Evaluation of Joint Africa Institute (JAI)
The JAI was established in 1999 as a partnership between the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The aim of the JAI was to provide high-level training and develop a cadre of policymakers in Africa. Up to mid-2007, 127 training events attracting over 4,300 participants had been delivered under JAI auspices. Of these, the IMF had delivered 51% of all training events. AfDB has become increasingly important in recent years, largely because of the decision of the WB to reduce its level of commitment to the JAI. Over 80% of the training events have been held in either Abidjan or Tunis. According to JAI reports, total expenditure between 1999 and 2006 amounted to just over US$19 million.
- In order to be relevant, effective, and have an impact, training has to be incorporated into the wider context of capacity building. A results-chain approach has to be adopted in which developmental objectives are defined and prioritized and clear needs assessments are elaborated.
- In order to be efficient and effective, records have to be kept in a manner that facilitates accessibility and that supports an effective monitoring, evaluation, and feedback mechanism.
- Where partnerships are established, there must be clear agreement from the outset on the objectives of the partnership. Furthermore, there needs to be a degree of autonomy and flexibility – both financial and managerial – to allow the partnership to realize its potential to be greater than the sum of the individual partners’ inputs.
It is strongly recommended that the AfDB formulate a clear and comprehensive policy on capacity building (including training) before it develops further training activities. This should link capacity-building priorities with explicit development objectives, to ensure that training does not become an end in itself.
It is recommended that over the next 12 months the AfDB, in collaboration with the two partner institutions, seriously consider future options for the JAI, to include:
- Careful consideration of the plans for the JAI to be integrated with the ADI in 2010 and achieving greater clarity as to what this will involve, in both organizational and financial terms;
- Assessing the viability of a relaunched JAI with much greater autonomy to develop its own character; and
- Clearly analyzing the costs and benefits of closing the JAI at the end of 2009, with a view to maximizing potential gains and managing any negative consequences.
The policy recommended by the evaluation team is that the JAI should be closed at the end of 2009 and that the AfDB should develop its own training and capacity-building activities in support of country policies and practices.