The Effectiveness of Budget Support in Mozambique: An Independent Evaluation (2005 – 2012)
Earlier this year, experts gathered in Brussels to discuss the Evaluation of Budget Support to Mozambique. Capacity4dev.eu had a chance to interview the evaluation team leader and some of the other key players.
Between 2005 and 2012 Mozambique received over 400 million dollars per year in budget support from 19 different development partners, including the European Commission. The evaluation was carried out by a team of independent experts on behalf of eight of these partners - the European Commission, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands and France - to see how their funding was spent during this period.
“The Mozambique evaluation is great. I mean great to read for anyone who is in the business. It’s a fabulous country to do it,” begins Marcus Cornaro, Deputy Director General of EuropeAid. In the following video interview he discusses the results of the evaluation, noting three key lessons:
It proved the effectiveness of budget support – the Mozambicans improved social service delivery.
We need to look at social spending more carefully
Budget support is a good tool for driving reform, but alone it is not “forceful enough” to enforce reforms where the government is not fully committed.
“[The government] really woke up to the challenge of working along with us with the consultants,” concluded Mr Cornaro. They are “very open and very committed to take up the lessons. That’s also why I think we should also take up the lessons feed these back more generally into our budget support modality but also feed it prominently into the way we would do business then in Mozambique in the years to come.”
Cristina Matusse is the Deputy National Director at the Ministry of Planning and Development for the Government of Mozambique. For her the evaluation was very important as it showed evidence that budget support is working, even if not all the targets have been met yet.
Looking forward Ms Matusse believes that budget support will continue to be important for some time to come. “It’s true that there is a debate about the fact that Mozambique has lots of natural resources and therefore the government shouldn’t need budget support as they will mobilise more resources from this revenue. But we maintain that it is important.” The revenue from the natural resources will not become available for some time yet and until then Mozambique needs budget support to continue reducing poverty. Even when this revenue becomes available, Ms Matusse thinks that it will still need to be complemented by budget support in order to implement policies at a national level in a fair and equal way.
Andrew Lawson, Director of Fiscus, was the Evaluation Team Leader. He believes that budget support in Mozambique has been a success, especially in terms of education coverage. At the end of the evaluation period results showed that, 60% more children are enrolled in secondary school and 40% more in primary school. “These are very important changes,” explained Mr Lawson “they offer opportunities to new generations of Mozambicans who have never had access to education.”
Mr Lawson believes that this demonstrates the utility of budget support for scaling up certain areas of government where there are already mechanisms and policies in place. However, there is still much more to be done. The evaluation results showed that areas such as income poverty need improving. “Budget support has been less good at finding solutions for the problem areas,” explained Mr Lawson. Agriculture is one such problem area, with only 4% of small and medium scale farmers using fertiliser and improved seeds, which results in very low productivity. “Despite efforts to engage the sector in policy dialogue, despite technical assistance that problem remains. So I think that’s one of the big challenges for the future.”
Juergen Lovasz is the Team Leader for Budget Support in the Evaluation Unit at EuropeAid. In the following video he explains an infographic that demonstrates the evaluation findings.
You can view videos of Andrew Lawson presenting the evaluation findings and recommendations below.
For best viewing, please click on the settings button in the bottom YouTube menu (third button from right) and increase the quality to 1080 HD.
Independent Evaluation of Budget Support to Mozambique (2005 – 2012): Final Report Presentation
For more information on other Budget Support evaluations please use the links below:
Downlad a copy of the evaluation report in English below. A Portuguese version can also be downloaded from the EuropeAid website.