This review provides a snapshot of current adaptation and mitigation projects being implemented by multilateral and bilateral donors in the G5 countries of the Sahel. Although not a systematic
review, the research for this review has methodically examined key multilateral donor websites and bilateral donor websites for information on each of the G5 countries and climate change
programmes. The review has focused on programmes currently being implemented or that have completed in the last two years or so. Therefore, the review is not exhaustive; it has particularly
focused on programmes that have impact evaluations and reviews in order to identify lessons learned. Its focus is limited to programmes that are explicitly related to climate adaptation or
mitigation. Therefore, donor programmes that focus on for example natural resources management or food security, or that have identified climate co-benefits have not been included (for example, see Annex 11: screening the portfolio and pipeline for climate co‐benefits in the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework for Mauritania (World Bank, 2018h)). Donor funding to assist with efforts such as developing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) submissions has also been omitted. There are several projects that are in the pipeline of multilateral institutions but not yet approved, which have also been omitted.
In general, there is a lack of in-depth information on many of the projects identified. It is also important to note that neither of the review authors can speak French, which has limited the reports and information that can be included in this review. For example, many of the assessment report from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for projects in French-speaking G5 Sahel countries were only available in French and so were not included. This review is organised into six sections, one for each of the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger) and another section for regional programmes (those that include two or more of the G5 Sahel countries). Each section has been further split into multilateral programmes and bilateral programmes, with projects organised alphabetically by implementing agency for multilateral programmes and by the donor for bilateral programmes.
General findings from this review include:
- Across the countries, there are some similarities in the types of programmes being funded and the approaches being implemented. For example, projects supporting climate adaptation and resilience in the agricultural, forestry, and water sectors; projects to strengthen the collection, dissemination, and use of hydro-meteorological information in agriculture; and, projects supporting the mainstreaming of climate change issues and adaptation into national and local government policies and plans. Common approaches across projects include Farmer Field Schools, piloting climate-smart agricultural practices, and capacity development at the local, regional and national levels.
- Projects and programmes implemented at the national level primarily target community-based adaptation, capacity building, and policy formation and integration, complemented by physical measures to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Regional programmes tend to focus more on improved access to climate information and data, including early warning systems and strengthening the use of such information in decision-making processes, and management of shared natural resources.
- A number of projects aim to improve monitoring and evaluation and data collection. For example, an EU-funded project in Mali is supporting the forestry sector to develop a national monitoring system.
- The security and political situation conditions project implementation. For example, funding was suspended to a UNDP-Climate Change Adaptation Facility project in Mali due to political instability. In 2018, a World Bank project in Chad was rated as ‘high-risk’ due to the political and governance contexts.
- Some projects have suffered poor implementation due to factors including resources not being adequately allocated to the implementing agencies, partnership problems, and the security situation.
- The projects underway in Burkina Faso focus on a wide range of sectors, though the primary emphasis is on agriculture, climate information, and forestry. A number of projects and programmes are being implemented in the north, north-eastern, and northcentral areas of Burkina Faso, specifically in the Boucle du Mouhoun region.
- In Mali, project activities seem to be clustered in the centre of the country around the Ségou region.
- In Mauritania, projects seem to focus on food security, agriculture and natural resources management. They also seem to be clustered around the southern and coastal areas.
- The Sahel Alliance (supported by the UK and other donors) recently announced that EUR6 billion is being made available to G5 Sahel member countries for the implementation of over 500 projects between 2018 and 2022. They will be implemented rapidly, particularly in the most vulnerable areas, and aim to align with priorities of the G5 Sahel countries.
- There was a paucity of good quality evaluation data and quantitative data. There were some lessons learned captured in project proposals and appraisals for funding, but these were not always clear. Projects that did undertake some analysis of their results were often small pilots, such as those undertaken by CGIAR in Mali and Niger. This makes it difficult to extrapolate the lessons learned. Most of the lessons learned are derived from agriculture, pastoral and forestry focused projects.
General lessons learned include:
- Women’s roles and leadership is critical in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the Sahel. Women are often excluded from land ownership, which can be a barrier to addressing women’s vulnerability to climate change. Therefore, a greater focus on enhancing women’s capabilities and rights is crucial.
- The importance of traditional systems for learning and capturing, and managing relevant knowledge, and of learning from local people. Involving communities in defining priorities
for action (solutions) and not just defining their vulnerabilities (problems) to ensure a sense of ownership (for example the BRACED projects).
- Agricultural extension services, training and capacity development (including in nonfarming related areas such as improving literacy) are important for increasing farmers’ resilience to climate change and their adaptation capacity. Linking-up different development projects, so that farmers can access a combined range of services, could increase adaptation capacity.
- Evidence from previous projects in the Sahel shows that mobility is a major factor in the resilience of not only pastoral and agro-pastoral households but also local host communities along their routes of passage.
- The success of sustainable land management interventions is more likely under an integrated approach, which combines investments in landscape management and income-generating activities since the latter reduces pressure on natural resources and sustains sustainable land management practices in the long term.
- Importance of participatory planning processes. Using participatory mapping and analysis of vulnerabilities to ensure that the nature-based solutions implemented to align with local community needs. For example, in Burkina Faso, village-level participatory approach to monitoring and evaluation has empowered groups towards more equitable, collective decision-making.
- Mainstreaming risk factors and mitigation strategies at the early stage of project design is essential for success.
- Continuous technical support and monitoring are crucial for the creation of quality physical assets and their maintenance after project completion. Capacity building is also key.
- Greater engagement with governance and state institutions is needed to build the sustainability of results. Specific identified needs include building local capacity to manage and coordinate donor support, building functional linkages between local and higher levels of government, and enhancing resource mobilisation.