African Union Commission (AUC) directors and heads of Liaison Offices are attending a two-day retreat in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia focused on reforming their respective departments and liaison offices’ performance management systems and measurement and reporting approaches using the results-based management system. The retreat has been organised jointly by the Peace and Security Department (PSD) and the Directorate of Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Resource Mobilization (SPPMERM) of the AUC, in conjunction with International Alert.
Results-based management is a strategy aimed at achieving important changes in the way organisations operate, in particular improving performance results. Its primary purpose is to improve efficiency and effectiveness through organisational learning, and secondly to fulfil accountability obligations through performance reporting. The intensive two-day orientation and consultation aims to deepen the understanding among the AUC managers on the use of results-based management competencies, skills and tools, so they can develop, manage and coach their staff in the workplace as well as effectively review progress reports before approving them.
Speaking at the opening of the retreat, the Acting Director of the PSD, Dr Admore Kambudzi, said that entrenching a culture of results-based management within the department as well as in the AU Liaison Offices was critical to realising the goal of a conflict-free Africa. He said that contrary to common perceptions, the AU Liaison Offices were established in order to serve not just the PSD, but the entire commission, adding that more efficient and accountable Liaison Offices would in turn enhance the ability of the whole of the AUC to deliver holistically to the continent.
“It is time that the AUC began to deliver as one, particularly in the fragile conflict and post-conflict areas where you are based. Therefore, the principles of results-based management should only serve to strengthen the way we plan our projects, implement them, monitor performance and report across the broad scope of delivery at the AUC.”
Speaking during the opening, Acting Director of SPPMERM Christopher Cyprian Kachiza said that this retreat is timely and crucial because it is anchored in the AUC’s first 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063, the continent’s blueprint for a prosperous and united Africa.
“In implementing the Executive Council decision calling for improved programme management as well as the AU Agenda 2063, the SPPMERM sees results-based management as an opportunity for us to streamline our internal processes, plan together, set standard indicators, and break away from the silo approach to working at the commission.”
Dr Lulsegged Abebe, Senior Adviser to the AU at Alert said:
“I have no doubt that through sharing experiences and building on our knowledge of results-based management we will go a long way towards strengthening the capacities of AU Liaison Offices and their interaction with the headquarters to conduct joint strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting. I hope you will identify with, and embrace as your own, the various tools and approaches, and that you will find them useful for making strategic policy and programming decisions.”
The training is part of a joint project between the PSD of the AUC and International Alert aimed at strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of AU Liaison Offices to engage with multiple actors, including civil society, academic institutions, the media and parliamentarians, contributing to increasing the AU’s profile as well as supporting citizens’ demands for transparent and accountable institutions. The three-year project is funded by the Government of Sweden.
Notes for editors