For more than 15 years, starting in the 1990s, a socio-political crisis affected the economy of Togo and hampered the capacity of the government to provide adequate social services to the majority of its population. The political situation in Togo is now stabilized and the economy is slowly resuming. However, social services in rural communities in Togo remains insufficient and is almost inexistent in the most remote areas. Formal risk management mechanisms to support households to cope with recurrent crises do not exist. In this context, the CDP was created to address the social needs of the poorest rural communities and to support Togo in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), in particular those associated with eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, , and improving maternal health. This project is the first International Development Association (IDA)-supported operation in Togo in 10 years.
The project has adopted a community-driven development approach (CDD) where communities themselves identify priorities and are involved in sub-project management. Communities are supported by local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and organizations that work under the supervision of five regional implementing agencies. A technical unit at the central level ensures overall coordination. In a context characterized by weak service delivery, especially at the local level, this approach helps reach the communities most in need. The institutional framework also helps to identify needs and respond in a timely way (through social safety nets) to shocks that might affect communities. Finally, the CDD approach empowers communities and strengthens local decision-making and accountability among community members.
This project recently had a mid-term review and has documented good results. Since approval in July 2008, it has supported the following outcomes:
- In support of the MDG – “Achieving Universal Education,” the school feeding project contributed to increase the enrollment rate in beneficiary schools by 9 percent and decrease absenteeism. In addition, about 17,200 students are now enrolled in new or rehabilitated schools financed by the CDP infrastructure component.
- In support of the MDG – “Environmental Sustainability/Access to Water,” about 10,000 people now have access to improved water sources built by the project.
- Reached more than 400 communities, benefiting 300,000 people (directly or indirectly) via community socioeconomic infrastructure, income-generating activities, lunch for primary school children and support to agriculture;
- Financed over 88 schools (271 classrooms), 32 water and sanitation points, 10 health centers and 19 rural roads;
- Financed 233 income-generating activities, such as fishing, small gardening, livestock farms, cheese factories, directly benefiting more than 5,000 people;
- Served more than 6 million lunches to about 30,000 children in primary schools since school year 2008/2009; and
- Trained 3,800 community members on community development principles and basic project management.
The project is a reference point in terms of service delivery for rural communities. It is expected to have a long-lasting impact on local development because it finances infrastructure of satisfactory technical quality, sustainable income-generating activities and social safety nets that reach the poorest and most vulnerable households.
- The initial IDA contribution to the CDP was US$17.2 million approved in July 2008.
- In response to the negative repercussions of the food price crisis, additional financing of US$7.0 million was made available under the Global Food Price Crisis Response Trust Fund in October 2008.
- A second additional financing was approved in July 2010 to address the effects of the economic crisis.
- This financing was an IDA grant of US$8.7 million financed under IDA’s pilot Crisis Response Window.
The total World Bank contribution to the CDP is US$32.9 million.
Although the CDP is financed entirely by the Bank, the public works component approved in July 2010 was developed in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO), which has extensive experience with such interventions. There is a strong collaboration between the Bank and United Nations (UN) agencies in helping the social protection agenda in Togo by supporting analytical work and providing technical assistance to develop a national safety nets strategy.
Toward the Future
he CDP has disbursed about 70 percent of the initial IDA grant. Given the success of the project and the strong positive effect on rural communities and local development, the government has formally requested IDA refinancing of the project for a second phase. In its expansion phase, the project will also help build institutional capacity within the government, increase temporary employment and will focus on youth.