CIDR conducts activities through four Departments:
Local Governance and Territorial Management Department
Agricultural Enterprises, Value Chains and Markets Department
Microfinance, Enterprises and Job Creation Department
Health Insurance and Social Protection Department
Each has defined a Strategic Plan in line with CIDR’s 2010-2014 policy priorities. The plan presents the key findings of a sectoral analysis, the key findings from the internal evaluation of the 2004-2008 Strategic Plan, the Department’s strategic positioning and priorities, an action plan and timetable for 2010-2014. Each plan appears as a separate document. This framework document only presents the strategic positioning and priorities of each Department.
Decentralization has shifted the responsibility of service provision and development to local governments, who are struggling to fill their new role. To meet the challenge, they must work with other development stakeholders: economic actors, civil society, central government authorities and representatives of the population.
Local governance is critical for planning and developing municipalities, and effectively improving quality of life. Successful local governing bodies are both a necessary condition for sustainable development and evidence of their importance.
The Local Governance and Territorial Management Department is positioned as a highly professional stakeholder, committed to broad citizen participation in local governance and skilled at strengthening the capacity of decentralized local authorities. From 2010-2014, it plans to reinforce the governance of a large number of municipalities and ensure successful implementation of their sustainable development initiatives.
A territorial approach that involves local populations at the village and neighborhood level will exemplify this commitment to building constructive dialogue between citizens and local governments. The Department will continue efforts to strengthen local governments’ capacities to improve populations’ living standards, and will continue to transfer sector-based project management responsibilities to local authorities in new African municipalities.
It will develop its expertise to promote lasting local governance models that successfully promote sustainable development. The concept of sustainable development will be integrated into the planning and development activities of local authorities at the municipal, inter-municipal and regional levels.
Local economic development will become the new priority. The Department will diversify its programs and make use of specialized skill sets to quickly gain know-how in this area.
Starting in 2010, the Department will reorganize operations geographically. Regional offices will be created in West Africa and Madagascar. Regional technical consultants will be brought in on several programs. Department staff will operate as a network, seeking synergies and optimizing complementarities. A proactive communication policy will be put in place and new North-South partnerships will be developed.
The Department will manage roughly a dozen programs in partnership with southern institutions by 2014 and at least 15% of revenues will come from training and consulting activities.
a. Improve performance and project management capacities of local governments
Local governments must be capable of supervising the programming, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of goods and services for their citizens.
The Department will develop sustainable training, advisory services and networking activities for local authorities. It will prioritize activities that develop skills and sustainable services in the following areas: technical, financial and planning. Given the political and organizational dimensions to managing service provision, the Department will also develop activities to reinforce the overall operations of local governments.
The lessons learned from the successful transfer of the management of a water project to local government authorities in Collines (Benin) will be applied to other municipalities. The Department will seek out strong, specialized technical partners to propose advisory services and TA in project management for a variety of sectors (water, sanitation, education, health, etc.). The Department’s local development and decentralization support programs will work with and strengthen the central government’s regional services, which are key to any decentralization policy.
b. Support governance conducive to sustainable planning and management
The Department will help implement sustainable governing bodies financed by local and regional governments. It will strengthen the civil society’s capacities to participate in all steps of the development process (planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation). Special focus will be given to improving the position of women and young people. Tools and methods adapted to each context and scale (village, municipality, region) will be tested and adapted prior to disseminating them.
The concept of sustainable development will be explained to all local governmental actors, so that it may be fully integrated into municipal and inter-municipal planning. The Department will help its partners meet the challenge of sustainable territorial development.
The Department will develop its expertise in regional planning and development at the municipal and inter-municipal level. It will help local authorities create regional planning and development frameworks by building their capacities to facilitate strategic planning and implement of geographic information systems.
c. Promote effective and sustainable local economic development support programs
All of the Department’s activities are designed to promote local economic development. Staff will help implement sustainable, regional initiatives that ensure the design of regional economic development strategies, coordination and organization of local stakeholders, technical and financial support for economic development, management of specialized project funds and promotion of a regional economy.
Staff with specialized skills, based in the West Africa and Madagascar offices, will participate in these activities to ensure rapid results. This strategic priority will be pursued in partnership with CIDR’s other departments in the countries where they are present.
Other stakeholders involved in local economic development will be encouraged to integrate the concept of sustainable development. Activities addressing energy, sustainable agriculture and environmental protection will lead to income and job-generating projects.
The Department will analyze its local economic development activities to distill lessons learned and disseminate them through publications, consulting activities and training.
d. Reorganize, diversify and develop new partnerships
The Department will be reorganized around the two regional poles of expertise in West Africa and Madagascar. Regional offices will be established and developed over time. Regional technical advisors will be brought in to advise on different programs, in addition to or in lieu of current technical advisors. The Department plans to develop linkages and synergy between programs. These inter-program linkages will also include elected representatives, technical staff and local and regional government partners. CIDR’s knowledge management activities will help optimize the complementarities between programs and stakeholders’ skill sets.
The project portfolio will grow over the next five years. The Department plans to develop ten new programs by 2014. It intends to expand into Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
It expects to build internal capacities by diversifying its service offer to include advisory and training services. Staff will draw on lessons learned from past projects to develop four training programs on decentralization and local development practices in Africa for 2010-2012. The economic model will change during this time. These new activities are expected to generate 15% of revenues by 2014.
The Department will strive to distinguish itself from the competition by partnering with the strongest southern organizations and positioning itself as a solid, reliable manager of complex programs. It will develop short-term partnerships as well as strategic alliances with other institutions from the North and South.
It will build on its strong partnership with the Picardie region to further develop its expertise in decentralized cooperation (i.e., the partnering between local government institutions in developed and developing countries), particularly with stakeholders from the North.
Finally, the Department will play an active role in defining and implementing CIDR’s external communication policy. It will actively take part in the external communication policy of CIDR.