Friday, Jan 21, 2022

Strategic Plan Development Process

This regional Strategy has been developed following a process that included baseline scan and studies, literature reviews and stakeholder consultations at the national and regional levels. The process involved the undertaking of independent and objective background studies that commenced in September 2014 on six IGAD priority sectors in each IGAD member state. A total of 105 reports composed of national level “State of the Sector Reports”, “Country Reports” regional level “State of the Sector Reports” and “State of the Region Reports” were produced.  A reflective study entitled ‘The State of the Region Report’ reviewed and reflected on the key development issues that prevail in the region. The “State of the Region Report” highlighted root causes and effects of underdevelopment in the IGAD region, status of IGAD development agenda, achievements, challenges, opportunities lessons learnt and future aspirations.

Further issues were identified through Member States stakeholder and technical consultation process facilitated by IGAD secretariat throughout 2014 and 2015. The IGAD Regional Strategy 2011-2015 and sectoral strategies among other relevant IGAD documents were also referred to in the development of these background studies.

IGAD also facilitated a stakeholder consultation workshop in October 2015 to verify the findings of the state of the region report and identify the broad directions for the new strategy. The consultation process produced a significant volume of detailed and diverse feedback which was synthesized for input into the development of this strategy. IGAD has been committed to capturing member states input into the strategic plan and has continuously provided ample opportunity for eliciting and coordinating member states’ input. For instance, the draft strategic framework was presented to member states and key stakeholders in November 2015. Key stakeholders who will play an important part in implementing many of the actions have also been consulted in face-to-face meetings prior to finalization of the draft strategy. Much of their input has been captured in the ‘Implementation Plan’ which accompanies this strategic framework. This document is ‘live’ for the duration of the Strategy and IGAD will periodically seek to collect data for reporting progress on the strategy and update the plan.

Characteristics of the Strategy

The IGAD Regional Strategy is meant to be a living, dynamic and flexible document to accommodate for both the current and emerging development issues. It embraces the principles and approaches of sustainbale development and focuses on the real problems of the region and has linkages to both national and global strategies. Further, it focuses on the promotion of regional cooperation and integration in order to achieve sustainable development, peace and security in the region. The underlying principle is that IGAD will remain focused on policy level interventions and development of concepts of trans-boundary nature with regional relevance; development information; capacity development; and research, science and technology agendas. In this connection, the IGAD priority programmes must reflect the higher development goals of the Organisation. 

Hence, the strategy would require that:

  • The Member States address common regional development challenges through joint efforts in IGAD priority areas.
  • The IGAD Secretariat, the Member States and development partners harmonise programmes to maximise development impact and minimise wastage/duplication of efforts and resources.
  • The Member States aim to pool their resources to invest on long-term development while giving adequate focus to emergency response and recovery activities.
  • The Member States and the Development Partners use IGAD as a development vehicle especially on the basis of its experiences and knowledge on trans-boundary issues.

IGAD pursues a pragmatic and progressive approach, which focuses on what is strategically useful and feasible politically, economically, socially and technically at regional, national and international levels, with the available human and financial resources. IGAD is adopting a holistic programmatic approach to its development initiatives instead of the stand-alone project interventions of the past. To facilitate this transformation as well as enhance its organizational performance, efficiency and effectiveness, IGAD has put in place a Result Based Management (RBM) system.

The national development policies, strategies, legislation and programmes of the Member States are recorded in documents like the National Development Plans,  Poverty Reductions Strategy Papers (PRSP) and Sessional Papers on specific issues. IGAD will work with the line ministries and other national institutions whose role is to implement policies in their respective countries to leverage national priorities, with the potential for signficant value addition. In carrying out these actions IGAD employs an intensive participatory approach, thus ensuring that the ownership remains with the Member States. Much of IGAD’s work is carried out in a process approach involving intensive background studies followed by a series of workshops and meetings to come up with common regional positions on the issues at hand which usually are endorsed by the sectoral policy organs and approved by higher IGAD Policy Organs. 

IGAD shall continue to maintain its proactive approach towards the relevant emerging issues, both of a regional and international nature. It will increase its involvement in promoting issues like good governance, democratic culture and human rights in the IGAD region and consider their linkages to peace, security and sustainable development. IGAD will focus on developing a regional consensus on such issues and putting in place mechanisms for their implementation. It will further ensure the participation and involvement of its Member States in addressing and monitoring of emerging issues globally Further, IGAD will adhere to and promote integrity, accountability, cooperation and transparency in its dealings with Development Partners, Member States and other stakeholders.

Building On the Previous Strategy

This strategy builds on the IGAD Regional Strategy (2011-2015), which established the foundation for strategic direction in enhancing regional cooperation and integration for the region. Its implementation has focused attention on core issues, priority areas of concern and key opportunities in three priority areas of food security and environmental protection, economic cooperation, regional integration and social development, peace and security. The process has also helped bring regional stakeholders together with a common focus and, in doing so, has provided a framework for partnership building and collaboration towards common goals and allowed more directed and prioritized interventions at the regional and member states level.

Analysis of the activities implemented across the Region in response to the 2011-2015 strategy identified several principal regional achievements including:

  • Much more positive engagement of member states;
  • working together and development of successful partnerships;
  • awareness raising in the regional community and on targeted sectors e.g. drought risk management;
  • signing of a joint financing agreement (JFA) with donors to support implementation of phase 2 of ISAP 2012-2014 and now Phase 3 (2016-2020)
  • working towards better monitoring, evaluation and reporting for improvement;
  • enhancement of capacity within the secretariat.
  • adoption of the Minimum Integration Plan (MIP)
  • Development and harmonization of regional sector policies and strategies such as the IGAD Environment Policy, IGAD Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy Framework, the IGAD EIA Protocol, etc.
  • preparation, adoption and implementation of the IGAD Sustainable Tourism Master Plan
  • development and approval of an IGAD water policy.
  • continued IGAD led peace processes in member states such as Sudan and Somalia

While there have been achievements in the above key areas, a lack of concise information regarding the impacts of this progress has made it difficult to provide a meaningful assessment of the positive changes  arising out of these initiatives.

The review of activities and achievements across the Region also exposed some apparent structural and functional deficiencies with respect to progress in the integration process and implementation of the past strategy. These include:

  • a lack of progress towards ratification of the IGAD treaty
  • irregular meetings of the key IGAD organs particularly the Ordinary Summit Meeting of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State that has not been convened for a very long time
  • high reliance on donor funding and delay in transfer of committed funds to IGAD
  • slow domestication of protocols and policies

Furthermore, the review revealed that there are prevailing difficulties in monitoring progress and impacts from the previous strategy and a new framework is required to address this issue and make it possible to report on future outcomes and impacts.

Charting the Changing Trends in the Environment of the IGAD Region

This strategy outlines some of the issues that have been identified in IGAD’s operational environment over the past few years. Recognizing that a strategy does not operate in a vacuum, but rather within the context of social, political and economic change, it is helpful to track changing trends in IGAD’s external context for the purpose of adapting its implementation to embrace the changing regional and international dynamics and real circumstances in which the regional communities live. At the same time it is important to understand the internal realities that the IGAD secretariat as an institution faces as it looks outward beyond itself.

The External Environment and Megatrends

The internal and external contextual factors that serve as the conditioning framework for the IGAD region’s growth suggest that the region and its people live in a world that is in the throes of a transition and that is fraught with much uncertainty. The quest for transformation is thus faced with a mixture of challenges and opportunities, which need to be properly managed in order for the region to complete the path towards prosperity

These external shifts which carry implications for the region’s long-term prospects were collated and analyzed during the regional study scan of the strategic issues and emerging concerns around six of IGAD’s priority sectors; namely:

  1. Agriculture, livestock and fisheries development
  2. Natural resources and environment protection
  3. Social Development
  4. Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration
  5. Peace and Security; and
  6. Gender Affairs. 

The study culminated into a “State of the Region Report” which provided an independent and objective analysis of the key issues for the Region based on a scan of existing and emerging issues and consideration of changing socioeconomic, regulatory and political operating environments for the Region. As the Region moves into the next strategic period, it is apparent from the scan that many of the issues will remain unchanged. An analysis of these issues within the context of world development Megatrends are presented below.

1. Demographic Change and Urbanization: The main trend for the next 20 years in the region is that of a growing and young population that moves into the cities. The focus of population growth is on the youth bulge and its impact on savings: The region and in fact Africa in general has some of the highest active dependent ratios with a record number of young people to educate, feed and employ. Urbanization and cities in the region have not yet become the engines of increased productivity they have been on other continents and expanding city populations will demand rising investment in urban infrastructure and social services, putting further strains on vital resources. As urbanization is a long-term trend which is not likely to stop, it is critical to explore ways and means to enhance the productivity of urban based activities.

2. Diffusion of Power and New Political Dynamics: There is a shift in the global locus of economic power and influence from the West to the East. However that change in “the geography of wealth” has not been matched by a commensurate change in the geography of power, or a significant recomposition in the instruments of global governance.

3. War on Terror: There has been a recomposition of the global security agenda to incorporate a complex “war on terror”. The war on terror has had two major economic impacts so far:

  • An increase in overall military assistance to countries experiencing conflict.
  • The elimination of sanctions on arms exports to these countries

Regional states such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda have all experienced either an increase in military assistance or the elimination of sanctions that prevented their buying arms. Although some of these countries have experienced small increases in funding, these do not seem to have a significant long-term economic impact on the country or conflict. The campaign against terrorism has had political, as well as economic, repercussions. There has been a concerted effort to link conflicts to the terrorist attacks in the region (e.g. the September 2013 Westgate Mall and the April 2015 Garissa University attacks in Kenya) and to reclassify opposition and rebel groups as “terrorists.” Once rebel groups are classified as terrorists, governments feel less pressure to negotiate and become less willing to enter into a peace process. In many cases this disinclination towards negotiation leads a government to seek a military victory through the extermination of the rebel group. Several regional states are also experiencing direct US involvement in large counter-terrorism programs. The Pan-Sahel Initiative, now known as the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Initiative, was established in 2002 and is based in Djibouti. Between 1,200 and 1,500 US marines are training security personnel in a number of African countries. The US-led campaign to combat international terrorism is influencing armed conflicts around the world. Close attention must be paid to the broader impacts of the war on terror to understand the implications in different parts of the region even as traditional inter-state and intra-state conflicts endure around a plethora of issues.

4. Resource Scarcity and Climate Change:  the growing population in the region will lead to an increase in demand and consumption of energy, water, food and other resources. At the same time, over 50% of the region’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Whilst the rising population will demand more food, millions in the region already suffer chronic hunger. The vast majority of hungry people live in transboundary areas of the region where the prevalence of undernourishment is quite high. More frequent and severe extreme weather (droughts), combined with ever growing numbers of people and exposure of productive assets (e.g. Livestock) will lead to massive economic losses.

5. Income: Many of the member states have shown impressive GDP growth rates over the past decade averaging between 5% - 8%. This has propelled a large number of people out of poverty with corresponding improvements in education, life expectancy, and access to public services. This has however been accompanied by a widening income and non-income inequality gap, derived both from the nature and pattern of the growth that is occurring The impact has been a  realignment of socio-economic structures, and the poverty of social policy across the region. Particularly badly hit by the dynamics of inequality are women, children, and the elderly. In many member states, the resulting social exclusion is becoming a problem, which if not addressed, could generate problems of governance and sustainability. Policies that foster the broadening of opportunity and inclusion need to be put in place, beginning with macro-economic policies, which ensure inclusive economic growth in the region.

6. Migration: People are not only migrating from rural areas to nearby cities, they are also migrating to other countries in the region largely as a result of violent conflicts as  refugees, IDPs and more than 17 percent of the global and half of Africa’s IDPs are in the Horn of Africa. The region also hosts 2.46 million refugees, while also producing 3.12 million refugees.

7. Increased Conflict and Fragile States: Although inter‐state conflicts have reached historically low levels in the past decade in most parts of Africa, many people in the IGAD region still live in areas affected by fragility, conflict or criminal violence.  There is a real risk that even more countries will experience periods of conflicts and fragility due to three factors: 1. Worsening socio‐economic disparities; 2. Resource scarcity and environmental constraints; and 3. Technological advancement. A widespread phenomenon will be the evolution of a range of radical and often violent social movements, frequently transnational in development as well as impact. They will be essentially anti‐elite movements that may have a focus in religious beliefs, ethnic identity, nationalism, political ideology or a complex mix of these.

8. Technological Advancements Economic growth, especially in the regional economies, will stimulate increased technological innovation which in turn will shape socio‐economic developments. New technologies are being adopted faster and innovation cycles become ever shorter. The technology gap between the developed and developing countries will narrow. With regards to the information and communication technologies sector, most of the region’s population is now connected to mobile broadband. Social media will continue to expand, enabling both useful and dangerous communications across diverse user groups and geo‐political boundaries.

9. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

In September 2015, the world leaders signed up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, of which 17 SDGs are central, and which aims to address the three interconnected elements of sustainable development: economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

On the other hand, at the African Union (AU) Summit in May 2013, Heads of State and Government in their 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration laid down a vision for the Africa they want to see in the next half a century. The vision later became Agenda 2063, which aims for a peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent by 2063 and is “an endogenous plan for transformation”.

The two agendas relate to each other, and have considerable implications, challenges and opportunities for their domestication processes. UN Member States’ (including African Member States) affirmation that Africa’s Agenda 2063 and its 10-Year Implementation Plan is integral to the universal SDGs agenda indicates that while the continental agenda articulates Africa’s specific aspirations and responds to the continent’s specific development challenges, its implementation is also guided by the spirit and principles of the global Agenda 2030.

Agenda 2063 and the 2030 SDGs Agenda broadly converge on social development (people), inclusive economic development (prosperity), on peaceful and inclusive societies and responsive institutions (peace), and on a number of environmental sustainability issues (planet). These two agendas will have an impact on the IGAD countries and their development partners in terms of both challenges and opportunities, especially as governments decide on their priorities.

The Internal Environment

IGAD has also undergone a series of institutional changes that have strengthened its internal institutional capacity in areas such as strategic planning and human and financial resources management. A raft of new programmes such as IDDRSI, ISAP, and CAADP, and institutions like the ICPALD were put in place.  IGAD is also attracting more development partners through some of these programmes. On the other hand, some of the existing and even newer programmes are facing challenges due to resource scarcity and inadequate staffing.

What does this mean for IGAD Today? 

IGAD’s external environment has become a much more influential field of operation than it has been in the past. In response to this, it is imperative that IGAD develops and practices a new visionary mindset. IGAD also understands that it can no longer take the support from the member states and development partners for granted. It is imperative that IGAD should deliver and meet the expectations of stakeholders.

IGAD in today’s regional context needs to earn its relevance through the building and deepening of relationships within the member states which it serves and partners that support it. Therefore IGAD needs to be able to effectively implement various programmes it commits to undertake and to support new and growing initiatives throughout the region. IGAD needs to shift its mission from Norm-Setting to Norm-Implementation, and advance towards the norm-implementation phase of existing treaties and policies. Visible changes resulting from the implementation of existing policies will ultimately determine whether IGAD effectively respond to peoples’ demands and engender member states buy-in and renewed faith in the institution. At the same time IGAD needs to find new ways to support and work together with other REC’s  in the region that add value to IGAD’s priority sectors.

Renewed Thrusts for 2016-2020

This strategy document affirms the vision, mission, values and goals as laid out in the 2011-2015 document and attempts to update it by taking into account the internal and external environments affecting the region and the Organisation. Additionally the same four Strategic Pillars laid out in the 2011-2015 plan (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment; Economic Co-operation and Integration and Social Development; Peace and Security and Corporate Development Services) will continue with adjustments to the changing environment. 

Although the basic environment in which IGAD finds itself has not changed in essence, it is the belief that the environment externally has continued on its developmental path influenced by socio-political and environmental trends listed before, while internally the pressures created by that environment, both negative and positive (expansion of programmes and activities, shortage of finances, loss of influence in the member states in some cases, etc.) have continued to increase. Moving forward, IGAD is still in a very strong position to meet the challenges that lie ahead. 

A summary of the situation analysis of six IGAD priority sector is provided in Appendix 1 at the end of the Strategy document. Further details of the same can be found in the IGAD State of the Region Report.

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Agenda

One of the main thrusts of IGAD is boosting agricultural production and sustainable management of natural resources and the environment to ensure resilient livelihoods and sustained economic growth in the region. This is in line with the vision and mission of the African Union and its organs such as the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and the African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AU-DREA), whose mission is to “strengthen the agricultural sector, rural economies and the environment in order to improve the livelihoods of the African people and ensure poverty eradication”. To drive its agriculture and environment agenda, IGAD developed regional policies and strategies such as the IGAD Food Security Strategy; the IGAD Fisheries Strategy IGAD Regional Environment Policy; IGAD Environment and Natural Resources Strategy; IGAD Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy Framework; IGAD EIA Guidelines; IGAD EIA Protocol; IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) Strategy; and IGAD CAADP. IGAD’s policies and strategies attempt to realize the AUC-DREA’s crucial three pronged roles in developing improved environmental, water and natural resources management, including developing responses to the consequences of climate change and desertification. IGAD has also created a specialized centre for pastoral areas and livestock development (ICPALD) which will domesticate AU’s policy on Pastoralism in Africa. IGAD is also implementing programmes such as the IGAD Inland Water Resources Management, which will translate the African Water Vision 2025 into reality in this region

Some 70% of the IGAD region is classified as Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs). In the past, the ASALs were wrongly regarded as expanses of unproductive wastelands that attracted little or no interest or investment from the private and public sectors. Following the severe drought of 2010-2011, the IGAD Heads of State and Government directed the IGAD Secretariat to lead the process of ending drought emergencies in the region. Consequently, the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) with seven thematic areas (components) and harmonized regional programming paper (RPP) and country programme papers (CPPS) was produced.  The IDDRSI Strategy underscores the importance as well as the true value of the region’s resources and opportunities at the ASALs. Whereas the predominant livelihood system in the IGAD ASALs is pastoral livestock production, the contribution of livestock and livestock products to the agricultural GDP is frequently underestimated in all countries. This underestimation of the region’s principal product obscures the region and the livestock and dryland products sector from the political limelight that usually inspires government support and thus undermines the region’s potential for enhanced productivity and progress.

The IDDRSI Strategy is designed to strengthen and build on the on-going interventions by the IGAD Divisions and Specialized Institutions, Member States and development partners including, non-state actors, which add value to building drought disaster resilience. It strengthens innovations and promotes best practices and promising technologies and takes cognisance of indigenous technologies and knowledge systems. 

The Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an Africa-wide agricultural development framework which was adopted by the AU Heads of State and Government in 2003 with the objective of accelerating agriculture-led economic growth and poverty reduction. The IGAD Secretariat with the support of and in consultation with the Member States, development partners and technical institutions identified regional priorities that form the IGAD CAADP Compact and action areas. The IGAD regional CAADP promotes regional investments to complement national CAADP Compacts and Investment Plans, particularly in transboundary areas, to accelerate agriculture-led economic growth in the region.

Regional Integration Agenda of IGAD

IGAD’s agenda on regional economic integration is in line with that of the African Economic Community (AEC) and African Union (AU), including NEPAD. IGAD was among the signatories of the Protocol on the Relations Between the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the AU, signed 27th January 2008 in Addis Ababa. The ultimate goal of establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) is to accelerate economic and social integration of the members of the continent through integration efforts of RECs and Member States. Therefore the role of IGAD as a REC is derived from this strategic goal of the AU. This role entails harmonization and coordination of policies and programs among IGAD Member States and with other RECs and alignment with AU policies and strategies which are binding to all RECs, taking into account NEPAD to spearheading the process leading to creation of common African market as a prelude for AEC. Successful accomplishment of regional integration agenda in terms of economic, political, social, cultural in IGAD region facilitates achievement of other IGAD strategic objectives in maintaining peace and security throughout the region and promoting advancement in environment and agricultural sector leading to sustainable development of the region and consequently contributing to the continental integration and development. 

To this end, IGAD’s Heads of State and Government decided to implement the current Minimum Integration Plan (MIP) as a guiding and dynamic strategic framework for the economic and social integration.  Under the Regional Strategy, IGAD will continue pushing ahead with its regional integration agenda by developing an IGAD FTA, taking into account existing harmonized frameworks such as the Tri-Partite Agreement and the continental FTA to be achieved by end of 2017.

Peace and Security Agenda 

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) constitute the building blocks of the African Union (AU). The AU and the RECs have close and mutually beneficial relationships. While RECs pursue their respective mandate priorities, still they play an important role in the implementation of the AU policy frameworks. To that effect, the goals, objectives and core programme areas of the IGAD peace and security agenda, guided by its Regional Peace and Security Strategy is consistent and in alignment with the AU Peace and Security programme, guided by the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Accordingly, IGAD’s vision as defined in both its Regional Strategy and in particular that of Peace and Security Strategy which strives towards “A peaceful, integrated and prosperous IGAD Region that contributes to Africa Union Agenda 2063”  reflecting the same spirit and substance of that of the AU which envisions an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

Moreover, IGAD’s peace and security core programme areas include Conflict Early Warning and Early Response, Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation, Transnational Security Threats, Governance, Democracy, Rule Of Law, and Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development; and Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment for Peace . Recent achievements under the Peace and Security agenda include the negotiation between the two South Sudanese rivals to bring peaceful resolution of the conflict, the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan and the restoration of a functioning government in Somalia achieved in the New Somalia Peace Deal.

Corporate Development Agenda

IGAD Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP) 2016-2020

IGAD recognises the need for the necessary and sufficient institutional capacity to deliver its mandate and meet stakeholder’s expectations. IGAD equally acknowledges that gaps in its capacity are considerable and would require sustained external support from various partner agencies and institutions. Consequently, IGAD launched an Institutional Strengthening Action Plan (ISAP). The primary objective of the Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP) 2016 – 2020), now a fully-fledged programme of IGAD, is to “increase IGAD institutional capacity to allow the Secretariat and Specialised Institutions to interact effectively and efficiently with Member States, Development Partners and other Stakeholders as a results-oriented organisation”. The ISAP (2016-2016) document with its annexed action plan is the policy framework document that describes IGAD’s strategy and action plan for institutional strengthening. This document is continuously being updated and in its current phase is in line with the overall IGAD Strategy (20116- 2016).

Different Development Partners are supporting IGAD in the implementation of the ISAP. The IGAD Secretariat, with the support of Denmark, prepared a report on Options for Harmonised Donor Support to IGAD (2008). This was followed by another report on Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) between IGAD and Development Partners. The purpose of the JFA is to provide a dialogue framework for support to IGAD in delivering its mandate in line with the Paris Declaration principles of ownership, harmonization, alignment, results and mutual accountability.

On 28 August 2012 four partners, namely, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden and IGAD, signed a JFA agreement to support implementation of phase 2 of ISAP 2012-2014. Other partners including the EU, Germany, World Bank and African Development Bank are contributing resources to ISAP implementation in parallel with the JFA funding mechanism.

Gender Affairs

Gender mainstreaming is the primary global strategy used by development organizations for promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The IGAD Gender Policy and Strategy was formulated and launched in 2004 and revisited and updated into a new Gender Policy and Strategy Framework for 2012-2020. It focuses on facilitating the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into IGAD’s policies, strategies, programmes, projects and activities to make them gender responsive and to contribute to achieving sustainable socio-economic development in the region.

Building Disaster Resilience

IGAD places resilience at the heart of its disaster risk management approach. IGAD recognizes that shocks and stresses are just one of many factors driving vulnerability and firmly believes that building resilience of affected populations in a holistic way is effective, cost efficient and sustainable. Resilience refers to the capacity of an individual, household, population group or system to absorb, adapt, and transform from shocks and stresses without compromising ‐ and potentially enhancing ‐ long‐term prospects. Absorptive capacity covers the coping strategies individuals, households, or communities use to moderate or buffer the impacts of shocks on their livelihoods and basic needs. Adaptive capacity is the ability to learn from experience and adjust responses to changing external conditions, yet continue operating. Transformative capacity is the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable. The resilience concept is thus not just looking at the impact of disasters but also at what makes communities vulnerable to multiple shocks and stresses. It further examines to what extent communities are able to bounce back after a disaster, conflict or shock, therefore addressing their core vulnerabilities and putting more emphasis on the need for recovery from such shocks to mitigate future risks.

With climate change bringing about multiple risks and increasing regional vulnerability, IGAD’s efforts to build resilience aim at contributing to a sustainable reduction in vulnerability through increased absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity of local populations, governments and other actors. This also entails improved ability to identify, address and reduce risk; and improved social and economic conditions of vulnerable populations. A resilience approach within the disaster risk management cycle provides the crucial link between emergency response, early recovery and long term development and a key area of focus for IGAD in the coming decade. Even though resilience building activities are domiciled within IGAD’s, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment pillar, this is a crosscutting theme that has application across all domains of IGAD operations.

Developing a Focus on Implementation Excellence and Relevance 

In the past, it has been imagined that one of the great attributes of any REC is that grouping together individual countries in sub-regions will always lead to achieving greater economic cooperation and integration. That may have been generally true a few years ago, but in recent times RECs have developed increasing variations in their outward appearance and operations. The increased number of options, with many overlaps in membership and growing flexibility presents many challenges for both IGAD and member states.  For example, in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda are members of IGAD, EAC and COMESA, whereas Tanzania, also a member of the EAC, left COMESA and joined SADC in 2001. 

This multiple and confusing membership creates duplication and sometimes competition in activities. RECs have transformed by highlighting their core competencies to more accurately reflect the needs of the member states and address the Member states priority needs in each region. With the existing structure of the RECs which is far from ideal, with many overlaps in membership, members states see each of the different RECs as important to them for very different and specific reasons and not for all the proposed integration goals of that REC and that of the AUC. Therefore, in as much as IGAD certainly needs to remain within the bounds of its strategy and clearly within the bounds of its programmatic areas authorized by the member states, implementation of its mandate need to be brought to life by the creativity and good delivery of the secretariat, making membership a meaningful experience and especially in those areas where IGAD has a comparative advantage, e.g. peace and security and mitigating effects of drought, desertification and food insecurity in the region. Member states need to come away from that experience knowing that they have a competent institution guided by excellence and relevance.

In addition to the above-mentioned priorities, IGAD needs to continue promoting regional policy reforms and increased investments in the priority areas of agriculture and food security, environment, peace and security, trade and market access, governance, infrastructure (energy, transport and water sanitation, and information and communication technologies), gender, and capacity development. IGAD will need to continue to promote the participation of the private sector, civil society organizations and the Diaspora in fostering development in the region.

This new strategy 2016-2020 will therefore continue focusing in the following key strategic areas within the next decade.

Principles and values

In preparing the Strategy, IGAD strives for excellence and integrity in accomplishing its mission and vision. It is guided by the high values and principles stipulated in the Agreement Establishing IGAD and other relevant regional and international treaties and charters that the Member States have entered into in pursuit of sustainable development in the region.  These values and principles include

  • Promotion of good governance that strictly adheres to the establishment and protection of fundamental human rights through institutionalisation of democracy and transparency;
  • Promotion of a sense of community that aspires to maintaining peace in the Region and finding peaceful resolution of disputes between and within the Member States;
  • The endorsement of those principles and values that encourage individual and collective responsibility;
  • The establishment and maintenance of frameworks which enable the people to identify their priority needs and be in the forefront in resolving them;
  • IGAD adheres to the principle of subsidiarity, which means that it operates at the levels in society where it can achieve maximum impact;
  • IGAD subscribes to the principle of variable geometry, which recognizes that its members are at different levels of development and move at different speeds and constellations depending on their priorities;
  • Adding value and complementing development efforts of the Member States in a consultative process that enhances cooperation and spirit of partnership in programmes;
  • Adherence to the principle of gender sensitivity and equity; and
  • Promotion of open, transparent and joint aid modalities with development partners.

Target Groups / Stakeholders

The immediate target groups are the IGAD policy organs, i.e. the Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers. Another important group is the key policy- and decision-makers including sector-ministers and other high government officers of the Member States’ institutions.  

Involvement of non-state actors would strengthen not only the strategic and operational mechanisms of IGAD but also among the IGAD Member States. Therefore, in implementing the strategy the target groups will include civil society organizations and private sector representatives. Development Partners, UN agencies and other regional and international organisations active in promoting sustainable development in the regional are also benficiaries of the strategy. 

Ultimately, all inhabitants of the region will benefit from the improved political conditions, resilience to drought and other shocks, improved security, prudently managed natural resources, a well-protected environment and enhanced regional economic co-operation. A special target group is the poor and food insecure people in the region’s rural and urban areas, particularly women and those living in marginal, drought – prone or conflict - prone areas.

Strategic Partnerships and Alliances

The IGAD Regional Strategy would require the support of all the stakeholders. In particular, successful implementation of the Strategy will not be possible without the concerted effort of the Member States who would avail the necessary political, institutional, legal, human and financial resources, etc. backing to the Strategy. With the support of the Member States, IGAD would be in a stronger position in mobilising other stakeholders to render the required financial and technical resources and partnerships for the implementation of the Strategy. 

IGAD recognises the need for close and cooperative partnerships with all stakeholders in translating the ideals of the Strategy to concrete results. To that effect, IGAD will enter into strategic partnerships and alliances with relevant stakeholders at local, national, regional and global levels that have similar mandates for achieving socio-economic and political resilience through sustainable development in the region. These include the NGOs, civil societies, private sector, UN agencies, development partners, RECs and the African Union Commission (AUC). 

Civil Society and private sector involvement

Civil Society and non-state actors will be given a bigger role to play in the IGAD development initiatives such as project preparation and implementation.The IGAD/civil society and non-governmental organizations Forum which was established pursuant to the decision of the IGAD Council of Ministers  would serve as the mechanism to involve civil society appropriately in the policy formulation and strategic planning discussions, and the planning, designing and implementation of IGAD strategies, programmes and processes. 

IGAD Development Partners

Over the years, IGAD entered into many partnerships and has had cooperation with many development partners. The European Union (EU), Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, USAID, Norway, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Canada, the World Bank and the African Development Bank are among the partners who have been supporting IGAD programmes for a long time. Coordination with and among development partners  happens in the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) which brings together, IGAD Member States, IGAD Secretariat and donors agencies and other members such as the UNDP and AUC at both political and technical levels. 

IGAD has had a number of institutional assessments which identified, among other things, the need for a comprehensive institutional capacity development so that it can deliver its mandate. Consequently, IGAD in collaboration with Development Partners and Member States produced an elaborate Institutional Development Action Plan (ISAP) in 2009.  A second phase of the ISAP was launched in January 2013. IGAD is now in the third phase of ISAP (2016-2020) where it has been transformed into a fully-fledged programme of IGAD. Under the ISAP, IGAD receives substantial support for capacity development from partners including the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden who have put their financial contributions in a Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA) mechanism. A similar financing mechanism was developed for the Peace and Security programmes by Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands. The joint financing mechanism was found helpful in planning, resource mobilisation, implementation of activities, reporting.

In order to implement the IDDRSI strategy and implementation programmes effectively and efficiently, IGAD established a Regional Resilience Platform to lead the process. The Platform is to provide a mechanism for coordinated and harmonised implementation of interventions at the national and regional levels with the aim of ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa by sustainably enhancing disaster resilience of vulnerable communities especially those in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas.

The Platform brings together the Member States, IGAD Secretariat, Development Partners, the AU, other RECs, UN agencies, Civil Society and specialized research and training institutions. It comprises a General Assembly (GA) of all participating stakeholders, a Platform Steering Committee (PSC) and a Platform Coordinating Unit (PCU) hosted by the IGAD Secretariat. IDDRSI will also strengthen IGAD in the implementation of the UNCCD, in particular to implement the 10 Year UNCCD Strategy, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. In addition, it will enhance IGAD;s capacity in the implementation of the other two Rio Conventions, namely the UNFCCC and UNCBD, but most of all the IGAD overall strategy.

Further, in April 2012, the Global Alliance for Action for Drought Resilience and Growth, an informal network of donors and international organisations, was formed in response to the call from IGAD Heads of State and Government to support the initiative to end drought emergencies in the Horn. In addition, the Global Resilience Partnership, was created by USAID, Rockefeller Foundation and other partners to enhance resilience in South-eastern Asia, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.  Members of the Global Alliance are committed to enhance resilience against chronic drought and promote economic growth in the Horn of Africa and Sahel. Both partnerships bring together relief and development actors and resources around common plans to promote alignment, coordination and harmonisation efforts. In the Horn of Africa, specifically, the Global Alliance and the Global Resilience Partnership arecommitted to support the development of the IGAD Regional Programming Paper (RPP) and the Country Programming Papers (CPPs). IGAD would be implementing the resilience strategy of the Global Alliance and the Global Resilience Partnership in the IGAD region.

Regional processes and Frameworks

IGAD will continue with its role of sensitising IGAD Member States on the WTO negotiations to enable the Member States to take steps towards enhancing their national WTO negotiations and programmes. IGAD will also play an active part in the ACP/EU negotiations together with the follow-up of the implementation of the RSP/RIP for Eastern Africa regional organisations under the Cotonou Agreement and IRCC. IGAD as a Regional Economic Community (REC) will continue to pursue regional coordination and cooperation within the AU/AEC/RECs framework, including NEPAD. In respect to relationships with EAC, COMESA and CEN-SAD where an IGAD member country would belong to two or more of these institutions, IGAD will negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements and understandings with such institutions to avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources.

The traditional forms of national sovereignty are increasingly being challenged by the realities of political and economic interdependence that call for joint effort at regional and global levels.  In shared resource, ecological and economic systems, most parts fall outside national jurisdiction entailing that sustainable development can be better achieved through regional approaches agreed upon mutually by the concerned countries.  In this respect, all countries of the IGAD region are party to several international conventions and initiatives including the UNCCD, CBD, UNFCCC, and the Human Rights Convention.  They are also members and beneficiaries of a considerable number of regional and international organisations dealing with general political and economic development issues but with varying mandates and geographical coverage.  These include AU, ECA, ADB, COMESA, EAC, IOC, ASARECA, OSSREA, RCMRD, IUCN, FEWS, FAO, WHO and ATU among others. The regional processes and frameworks would enable IGAD to effectively and efficiently complement member states efforts in the implementation of regional and global commitments / agreements to which they are Parties.

Communication Strategy 

IGAD scores low in public profile and visibility in comparison with its actual work and success. IGAD needs to enhance its visibility through a meticulous and comprehensive communications strategy that captures and disseminates the numerous successes of its work. Bridging the mismatch between the IGAD’s actual work performed and its rather ‘obscure’ image in the public and the media need to be another area of focus and support function. Moreover, its intra-divisional and inter-divisional communications, public outreach and regular communications with the Member States also need transformation. Thus, IGAD will develop an integrated Global Communications Strategy. 

Strategic Partnership for Resource Mobilisation and Implementation

IGAD does not have a comprehensive policy and strategy for governing partnerships. The need for a partnership emanates from mutual recognition that no country or organization, particularly organizations like IGAD, can meet the 21st century’s challenges alone. Threats are often local or regional manifestations, but they also have global impacts and implications. Some of the MOUs with partners have not been operationalized yet. Also, there is a need for the IGAD to develop a mechanism for periodic performance reviews of MOUs with partners to ensure functionality and continued relevance. Thus, IGAD will develop a Strategy on partnership under which, the following actions will be taken:

  • Study on how to diversify funding sources and develop implementation plan on alternative sources of funding
  • Develop strategy on resource mobilization underpinned by innovative resources mobilisation anchored on performance and delivery based approach to deepen partnership and also with focus on rigorous lobbying for Member States timely and increased contributions  
  • Encourage and engage Member States to make timely and increased financial contributions
  • Mobilise Member States to make in-kind contribution in human, material and financial resources for the implementation of this Strategy in addition to the assessed annual contributions to the Secretariat’s core budget
  • Develop an partnership strategy that guides all partnerships including with development partners and the private sector and other actors
  • Strengthen partnership with traditional sources of funding  
  • Diversification IGAD cooperating partners by attracting non-traditional donors
  • Creation of an IGAD endowment and risk fund

Framework conditions

The strategy recognises a number of internal and external factors that could impact on its effectiveness and successful implementation. In this context, IGAD will pursue, monitor and evaluate a process that will ensure: 

  • That IGAD Member States continue to provide adequate financial support to the operations of the Secretariat and will also contribute to the funding of its programs.
  • That the members of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) continue to support IGAD and increase their financial contributions towards the implementation of its programmes.
  • That the IGAD Member States continue to see the need for collaboration and working relationship in conceptualising, planning, and executing regional activities that provide added-value to the Member States’ respective national programmes.
  • That IGAD takes the necessary management actions to implement the strategy.
  • That development partners increasingly channel support through Joint Aid Modalities to reduce transaction costs and improve policy dialogue.
  • That the strategy is flexible, dynamic and responsive to the changing global context so that the IGAD can capitalise on emerging opportunities or respond to new challenges as they arise.



Latest IGAD Communiqué