and produce reports that go beyond budgetary justifications and periodic updates produced by the missions.(9)
According to the objectives of Fund 608, the fund is an instrument of action and political presence that is intended to provide financial support for concrete cooperation initiatives and increase Canada's prominence on the world stage. Fund 608 does in fact contribute to the growth of La Francophonie by contributing financially to the programming of the AIF, the main agency of Francophone multilateral cooperation. There is also no doubt that Fund 608 helps to enhance Canada's status and influence abroad.
Evaluations of the cooperation action carried out produce findings regarding:
Fund 608 allows Canada to support activities of the OIF, the AIF and other operating agencies of La Francophonie.
The programs funded through Fund 608 meet the needs expressed by the member states, whether they involve support for the introduction of policies in the area of education, training, cultural diversity, or cooperation between the different language communities, or support for reforms to the justice sector or the appropriation of information technologies, to name but a few of the areas of interest targeted by the Fund. The Fund also helps New Brunswick to participate in the various Francophonie summits, ministerial conferences and international consultations.
The AIF, as the main agency of La Francophonie, has since the 1990s been undergoing in-depth reform focused on adopting approaches and tools to improve the performance and effectiveness of its programming. The documents consulted provided an overview of the different steps taken by the AIF in response to recommendations made in the different evaluations, be it with regard to prioritizing objectives, having operating agencies seek out partners, choosing more productive means of cooperation, increasing cooperation between states, mobilizing financial resources, or improving programming and decision-making mechanisms.
While the recommendations have helped the AIF to adopt more efficient management methods, the AIF is continuing to consider programming and monitoring and evaluation tools that should ensure tighter control over its action and help assess the impact of that action on recipients and recipient countries. The four-year programming to be adopted this year should provide a long enough time span to assess the impacts of its action using a results-based management approach.
Even though the visibility of Canadian initiatives cannot be confirmed or denied, it can nevertheless be concluded that Fund 608 has kept to the objectives set for it and has had positive spin-offs for both Canada and the member states and governments of La Francophonie.
That the Francophonie Affairs Division, through its active involvement and ongoing presence in the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF), continue to press the AIF to develop true results-based project management using precise indicators to measure attainment of short, medium and long term results. By linking project objectives with program objectives, developing indicators for determining impacts would ensure that project activities would contribute to the attainment of results in either a cumulative or complementary manner.
The Francophonie Affairs Division followed up with the Intergovernmental Agency of La Francophonie (now called the International Organization of La Francophonie) to get it to implement results-based management principles and adopt measurable results indicators.
Subsequent to these efforts, the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) turned to the Canadian company Universalia in 2005 to provide the organization's management with results-based management training.
The OIF applied results-based management principles in developing its four-year programming for 2006-2009 and included results indicators. This programming was reviewed by the OIF program committee in October 2005 and approved by the Conference of Ministers of La Francophonie at the November 2005 session in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Canada intervened in both of these bodies to urge the OIF to implement results-based management.
On March 27, 2006, the Minister of Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages, the Honourable Josée Verner, announced that Canada would contribute up to C$1 million over two years to the OIF through CIDA to support its efforts to strengthen the organization. Canada's contribution will help engage experts to support the implementation of reforms and improve the OIF's ability in the area of results-based management.
1 Since the creation of Francophonie summits in 1986, the AIF has produced biennial programming (since summits are held every two years) involving concrete cooperation initiatives, for which Canadian support is second only to that of France. Beginning in 2006, AIF programming will become quadrennial.
2 Mandates are set out in two documents: the Declaration and the Action Plan.
3 Evaluation of the AIF, Sept. 2001.
4 AIF programming 2004-2005, AIF.
5 Evaluation of the Francophonie Affairs Division, preliminary report, C.A.C International, 2002
6 Mise en place d'un cadre de programmation quadriennal [introduction of a quadrennial programming framework], Universalia, February 2005.
7 Report on New Brunswick's expenditures under the Contribution Agreement, April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2003
8 Biennum 2002-2003: compte rendu d'exécution du 01/01/2002 au 31/10/20-3, p. 164.
9 Programmation de l'Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie, 2004-2005, p.20