Country: Niger (AFR)
Project: Strengthening the Social Contract in Niger “Budgets are More than Money In, Money Out!” Project
Organization: Oxfam Novib
Sector: Public Financial Management (PFM)

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Data Sheet

 

I. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES

A. PDO

The objective of this project is to contribute to increasing public budget and basic public services’ responsiveness and accountability in Niger. The challenges addressed by the proposed project are limited transparency and budget accountability, compounded by low budget execution and limited information about the quality of budget expenditures, i.e. how budget spending links to increased access to and quality of service delivery. To accomplish its objective, Oxfam Novib is proposing to: (1) increase monitoring capacities of budget and public service delivery among government and civil society groups at national, regional and municipal level; and (2) create mechanisms and incentives to facilitate state-society engagement to support more evidence-based, responsive, participatory, and accountable public decision-making.

B. Project Beneficiaries

The Project’s direct beneficiaries include:

  • Alternative Espace Citoyens and other local civil society organizations working on the transparency, accountability, anticorruption and local development agendas.
  • State institutions (regional and municipal councils) in at least 16 municipalities that will be selected based on demographic and socio-economic representation (2 pilot municipalities in each one of the seven regions and 2 in the capital city).
  • Citizens, in particular marginalized citizens, in the 16 selected municipalities.
  • Parliamentarians and staff of the National Parliament’s Commissions of Social and Cultural Affairs, Rural Development and Finances.

The Project’s indirect beneficiaries include:

  • All Niger’s citizens
  • The ministries that will use the information produced to improve the effectiveness of public spending, in particular: the Ministry of State for the Interior, Public Safety and Decentralization; the Ministry of Economy and Finance; the Ministry of Agricultural Development; the Ministry of National Education; and the Ministry of Public Health,
  • The National Parliament that will use the information produced to monitor and better control budget execution.
 

II. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

A. Project Components

Component 1: Information and Citizen Participation
The objective of this component is to create mechanisms and incentives to facilitate state-society engagement to support more evidence-based, responsive, participatory, and accountable public decision-making regarding budgets and service delivery. This component has the following activities:

(a) Develop capacities of civil society organizations in at least 16 target municipalities and national groups to monitor budgets and public services, as well as use that information to inform improved public decision-making
(b) Establish and use of mechanisms to facilitate state-society engagement on budget and service delivery issues in different levels of government, including signing collaborative agreements with public sector institutions
(c) Develop an information, education and communications strategy to support the achievement of project goals.

Component 2: Research, Analysis and Budget Monitoring
The objective of this component is to increase the production of evidence-based information and data, and the analytical capacities of public sector officials and CSOs for monitoring the public budget and service delivery at national, regional and municipal level. This component includes the following activities:

(a) Institutionalize a service on budgetary and fiscal issues for evidence-based research and analysis through the creation of a Study Center on Public Budget and Policies.
(b) Train members and administrative staff of the permanent commissions of the national Assembly on rights based approach budget analysis;

Component 3: Knowledge and Learning
The objective of this component is to identify lessons and share the knowledge generate by the project. The main activity of this component is:
(a) Produce, take up, and disseminate knowledge and learning about the project’s approach and experience.

B. Project Financing

The financing instrument elected for this project is a Recipient Executed Trust Fund (RETF) Grant. The source of financing for this Grant is the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), housed within the World Bank. As per World Bank Trust Fund guidelines, given that this Trust Fund is smaller than US$5 million this Project is subject to World Bank procedures related to project preparation and supervision of Small RETF Grants. The Project cost is estimated to be US$800,000 to be financed completely by the GPSA grant. Additionally, the World Bank will commit an annual Project supervision budget in the amount of US$20,000.

Project Costs

Total Project Cost (US$)

GPSA Grant Financing (US$)

CSO Financing (US$)

WB Financing* (US$)

GPSA Financing (%)

Component 1

$470,999

$470,999

0

0

100

Component 2

$208,664

$208,664

0

0

100

Component 3

$120,337

$120,337

0

0

100

Total Base Cost

$800,000

$800,000

0

0

100

Other costs

$60,000

0

0

$60,000

0

Total Project Cost

$860,000

$800,000

0

$60,000

93.02

* Annual World Bank Project supervision budget of US$20,000.

 

III. IMPLEMENTATION

A. Implementation Arrangements

Project Implementing Agency: The Project will be led and coordinated by Oxfam Novib. The organization will be responsible for grant management and reporting, and will support its partner with technical, finance, logistics, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and compliance. Oxfam Novib will also promote participation and collaboration between all parties, fostering knowledge generation and learning and provide technical expertise.

Oxfam Novib has been active in Niger since 1997 and it has been operating in the following areas: right to sustainable livelihoods, right to basic social services, right to life and security, right to an identity, and right to social and political participation. The organization supports food security through interventions to improve prevention of and preparedness for food crisis. In education, it focuses on improving the quality and governance of the system by promoting the involvement of parents, pupils and communities and by interventions to keep the most vulnerable children in school. In addition, the organization provides support to prevent women from getting birth related complications, mainly fistula.

Oxfam Novib will partner with Alternative Espaces Citoyens (AEC) that will be responsible for leading operational and analytic work, implementing the activities in the eight regions of Niger, mobilizing grassroots members, and providing support to develop capacities on the ground.

AEC’s mission is to develop a society based on human rights and gender equality, preserving the environment, promoting the youth, and fostering solidarity among people. The organization specializes on citizenship education, mainly through its Niamey-based radio station and study circles located throughout the country. The organization also uses other mediums such as video documentaries, information and communication technologies, street theatre, education activities and public lectures to promote democratic values within the population.

Flow of Funds: Oxfam Novib will directly draw down on the Designated Account in order to ensure smooth flow of funds for implementation of Project activities. An Indicative Schedule of Advanced Payments and Final Reimbursement will be included in the Disbursement Letter. Requests for withdrawal of Grant funds will be made in accordance with a schedule (milestones) agreed between Oxfam Novib and the World Bank.

B. Results Monitoring and Evaluation

Oxfam Novib and the World Bank will monitor the PDO level indicators, as well as implementation of activities supported by each Project component. Project implementation will be monitored and evaluated following an action-research approach during the whole period of implementation of the project, including focus on a baseline, mid-term and final assessments. This approach enables the project to improve its strategy and operations through adaptive learning and management as well as drawing lessons for future actions.

C. Sustainability

The Project will foster sustainability beyond the project cycle through three key mechanisms:

(a) Support the institutionalization and strengthening of national civil society’s on-going budget and policy analysis and work;
(b) Development of additional capacities for state-society engagement in policy making processes by leveraging growing recognition of civil society’s legitimate role to engage with public sector institutions and international development partners;
(c) Constructive engagement with public sector institutions and decision-making processes that have stability beyond the duration of the project.