Sebahara, P. 2003. Monitoring and evaluation of support for decentralisation and local governance A case study on Burkina Faso. (InBrief 7). Maastricht : ECDPM.
The policy of decentralisation in Burkina Faso is based on the Constitution of 2 June 1991, under which local authorities were established, run by elected legislative bodies, and with their own legal personalities and financial resources. The reform was first implemented in February 1995, when the first municipal elections were held in 33 urban municipalities. New councils were elected in these municipalities in September 2000, and 16 new municipalities created at the same time. The country now has a total of 49 urban municipalities. The legal framework for decentralisation that was adopted in 1998 also provides for an extension of decentralisation to rural areas.
From the outset, the formulation and implementation of decentralisation policy have received strong support from various partners, both bilateral and multilateral, as well as international NGOs. Capacity development relating to actors involved in decentralisation and local governance has accounted for a major part of donor interventions to date. Donors and their partners are now wondering what the impact has been after about ten years of support in this area. This is why we have chosen to focus on this specific aspect in this paper.
In this context of capacity development, it is interesting to discuss the monitoring and evaluation of international municipal cooperation. This appears to be thriving in Burkina Faso, judging by what certain municipalities have accomplished with the support of their partner authorities abroad. However, little information is available about the impact of this type of cooperation on capacity development relating to actors involved in local governance. This is mainly due to the decentralised nature of this type of cooperation, which generally takes the form of numerous isolated projects with few fixed monitoring procedures.