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African Governance Assessment Platform (AfriGAP)

The African Governance Assessment Platform (AfriGAP) will be an online networking space, in which to exchange experiences, access resources, develop initiatives and construct an online community of practice for civil society and governance assessments in Africa. Building on engagement and demand from the 2011 Africa Forum on Civil Society and Governance Assessments (http://tiny.cc/dakarforum), Forum Partners are exploring opportunities to develop the AfriGAP as a regional resource based on practitioner demand, building on the existing platform provided by the Governance Assessment Portal (http://gaportal.org).

Initial Concept Note Demand............................................................................................................................................... 2 Functionality & Content ....................................................................................................................... 2 Responsibilities & Coordination ........................................................................................................... 3 Stakeholders & Potential Partners ....................................................................................................... 3 Next Steps & Timeline ......................................................................................................................... 4

Updated 21 Feb 2012. For further information on the AfriGAP, please contact Marie Laberge, UNDP Dakar Regional Centre, marie.laberge@undp.org


AfriGAP Initial Concept Note 14 Feb 2012 marie.laberge@undp.org

Demand AfriGAP is initially conceived as a follow-up mechanism to the Africa Forum on Civil Society and Governance Assessments, which was held in Dakar (10-12 Nov. 2011) and co-convened with Trust Africa, CIVICUS, the African Governance Institute and the CONGAD. Participant feedback clearly indicated that one of the main benefits of the Forum was bridge-building between like-minded governance monitoring constituencies across Africa (from civil society, think tanks, private sector, government & UNDP Country Offices) who rarely interact with each other, in spite of their complementary skill set and of their common purpose (i.e. to use governance data to hold the State to account and to influence policy). To continue to nurture and showcase African leadership and innovation in this thriving field, 97.9% of respondents expressed interest in joining an online platform to connect participants from the Forum and provide a space for learning and collaborative initiatives: “There is a need for follow-up and for the creation of an effective network. You did a great job associating academics to the discussions, but now we need to link the theory to action”. Respondents rated as ‘exceptionally useful’ the following features of the envisaged Network: 1) to provide easy access to methodologies and assessment reports (56.3%), 2) to provide information on relevant news and upcoming events (62.5%), and 3) to facilitate mentoring schemes between experienced practitioners and researchers, and less experienced stakeholders (43.8%).

Functionality & Content

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In order to directly serve the needs and priorities of users, development of the AfriGAP is expected to take place around specific themes, resources and functionalities. Initial user research and needs assessments are currently being conducted in each of these areas.

1. Thematic focus Three broad thematic areas have been identified in preliminary user research. On the basis of this, initial development will be centered on creating thematic spaces and functionality to serve user needs in the areas of: • Corruption and anti-corruption assessments, • Public Service Delivery, and • Civil Society Assessments. Each of these areas will be developed through the simultaneous aggregation of content and engagement with local stakeholders.

2. Content & Functionality A) AFRIGAP LIBRARY An online collection of measuring tools, assessment reports and other publications related to governance and civil society assessment knowledge and practice on the continent. The library will be accessible as a standalone feature on the AfriGAP, but also accessible through the individual thematic areas. Library materials will include: 2


AfriGAP Initial Concept Note 14 Feb 2012 marie.laberge@undp.org

Assessment frameworks, methodologies and questionnaires National assessment reports, case studies

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White papers, policy papers and academic articles Toolkits and manuals, training materials

B) NEWS FEED The AfriGAP News Feed will build on the existing GAPortal Newsfeed, to offer live updates on news, events and opportunities related to assessments on the continent. Like the library, this content will be presented as an independent AfriGAP feature and tailored for each thematic area. C) PARTNERSHIP CLEARING HOUSE The partnership clearing house will provide space for member profiles (self-maintained), requests for mentorship, just-in-time technical advice, Q&A and blogs, etc.

Responsibilities & Coordination UNDP will assume primary responsibility for hosting, administering and developing the AfriGAP, including providing infrastructure, webspace and maintenance through the Governance Assessment Portal (GAPortal, http://gaportal.org). The GAPortal is funded and managed by UNDP’s Global Programme on Democratic Governance Assessments and aims to be a global one-stop-shop on democratic governance assessments for the wider community of assessment stakeholders. Development of each thematic area for AfriGAP will then be executed with the active support of a thematic partner, with thematic expertise in that area. AfriGAP partners will have primary responsibility for substantive facilitation, management of content,) and engagement with users to facilitate relevance and impact. Potential thematic partners for the above thematic areas include: 1) Corruption Global Integrity 2) Civil Society CIVICUS 3) Public Service Delivery Trust Africa The Afrobarometer could also be a key partner across all three thematic areas, contributing their expertise in conducting citizen surveys on a wide range of governance, democracy and development issues, their rich dataset, and their pan-African network of national Afrobarometer researchers.

Stakeholders & Potential Partners The following are prominent actors in the field of governance and civil society assessments in Africa, who would likely benefit from and contribute significantly to such a network, and could be consulted in the course of its development: •

Trust Africa (co-convener of the Africa Forum): A pan-African grant-making foundation with an extensive network of trusted partners across the continent. Already supporting assessment and social accountability work across the continent. With UDNP, commissioned 4 sub-regional mappings prior to the Forum to take stock of existing practice. Expressed interest in supporting follow-up initiatives. 3


AfriGAP Initial Concept Note 14 Feb 2012 marie.laberge@undp.org

CIVICUS (co-convener of the Africa Forum): Building on the track record of the Civil Society Index, CIVICUS is seeking in 2011 and 2012 to pilot a civil society rapid assessment tool to help civil society better assess its own strengths, challenges, potentials and needs in a way that is cheaper and quicker to implement than the full version of the CSI. This approach is designed to be highly adaptable to local contexts, particularly to conflict or crisis settings.

State of the Union (SOTU) Coalition: The State of the Union project tracks and engages Governments and the African Union on the performance of African Governments against key AU legal instruments and policy standards. In-country research and national consultations will be happening this year in fifteen countries (from 10 countries in 2010). A key focus of this new phase (2011-2015) will be on capacity-building of the SOTU coalition in the area of evidencebased research methodologies.

Afrobarometer: The Afrobarometer – an Africa-based network of independent researchers which has been conducting, for more than a decade, national public attitude surveys on democracy and governance and other critical political and social issues in Africa – is expanding its coverage from 20 to 35 countries in the next round (2011-2015). The top priority during this new round is on ‘enhancing policy visibility’ of the AB dataset and analysis among African policy actors. New AB partners (in the 15 ‘new’ AB countries) will require training in basic survey methodology, while more ‘mature’ AB countries will require more sophisticated training on data analysis and on communication strategies for decision-makers.

CLEAR – Francophone Africa Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results – hosted at CESAG (Centre Africain d'Etudes Superieures en Gestion, in Dakar): CLEAR is a new global initiative supported by the World Bank and other donors aimed at strengthening developing countries’ capacities in monitoring and evaluation and ) performance management, to support evidencebased decision-making. The Francophone Africa Centre, CESAG, is currently trying to establish networks and partnerships with other francophone institutions and evaluation associations across the sub-region.

Next Steps & Timeline 2012 Q1 Q1

Foreseen Activities Assess partner interest & further investigate end-user demand Develop concept note & budget

Q1-Q2

Formalize partnerships & management arrangements with interested partners

Q1-Q2

Hire a full-time AfriGAP Coordinator

Q2

Develop and validate development plan with partners

Q2

Begin development

Q2-Q3

Populate initial content

Q3

User test with regional stakeholders

Q3-Q4

Beta-launch initial 3 thematic areas

Q4

Outreach to engage users, further needs assessment & engage additional potential partners

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