CIDR undertook an analysis of the evolutionary factors in Sub Saharan Africa during the last ten years. It reflected on the changes in development co-operation policies and strategies. It also reviewed, with external expertise, its own activities during the period 1999/2003 and the new challenges in its fields of intervention.
As a consequence, CIDR decided to orient its actions along four major political objectives :
To strengthen civil societies in the South by supporting the construction and development of sustainable local institutions that will serve the people
To build with expertise from the South professional partnerships, thematic networks and strategic alliances
To confront the triple challenge of efficiency, social performance and governance of partner institutions
To participate, together with partner institutions, in the elaboration of public policies and in the implementation of sectorial approaches.
1. Strengthening civil societies in the South by supporting the construction and development of sustainable institutions
CIDR wants to participate in the reinforcement of civil societies in the South through the construction and development of local and regional institutions that serve local disadvantaged people, are sustainable and well rooted in their environment.
To reach this objective CIDR will have to define, together with its partners, possible institutionalisation scenarios. It will have to define the specific steps and the needs for technical support to reach institutionalisation. CIDR will have to be very reactive to demands from its partners in the South and be able to provide a range of competence : research/action, documentation of experiences, innovation and conduct of changes. It will have to position itself in the process and clarify its functions in regard to the development stages of these institutions.
1.1. Supporting the creation and development of new institutions
CIDR and its partners must be able to define the most appropriate intervention modalities to foster the emergence of initiatives in the South and further, to accompany their implementation, growth and institutionalisation.
To this end CIDR will implement pilot projects in “promising” sectors which can address the new needs. It will define methodologies and tools that will have to be tested during an initial period. It will provide these institutions with advisory services in organisation development, human resources management, training plans and procedures (operational, administrative, financial and for control). These pilot projects will be limited in time. CIDR will put in place the personnel in charge of research-action activities. The activities will be closely monitored and the output regularly documented.
1.2. Implementing new innovative dissemination modes
When the know-how, the methodologies and the tools of implementation have matured, CIDR will propose innovative dissemination modes in order to increase the outreach and the effectiveness of the actions without affecting their quality.
CIDR will intervene at this stage in conjunction with a public or private partner. Emphasis will be put, from the inception, upon the conditions for long-term viability of the local, regional or national institutions promoted. This dissemination partner will be able to intervene, either directly with its own technical team, or by contracting out to local organisations with a proven knowledge of the area and its environment. At this stage, CIDR will provide advisory services on extension methods, non hierarchic management, strategic analysis for diversification and building alliances.
1.3. Accompanying changes within autonomous institutions
Needs for technical assistance may remain after institutions become autonomous, as they have to adapt permanently to an ever changing environment and to control growth. CIDR will address them by promoting innovative technical and financial support mechanisms. Its function will be to guarantee a permanent access to tailored services delivered by experienced professionals who will be able to accompany the institutions in preparing their business plans and supporting their innovative activities. The institutions and the support structure will work on contract base where objectives, rules and norms will be clarified and regularly evaluated.