Evaluation of International Assistance Programming in Senegal, 2012-13 to 2017-18

Executive Summary

This evaluation examined Canada’s international assistance programming in Senegal during the period from 2012-13 to 2017-18. The objective was to inform decision-making and support policy and program improvements. This report presents the evaluation findings, conclusions and recommendations. Considerations to foster horizontal learning across the department are also included.

Overall, the evaluation found that Global Affairs Canada programming was highly relevant because of its continued alignment with Senegalese priorities. This was possible because of a coherent project portfolio which focused primarily on three thematic areas and because of the considerable use of budget support. Thanks to the budget support being closely linked to quality technical assistance, targeted capacity building and ongoing policy dialogue, Canada was able to guide several key reforms and policies, while ensuring an integrated gender perspective. Throughout the period, women and girls also occupied an increasingly central role in all the programming.

Many results were observed, particularly in the education sector, where Canada was able to accompany Senegal throughout the reform process toward a skills-based approach.  Programming also helped improve small-scale agricultural production by introducing new techniques and technology. Activities aimed at changing behaviour helped achieve results in the nutrition sector. The programming also focused on areas considered to be drivers of the Senegalese economy.

The evaluation observed that an integrated multisectoral approach can have a positive impact on achieving results. Partnerships between several organizations that complement each other or with local organizations contributed to a better understanding of beneficiaries’ needs and the socio-cultural context. This also allowed for several innovative solutions, using locally accessible techniques and technology, as well as multiplier effects between interventions. However, Senegal’s challenge of fully implementing its governance system in a fair and effective manner in all regions had an impact on the achievement of results, particularly in reaching the most vulnerable groups. In addition, the slow pace of job creation and the development of large scale industries have had an impact on longer-term results, making it critical to consider barriers to labour market entry.

Interdepartmental co-operation was relatively limited. There were opportunities to improve this co-operation using common tools and processes. Improving the skills and resources needed to support program-based approaches could also help improve the effectiveness of the programming.

Summary of recommendations

  1. If the program should decide to continue working in the education sector, it should consider extending the programming to other levels of education, such as the middle and secondary levels, and increase the sector’s management capacity in regions where problems persist in terms of quality, inclusion and school safety.
  2. If programming in the vocational and technical training sector should continue, the program should give more consideration to issues related to entering the job market, with plans to work more closely with other actors in the same space, particularly ministries, bodies responsible for economic growth and the private sector.
  3. When considering programming in the agricultural sector, the program should consider adopting a broader, market-focused perspective in programming aimed at modernizing the agricultural sector and increasing productivity by including actors involved in the food industry and in value chain and marketing development.
  4. The program should consider introducing complementary regional programming related to program-based approaches to build the capacity of government partners to successfully implement national priorities and reforms aimed at an integrated multisectoral approach to increase the interconnectivity of interventions.
  5. In accordance with the recommendations of the 2017 Audit of the Harmonization of Grant and Contribution Program Administration at Global Affairs Canada, continue to harmonize planning, reporting and financial management requirements, procedures and tools across all international assistance streams (bilateral, partnership, multilateral, peace and security) and international engagement streams (international aid, trade and diplomacy) to improve the coherence of interventions.
  6. Seek effective solutions for the management and sharing of documents between the various branches of the Department, as well as between missions and headquarters.

Program Background

Senegal Country Context

Map of Senegal showing regions and geographic areas referred to as Niayes and Casamance

Figure 1: Map of Senegal showing regions and geographic areas referred to as Niayes and Casamance.

Decentralization: A transfer of some authority to the 599 territorial communities elected through universal suffrage, giving them legal authority and financial independence, although under government supervision.

Deconcentration: An administrative system that confers decision-making powers on government officials (governors, prefects, sub-prefects), appointed by decree by the president of the Republic to represent the government in the 14 regions, 45 departments and 123 districts.

Social and Economic Development

Senegal continued to be a politically stable country in West Africa during the period. Its 2014 Plan Sénégal Émergent [Emerging Senegal Plan] introduced a new direction and a partnership approach. Combined with its Priority Action Plan (2014-2018), this provided an important frame of reference for economic and social policy aimed at making Senegal an “emerging country” by 2035.

However, Senegal remains one of the least developed countries, ranking 164th of 189 countries according to the United Nations Human Development Index in 2017, with a national poverty rate estimated at 35.6%. Senegal has close to 16 million residents, with an annual population growth rate of 2.8% in 2017. Nearly 70% live in a rural setting, where two of three people are affected by poverty, which disproportionately affects women. Moreover, as more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25, young people are facing major issues, including high unemployment rates and few job opportunities in the formal sector.

Significant disparities and inequalities remain within the Senegalese society, especially in terms of income, gender and between regions. Some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in Senegal live in the south and southeast, which has also resulted in some of the highest chronic malnutrition in the country and worrisome maternal and child health indicators. Despite a wealth of natural resources, including several large-scale gold mines, the region’s dominant agricultural sector is sensitive to climate change. It has also been affected by a long-running conflict in Casamance.

In order to be closer to the population and to devolve responsibilities on the level best suited to doing so, Senegal proceeded to decentralize and deconcentrate the government. Although it was a major priority for Senegal, several weaknesses were noted concerning the efficiency of this governance system. Local structures and actors often lacked the financial and human resources needed to effectively carry out their mandate, and the delegation of authority has not yet been fully implemented. This situation greatly complicated service delivery and impacted various Senegalese and Canadian programs and projects.

Background: Donor Context

Graphic of the largest donors of Official Development Assistance to Senegal in 2017 according to OECD/DAC

Figure 2. Largest donors of Official Development Assistance to Senegal in 2017 according to OECD/DAC

1. World Bank/International Development Association: $189.3 M; 2. United States: $142.4 M; 3. France: $128.0; 4. Japan: $66.6 M; 5. EU Institutions: $65.8 M; 6. African Development Fund $52.7 M; 7. Canada $45.2 M; 8. South Korea: $29.9 M; 9. OPEC Fund for International Development: $24.9 M; 10. Global Fund: $22.1 M.

Canada has continued to be one of the largest donors to Senegal during the period. In 2016-17, its investments represented approximately 4.4% of the total gross official development assistance (2016-17 average, USD million.

In 2017, Official Development Assistance to Senegal totaled $909.8 M, or 5.8% of gross domestic income. Bilateral official development assistance has focused mainly, in order of importance, on Social infrastructure and Services; Health and Population; and Education.

Bilateral Relations

Relations between Senegal and Canada date back to 1962, with aid investments of more than $1.3 billion. Trade relations between the countries offer interesting growth potential, particularly in the mining, agricultural, and oil and gas industries. In 2017, bilateral trade totalled $52.4 million. Both countries are founding members of La Francophonie.

Donor Coordination

There are a large number of bilateral and multilateral donors in Senegal. The main contributors in the country harmonize their development efforts and investments through the Groupe élargi de concertation des Partenaires techniques et financiers au Sénégal, also known as G50. The mission of this main coordination group is to implement the principles of the Paris Declaration for better harmonization and coordination among donors, to improve consultation and information sharing among partners, and to structure and deepen dialogue with the Government of Senegal on poverty reduction, sectoral policies and governance.

The partners have also organized themselves into 17 thematic groups to coordinate on sectoral issues; a group of 15 heads of cooperation (the G15) responsible for coordinating policy dialogue among donors; and a group of five heads of mission (COMEX-Executive Committee) representing the donors in dialogue with the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Canada has played an important role in the donor community. Between February 2017 and December 2018, Canada assumed the role of chair of the EXCOM and co-chair of the G50 group. Canada has also participated in many sub-groups of donors and coordination mechanisms, including in the areas of education and vocational and technical training, gender equality and food security. At the time of the evaluation, Canada held the chairmanship of the technical and vocational training group and was co-chair of the gender thematic group.

Background: Global Affairs Canada Programming

Graphic of the largest country recipients of Canadian International Assistance in 2017-18

Figure 3: Largest country recipients of Canadian International Assistance in 2017-18

1. Ethiopia: $126.2 M; 2. Mali: $113.1 M; 3. Tanzania: $89.4 M; 4. South Sudan: $88.5 M; 5. Ghana: $76.4 M; 6. Senegal: $71.6 M; 7. Nigeria: $69.9 M; 8. Democratic Republic of Congo: $62.1 M; 9. Mozambique: $60.8 M; 10. Burkina Faso: $44.4 M.

Senegal was among most important countries in terms of Canadian investment in sub-Saharan Africa (2017-18, millions of Canadian dollars, according to CFO Stats).

Program Disbursements

From 2012-13 to 2017-18, Canadian international assistance disbursements to Senegal totalled $410 million, corresponding to a yearly average of $68 million. During that period, departmental funds were disbursed across three international assistance branches. Less than $0.8 million was disbursed through the International Security and Political Affairs Branch (IFM) and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

Sub-Saharan Africa Branch (WGM)

Disbursements by the Sub-Saharan Africa Branch in Senegal ($332 million, or 81% of total disbursements) were administered almost entirely by the Senegal Development Division (WWS). 71% of investments were made as part of program-based approaches ($235 million). Based on the disbursements, the programming focused particularly on children and youth (55%), with most investments allocated to education, followed by Food Security (28%), Sustainable Economic Growth (12%) and Other (3%).

Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch (KFM)

KFM disbursements ($46 million, or 11% or total disbursements) focused on multi-country programs that were operating in the health, education and food security sectors. These programs were implemented by Canadian partners, including Colleges and Institutes Canada, Plan International Canada, World Vision and WUSC/CECI.

Global Issue and Development Branch (MFM)

MFM investments ($31 million, or 8% of total disbursements) focused largely on food security programs, particularly food assistance, nutrition and agriculture. There was also significant emphasis on maternal, newborn and child health.

Evaluation Scope

  • Covered the period from 2012-13 to 2017-18 with emphasis on the most recent years.
  • Examined the department’s position in Senegal’s development and policy sphere, as well as the relationship between non-project activities (such as policy dialogue, donor coordination) and the efficiency of the Senegal Program as a whole.
  • Focused on projects supported by the Senegal Development Division (WWS) and on a targeted sample of projects supported by the Partnerships for Development Innovation (KFM) and Global Issues and Development (MFM) branches, i.e. the evaluation did not include the entire project portfolio in Senegal.
  • Using three integrated case studies, the evaluation payed particular attention to the benefits and consequences of the various funding mechanisms, particularly program-based approaches, in achieving results; Canada’s role and the results in the education sector; and a more in-depth analysis of programming links and coherence in the geographic region of Kolda.

Purpose of evaluation

  • Contribute to informed decision-making, support policy and program improvements and advance departmental horizontal learning.
  • Provide a neutral assessment in a transparent, clear, useful manner by highlighting how departmental resources have been used to optimize results.

Evaluation Questions

Responsiveness and Coherence (Relevance)

  1. To what extent has international assistance programming responded to evolving needs and priorities in Senegal?
    • How responsive was international assistance programming in Senegal to shifts in the national and regional context over the period examined? To what extent was there a more coherent response across the Department to these shifts after amalgamation?
    • To what extent has programming responded to the needs of Senegal’s most vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls?

Effective Solutions (Effectiveness and Efficiency)

  1. What were the factors that contributed to the achievement of results, including results for women and girls? Are there areas for improvement?
    • What were the benefits and consequences of the different financial delivery mechanisms on efficiency?
    • What were the benefits and consequences of the various international assistance programming partnerships on efficiency?
    • To what extent have innovative practices been integrated into the design and implementation of international assistance programming, particularly for women and girls?

Results (Effectiveness and Durability)

  1. To what extent has international assistance programming achieved expected results, especially for women and girls, in the priority areas of education, food security and sustainable economic growth?
  2. Is there evidence that results stemming from the international assistance programming have been sustained in areas where support has ended?
    • What is the likelihood that the results achieved will continue?
    • What were the factors that influenced the sustainability of results, particularly for women and girls?

Findings: Responsiveness and Coherence

Responsiveness and Coherence

Canadian international assistance programming was closely aligned with Senegal’s national priorities and policies.

The evaluation found that Canadian international assistance programming was well aligned with the Government of Senegal’s priorities. Canada took concrete steps to align existing programs and add complementary ones to assist Senegal in implementing its main policy documents, including the Plan Sénégal Émergent. Some projects and programs were able to go beyond alignment by directly contributing to development of plans and priorities as well as budgetary and administrative reforms, providing a timely technical and financial support.

  • In the thematic area of Children and Youth, basic education projects continued throughout the evaluation period and had a systemic impact in Senegal. Vocational and technical training projects were a more recent addition to the programming and implementation was not yet done across the country.
  • Linked to food security, agriculture was a long-standing area of intervention. However, the nutrition aspect was added during the evaluation period to support Senegal in its poverty reduction process.
  • In addition to its continued support for good governance in public institutions during the evaluation period, the programming was strengthened to support the efforts of the Plan Sénégal Émergent to achieve a sustainable economic growth.

Despite increased insecurity in neighbouring countries in the Sahel region, particularly Mali, Senegal was relatively spared and remained stable. This seems to be why the programming did not place a lot of emphasis on this issue during the evaluation period. However, as this is a situation of increasing concern as the evaluation identified some notable gaps in programming related to, among other things, women’s increased participation in peace efforts, including in Casamance.

A focus on three thematic areas, with close ties between budget support, traditional projects, technical assistance and policy dialogue, resulted in an overall coherence of programming.

The bilateral program remained strongly focused on three thematic priorities, namely Children and Youth, Food Security, and Sustainable Economic Growth. This allowed Canada to establish strategic niches in areas considered to be drivers of Senegal’s emerging economy, particularly education and agriculture. Clear links were also created between budget support, traditional projects, technical assistance and policy dialogue, which contributed to greater overall coherence of the Canadian programming portfolio.

Graphic of Integration of Gender Equality in programming (% of total disbursements)

Figure 4: Integration of Gender Equality in programming (% of total disbursements)

Global Affairs Canada identifies gender integration on a scale based on the project’s planned results, institutional capacity, or core focus.

Classification of gender equality integration has ‘Specific’ as the highest ranking, followed by ‘Integrated’, ‘Limited’ and ‘None’. In the case of programming in Senegal, this was reflected as follows: Specific: 2%, Integrated: 79%, Limited: 10%, None: 9%.

With the exception of the mining sector, the willingness and efforts to systematically increase departmental coherence remained relatively limited and hinged on individuals and relationships.

Despite the department’s amalgamation, coherence between its various branches and divisions seems to have been limited, not systematic. Collaboration and coordination efforts seemed to be based on relationships (formal and informal) and individuals’ willingness to engage rather than being integrated into programming development and implementation. During the evaluation period, there was no formal requirement or common tools for integrated planning or for sharing information or knowledge to improve departmental coherence. These issues were also identified by the 2017 Audit of the Harmonization of the Grant and Contribution Program Administration at Global Affairs Canada, which made several concrete recommendations to improve departmental harmonization.

Identifying areas in which joint programming would have been possible remained difficult because of distinct mandates, priorities and processes despite a decentralized bilateral program model and increased efforts to bring departmental branches and divisions together by organizing weekly joint meetings at the mission level. Only one area saw close cooperation between development, political and trade staff: the mining sector. That was the case in Kédougou, a region in the southeast with the highest poverty rates in the country, where many Canadian businesses had specific interests in the gold-mining sector. There were several joint activities related to improving governance in the mining sector, in which government actors and members of civil society also participated.

Women and girls occupied a central place in Canadian programming in areas that were important for reducing poverty.

Canada played a key role in promoting gender equality issues, even before the introduction of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Although gender issues were included in programming throughout the period, this new policy offered an additional tool for communicating Canada’s position even more clearly on these key issues.

By ensuring that gender equality was included as a condition for the support provided through program-based approaches, Canada was also able to actively support the inclusion of a gender perspective in several national reforms and in the development of public policy documents.

Budget support conditions and policy dialogue were important tools for reaching the most vulnerable.

Vulnerable populations were defined as the poorest, with a particular focus on women and girls. Much of the Canadian programming focused on areas that were important in the fight against poverty, particularly education, vocational and technical training, nutrition, food security and local development. This support, provided largely through budget support, primarily involved the appropriate ministries at the national level, but with the intent of a gradual effect at the decentralized and deconcentrated levels. The choice of conditions and policy dialogue were thus key to ensuring that the goals set out in sectoral policies target vulnerable groups and address gender issues.

Although the intention was to ensure that budget support had an impact on the most vulnerable, it was difficult for the evaluation to determine the extent to which these groups were reached as expected and in an equitable manner at the regional and local levels. Many decentralized and deconcentrated public structures in Senegal continued to lack the resources to develop and deliver government programs in an effective and fair manner in a regional context. This has also had an impact on the ability to put in place the necessary mechanisms to monitor results. The use of traditional projects to complement budget support, while on a much more limited scale, seems to have been a means by which to better target Canada’s international assistance to vulnerable groups and specific geographic areas.

Effective Solutions

Effective Solutions: Success Factors and Challenges

Some success factors:

  • Duration of support
  • Alignment with the country’s priorities and strategies
  • Partnership support approach
  • Coherence and complementarity of the project portfolio
  • Quality, targeted technical assistance and capacity building
  • Continuous, high-level technical policy dialogue
  • Active role in coordinating and aligning with other donors

A supportive partnership approach made Canada a trusted partner of the Government of Senegal, enabling it to make a significant contribution to policy dialogues.

Canada was considered to be a trusted partner of the Government of Senegal and other Senegalese partners, with a lot of credibility and expertise that were considered compatible with Senegal’s needs and priorities. Its supportive partnership approach and culture of collaboration resulted in a commitment to provide quality technical assistance and targeted institutional strengthening over the long term. Appreciation was also noted at all levels for the openness to new approaches in order to achieve results in a participative and inclusive manner, using tools and solutions adapted to the country’s specific context. There are also several examples of close cooperation between Canada and other donors with similar objectives to ensure a coordinated and harmonized approach that facilitated international assistance in Senegal, particularly through the technical and financial partner network.

Several organizational changes within the department have had a relatively limited impact on the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the programming.

During the evaluation period, several new policies, administrative procedures and accountability levels were introduced to eliminate silos and improve programming coherence. However, as it was already aligned with Senegal’s priorities, the Senegal Program seems to have been able to adapt well to those changes. The bilateral program strategy developed in 2014 provided a clear direction, although it was never officially approved. However, it seems to have been more difficult for programming to adapt quickly to unexpected changes, often owing to the complexity of institutional processes at Global Affairs Canada. For instance, a request for proposals process that was to be directly linked to a general budget support was delayed for several years.

According to several interlocutors, the lack of clarity concerning roles and responsibilities between Headquarters and the mission was the source of some of the problems encountered. However, efforts to reorganize working groups in 2017 aimed to overcome them. Frequent employee turnover was also a contributing factor, which was largely overcome by competent locally engaged staff, supported by thematic experts from the field support services unit (BACDI). However, the lack of common information management tools and the closure of the BACDI in 2016, with a long interval before a new support unit could be set up, had an impact on the capacity to gather and share information. This also posed an increased risk of loss of institutional memory.

Effective Solutions: Financing Mechanisms

Graphic of the breakdown of Program Based Approaches used by Global Affairs Canada

Figure 5: Breakdown of Program Based Approaches used by Global Affairs Canada (according to % of PBA disbursements): General Budget Support – 19%; Sectoral Budget Support- 68%; Project Type Budget Support – 13%; Pooled Funding 0.02%.

A strong focus on program-based approaches was appropriate to advance Senegalese priorities.

Several international studies suggest that the effectiveness of program-based approaches varies from one country and one instrument to another, based on political stability and willingness, the rigour and accountability of governance systems, and the capacity of public institutions, among other things. In the case of Senegal, this tool presented many benefits during the evaluation period owing to a stable political environment, relatively strong governance and financial and administrative structures, and a political willingness and committed leadership to carry out the Plan Sénégal Émergent.

A majority of Canada’s total international assistance programming (57% or $234.7 million of the $410.4 million) was delivered using program-based approaches, primarily using a mix of general, sectoral and project-type budget support. Budget support represented less than 10% of Senegal’s overall budget, but was considered to be an important instrument and lever for advancing processes and reforms in accordance with the desired orientation.

Canadian budget support has focused on strengthening public finance systems and results-based management, including monitoring, control and accountability mechanisms. The conditions played an important role in ensuring that the relevant ministries received the necessary support to implement reforms and also helped to reduce fiscal and administrative risks. However, as many donors often provide support in the same area, it was often hard to directly link Canadian investments to the results achieved on the ground.

Program-Based Approaches

Program-based approaches can offer a number of benefits and contribute to aid effectiveness in the following ways:

  • Improve coordination and harmonization among donors by aligning their development actions with partner countries’ policies and financial systems;
  • Reduce transaction costs;
  • Strengthen public financial management in developing countries and public administration in general;
  • Implement the reforms needed for poverty reduction in key sectors such as health and education;
  • Strengthen the capacity and expertise of the partner country and its institutions through a collaborative learning process.

However, there are fiduciary and political risks with program-based approaches when the governance and accountability systems in the recipient country are not at the level needed for them to function correctly. In particular, when human resources capacity and expertise are limited, the risk of misappropriation of budget support funds is increased. For example, due to corruption or misallocation of funds in sectors not related to poverty. There is also a concern that program-based approaches may have a negative impact because they provide unilateral support to the executive, which has less incentive to mobilize national revenues.

Graphic of disbursement by sector (% of total PBAs)

Figure 6: Disbursement by sector (% of total PBAs)

A total of $234.7 M of overall programming of the Senegal Development Division (WWS) was disbursed through a program based approach, represented by 69% in the Education sector, 21% in the Food Security sector, and 10% in Sustainable Economic Growth.

Budget support has been an important instrument for achieving sustainable and transformative results enabling a systemic impact in the areas of intervention.

Canada was able to position itself as a strategic partner in implementing public reforms in several areas (education, agriculture, food security, nutrition, natural resources) because its budget support was closely tied to quality technical assistance, targeted capacity building and continuous high-level and technical policy dialogue. Canadian support was also able to integrate a gender dimension to all of these processes while promoting good governance and good management practices. This type of support required a lot of time and resources, as well as a strong ability to effectively and coherently contribute to policy dialogue. This was often a challenge for mission staff, who were also focused on project implementation.

The capacity for effective financial management differed from one partner ministry to another, which also seems to have had an impact on the effectiveness of achieving of results. When capacity building and technical assistance in this regard were not included, as was the case for project-type budget support, which was implemented by a separate management unit, it was harder to ensure large-scale sustainable results. Significant challenges also remain in translating progress made at national level to the decentralized and deconcentrated levels with the same level of quality, accountability and transparency, while still being able to adapt to specific regional and local contexts and needs.


  • Budget support allowed for greater alignment with national priorities.
  • Helped improve the effectiveness, transparency and reliability of public financial management systems in Senegal, as well as the human resources management capacity and administrative processes of the ministries in question.
  • Allowed Canada to directly support national reforms, particularly in the education sector, but also in agriculture, food security, nutrition and the mining sector.
  • Helped achieve sustainable and transformative results where additional support was provided for a long period of time.


  • A single entry point for all budget support and a lack of fluid or coherent communication between Senegal’s Ministry of the economy, finance and planning and the sectoral ministries often had an impact on the effectiveness of processes.
  • The level of leadership, ownership, absorption capacity and management varied in each ministry.
  • Ministries had relatively weak capacity and few resources for monitoring and assessment, which sometimes had an impact on communicating results and fulfilling conditions.
  • The time needed to manage budget support was often underestimated and required the input of highly-skilled Global Affairs Canada staff.

Effective Solutions: Partnerships

An integrated and multisectoral partnership that considered all stakeholders in the related sectors helped foster a greater ownership of results.

The potential impact of various partnerships on the ability to achieve results more effectively was examined as part of the geographic case study of the Kolda region, located in Casamance in southern Senegal. In this regard, a system mapping and a network analysis were conducted as complementary and innovative methodologies (see Annex IV).

The analysis demonstrated considerable interconnectivity between all key stakeholders in the region, making a multisectoral approach key to creating complementarities and synergies among interventions. The observed projects that had established formal partnerships with local actors and had ensured their full participation throughout the planning and implementation process, demonstrated greater levels of ownership of results. This was even more evident when local partners were provided with capacity building and other forms of support to better carry out their roles and responsibilities. It was also noted that the direct involvement of local organizations and networks helped improve understanding of local contexts and cultural sensitivities. This translated into more effective outreach to vulnerable groups in the communities.

The PINKK project: an example of multisectoral interconnectivity

The PINKK project (the Kolda Kédogou Integrated Nutrition Project) was a partnership between three Canadian organizations (Nutrition International, World Vision and Développement international Desjardins) and a Senegalese agency, the Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition [unit for the fight against malnutrition], each of which provides a specific value added to the project by complementing each other. The multisectoral approach combines health and entrepreneurship with aspects of nutrition, water, hygiene, and agricultural and livestock production. This was also complemented with communication activities aimed at changing behaviour at the community level.

In terms of partnerships, the project ensured that government actors in those regions whose areas of jurisdiction had a significant impact on public nutrition and health were included throughout the planning and implementation stages and the tracking of results. As in many regions in Senegal, these structures did not have the resources needed to fully carry out their roles and responsibilities. In response, the project provided capacity building activities which enabled them to play their coordinating role in monitoring, and helped improve the local ownership of results.

A large number of local community organizations, including the Centre Ado [teen centre], the Club des jeunes filles [young girls’ club] and the Association des femmes enseignantes [women teachers’ association], were directly involved in implementing the project, which fostered discussions between peers. This approached helped ensure a better understanding of local cultures and practices and contributed to the sustainability of the interventions. The programming promoted a “household approach” by engaging the family unit in all activities in order to put women in a decision-making role, while working with regional technical services. Combining these levels of intervention ensured a broad reach and the inclusion of beneficiaries by building trust between the support providers and the beneficiaries, and also offered a promising strategy for sustainable impacts.

Effective Solutions: Innovation

Many projects in Senegal showed a real desire to find innovative solutions that served to improve the daily lives of beneficiaries.

During the evaluation period, innovation became more and more prominent in programming. Several solutions seen in Senegal used the experiences and best practices from interventions in other Canadian partner countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa. However, these solutions were new in the context of Senegal and could therefore be considered innovative in that respect. Many innovations also considered the social, cultural and economic context in which they were to be applied so they would be more easily accepted and used, as well as affordable enough to be maintained after the project ends.

The Capacity-Building in Textbook Repair and Physical Management (PREMAS) project contributed to the establishment of a new profession - textbook repairers - officially recognized among the formal employment sectors. This has not only improved the economic self-sufficiency of groups that are typically disadvantaged in terms of employment, such as women, youth and the disabled, but has also contributed to the sustainability of Canada's other investments in textbook provision.

The Kolda Kédougou Integrated Nutrition Project (PINKK) helped introduce simple and innovative practices adapted to the local context that have helped to improve health and hygiene in rural settings. “Tippi-tap” hand washing uses a recycled plastic bottle with a lever system. The drying rack made of recycled bags offers an easy-to-use solution to protect kitchen utensils in a more hygienic way. Because of their simplicity, accessibility and low cost, they are easily maintained by the communities.

The Extension of Agricultural Insurance Services (PLUVIO) project introduced a weather monitoring system combined with access to agricultural insurance to help small farmers mitigate the risks associated with climate change. Rain gauges that measure the amount of precipitation helped predict the impact of reduced rainfall on crops and to determine financial compensation to farmers in the event of a decrease in production due to lack of rain.


Results: Children & Youth

Context: Education

Senegal has made significant process in access to education, particularly for girls. There has been gender parity in primary education since 2007. In 2017, the gross enrollment ratio for girls (93.6%) was even higher than that of boys (81.1%).

The education sector is seen as a lever for poverty reduction on a wider scale and sustainable economic development.

The Government of Senegal’s priorities in education are set out in the Programme for Improving Quality, Equity and Transparency in the Education and Training Sector (PAQUET-EF). This framework instrument for the period 2018-2030 aims to implement an education and training policy with three main focuses:

  • Equitable access to the education system
  • Improved quality of teaching and learning
  • Open, ethical and transparent governance of the education system

Canada identified a specific niche in the areas of basic education and vocational and technical training.

Canada has been engaged in the education sector in Senegal for decades. The programming, which initially focused on increased access and gender parity, evolved over the period to focus more on improving the quality of education, in close alignment with Senegalese government programs and priorities, particularly the Programme for Improving Quality, Equity and Transparency in the Education and Training Sector (PAQUET-EF).

Canadian support in the vocational and technical training sector also became increasingly important during the evaluation period because of the high priority placed on that area by the Senegalese government. To meet market needs and to achieve the overall objective of becoming an emerging economy by 2035, Senegal must have a skilled workforce that is able to meet labour market needs. Vocational and technical training was therefore considered to be one of the key drivers of economic growth.

To achieve sustainability and local ownership of results, Canada also supported the Ministries of National Education and Vocational Training, Learning and Craftsmanship with technical assistance and capacity building in results-based management, as well as human and financial resources, among other things. Canada also provided support in developing gender strategies and actions plans for the Ministries of National Education and Vocational Training, Learning and Craftsmanship, which included the creation of networks of women teachers and gender offices in each regional academic inspectorate.

Basic Education: Results

Success factors for achieving systemic and transformative results

  • The use of long-term program-based approaches to support the education sector.
  • The combination of sectoral budget support and targeted technical assistance at critical stages, and the use of ongoing policy dialogue to help advance and guide the implementation of activities.
  • Comprehensive and complementary support, based on past lessons and results, led to the creation of synergies and a coherent approach for the reform process based on the skills-based approach.

Through a continued support and a comprehensive approach, Canada was able to contribute to a systemic and transformative change in the basic education sector in Senegal.

Representing nearly 65% of Canada’s overall programming, education was the main area of intervention during the evaluation period. With investments of more than $300 million since 2008, Canada has positioned itself as one of Senegal’s largest donors in this area. Canada also played a key role in supporting Senegal in reforming its education system, leading it to adopt a skills-based approach. Due to the well-defined interventions related to the implementation of the education sector reform, it was possible to attribute certain key results in this area to Canada’s support.

Basic Education Reform
  1. Capacity building at the Ministry of National Education:
    • Adoption of the skills-based approach by the Government of Senegal
    • Appointment of 139 women to management positions, exceeding the initial objective of 121 women
  2. Technical support - Curriculum development:
    • A curriculum based on the skills-based approach was developed and implemented in all primary schools in public education
  3. Support in the acquisition of textbooks:
    • Procurement of six million textbooks and teaching guides based on the skills-based approach for 8,100 public elementary schools in Senegal
  4. Training in skills-based approach:
    • Training for 53,000 teachers and 8,000 school administrators/directors in the skills-based approach
  5. Textbook repair project:
    • Training for 40 young textbook repairers (including 26 women). This measure aims to double the life of textbooks, thus contributing to the sustainability of investments.
  6. Programming focused on protecting children at school:
    • A new comprehensive program to protect children at school, using a multidimensional approach with three complementary partners (Ministry of National Education, UNICEF, Plan International)

Basic Education: Challenges

Gaps for vulnerable groups not part of Canadian programming

Based on a study by USAID (2017), more than 30% of primary school-age children (6 to 11 years old) are outside the formal education system. This problem affects boys more than girls (57% versus 43%) and affects rural areas much more significantly. Of children who have never attended school, 70% attend “daara”, a parallel education system based on the teachings of the Qur’an. This informal system is a known challenge for the government, as it remains an important influence in Senegalese society.

There are still significant gaps in inclusive education, particularly for children with disabilities or other special needs. There are currently very few specialized schools in Senegal outside Dakar and Thiès. Public schools rarely have the resources or knowledge to provide the necessary accommodation.

There was still a lot of progress to be made to achieve the expected results linked to a basic education of quality, accessible and safe for all, particularly for girls and young women.

While overall access has increased in primary education and significant gender parity results have been achieved, it was still difficult to ensure that the skills-based approach was fully and equitable implemented in all regions. In this regard, Canada provided considerable support to the Ministry of National Education to help improve financial and human resource management and procurement processes. The Ministry of National Education was seen as a model, having reviewed many of its procedures and processes using results based management.

However, some challenges remained, particularly related to decentralized and deconcentrated levels. Disparities between regions persisted, due to a lack of resources and varying capacity for educational and administrative support. The number of teachers, textbooks and educational tools needed to fully implement the skills-based approach varied by region and by urban or rural setting. The quality of education has been declining in remote areas, in part because of high rates of teacher turnover and absenteeism. Continuing education for teachers has remained a major problem to be able to ensure true ownership of the curriculum and proficiency in evaluation processes.

Several persistent problems related to the school environment have had a direct impact on actual learning time, the quality of teaching and student safety, which are even more obvious in rural areas. These have included the presence of temporary shelters, the absence of fences, a lack of essential resources such as textbooks for every child, school canteens and the absence of separate latrines, which particularly affects girls and female teachers.

Canadian programming did not focus on middle and secondary education. However, the issue of parity has remained critical at those levels, as only 11.1% of women aged 25 or over have secondary education, compared with 20.1% of men. Early marriage and pregnancy among young women remain one of the main reasons they do not continue or complete their education. Considerable work must be done to change socio-cultural perceptions and expectations in order to retain girls in middle and secondary schools, which will also help ensure the sustainability of the significant support provided to achieve gender parity in basic education.

Vocational and Technical Training: Results

Major achievements

  • Inclusion of the skills-based approach in the training of young technicians, ensuring certification that provides opportunities to pursue higher education.
  • To date, 23 training programs are offered at 14 Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training through partnerships with Canadian colleges, institutes and CÉGEPs. The enrollment rate for girls has steadily increased, reaching 33% in 2017-18.
  • For the first time in Senegal, 890 youth, including 373 girls, obtained official certification following apprenticeship training.

Canadian support has helped make vocational and technical training a real option for entering the labour market.

Vocational and technical training was still seen by many as a “second-chance education” that has been less coveted than a university diploma. However, as the quality and usefulness of training improves and the available options for direct entry to the workplace increase, vocational and technical training has been increasingly accepted and sought-after.

Canadian programming featured a combined emphasis on improving the quality of and access to the training provided. It also supported the reform process to incorporate the skills-based approach and strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Craftsmanship.

One component of the programming focused on developing new training programs and building the capacity of partner institutions. Those Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training that were supported had a larger enrollment capacity and more diverse programming that better meet labour market needs thanks to the ongoing involvement of Canadian colleges, institutes and CÉGEPs as well as strategic private-sector partnerships. However, this programming was based on the assumption that the market will eventually be able to offer all graduates jobs in their respective fields.

Another component specifically targeted young men and women without any education who were unemployed or forced to turn to the informal or artisanal sector. With few other options to continue their education, these learning or training programs in entrepreneurship offered the young people the opportunity to obtain certifications and better job opportunities beyond the informal sector.

PSG-EFE: an effective partnership to obtain a skilled workforce based on labour market needs

The Private Sector Growth through Education for Employment (PSG-EFE) project is a partnership between Colleges and Institutes Canada and the Ministry of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Craftsmanship. This hybrid model, which combines budget support and a traditional project, is fairly innovative in the Senegalese context. It balances support for the Ministry of Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Craftsmanship to improve its capacity and its operations in terms of developing training programs according to the skills-based approach that are also suited to labour market realities and needs. As well, an additional partnership between some Canadian CÉGEPs and Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training resulted in a continuous and targeted transfer of expertise. Success factors included trainer training, knowledge sharing between peers, local and regional adaptation of training content, private-sector involvement in course development and delivery, and support for empowering Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training.

Vocational and Technical Training: Challenges

Context: Vocational and technical training

Senegalese youth (average age of 18) face limited opportunities to enter the job market. Only 6% of youth have a professional qualification or diploma. This shortage of skilled labour hinders private-sector development, particularly in the extractive and agricultural sectors. It is common for youth to turn to the informal market, which accounts for 60% of non agricultural jobs.

The Senegalese government considers vocational and technical training to be a solution for addressing that problem. Currently, only 8% of young people are taking this path, a number that has almost doubled in four years. However, due to significant delays in the construction or refurbishing of training facilities, they are unable to meet the growing demand. In addition to the structural deficit, there is also the human deficit due to the lack of qualified trainers.

There was still work to do for vocational and technical training to become a real and equitable option for young women, particularly in rural areas.

Despite an increase in the number of Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training offering several new training programs, demand remained higher than enrollment capacity. There were often with several hundred candidates for each training enrollment. Training sites were located primarily in urban areas, with very few options available in rural settings. It was particularly difficult for young women to have to pursue their education far away from their families. They were often under pressure to marry and start a family at a young age and to assume day-to-day family duties. The vocational and apprenticeship training options offered through Canadian programming still focused in fields traditionally practised by men. Because of these persistent social perceptions, the available options did not facilitate the integration and participation of young girls without considerable support to change these perceptions. As well, the length of the training, the location and the time of the class were other factors that impacted young women’s ability to participate.

Job creation and industrial development were lagging behind, leaving many new graduates without a job in their field.

To increase the chances of entering the labour market, technical training and apprenticeship programs created direct ties to private sector businesses. However, many Senegalese institutes of professional and technical training still suffered from a lack of suitable space and equipment, which often made it hard to adequately prepare young technicians for the job market.

At the same time, it was estimated that 100,000 young people join the labour force each year (during the evaluation period), but only 10,000 formal jobs were created annually, as industry growth was still not progressing at the expected rate. Many young people trained through Canadian programs still could not find work. This was particularly the case in rural communities, where large-scale industries are rare.

Canadian support was key to the certification of apprentices. However, fewer certified apprentices than expected started their own business or have not yet been able to find employment. Many of them have chosen to stay with their mentor. The length of the program, the limited business opportunities outside the informal sector and the need for a cultural change were all contributing factors.

Results: Food Security

Context: Food security

With a growing demographic and the majority of its population living in rural areas and practising agriculture, Senegal places particular importance on food security. Food insecurity affects approximately 17% of the total population. However, access to enough healthy and nutritional quality food remains a challenge in many parts of the country. This has a greater impact on women and children, particularly in rural areas. In a country sensitive to climate change, recurring droughts and floods have a direct impact on food production and have led to a decline in food security.

To achieve its overall goals of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable agricultural development and improving nutrition, Senegal has undertaken a process to establish resilience priorities in relation to food security and nutrition. The Cellule de lutte contre la malnutrition [unit for the fight against malnutrition], under the Prime Minister’s office, was created to coordinate national nutrition polices and reforms.

Canada promoted an integrated approach to agriculture, health, nutrition and education, with emphasis on women and girls.

Canadian support in Senegal in relation to food security was closely linked to Senegalese priorities, centred on three complementary areas of intervention: sustainably increasing agricultural production, enhancing agricultural products, and improving nutrition. Much of the Canadian programming placed particular emphasis on the role of women and girls, including specific interventions aimed at empowering women and improving equal access to financing and land. An integrated approach that linked education, health, nutrition and agriculture was promoted. Initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health and those that facilitate the registration of births in conflict areas complemented other projects. Sustainable land and water management and other sustainable and innovative practices for adapting to climate change were also programming priorities.

The programming made an important contribution to policy development.

Canada played a key role in Senegal’s joining the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NASAN) in November 2013 and in the development of its country cooperation framework. This G7 initiative proposed a partnership between the Government of Senegal, technical and financial partners and the private sector to mobilize the investments and reforms needed to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector and improve food security and nutrition. Canada’s financial commitments of $80 million to the NASAN in Senegal, completed in 2018, were carried out primarily through existing agriculture and nutrition projects.

By supporting the Plan Sénégal Émergent through budgetary and technical support, Canada was also able to support Senegal in developing the Plan stratégique multisectoriel de la nutrition [multisectoral strategic plan for nutrition] and the Stratégie nationale de sécurité alimentaire et de résilience [national strategy for food security and resilience], while integrating a gender perspective. Furthermore, the 2018-22 Programme national d’appui à la sécurité alimentaire [national food security support program] aimed at improving food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable households, along with their capacity for resilience, was developed in a participatory manner.

Agriculture: Results

Context: Agricultural sector

Agriculture is a driver of the national economy and employs more than 60% of Senegal’s population. This industry contributed approximately 17.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 and accounts for about 34% of the country’s exports. However, despite employing a large part of the workforce, productivity remains weak and the potential for employees to engage in the formal commercial sector has yet to reach their potential.

The most dominant form of agriculture in Senegal is so-called traditional or small-scale agriculture, which employs the most workers and is the main activity of rural populations. It is essentially rain-fed and seasonal. Large-scale industrial agriculture or agribusiness is not a highly developed industry in Senegal but is one of the main sources of exports for the country’s agricultural products.

Canadian support helped strengthen and modernize the agricultural sector to help create economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas.

Closely linked to Senegal’s objectives of making agriculture a lever for economic growth, long-term programming was concentrated in two geographical regions in particular, namely Niayes (North-West region) and Casamance (South region). It evolved over time, building on the results of previous phases, with women assuming an increasingly important role. The projects were mainly delivered through project-type budget support implemented by management units set up by the ministries concerned, namely the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Although technical assistance and capacity building was provided to the Project Coordination Units, this support was not provided at the ministerial level.

The introduction of new agricultural technology and techniques contributed to increasing small-scale productivity.

The programming that directly targeted small producers by building their capacity to increase and diversify their agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner had significant results. Canada supported the introduction of improved seeds and new production techniques and equipment, including the installation of 136 modern irrigation systems, 13 of them solar-powered. The use of new technology to improve processing and easier access to microcredit, combined with financial literacy and management training for producers, were also key factors in improving small-scale productivity. This helped producers increase their annual incomes, on average, by more than 20% since 2010 and, in some cases, particularly for certain women producers, by more than 80%, thus helping to improve the socio-economic life of men and women in the areas of intervention. However, farmers remained tied to local markets and were unable to develop beyond them.

Support to value chain links in several promising industries had mixed results.

Support for promising industries helped create nearly 3,000 jobs in the Casamance region, 60% of them for women, and many Unités de transformation et conditionnement [processing and packaging units] (UTCs). Although results were noted in individual industries and UTCs, systemic changes were not observed in terms of sustainability and profitability to achieve real economic growth. Programming related to supporting the marketing of products on a larger scale through cooperatives (the last phase of the value chain) did not achieve its intended objectives due to organizational development challenges and a lack of larger-scale agricultural industries.

Nutrition: Results

Young girls’ club: True community leaders

To address sensitive topics and harmful practices related to sexual and reproductive health, early marriage and pregnancy, and violence against women, peer awareness was effective in achieving results. As part of the PINKK project, young girls’ clubs were very successful in this area by developing young community leaders. They also played an important role in making mothers and their families aware of hygiene, nutrition and the importance of respecting vaccination schedules based on training received from PINKK. Advocacy among mothers resulted in an increase in newborn vaccination rates.

The first young girls’ club was set up by the Centre Ado in 2013, with 25 girls. To date, there are approximately 50 clubs in the region, with an average of 30 members each, for a total of 1,500.

Nutrition programming went beyond improving access to nutritious food by emphasizing community engagement in the fight against harmful social and cultural practices towards women and girls.

Nutrition was a new emphasis for Canada in Senegal during the period. To date, it has been limited to regions with a high prevalence of food insecurity and severe chronic or acute malnutrition. This was to reach the most vulnerable populations, particularly in the Kolda and Kédougou regions.

As part of a pilot phase, the Kolda Kédogou Integrated Nutrition Project, or so called PINKK project, has already achieved a number of results through a multisectoral approach that included health, nutritional, water and hygiene aspects. To ensure that interventions were self-sufficient and sustainable, activities to produce foods rich in micronutrients through small scale herding, backyard gardens and local product processing were complemented by capacity building of entrepreneurial skills and access to financial services. More than 3,000 women received financial literacy training, resulting in 218 new village savings and loan associations (AVEC). This credit, which the women manage themselves, was set up to offer access to financing for women in rural areas who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining any financial support. It tended to benefit the entire community, not just the women and their families.

With a particular emphasis on maternal and child health and nutrition security, the project also targeted the most vulnerable households with communication activities to encourage change in behaviours of practices that can be especially harmful for women and girls. Food consumption has been closely linked to socio-cultural practices. Several community awareness activities on the main measures related to hygiene, water and sanitation were conducted by more than 1,400 community members (70% women), trained as part of the project.

Food Security: Challenges

Context: Malnutrition

The fight against food insecurity and malnutrition are priority development issues in Senegal. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition is down since 2011, falling from 26% to 19% between 2011 and 2014.

However, the poorest households are the most affected by chronic malnutrition. The central, southern and southeastern regions, among the poorest in the country, have a much higher prevalence, between 25% and 30%. The Food Consumption Score also shows a significant disparity between rural areas (76%) and urban areas (90%).

In southern Senegal (Kolda, Séhiou, Kédougou, Ziguinchor), a lack of food diversification and cultural practices that prohibit children and pregnant women from consuming certain important food products, such as eggs, are key drivers of this malnutrition.

Additional efforts would be needed to create synergies and ensure larger-scale impacts, sustainability and ownership of food security programs.

Interventions using program-based approaches in partnership with the agriculture and environment ministries were carried out through traditional projects in the food security sector. Although some individual projects favoured an integrated, multisectoral approach, this did not result in programming coherence in the sector. Few synergies or multiplier effects were observed among project results, like those that had been achieved in the education sector, as they were implemented primarily in silos.

Long-term support for certain multi-phase agricultural projects was not able to create the same large-scale systemic change as those implemented through general or sectoral budget support. The lack of ongoing technical support and capacity building within the ministries seems to have had an impact on reporting capacities and on the sustainable ownership of results. It will therefore be harder to ensure sustainable results and maintain services at the decentralized level beyond funding.

When there was an insufficient understanding of social norms and the local context, it had an impact on results.

The integrated and multisectoral partnership model, such as the one used in the the Kolda Kédogou Integrated Nutrition Project (PINKK) project, was very complex and required a great understanding of the local socio-cultural context and the ability to identify and involve all appropriate stakeholders. It also required a lot of resources and time to ensure local capacity building for local ownership and sustainable results.

There are several gender-related factors that made it more difficult to ensure food security programs had an impact on women, such as the prevalence of illiteracy, certain harmful socio-cultural practices or beliefs, and early marriages and pregnancies. Women’s family obligations, which is often a combination of household chores and agricultural work in the fields, which reinforce the phenomenon of unaccounted and unpaid domestic work. In addition to making support to these women more challenging, they are also more affected by the lack of access to resources and the failure to enforce laws. There are also many regional contexts and cultural specifics to be considered, such as in conflict-affected areas like Casamance.

Results: Sustainable Economic Growth

Progress in good governance in the mining sector

As part of its general budget support, Canada was able to help Senegal meet the conditions to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. Transparency in this sector increased with the publication of extractive industry revenues.

The intention was also to reinvest these revenues into mining communities through the Fonds de Péréquation au Profit des Collectivités Locales [local communities’ equalization fund]. As this did not happen between 2010 and 2017, many communities demanded that it be corrected. Canada supported these demands by including a condition in its general budget support to the Government of Senegal to ensure retroactive payments to the fund, as well as entry of those transfers in the annual budgets. Since then, retroactive payments were made to the fund in December 2017.

As the result of the significant progress, Senegal was the top-ranked African country having  made satisfactory progress in implementing the EITI standard in 2018.

Programming in the area of sustainable economic growth helped build ties to other thematic areas, thus creating synergies and a more coherent approach.

Sustainable economic growth was added as a thematic area during the period, representing approximately 12% of disbursements. While seeking to improve alignment with the Plan Sénégal Émergent, the programming also continued to emphasize strengthening processes related to good governance in public institutions.

One program component focused on building public institutions’ capacity to implement decentralization reforms and manage public finances more transparently and responsibly. This included support for creating the National Office for the Fight Against Fraud and Corruption and building the Court of Auditors’ capacity to do its work of examining government accounts. Posting the main budget documents online improved transparency and helped improve Senegal’s score from 10 to 51 out of 100 on the Open Budget Index between 2012 and 2017. Progress was also made introduce a results based program budget, which will allow for greater alignment between ministerial budgets and sectoral policies. As well, a “gender budget document” was developed in 2017 and is used to allocate resources to the various ministries to meet the needs of women and girls.

A second component supported the Senegalese government in sectors seen as drivers of sustainable economic development, particularly agriculture, education, training and nutrition, and in improving the transparency of natural resources management. Given its close ties to other Canadian programs in these areas, this strategic support for reforms and institution-building helped improve programming coherence as a whole.

Support for microfinancing mechanisms, to ensure the financial inclusion of a larger share of the population, was an important measure for economic independence, particularly for women. Aimed at automating and computerization the operations of microfinance institutions, this programming helped increase transaction security and the quality and reliability of financial information. This also helped improve client confidence while allowing for better governance of the institutions themselves. In addition, the project was able to ensure sustainability beyond funding by working directly with local credit cooperatives, building their capacities and directly transferring solutions adapted to local needs.

Challenges: Sustainable Economic Growth

Context: Economic development

Senegal is among the fastest-growing economies on the African continent, with growth exceeding 6% since 2015. However, much of the population still works in the agricultural sector (60%) or the informal sector, estimated to represent 53% of the added value and 49% or gross domestic product. Fewer women are in the labour market than men (45.5% versus 69.9%). Among uneducated youth (15-24 years old), 36.6% are unemployed.

The size of the informal sector has an impact on the government’s ability to obtain public revenues, which is directly linked to the ability to offer social services. Poor access to quality basic services (water, electricity, telephone network, health system) is widely reported, particularly in rural areas. Insufficient human capital remains a key factor behind poor productivity, with Senegal ranked 121 of 157 countries on the Human Capital Index (2018).

The delivery of basic services at the decentralized and deconcentrated levels, and its associated capacity shortfall and unequal allocation of resources, must be addressed to strengthen the gains achieved in key sectors for sustainable economic growth.

Despite significant progress in strengthening public institutions, particularly in terms of the management of public finances, challenges remained in bringing this progress to the decentralized and deconcentrated levels. Management procedures did not always ensure that resources are available at public service delivery points. Introducing a program budget is an opportunity for more involvement and greater control for sectoral ministries but will require additional capacity building to ensure that sufficient resources are effectively and equitably allocated to key sectors. Oversight bodies, including the Court of Auditors and the National Assembly, were still not able to entirely fulfill their roles. This situation, combined with the weakness of the court system and the frequent non-enforcement of laws, hindered the creation of an environment conducive to sustainable development.

Canadian support for the implementation of the Plan Sénégal Émergent was important in fostering sustainable economic growth. However, the support was not as targeted as it could have been, as the technical assistance that was supposed to go with the general budget support was not in sync. Contracting-related institutional processes under a call for proposals resulted in several delays. The programming also experienced some delays in the disbursement of funds when the Senegalese government was unable to meet the agreed deadlines for reporting on progress in terms of how conditions had been met. The weakness of the existing processes and systems for tracking and reporting was considered to be a contributing factor.

Access to funding remains a major obstacle to empowering women. This was still a priority for Canadian programming, but on a much smaller scale and integrated instead into other project activities, particularly toward the end of the evaluation period. A national study (2015) showed that fewer than 10% of women had access to funding in the formal banking sector, while 33% rely on information systems, such as “tontines,” savings and credit associations or groups. Nearly 60% of women, particularly in rural settings, did not have access to either formal or informal financial systems. Accordingly, there must be more systematic financial inclusion of this particularly vulnerable group.

Sustainability of Results and Conclusions

Sustainability of Results

Elements that contribute to achieving sustainable results in Canadian programming:

  • Developing long-term relationships helped build trust and encourage the active participation of partners.
  • Transferring knowledge and skills to Senegalese partners (snowball effect and between peers) strengthened the capacities of local actors.
  • Developing local partnerships contributed to a good understanding of the local context and socio-cultural practices, which helped target interventions based on beneficiaries’ needs.
  • Including partners at all project levels (planning, implementation, monitoring-evaluation) fostered the local ownership and sustainability of results.

Canadian programming in the basic education sector is leaving a legacy for the future.

Overall support for the skills-based approach reform process in education, provided through several complementary projects, not only helped achieve sustainable investments, but also helped change in a systematic and transformative way how children in Senegal are taught. The adoption of this new way of teaching was seen in all regions visited during the evaluation. Although the Ministry of National Education had appropriated the procurement processes for textbooks, it was still hard to ensure that there the number of textbooks correspond to the expected number of students. Canada complemented this investment by helping develop the skills needed to repair textbooks, thus extending the life of each textbook. This also contributed to better management of costs for the Ministry of National Education. However, because of strong demographic growth in Senegal (an average of 2.75% per year since 2000), caution must be exercised as this context will continue to place significant demands on the education sector.

The involvement of local partners fosters ownership of results and sustainable solutions.

Partnerships with well-established local organizations or institutions that have been involved throughout the project cycle were better able to increase local ownership. An integrated approach that included knowledge transfer, including a training of trainers and peer-to-peer exchanges, also helped create sustainable capacities beyond funding. These partners often had an excellent understanding of beneficiaries’ needs that helped in finding solutions that were anchored in the socio-cultural context, as well as simple and affordable enough to be maintained by the beneficiaries themselves. In addition, leadership and entrepreneurial capacity building, combined with easier access to funding and financial literacy training, helped improve the ongoing use of acquired knowledge and the self-sufficiency of beneficiaries.

Numerous project results were related to changes in behaviour and socio-cultural practices. However, the time and resources needed to achieve these changes were often underestimated and were not sufficiently considered in the duration of the projects. This seems to have led to the use of several project phases, which can be beneficial when trying out new concepts and tools before deploying them on a wider scale. However, continuous multiple phases could also lead to involuntary dependence and can diminish ownership and preparation for the end of funding. Numerous projects could therefore benefit from a well-defined exit strategy that included risk-mitigation measures from the outset of the project.


During the evaluation period, Canada’s international assistance programming in Senegal showed continued relevance and alignment with Senegalese priorities. This was made possible by a coherent project portfolio that focused primarily on three thematic areas (Children and Youth, Food Security and Sustainable Economic Growth) and the considerable use of budget support to assist in key reforms and policies. Having established itself as a trusted partner of the Government of Senegal, Canada played a key role in promoting gender equality issues in these processes. During this period, women and girls also occupied an increasingly central role in all the programming.

The education sector achieved systemic and transformative results nationally in relation to the reform towards a skills-based approach. However, to ensure that the gains related to improved access and gender parity in primary education continue beyond that level, there are opportunities to expand to the middle and secondary levels of education. Currently, delays in industrial development and insufficient consideration of question related to market-entry issues have made it difficult for new graduates to find a job. This also had a negative impact on the ability of farm producers to move beyond small-scale production.

Budget support required a lot of resources and a high level of skill among personnel to support its implementation. This mechanism proved to be most effective when it included timely technical assistance, targeted capacity building in the ministries involved, and ongoing policy dialogue. When this combination of tools was not fully used, such as in project-type budget support, it was harder to identify large-scale sustainable results. A hybrid model between a Canadian organization and a ministry was better able to provide the ongoing support needed and to track results. It was also difficult to determine whether budget support was able to efficiently reach vulnerable groups, particularly in rural areas, where women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty. This is particularly linked to Senegal’s lack of resources and ability to fully implement its decentralized and deconcentrated governance model.

An integrated and multisectoral approach in several projects had a positive impact on the achievement of results. This mostly involved partnerships among several complementary organizations or with established local organizations. Contributing to a better understanding of beneficiaries’ needs and the socio-cultural context, this also allowed for several innovative solutions, using affordable and locally accessible techniques and technology, and multiplier effects among interventions. This approach often required more time than anticipated to ensure that the main stakeholders were included in planning and implementing projects. Ongoing involvement of local actors, combined with the building of their capacity, contributed to the ownership and sustainability of results.

Recommendations and Management Response

Bilateral Development Program

  1. If the program should decide to continue working in the education sector, it should consider extending the programming to other levels of education, such as the middle and secondary levels, and increase the sector’s management capacity in regions where problems persist in terms of quality, inclusion and school safety.
  2. If programming in the vocational and technical training sector should continue, the program should give more consideration to issues related to entering the job market, with plans to work more closely with other actors in the same space, particularly ministries, bodies responsible for economic growth and the private sector.
  3. When considering programming in the agricultural sector, the program should consider adopting a broader, market-focused perspective in programming aimed at modernizing the agricultural sector and increasing productivity by including actors involved in the food industry and in value chain and marketing development.
  4. The program should consider introducing complementary regional programming related to program-based approaches to build the capacity of government partners to successfully implement national priorities and reforms aimed at an integrated multisectoral approach to increase the interconnectivity of interventions.


  1. In accordance with the recommendations of the 2017 Audit of the Harmonization of Grant and Contribution Program Administration at Global Affairs Canada, continue to harmonize planning, reporting and financial management requirements, procedures and tools across all international assistance streams (bilateral, partnership, multilateral, peace and security) and international engagement streams (international aid, trade and diplomacy) to improve the coherence of interventions.
  2. Seek effective solutions for the management and sharing of documents between the various branches of the Department, as well as between missions and headquarters.

Recommendation 1

If the program should decide to continue working in the education sector, it should consider extending the programming to other levels of education, such as the middle and secondary levels, and increase the sector’s management capacity in regions where problems persist in terms of quality, inclusion and school safety.

Accepted: The program recognizes the importance of turning its attention to secondary education as a means of empowering girls in Senegal. As part of the development of the next Investment Plan, and in accordance with the priorities of Canada's draft Vision 2030 in Senegal, the program will promote initiatives to improve access and quality at the Middle and Secondary level with an emphasis on girls' access and retention. Through technical assistance, the Senegal program will carry out capacity-building activities in education sector management at both the national and decentralized levels.

Recommendation 2

If programming in the vocational and technical training sector should continue, the program should give more consideration to issues related to entering the job market, with plans to work more closely with other actors in the same space, particularly ministries, bodies responsible for economic growth and the private sector. 

Accepted: The program will develop a platform for consultation between vocational training stakeholders, including key ministries and entrepreneurs, to identify synergies between training programmes and employers' needs. Through technical assistance, the Senegal program will carry out activities that support actors to understand and adopt strategies for the integration of trained youth into the labour market.

Recommendation 3

When considering programming in the agricultural sector, the program should consider adopting a broader, market-focused perspective in programming aimed at modernizing the agricultural sector and increasing productivity by including actors involved in the food industry and in value chain and marketing development.

Accepted: The bilateral development program will ensure that implementation plans for early-stage initiatives in the agricultural sector take into account ways and means of combining improvements in productivity with increasing market value, through the processing and marketing of agricultural products. New initiatives that are a part of a forthcoming programming strategy in Senegal related to the agricultural sector and climate action will include improving the value-added and marketing of agricultural products.

Recommendation 4

The program should consider introducing complementary regional programming related to program-based approaches to build the capacity of government partners to successfully implement national priorities and reforms aimed at an integrated multisectoral approach to increase the interconnectivity of interventions.

Accepted: The program will ensure that the decentralized bodies/bodies of government partners are consulted and are involved in the implementation of programming. The program will propose to enhance the sustainability of programme approaches by integrating capacity building for local and regional authorities in the regions covered by its programming. The program will establish a round table of Canadian cooperation partners at the regional level, particularly in the south and southeast of the country, to strengthen synergies and improve the connectivity of Canadian interventions.

Recommendation 5

In accordance with the recommendations of the 2017 Audit of the Harmonization of Grant and Contribution Program Administration at Global Affairs Canada, continue to harmonize planning, reporting and financial management requirements, procedures and tools across all international assistance streams (bilateral, partnership, multilateral, peace and security) and international engagement streams (international aid, trade and diplomacy) to improve the coherence of interventions.
Accepted: Work is underway to further improve the coherence of interventions. This includes supporting the harmonization of IA operating budget information with the mission program operating budget and discussions are on-going with BMOs regarding the roll up of the International Assistance O&M Budget of each mission to the overall O&M Budget in Strategia. It also includes clarifying roles of each International Assistance planning and reporting tool to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Recommendation 6

Seek effective solutions for the management and sharing of documents between the various branches of the Department, as well as between missions and headquarters.

Accepted: The Information Management and Technology Bureau (SID) is working on a solution for collaboration and document management to support the international business model of the Department. Microsoft 365 and GCdocs are being examined as enterprise solutions that would support international assistance programming in Senegal. A review of Microsoft 365 and GCdocs will be completed, and options will be presented for consideration.

Considerations for Future Programming

  1. Program-based approaches require excellent management capacity to optimize results, combining skills related to policy dialogue, relationship development and results-based program management. A toolkit and a specialized training plan should be made available to all staff involved in program-based approaches. Easy access to expertise in managing program-based approaches and to sectoral experts with knowledge and local networks should also be provided to help staff fully carry out their responsibilities. In addition, skills and experience related to managing program-based approaches should also be part of recruiting new employees for these positions.
  2. In countries like Senegal, which are becoming emerging economies, greater consideration should be given to the inclusion of actors involved in supporting economic growth. This could include an increased involvement of commercial staff from Global Affairs Canada to identify areas in which joint programming is possible, advice to Senegalese businesses, chambers of commerce or industrial organizations and associations, or a broader engagement with ministries related to market growth. The use of innovative financing methods such as blended finance could also be an option.
  3. The role of women and girls was successfully addressed in much of the Canadian programming in Senegal, particularly in developing national policies and reforms. Lessons learned about how to achieve results for women and girls should be documented and shared among country programs, partners and executing agencies to build on successful experiences in projects. This could include approaches that have had an increasing impact on the inclusion, participation and empowerment of women and girls, such as access to funding and justice.
  4. Socio-cultural practices have a significant impact on the achievement of results locally, particularly among women and girls and other vulnerable groups. An understanding and awareness of these practices are key to successful programs. This requires an ongoing engagement with local actors in many sectors who can provide a comprehensive perspective of the reality on the ground. Programs should recognize the efforts needed to successfully work in remote areas, allowing enough time and resources to establish an understanding, foster relations and obtain sustainable results. The time needed for socio-cultural practices and behaviours to change should also be considered as part of the approval process and to determine project duration.


Annex I: Logic Model

Reconstructed Logic Model (LM) for evaluation purposes representing the Bilateral Program in Senegal during the 2012-13 to 2017-18 period.*

Ultimate Outcome

Greater economic, social and sustainable development for the people of Senegal

Intermediate Outcomes

1100 - Improved quality of basic education and vocational training for children and youth through inclusive, safe, violence-free and gender-sensitive schools.

1200 - Enhanced sustainable food security for women, men and children in Senegal.

1300 - Increased effectiveness of Senegal’s decentralized institutional framework in favour of more responsible and transparent management of public finances.

Immediate Outcomes

1110 - Improved ability of entities in the educational system to offer safe, quality basic education for all Senegalese children, particularly girls.

1120 - Increased availability of and access to quality vocational training that meets labour market needs, particularly for women and girls.

1130 - Improved ability of the Government of Senegal to offer and manage a quality, inclusive, equitable and safe educational system for Senegal’s children and youth, particularly women and girls.

1210 - Increased and diversified agricultural productivity from small producers, particularly women farmers.

1220 - Improved commercialization and management capacity for small producers, particularly women farmers.

1230 - Greater availability of, access to and consumption of nutritional foods, particularly for women and children.

1240 - Increased ability of ministries to offer agricultural and food security services with greater consideration for gender equality.

1310 - Improved ability to manage natural resources.

1320 - Improved ability of public institutions to implement decentralization reforms and manage public finances more responsibly and transparently.

* The last logic model approved for the Senegal Program was from 2010. A draft strategy for 2014-2019 was never officially approved, but it influenced the programming through annual investment plans. For the purposes of the evaluation, a reconstructed logic model was developed in consultation with the bilateral program.

Annex II: Limitations

Internal (Design and Methodology)

    1. The selection of the country program as a basis for sampling and assessing projects in greater depth meant that a sub set of projects were not assessed as part of the country-level evaluation. The evaluation focused on those projects that represented the largest disbursements during the period, as well as those projects considered important in terms of results achieved.
    2. By prioritizing recent projects (i.e. those implemented within the last three years), it was possible to improve data collection as many of them were still being implemented. However, this approach has limited the amount of data available to understand program sustainability. In addition, since projects often build on previous phases, it was difficult to ascertain how results would have been sustained had programming ended entirely.
    3. The difficulties of obtaining full access to basic documentation related to program-based approaches (approval documents, annual reports/updates, list of conditions) required that a lot of information be gathered during interviews with representatives from Global Affairs Canada and representatives of the ministries. The case study on education, which resulted in a number of site visits, also allowed for a direct engagement with the beneficiaries and those responsible for project implementation.


    1. The ultimate beneficiaries - particularly in the regions - spoke local languages. While the evaluation team included experts who were fluent in those local languages and provided interpretation, this language barrier may have limited the evaluators’ ability to fully understand the nuances of what was being communicated.
    2. Where Canadian programming was ongoing, the system mapping exercise showed the presence or connectedness of other initiatives implemented by the Government of Senegal and other donors. As a result, in most cases, it is not possible to attribute results exclusively to Canada’s contribution.
    3. Given the length of time available for data collection in Senegal (two weeks), the evaluation team was unable to visit all regions where programming was active. The selection of regions for data collection was based on the diversity, accessibility and concentration of program activities.

Annex III: Methodology

The evaluation used a mixed-method approach to gather information from internal and external data sources. Qualitative and quantitative data sources were triangulated to increase the validity and reliability of the evaluation’s conclusions. Three integrated case studies on funding mechanisms, the education sector and in the geographic region of Kolda were also used to inform the evaluation and to provide a more in-depth description. The study areas corresponded to the issues of interest for the bilateral program to increase the evaluation’s usefulness in informing future programming.

Document Review and Financial Analysis

Review of internal Global Affairs Canada documents:

  • Policy documents
  • Planning and strategy documents
  • Briefing notes and memos
  • Evaluations, audits and reviews
  • Review of available statistical data on total disbursements, targeted thematic areas, gender coding and variations over time.

Project Review n=21

A systemic review of documentation from bilateral projects (WWS) and a sample of projects from KFM and MFM:

  • Approval and implementation documents
  • Synthesis management reports
  • Annual and final reports
  • Monitoring and evaluation reports
  • Other relevant reports and studies

Literature Review

Review of academic publications, partner publications and other secondary documentation, including:

  • International studies on program-based approaches
  • Reports, studies and evaluations from other organizations, including the World Bank, USAID, OECD and United Nations agencies
  • Publications from the Government of Senegal

Interviews with Key Informants n=86

Semi-structured individual and small group interviews:

  • Current and former Global Affairs Canada employees (n = 26)
  • Executing agencies and local partners (n = 8)
  • Executing agencies and partners in Canada (n = 5)
  • Government of Senegal and state representatives (n = 18)
  • Other international donors and organizations (n = 10)
  • Civil society organizations (n = 7)
  • Group discussions with beneficiaries (n = 12)

Site Visits n=13

Linked to the case studies, project site visits were conducted in six geographic areas (Dakar, Kaolack, Kolda, St-Louis, Thiès and Ziguinchor) to obtain experiences and contributions from beneficiaries, executing partners and other stakeholders.

The methods included participatory focus groups that placed an emphasis on women and girls.

System Mapping and Network Analysis

To obtain a view on the ground in a well-defined geographic area, in this case Kolda in Casamance in southern Senegal, a system mapping and network analysis tool was used. This analysis served to identify the various actors and stakeholders directly involved in or linked to the Canadian programming in the region. The tool also provided a look at interconnections and levels of influence to better understand the problems, successes and impact of the programming in Kolda.

Annex IV: System Mapping and Network Analysis

System map for case study in Kolda, Senegal - Interconnections identified for the project PINKK - Interconnections identified for the Governor of Kolda - Interconnections identified for the Centre Ado

System mapping offers visuals that can serve as analysis tools in the evaluation to better understand the relations and interconnections of the various stakeholders.

The points represent the various actors included in the analysis. Their size differs based on their importance in the overall interactions. The green lines are also of a different weight to show the strength of relationships or the level of influence between actors. The red lines highlight the interconnections of a specific actor, a group of stakeholders or project.

A system mapping and a network analysis were conducted as part of a geographic case study in the Kolda region in southern Senegal. This region was chosen because of the presence of several Canadian projects implemented in the vicinity, active in different thematic areas, which offered a good representativeness and a manageable scope.

The goal was to identify and describe the relations between the main stakeholders directly or indirectly linked to Canadian programming and how they interacted and influenced each other. The study also aimed to see what impact those relations could have on the inclusion of beneficiaries and the achievement of more effective and sustainable project results.

The study included representatives from the project executing agencies, beneficiaries and local partners, various donors active in the region, civil society organizations, numerous government actors and sectoral services related to education, food security and sustainable economic growth. A combination of interviews, focus groups and site visits was used to obtain data, complemented in some cases by secondary data.

Certain conclusions were drawn from this analysis:

Date Modified: