Independent evaluation highlights best practices of UNODC Sahel Programme
The Sahel Programme is considered one of UNODC's flagship programmes, states the mid-term evaluation report recently published by a team of independent evaluators. The Programme integrates almost all UNODC mandates, which is demonstrated by the concrete results that the region's governments have achieved (detailed in the Sahel Programme 2017 Progress Report).
Consistent multi-stakeholder engagement is one of the Programme's strongpoints indicated by these evaluation interviews. Highlighting best practices, the evaluation team emphasized that the Programme's objectives, "remain highly relevant (...) to member States' needs, but also to donors' priorities in the region." The evaluation also underlined that "the coordination team is one of the success factors of the Sahel Programme, and one of its best practices". Moreover, this team contributes to the visibility of the Programme thanks to a clear "communication and branding strategy through web stories and annual reports."
The final report concluded that, "the Sahel Programme responds to local realities, and is aligned with UNISS. Its funding levels and ongoing commitment of members, states, and donors is a testament to its success."
In addition to recognizing the strengths of the Programme, evaluators also formulated recommendations for a way forward in the coming years. A clear engagement strategy with civil society organizations would expand the Sahel Programme's reach in remote areas where they could contribute as implementing partners to Programme activities. Additionally, these activities necessitate stronger consideration to gender sensitivity and human rights. Eventually, the Sahel Programme should strive to achieve a greater presence in each of the five Sahel countries and continue to coordinate among UN agencies within the framework of UNISS.
This independent evaluation, mandated by UNODC programmatic guidelines, combined research and field observations with interviews of UNODC staff, beneficiary governments, partners from UN agencies, civil society organizations, and donors. The evaluation team travelled to UNODC headquarters in Vienna and throughout the Sahel region to meet 65 different stakeholders.
The Sahel Programme was conceived in response to the critical deterioration of security in Libya and Mali in 2012, and comprises UNODC's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Sahel Strategy (UNISS). Based on regional and country needs, it aims to address security challenges that continue to affect the region. The Sahel Programme focuses on building the institutional capacity of member states and bolstering their criminal justice systems against terrorism and transnational organized crime.