The state, the economy and the population: supporting regionalisation in Mali
Title: Decentralisation and state reform (PADRE)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation
Overall term: 2015 to 2019
The 2012 crisis revealed that decentralisation is crucially important for governance in Mali, yet at the same time uncovered the glaring weaknesses in the implementation of the decentralisation process. Following Mali’s failed peace agreement of 1992, the Algiers Peace Accord of 2015 gives the country a second opportunity to pursue the decentralisation process in order to build the momentum required for a fundamental reform of the decentralised unitary state. The Peace Accord has given strong regional authorities a key institutional role in overcoming the country’s political tensions and security crisis.
Government and administrative bodies take advantage of the improved institutional framework and decentralisation tools in order to support the financial and economic situation of the regions.
The PADRE project is advising relevant public bodies at national, regional and local level. As well as working with state actors and institutions and regional authorities, it is also involving organisations from the business community and civil society in its activities. The project is working in the capital, Bamako, and the regions of Ségou, Mopti, Kayes and Gao to develop approaches for nationwide dissemination. The work is being done in four fields of activity.
Improving the institutional framework for decentralisation: The aim is to enhance the skills and performance capacity of the Malian institutions responsible for decentralisation. Key government ministries are being advised on how to structure core reforms. This covers issues such as regionalisation, internal financial relations and fiscal decentralisation and the process of transferring greater resources to regional authorities.
Fiscal decentralisation, local finances and financial control: The transfer of finances to regional authorities is to be increased. To this end, instruments, mechanisms and procedures for revenue generation are being strengthened and the skills needed to manage the revenue chain are being developed.
Strengthening the economic performance capacity of the regions: Regional councils are being supported in the key strategic stages so that they can fulfil their role in economic development. The work in this area of activity is being co-financed by the EU in the Kayes region.
Control and civil participation in public investments undertaken by regional authorities: The project is devising and mainstreaming control and quality assurance mechanisms for municipal construction projects. It is also promoting civil participation in municipal investment decisions and accountability.
- Breaches of the rules in implementing regional authority investments have decreased in the 133 municipalities of the three partner regions.
- Between 2014 and 2017, implementing the local finance action plans increased tax revenues in the partner municipalities by an average of 74 and 51 per cent in the Segou and Kayes regions, respectively.
- In relation to regional economic development, the regional councils of Kayes, Mopti and Segou have been strengthened in their local construction ownership function. Between 2015 and 2017, for instance, 22 infrastructure projects in Mopti and Segou directly financed by the EU were realised by the regional councils of Segou and Mopti. The regions being supported are at the forefront in implementing the Malian state’s regionalisation agenda.
- More than 350 of the female-led companies in the partner regions increased their sales by over 100 per cent by building up competencies, primarily in management and technical skills.
- Specific approaches to ensuring civil participation are being implemented and citizens are demanding accountability from their local councils more frequently. PADRE has so far recorded 93 of these ‘interpellations’ specifically in relation to basic services, and at least 55 per cent of them have been successful and have led to concrete actions by local authorities.
- In order to give women a greater say, the project has introduced women’s forums in 23 municipalities. 60 per cent of the projects submitted by the forums have been incorporated into municipal planning.