Cameroon: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Implementation Progress Report

This paper examines Cameroon’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Implementation Progress Report. Cameroon is expected to benefit from a significant debt relief upon reaching the completion point. This will make huge financial resources available to Cameroon for financing its growth and poverty alleviation policy designed in conformity with the new financial assistance programs of the Bretton Woods institutions. The downturn in inflation is a result of a substantial increase in the supply of food and market garden produce, the opening up of some agricultural zones, and a flow of imported staple consumer goods.


This paper examines Cameroon’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Implementation Progress Report. Cameroon is expected to benefit from a significant debt relief upon reaching the completion point. This will make huge financial resources available to Cameroon for financing its growth and poverty alleviation policy designed in conformity with the new financial assistance programs of the Bretton Woods institutions. The downturn in inflation is a result of a substantial increase in the supply of food and market garden produce, the opening up of some agricultural zones, and a flow of imported staple consumer goods.


1.1 Programming investments

1. Cameroon has to reach the completion point of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) within the time period projected. The debt relief expected from this initiative will make huge financial resources available to the country. The domestically generated revenues will be swelled by these additional resources, which will help to boost growth and thereby improve on the living conditions of the population. In this regard, the need to judiciously use the ensuing resources prompted the design of an efficient investment programming system. This marked a turning point in terms of improving procedures relating to public expenditure, notably by streamlining development operations. The following actions were also concretised:

  • - efficient use of public funds through a sound definition of priorities in budget selection;

  • - judicious selection of projects through an economic process that leads to development and improvement of the standards of living of the population.

1.1.1 Institutional framework

2. The institutional framework consists of the overall technical and legal devices on which programming mechanisms are based. For the 2004 financial year, the components of these devices were:

  • - the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP);

  • - circular No. 001/CAB/PR of 11 September 2003 relating to the preparation of the public budget for the 2004 financial year;

  • - the 2004-2006 priority investment programme (PIP);

  • - reports on the physical and financial execution of the 2003 investment budget;

  • - reports of provincial development committees;

  • - prescriptions and conditionalities of donor agencies, notably the International Monetary fund (IMF) and the World Bank;

  • - ordinance No. 62/OF/4 of 7 February 1962 to institute finance regulations of Cameroon;

  • - the 2004 finance law. Guidelines and goals

3. Programming of investments was based on all funds allocated for development projects. The following were taken into account:

  • - Investment expenditure from domestic resources;

  • - Investment expenditure from external resources earmarked for all types of projects;

  • - Expenditure from domestic resources representing counterpart funds;

  • - Expenditure from Government transfers to public and semi-public corporations;

  • - expenditure on HIPC projects; etc.

4. In general, Government choices in terms of budget planning were guided by the need to promote the well-fare of the population and to ensure optimum functioning of public services. Thus, Government choices were geared towards quality expenditure guided by sector strategies and well-defined goals along with relevant indicators. The selection of projects was, therefore, based on the following guidelines:

  • - Implementation of the poverty alleviation programme as projected in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP);

  • - Respect of priority sectors, notably education and health, with specific emphasis on the following components: HIV/AIDS, rural development, potable water supply, electricity, urban sanitation, maintenance of basic infrastructure, as well as governance with its main components being the fight against corruption and promotion of ethics in public services;

  • - Consideration of the judiciary and services in charge of the security of persons and goods;

  • - Extension of the public investment network under domestic resources as well as under external financing, especially in the areas of infrastructure, economic and social equipments.

5. The main objectives targeted within the framework of the process of investment programming were based on the following points:

  • - Effective support to economic growth in the short and long terms;

  • - Fulfilment of requirements for sustainable development, especially in the social sector;

  • - Support to the private sector, especially sub sectors with comparative advantage.

6. In all, after a definition of guidelines and objectives, programming of investments was characterised by two complementary phases for the 2004 financial year: evaluation of projects and budgeting. Phases of programming Evaluation of projects

7. This phase consisted in identifying projects and preparing those that were likely to be financed.

(a) Identification of projects

8. Technically speaking, identification of projects consisted in defining projects with a view to enlisting them in the priority investment programme. The process was based on two types of criteria: general criteria and sector criteria.

General criteria (applicable to all types of projects)

9. They are focused on the following points:

  • - Coherence: the project should be consistent with regional, sector and macro-economic policies. It should refer to sector policies and strategies drawn up by ministries, as well as to the Economic Policy Framework Paper;

  • - impact on public finance: emphasis here should be laid on the fact that subsidies, loans, acquisition of shares, tax exemptions and taxes can change the equilibrium in public finance in one way or the other;

  • - concessionality of loans;

  • - importance of recurrent costs: projects with operating costs that could not be supported by the State’s budget were less encouraged, notwithstanding their appeal at first sight;

  • - job creation: projects that create jobs in their operational phase at a reasonable cost were welcomed;

  • - internal rate of return above 10% for infrastructure projects;

  • - minimum cost for social projects: the method advocated was that of least cost with two or three solutions;

  • - regional equilibrium;

  • - impact on the balance of payments: projects with a positive impact on the balance of payments had an advantage given that foreign reserves constitute a scarce resource in the national economy.

Sector criteria

10. Sector criteria depend on the type of sector to which the project belongs. However, conditionalities are the same for infrastructure and social sectors. Criteria are therefore distributed per sector as follows:

Production sector

  • - confirmed, technical and economic feasibility, with unit costs of investments consistent with acceptable norms;

  • - Coherence with the State’s policy of withdrawal from production activities: as an example, we can think of a project under execution but which will later on be managed by private operators.

11. In this sector, the logic that prevails is that of support without any direct participation in production.

Infrastructure and social sector

  • - projects that correspond to a specific need or to clearly defined priorities;

  • - projects that fall within the framework of an overall sub-sector programming, as a master plan type;

  • - unit cost investment projects that correspond to acceptable norms;

  • - projects whose recurrent costs are covered, and for whom measures are taken to ensure their maintenance after termination of external funding.

Administrative sector

12. Evaluation of this sector was based on the same criteria as those mentioned in the infrastructure and social sectors. The only criteria excluded here is the one concerning projects that fall within the framework of a master plan-type of programming.

(b) Preparation of projects

13. This phase was characterised by three main elements: feasibility studies, financial preparation and organisation of the management of the project. The phase developed the economic, technical, financial and institutional aspects necessary for a smooth execution of investment, and for the sustainability of the impact of the project. Feasibility studies were conducted by the technical ministry, while reports were examined by the Ministry in charge of programming. The preparation of projects was also characterised by an arbitration phase with sector ministries to ensure perfect adequacy between budget packages earmarked for the various projects and the priorities retained. Budgeting

14. The budgeting exercise was characterised by a phase of budgetary negotiation between the technical ministries, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance and the Budget. The exercise consisted in adjusting the demands to the credits available and in ensuring that allocations per ministry reflect the guidelines and objectives of the general Government policy, in respect of the PRSP and in the limits of the indicative package communicated by the Prime Minister, Head of Government. To this regard, every Minister prepared a draft budget based on a sector strategy. The draft budget established Government priorities in the various areas of action. In order to facilitate the evaluation and selection of objectives in each sector of activity and in view of ensuring a better follow-up of the execution, expenditure was presented per function following justified and figured objectives and following the new budgetary nomenclature, which was adopted within the framework of the budgetary reform. This was in line with the continuation of the implementation of the plan to improve the management of public expenditure. Allocation of credits to the various ministries was made in a way that help to effectively earmark funds for the beneficiary structures to avoid punctual delegations of credits within the period of the execution of the budget and to ensure the timely take-off of infrastructure works. The process also took into account the need to cover tax liabilities related to public contracts.

15. Efforts were made to pursue the devolution of credits to services operating at the local level. This was in a bid to ensure a better mastery of their overall expenditure, and a considerable improvement of their performance. Moreover, the means put at the disposal of services were identified according to their economic nature in conformity with the classification of expenditure per nature common to all services. In general, the budgeting phase was prepared based on the following process:

  • - Macro-economic framework to determine the funding package in relation with the consolidation of the government flow-of-funds table (TOFE);

  • - Transmission of the “circular letter” relating to the preparation of the State’s budget and containing prescriptions for the preparation of the PIP;

  • - Analysis of proposals of technical ministries. Each ministry submitted a report on the execution of its budget for the previous financial year, its sector strategy and a scale of priority of its projects;

  • - Allocation of credits within the framework of the draft budget;

  • - Drafting of the budget to be forwarded and examined by MPs as an annex of the finance bill;

  • - Normalisation of the structure of the document.

16. All these elements were necessary to guide budgetary choices.

1.2 Budgeting the PRSP

17. The general drive to curb economic crisis, and more specifically, the poverty alleviation strategy prompted Cameroon to prepare the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) whose operations are translated into PIB projects, HIPC projects, donors’ projects, the civil society’s projects and local council projects. Actions carried out within the framework of the implementation of this paper are those derived from the categorisation of the above mentioned projects whose budgeting mechanisms change according to the category.

1.2.1 PIB projects

18. Evaluation of these projects and the related budgeting operation has already been considered in the mechanisms presented under the chapter “programming of investments”.

1.2.2 HIPC projects

19. Cameroon will benefit from a relief of its debt servicing within the HIPC initiative. Additional resources derived will be earmarked for the priority sectors retained in the poverty alleviation programme including education, health, infrastructure, rural development and social affairs. Priority actions of the National Governance Plan were also retained in the programme. Implementation of the programme entails an identification of eligible operations and a forward-looking programming of expenditure to be listed in the budget. Eligible expenditure sectors

20. Eligible expenditure for HIPC financing concerns expenditure related to poverty alleviation and governance programmes. This includes recurrent expenditure and/or investment expenditure in the form of budget lines, projects and programmes. In the beginning of the 2004 financial year, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, signed a Decree to allocate HIPC credits to the various sector ministries of the national economy. These sectors include:

(a) Social development sector

21. Priority actions:

  • Social protection and national solidarity;

  • Employment;

  • Promotion of equity and gender equality;

  • Satisfaction of basic needs;

  • Social education

(b) Education

22. Priority actions:

  • Improvement of access to education;

  • Improvement of the quality of education;

  • Building an efficient partnership;

  • Improvement of management and governance in the education system.

(c) Infrastructure

23. Priority actions:

  • Maintenance of the priority road network;

  • Development and construction of rural roads;

  • Access to potable water through the creation of water supply systems, notably boreholes and harnessed wells in underprivileged areas, notably rural areas;

  • Improvement of electricity supply and its access by the underprivileged of rural and urban areas;

  • Improvement of potable water supply and its access by the underprivileged of rural and urban areas.

(d) Health

24. Priority actions:

  • Reduction of infant morbidity and mortality;

  • Reduction of maternal mortality;

  • Reduction of the number of persons suffering from malnutrition;

  • Prevention of major endemic diseases (AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, etc);

  • Reinforcement and structuring of health services;

  • Medical care for emergency cases;

  • Access to reproductive health services;

  • Support for an efficient and effective management of health resources.

(e) Rural development

25. Priority actions:

  • Development of agricultural, pastoral and fisheries sectors;

  • Promotion of agricultural, pastoral and fisheries services;

  • Promotion of agricultural credit;

  • Strengthening producer groups and structuring organisations of the rural area;

  • Access to agricultural inputs by producers;

  • Farm mechanisation;

  • Promotion of the management of natural resources;

  • Promotion of veterinary services.

(f) Governance

26. Priority actions

  • Free access to information by the public;

  • Promptness in decision-making;

  • Civic education of citizens in view of promoting equality for all before the law and the fight against impunity;

  • Access to justice;

  • Improvement of public affairs management;

  • Promotion of the involvement of the civil society in the decision-making process;

  • Protection of persons and goods;

  • Fight against corruption;

  • Improvement of transparency. Technical eligibility criteria

27. Projects submitted for HIPC financing are appraised on the basis of two criteria: conformity criteria and evaluation criteria.

Conformity criteria

28. Any project to be submitted to the CCS/PPTE shall comprise:

1- an administrative file;

2- a technical file.

29. These two elements help to appraise the conformity of the project with the priority actions of the poverty alleviation programme. Four eligibility scales are used: scale 1 is meant for identification as it ranks projects according to the status of the promoter. Scale 2 helps to appraise the coherence of the project with the PRSP. Scale 3 helps to appraise the project in relation with priority actions of the sector concerned and lastly, scale 4 helps to evaluate the technical file according to well-defined transversal criteria.

30. Once conformity criteria have been examined, the file is evaluated following hypothesis formulated on the basis of previously defined criteria. Investment projects under HIPC financing are examined by the Advisory and Follow-up committee for the Management of HIPC Resources which was set up by Decree No. 2000/960/PM of 1 December 2000 by the Prime Minister, Head of Government. The Decree sets up and regulates the organisation and functioning of the Committee. Once investment projects have been examined by the aforementioned committee, they are validated by the Government and then forwarded to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development for programming in the public investment budget.

1.2.3 Donor projects

31. Legal relations between the Government of Cameroon and donor agencies concerned are governed by loan agreements which allow for the inflow of private capital in the form of:

  • - direct investments;

  • - commercial credits;

  • - Grants and assistance to projects accompanied with concessional conditions.

32. The disbursement of external funds for the financing of national projects is followed by the mobilisation of Cameroon’s counterpart funds at the level of the budget. This counterpart fund usually stands between 5 and 20 per cent of the overall cost of the project. This can sometimes concern specific items of expenditure not eligible for donors financing. Mobilisation of Cameroon’s counterpart funds helps to finance local costs related to the project or the payment of related taxes.

33. Thus, depending on the provisions provided for by the convention, each ministry provides for counterpart funds and tax charges related to co-financed projects in the beginning of the financial year. Similarly, the TOFE makes a projection of external resources in the financing of projects.

1.2.4 Civil society, regional and local authorities’ projects

34. The civil society, notably NGOs, religious groups and various development associations efficiently contribute to improve the living conditions of the population and to alleviate poverty thanks to a number of well-targeted actions that meet the real needs of the population.

35. Programming of these projects is conducted on the basis of funds raised through Government subventions, domestic resources or external resources directly allocated to these structures.

36. Regional and local authorities represent territorial units that are managed by local representatives. Programming of projects depends on the allocated annual budget allocation balanced in revenues and expenditure, which will finance the projects programmed. Budgeting of these projects is done on the basis of the resources of these structures. The main resources are derived from:

  • - Subsidies granted by the Special Council Support Fund (FEICOM);

  • - Additional council taxes collected and transferred by the tax authorities;

  • - Forestry taxes channelled by tax authorities following a given percentage;

  • - Loans.

1.3 Participatory approach

37. The participatory approach in the investment programming mechanisms is grounded on development committees which were revived during the preparation of the 2003 PIB.

38. On the instructions of the President of the Republic (Circulars on the preparation of the budget) which were reiterated by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, MINEPAT proceeded to the revival of development committees. Development committees are participatory forums (pooling together public and private sectors, civil society, beneficiaries) at the level of districts, divisions and provinces whose role is to ensure the participation of all these actors in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of development projects at the local level.

39. Sessions of these development committees held in January 2002 and July 2003 in the 10 provinces and their divisions. During these meetings, the population identified and ranked operations and projects that are likely to solve their problems. A data base was established with about 14,000 operations in all sectors. Naturally, the demand concerns mostly education, health and infrastructure sectors.

40. Reports of the committees are submitted to sector ministries that use them in the process of budget preparation. Thus, projects derived from these committees are programmed in the public investment budget at a rate that is being evaluated by MINEPAT. This absorption rate will be increased gradually.


2.1 Budget execution mechanism

41. In pursuance of provisions of Law No 2002/001 of 9 April 2002 to amend certain provisions of Ordinance No 62/OF/4 of 7 February 1962 to institute financial regulations of Cameroon, Circular No 04/001/MINFI/B relates to instructions pertaining to the execution and control of the execution of the State’s budget and that of public agencies for the 2004 financial year.

42. In general, the budget execution mechanism is based on guiding principles, commitment of expenditure, procedures of execution and control of the execution of expenditure.

2.1.1 Guiding principles Financial year

43. The financial year is designated by a figure, which reflects the number of years of budgetary imputations to date. This figure is 38 for the 2004 financial year. The unique identifier

44. Only individuals and corporate bodies registered at the unique identifier (IDU) by tax services can benefit from credits listed in the budget of public or semi-public bodies, and local and regional authorities. Management tools

45. Management tools include:

  • - Imposed freeze and quota of expenditure commitment;

  • - Accreditations concerning vote holders, stores accountants, finance controllers;

  • - Management of commitment and purchase books;

  • - Transfers of credit.

2.1.2 Commitment of expenditure

46. Investment expenditure is committed on the basis of the following procedures: The commitment order procedure

47. This procedure concerns material expenditure made by Central services of the ministries located in Yaounde. The purchase order procedure

48. This procedure concerns delegated credits for Central services located out of Yaounde, and for diplomatic and consular missions. Imprest account procedures

49. This procedure falls within the competence of the Ministry of Finance and the Budget in conformity with provisions of section 1 of Decree No 86/055 of 14 January 1986.

2.1.3 Execution process

50. Expenditure related to public investment operations is based on a procedure that aims at ensuring a maximum consumption of credits, as well as an optimum use of these credits in view of attaining the objectives prescribed by the Government Policy and in line with commitments made with donor agencies.

51. Once projects retained have been listed in the journal of projects, commitments are made in the strict respect of the quality of expenditure listed in this journal which is the base of the execution of the PIB and of any visa of the head of the budgetary department. Relevant departments of MINEPAT are in charge of ensuring the respect of this procedure. Thus, any amendment of the document should be rightly justified to avoid any interference in the execution of the PIB.

52. At the level of provinces, credits are delegated for clearly identified and evaluated operations contained in the journal of projects put at the disposal of Governors of Provinces, Senior Divisional Officers, provincial and divisional delegates of MINEPAT. This is done on time to ensure a diligent delegation of credits after the PIB has been prepared.

53. Execution of projects is done following a normative procedure. It can be a purchase order or a public contract for projects whose costs are above CFAF 30 million. On the basis of the type of expenditure, PIB credits are committed in the following ways:

  • - As concerns studies, the commitment is accompanied by a purchase order and related terms of reference; reports are required after the completion of studies for á posteriori controls;

  • - As concerns infrastructure, construction and development works, commitments go along with specifications of contracts to be executed and related estimates signed by the relevant services of the Ministry of Public Works for new construction projects and by those of the Ministry of Town Planning and Housing for rehabilitation, development and renovation works;

  • - Commitments related to service equipment go along with purchase orders or related contracts, ministerial decisions relating to the delegation of credits for the equipment of external services;

  • - Investment subsidies granted to public corporations and institutions are disbursed after a decision of MINEPAT in the beginning of the financial year and paid to the beneficiaries by the Department of the Budget of MINFIB.

54. All public contracts financed under the 2004 PIB are awarded in conformity with the directives of circular No 002/CAB/PM of 4 November 2002 relating to the procedure of public contracts award in Cameroon.

55. The Public Contracts Regulatory Board (ARMP) is in charge of the respect of the new regulation governing public contracts. This new regulation allows for a generalised creation of tender boards within structures that have a budget of a certain amount. Among the members of these tender boards, there are independent observers who are in charge of ensuring transparency in the process of the award of contracts.

56. The institution of a new regulation governing public contracts aims at constantly improving what prevails and at ensuring greater transparency in line with the implementation of the National Governance programme along with the fight against corruption. The priority plan of action allows officials to conduct periodic budgetary controls through external audits and surveys on the use of public resources (budget- tracking). These control operations will become systematic in order to evaluate the tracking and efficiency of public expenditure for a better control of the overall administrative services.

2.1.4 Control of PIB execution

57. Recommendations of the plan of action for the improvement of public expenditure state that PIB budget is used without quota. However, a number of control operations are conducted for a transparent execution of the PIB. Preliminary control operations

58. They are conducted by the finance control services attached to the various ministries or by provincial and divisional control services in order to check the regularity of commitments. Control of commitments conformity

59. To ensure commitment conformity, finance control services forward commitment orders to the Department of Investment Programming of MINEPAT for validation if their regularity is confirmed. They are later on forwarded to the Department of the Budget of MINFIB for the continuation of the procedure. Control of liquidations and audits

60. This control is conducted by MINEPAT for the follow-up and control on the basis of detailed or consolidated listings of committed and keyed operations, or operations liquidated by the different ministries. These listings are communicated to MINEPAT every month by the Department of the Budget of MINFIB.

2.2 Co-financed projects

61. Co-financed projects are executed with funds derived from loan agreements and Cameroon’s counterpart funds.

2.2.1 Loan agreement funds

62. The project takes off with the disbursement of funds derived from the loan agreement. The disbursement is subject to the enforcement of the loan agreement which consists in meeting the various conditionalities including:

  • - setting up of a unit in charge of the execution of the project and appointment of a head of the said unit;

  • - setting up of a steering committee comprising MINEPAT, the technical or sector ministry, MINFIB and the donor agency;

  • - acquisition of the premise of the project;

  • - provision of the national counterpart fund.

63. Once conditionalities are met, disbursements of the donor agency are made under the auspices of the National Sinking Fund (CAA) and the unit in charge of the execution of the project designated by the concerned donor agency and following the code of procedure. The first disbursement is made on the basis of a previously approved programme of activity and the budget. This disbursement covers the first four months of the programme.

64. Subsequent disbursements are based on supporting documents of previously used funds with expenditure memorandum and non objection of the borrower.

2.2.2 Counterpart funds

65. For the sake of executing and ensuring of mobilisation of counterpart funds on time, conditionalities and disbursements tables, expenditure memorandum and the timetable for the activities of each co-financed project have been established. To this effect, counterpart funds excluding taxes and customs duties are henceforth deposited in the accounts of the projects opened by the CAA in view of consolidating and improving the execution of the overall financing provided to the project. Henceforth, provision of funds or transfer of funds into bank account opened by project managers is prohibited.

66. Though commitments under external financing follow the procedures set in the conventions, they however observe the general regulation governing public accounting.

67. As concerns authority for payment, any legal commitment (contract, purchase order, decision and mission order) or any application for payment having no objection from the external partner is made by the project manager in a form prepared by MINEPAT. The file is then forwarded to the National Sinking Fund (CAA) or to the donor agency for settlement as the case may be.

68. With regard to payment of expenditure under external resources or domestic resources (counterpart funds) the CAA plays the role of the treasury accountant as it checks documents necessary for the establishment of the payment order. Physical controls fall within the competence of technical departments of MINEPAT and MINFIB.

2.2.3 Disbursement statement

69. Development partners and managers of projects financed by external partners held a meeting from 26 January to 27 February 2004. The meeting which was in line with the traditional exercise of control of execution and follow-up of co-financed projects was the second of its kind after the one held in February / March 2003. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the level of disbursement effectively made by the different donor agencies.

70. The number of projects for the 2004 financial year was 427 for active projects and 5 for specific projects. As of 31 December 2003, the amount of money that was effectively disbursed stood at CFAF 160, 418, 517, 458 representing CFAF 43, 513, 291, 495 worth of grants and CFAF 62, 905, 225, 963 worth of loans out of the amount projected which stood at CFAF 236, 562, 866, 398, which represents a disbursement rate of 44%.

71. This rate highlights the low level of disbursement of external resources. This is due to the delay in notifying project managers and the CAA on disbursement notices and also to the delay of donor agencies in approving the required documents of the process.

72. At this juncture, information available projected the disbursement of external resources for the 2004 financial year at CFAF 216, 377, 634, 540 representing CFAF 75, 095, 625, 190 worth of grants and CFAF 141, 282, 009, 350 worth of loans. There is a slight decline as compared to the 2003 financial year but these figures will improve if we consider disbursement projections of the African Development Bank Group (ADB), the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), the World Wild Life Fund for Nature (WWF), the KFW and all partners in cooperation with the Islamic World.

73. The projected counterpart fund stands at CFAF 48, 660, 076, 540. The Government of Cameroon is however striving to take a number of measures and actions to improve the management of investments financed under external resources within the framework of the execution of co-financed projects.

2.3 HIPC projects: expenditure execution and disbursement procedure

74. This procedure is contained in the manual of procedure of the Advisory Committee in charge of the follow-up of the management of HIPC resources.

2.3.1 Budgetary mechanism

75. The principles retained here include the rule of budgetary unity in the presentation, implementation of common law procedures at the central and local level, and intervention of traditional stakeholders in the state’s budget (the Authorising Officer, the Finance Controller and the Accountant). Some specific management characteristics are also retained such as pluri annual execution, centralisation of all expenditure by a unique accountant for a periodic submission of supporting documents to the Advisory Committee. Adoption of the HIPC programme by the Finance Law comprises adapted measures for budget and accounting management of the programme, as well as modalities for the listing of the budget of the programme.

76. The Finance Law provides for the following rules:

  • - the rule of pluri annual execution of the HIPC programme with compulsory carry-over of credits;

  • - Designation of the Paymaster General as the chief Accountant of the Programme.

77. In order to respect the rules of budget presentation and to maintain a good visibility in the programme, the mechanism allows for the use of the current budgetary nomenclature, with a slight improvement, to highlight budgetary operations financed under HIPC resources. The current structure of the nomenclature which is broken up into heads, articles and paragraphs was maintained.

2.3.2 Accounting mechanism

78. The accounting process of expenditure operations of HIPC programmes obeys the rules set out in the general instruction on the State’s accounting.

(a) General procedure

79. As part of their duties, treasury accountants participate in the execution of expenditure throughout the territory (“commitment order” zone and “purchase order” zone) through the traditional expenditure channels (Authorising Officers, Finance Controllers and Stores-Accountants). To this end, treasury accountants control the expenditure as provided for by the related instruments (control of liquidation and payment orders) and ensure payments which are made thanks to current cash accounts (Treasury, Bank, CCP).

(b) Specific procedures

80. Specific rules relating to the management of HIPC expenditure should however be set:

  • - The Chairman of the CCS/PPTE authorises a first cash advance by transfer of the special HIPC account opened at BEAC to the credit of the Current Account of the treasury to enable the payment of expenditure related to the first commitments made under HIPC resources. The amount is calculated on the basis of projected disbursement to be made during the quarter following the CCS/PPTE meeting during which the committee has to give its opinion;

  • - Subsequent drawings on the HIPC special account opened at BEAC are subject to the presentation to the CCS/PPTE, on a quarterly basis, of a statement of commitments, Payment orders and settlements made for projects eligible for HIPC financing in conformity with article 3 of Decree of 1 December 2000 to set up and regulate the organisation of the said committee. The amount of new drawings on the HIPC special account submitted to the CCS/PPTE is calculated on the basis of settlements made during the previous quarter and of projections of settlements made during the quarter following the validation of projects;

  • - The Paymaster General, designated accounting officer for the execution of HIPC programmes (Revenues and Expenditure), is the sole accounting officer authorised to do financial operations in the special account. He makes operations on his own account (“commitment order zone”) and makes final statements (budget line) on all expenditure under transferred delegated credits (along with supporting documents) after execution at the level of financial jurisdiction (“purchase order” zone).

81. In this regard:

  • He records revenues paid;

  • He receives and centralises into the HIPC fund a periodic statement of statistics on HIPC purchase orders regularly ordered for payment by heads of finance jurisdictions;

  • With the consent of the Minister in charge of Finance, he provides Paymasters with credits on the basis of the usual procedure on the flow of funds between senior accounting officers. These provisions depend on the expenditure to be made.

(c) Disbursement modalities

82. These modalities depend on the type of expenditure:

  • Advance payments of services

83. The advance is made on the basis of a memorandum on the use of funds approved by the relevant Minister. The concerned Minister signs a decision authorising the payment in conformity with the procedures in force mentioned earlier. The decision is forwarded to the Minister in charge of Finance.

  • Financing subventions

84. This mode of financing concerns the budget of the following groups:

  • - HIPC committee;

  • - Projects of local and regional authorities;

  • - Projects of structured groups, including NGOs, CIG and development associations.

85. Once the project is approved by the CCS/PPTE and listed in the budget, the Minister in charge of Finance, after approval of the memorandum on the use of funds prepared by the supervisory sector Ministry and the structure benefiting from the subvention, authorises, by decision, the payment of the subvention by the Paymaster-General from the current account of the Treasury.


3.1 Institutional mechanism

86. Since September 2003, the Government determined the institutional framework for the follow-up of the PRSP implementation. In this regard, an interministerial follow-up committee was set up by Decree No 2003/PM of 29 September 2003 by the Prime Minister, Head of Government. Chaired by the Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, this committee is made up of some 15 members of Government in charge of ministries with an economic and/or social impact. The Committee ensures the supervision of the implementation of the PRSP, and the smooth execution of Government’s commitments concerning the medium-term economic and financial programme in view of reaching the completion point.

87. The Interministerial committee is assisted by a Technical committee in charge of the follow-up and evaluation of implementation activities of the PRSP. This committee was set up by Decree No 2003/2221/PM of 29 September 2003 by the Prime Minister, Head of Government. Under the authority of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development, the Technical committee is chaired by the Secretary-General of this ministry, and has as mission to assist the Interministerial committee in ensuring the technical coordination of the follow-up and evaluation of activities for the implementation of the PRSP. In this context, it prepares all documents expected from the follow-up and evaluation of these activities.

88. The Technical Committee is a parity body comprising, on the one hand, Government representatives (officials in charge of economic affairs, Secretaries-General of ministries), and some public institutions (NGP, NIS), and on the other hand, representatives of Consular Chambers (Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Agriculture), the private sector (GICAM, Business operators Association), local councils, religious groups, NGOs or associations, donors or partners in development.

89. The Technical Committee was commissioned on 27 October 2003 by MINEPAT. The Committee already held three sessions. Items on the agenda of the last two sessions included the examination of quarterly reports on the execution of the PRSP as of 30 September and 31 December 2003. The committee comprises a Technical Secretariat whose activities are coordinated by the Permanent Secretariat of the CTS. The Technical secretariat is made up of some senior staff of the CTS, NIS, MINEPAT and sector ministries. The basic task expected from the Technical committee is carried out by its Technical Secretariat whose functioning is regulated by Order No 0044/MINEPAT/SG of 14 October 2003 by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development. The Technical secretariat comprises a central coordination unit and five thematic groups, respectively in charge of the follow-up of governance, infrastructure, social sector, production, indicators and macro-economic planning.

90. The Secretary-General of MINEPAT proceeded to the designation of members of the different units of the secretariat in December 2003. Early in February 2004, the Central Coordination Unit gathered the different thematic groups for a briefing on the work expected from each thematic group.

91. The Technical secretariat of the committee works in close collaboration with the provincial delegations of MINEPAT. This Ministry held a meeting with provincial delegates on 14 November 2003 to better channel experiences on the follow-up of (i) the execution of the PIB, (ii) activities of development committees and NGOs. These experiences were used to propose a decentralised organisation of the participatory follow-up.

92. At the provincial level, provincial committees for the participatory follow-up of the PRSP, which were set up by Order No 00058/A/MINEPAT of 26 December 2003 by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development were officially commissioned during the third week of January 2004. Under the chairmanship of the governor, each of the provincial committees is made up of the Provincial Delegate of MINEPAT, the provincial Finance Controller, a representative of the civil society who is the vice-chairman, a representative of the NIS, the private sector, NGOs, religious groups and associations. Each committee prepared two provincial reports on the execution of the PRSP as of 30 September and as of 31 December 2003. The committees also prepared a draft report as a working document for the participatory evaluation of the implementation of the PRSP as of 31 March 2004.

93. By Directive No 000367/MINEPAT/SG/CTSE-DSRP of 16 March 2004, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development organised the first participatory review of the implementation of the PRSP. The review held from 22 to 31 March 2004 in all the ten provinces. It was an enlarged consultation framework at the provincial level, which helped to take stock of the execution of actions projected in the poverty reduction strategy with particular emphasis on the appraisal of the quality of execution by beneficiaries. This appraisal comes as a supplement to observations on effective execution, analysis of constraints and proposals for corrective measures.

3.2 Statistical mechanism

94. The establishment of the statistical mechanism during the first year of implementation of the PRSP had the following main objectives. Continued production of data for the reinforcement of poverty assessment, drafting of sector strategies, and evaluation of progress achieved after the implementation of the matrices actions.

3.2.1 Achievements in data collection

95. As a reminder, it should be pointed out that the poverty assessment that figured in the PRSP was made mainly on the basis of information gathered during participatory consultations, ECAM I, ECAM II, EDS II and MICS I surveys. Since then, the statistical system provided new data, notably in the area of education, price formation, living conditions in the urban milieu and governance. These data were gathered from the school map, the survey on the formation of food crops prices, survey on lifestyle in Douala and Yaounde and the survey on the channel of public expenditure and satisfaction of beneficiaries in the health and education sectors (Public Expenditure Tracking Survey - PETS). Continuation of the exploitation of ECAM II data also provided additional information. Available sources

96. School map: The 2002 school map which was updated in 2003 constitutes the second edition of the data base established on the education system and on a few elements of the demand for education in Cameroon. The data base presents material, infrastructure, human and financial means of the education system, as well as the education population by gender, province and subsystem. Major indicators of the education system are derived from this data base.

97. Price formation of food crops: the process conducted during the second semester of 2002 concerned price formation of twelve major crops sold in the Yaounde and Douala markets. An analysis of prices and charges at the level of producers, road transporters, wholesalers and retailers helped to classify products according to the level of income generation by the various stakeholders. The study sorts out products (a few) that generate little income to producers as compared to other stakeholders, and makes suggestions on how to improve the income of producers.

98. Survey on living conditions in Yaounde and Douala: This survey was also conducted during the second semester of 2002. It is a supplement to ECAM II to help implement and follow-up urban development policies. On the basis of broader samples that helped to solve problems of proximity, the survey presents the situation in terms of sanitation, environment, infrastructure equipment, quality of housing, security of persons and goods in these two big cities. Results were available since July 2003 and they have been put at the disposal of MINVILLE, MINUH and the two city councils.

99. Survey on the channel of public expenditure and the satisfaction of beneficiaries in the health and education sectors: It is an exercise that helped to evaluate deadlines for the execution of the budget through an analysis of the channel of the non salary expenditure and to measure the flow of resources that reach decentralised services, to appraise the distribution of resources between external services and contractors, to collect appraisal of the satisfaction of users on the quality and efficiency of some service. The survey covered health and education sectors. The results were geared towards the appraisal of the quality of expenditure and governance related issues. The first results of the health component were available by the end of March 2004. Data collection for the education component took off in the field in March 2004 and the report on the analysis of results will be available in June 2004.

100. Exploitation of ECAM II: This was pursued with a view to providing thematic information to sector ministries. In this light, it should be pointed out that beside the translation into English of the two following main reports: “Main Report on the survey” and “Evolution of Poverty from 1996 to 2001”, three new documents entitled “Poverty and Education in 2001”, “Poverty and Health in 2001” and “Poverty, Housing and Lifestyle in 2001” were published in 2003. These publications are added to the previous five thematic publications on rural poverty, poverty and gender, poverty and governance, poverty and labour market and subjective poverty in 2001. In all, the ECAM II survey led to the publication of some fifteen books that present poverty in Cameroon in 2001 in all its forms. Other sources under preparation

101. PREPAPEN survey (half way): The Poverty Reduction and Pro-Women actions Project in the Far-North province (PREPAPEN) is entering its third year of execution. The survey on the evaluation of its mid-way activities was conducted in the field in February and March 2004. The survey took stock of the State of execution of actions projected which concerned the construction of community infrastructure (inverts, warehouses, market stalls etc.), financing of micro-projects, promotion of self-employment and promotion of income generating activities. A preliminary report on the State of execution of actions and appraisal of their quality was prepared by the end of March 2004. The report will be supplemented with an appraisal by the beneficiaries of the execution and its impact.

102. EDS III survey: The pilot phase took of by the end of February 2004 while the data collection process took off in March 2004. This survey will provide indicators on mortality, immunization, reproductive health and prevalence of major diseases including HIV/AIDS. Cameroon will have at its deposal more reliable data on the rate of prevalence of AIDS as a special component was devoted to this end. It will no longer be a mere declared prevalence but rather an effective prevalence rate obtained after a screening of blood sampling and following ethics and medical confidentiality.

103. Survey 1-2-3: This is the first ever survey with a national scope on employment and the informal sector in Cameroon. Phase 1 on employment will provide a study of the labour market with emphasis on unemployment profile, causes of inactivity, the sources of household revenue, sectors of activities with more profit potentials and causes of unemployment. The pilot test of this phase was conducted by the end of March 2004. Phase 2 on the informal sector will be conducted with a sample of employers or of self-employed workers identified during the first phase. This will help to replenish the accounts of these operators with a view to better understanding poverty that prevails in this sector, as well as problems and preoccupations.

104. Third RGPH: It is the core statistical operation that will help to prepare the basic sampling of the households’ survey, the population policy and calculation base of the main indicators of the mechanism. The operation will take off in 2004.

3.2.2 Establishing the statistical mechanism

105. The statistical mechanism for the follow-up and evaluation of the PRSP implementation is gradually being put in place. The sixth session of the National Council of Statistics held on 17 November 2003 and examined this draft mechanism which is yet to be finalised. Preliminary observations of donor agencies were taken into consideration in the current version of the document. Works conducted

106. The studies conducted so far concern the review of the situation of the National System of Statistical Information (SNIS), the specification of selection criteria of indicators, the organisation of the mechanism, the statistical programme, and an estimate of its cost.

107. The review of the situation of the SNIS helped to examine the following aspects: organisation, production, publication, dissemination and financing with a view to pointing out the main shortcomings and strong points that will be taken into consideration when the statistical mechanism will be completed.

108. With regard to the selection criteria of indicators, the table of indicators available in the draft statistical mechanism paper is made up of provisional data and the final table will be prepared following a logical framework per area. This logical framework allows for the preparation of the final table on the basis of Cameroon’s commitments as concerns MDG, follow-up and evaluation indicators of the PRSP, sector strategies indicators and day-to-day management indicators of different areas.

109. Once the indicators have been selected, we intend to determine landmarks and intermediary or final targets and to make an estimate of their cost. Landmarks represent the targeted goal as well as the ultimate goal itself. Intermediary targets are necessary to permit a periodic evaluation of the progress made, while waiting for the final horizon which can also point out international constraints.

110. Transparency and the participatory approach will be reinforced in this mechanism. In order to ensure that users as well as all stakeholders can check the reliability of the level of indicators obtained at any time, it was useful to specify the components as well as calculation formulae used to prepare them. This exercise which has already taken off will be completed at the end of the process on the final selection of indicators.

111. Four different categories of indicators were identified for methodical and coherent follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of global and sector strategies of poverty alleviation. These categories of indicators are: (i) indicators relating to the mobilisation and use of resources, (ii) indicators of execution, (iii) indicators of results, and (iv) indicators of impact. Indicators of participatory follow-up which make up the qualitative version of the above mentioned quantitative indicators are yet to be defined.

112. The organisation and functioning of the mechanism is decentralised just like the SNIS. Every service will have a focal point that will ease information exchange between the said service and the National Institute of Statistics who ensures the coordination of activities. There are two types of sources of data: administrative sources, from which day-to-day statistics on service supply will be produced, and surveys or censuses. These concern exercises that will help to produce indicators for the follow-up of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which are part of the Minimum Statistical Programme (PSM). This programme includes the Third RGPH, EDS III, MICS II, ECAM III, PETS, the survey on employment and the informal sector, agricultural survey and education survey.

113. A preliminary estimate of the costs related to the survey was made and for the 2003-2006 periods, the package is CFAF 10. 230 thousand million for the seven censuses and surveys retained, which represent CFAF 6.5 thousand million for the Third RGPH. Most of the operations retained represent the base necessary for future processes whose scope will be less wide. This concerns the RGPH, the survey on employment and the informal sector and the agricultural survey.

114. As concerns financing, some donor agencies that were solicited by the Government have already expressed their will to support the putting in place and functioning of the mechanism and the execution of operations retained for the production of statistics. They include: the World Bank (ECAM III, EDS, PETS, etc.), the IMF (SGDD, implementation of SNC93), the ADB (PCI-Afrique), the European Union (Support within the 9th EDF), the UN system (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, etc.), France and Germany. Problems encountered

115. As regards the production of statistics, the main problems are the mobilisation of resources for financing operations, and the low capacity of sector-based statistical services to produce quality data, namely in the health, education and rural sectors.

116. As concerns the setting up of a follow-up and evaluation mechanism, the choice of the most relevant follow-up indicators is hindered by the absence of indicators on target and intermediary objectives in sector strategies. The creation of ruling structures of NIS will enable it organise itself to support the sector-oriented departments of this mechanism. Implementation calendar

117. As concerns the finalisation of the mechanism document and its implementation, the next stages include: (i) adoption/validation of the project by the Government, (ii) consultation of Government’s development partners in order to collect their contributions (financial) in view of the implementation of the mechanism.

118. For an effective implementation of the mechanism and following the classification of indicators and induced sources, operations that fall within administrative sources will take off without delay, whereas other periodic operations will be programmed.

119. A head of all these stages, the Government got in touch with the European Commission Delegation, which represents donors, to seek for international assistance within the process of completing the mechanism as concerns the selection of indicators and estimate of costs.

3.3 Participatory follow-up

120. The PRSP was prepared on the basis of a participatory approach implemented through “participatory consultations” by which the population appraised the notion of poverty and proposed actions likely to help alleviate the phenomenon. About 10,000 people (about 40% of them women) drawn from some 200 groups freely expressed themselves on these issues. The Government decided to pursue this approach in the implementation of the process.

121. The main objectives here concern the appropriation of poverty alleviation strategies, improving transparency and accountability of various stakeholders, improving the quality and relevance of the provision of services, especially public services, and ensuring the monitoring of the implementation process of the PRSP.

122. The Technical Community whose mission is among others to propose a methodology for a participatory follow-up of the PRSP conducted reflections on the stakeholders in the participatory follow-up, the operational mechanism and the bi-yearly review of the participatory evaluation of the implementation of the PRSP as part of participatory follow-up activities.

3.3.1 Stakeholders in the participatory follow-up

123. Six major groups of actors, whose roles are being defined, were identified. They are target groups and beneficiary communities, local representatives, administrations and their detachments, the civil society, the private sector, and development partners.

124. Target groups should organise and express themselves in the identification and ranking processes of their needs. Similarly, controlling the effectiveness and quality of execution partly falls on them.

125. Local representatives have to give an account of the implementation of the poverty alleviation strategy in their localities. They are also called upon, in the spirit of the PRSP, to propose supporting measures and actions that could enhance the implementation of the poverty alleviation strategy at their level. They also have to present problems encountered by the population in their different constituencies, and the way these problems are handled in the PRSP, the contribution of councils and what is required to fill the gaps identified. They constitute a task force in the process of updating the PRSP.

126. The Administration is charged with the supervision of the implementation and participatory follow-up processes of the PRSP. It is the main supervisor of the implementation of the poverty alleviation strategy and as such, it has to ensure the effectiveness of public services projected in the PRSP. It produces the main indicators on the follow-up of the PRSP.

127. The civil society is the appropriate body for governance issues. It ensures that the Government respects its commitments and accounts for its actions. It has to be involved in the splitting up and updating of the PRSP. Above all, it has to see to it that the interests of vulnerable groups are taken into consideration.

128. Development partners operate as external regulating agents of the process. In this light, they ensure the effective participation of all stakeholders in the participatory follow-up of the PRSP. They are also involved in making concrete proposals and providing multi-purpose support in all the stages of the participatory follow-up process.

129. Within the framework of State withdrawal from the production sector and the liberalisation of the economy, the private sector was declared as the driving force of growth. To better play this role, the private sector should assume its duties projected in the PRSP, notably to express its needs and identify problems to be solved in view of creating jobs and wealth. The private sector has to present to actors in the participatory follow-up process, especially primary targets, actions to be taken at their level that are likely to alleviate poverty.

3.3.2 The operational mechanism

130. Reflection on the institutional framework which enables actors of participatory follow-up process to express themselves, aims at involving existing structures which already play a role in the participatory follow-up, be it in development as a whole or in poverty alleviation in particular. In this regard, four major structures were identified to contribute. They are: the Technical committee for the follow-up and evaluation of the PRSP implementation, development committees, the Advisory committee for the follow-up of HIPC resources, and the National Participatory Development Programme.

131. Development committees are participatory structures, which already exist and can serve as an information framework or a task force. On the one hand, reports on the execution of the PRSP and other information on the follow-up are forwarded to target groups through this channel, and on the other hand, sector strategy projects and measures in the PRSP will be translated into identified and prioritised operations by the populations themselves through development committees. The revival of these committees in 2003 contributed in having a region-based data bank of close to 14 800 projects.

132. The duties of the Advisory Committee make it a control and management structure of HIPC resources, the ultimate objectives being to make sure that: (1) these resources are used to finance projects directly concerned with poverty alleviation, and (2) management is transparent.

133. The National Programme for Participatory Development (PNDP) was drawn up with a view to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development in rural areas by organising beneficiaries and building their capacities, get these populations involved in the identification of their priority needs, look for solutions, and planning and implementation of development actions.

134. The CTSE/PRSP provisionally federates the other three structures, through provincial participatory follow-up committees, and half-yearly participatory evaluation reviews. The examination of results of the first reviews from 22 to 31 March 2004 helped to ensure that these reviews effectively assume participatory follow-up missions concerning representation of actors and targeted goals.

3.3.3 Participatory evaluation review as a framework for participatory follow-up

135. At the operational level, participatory evaluation reviews constituted the ideal framework for the implementation of the participatory follow-up of the PRSP. As concerns stakeholders, those eligible for the process were all involved. However, it should be worth improving the representation by convening direct beneficiaries.

136. In each province, the review focused on the draft report presented by the provincial committee. The work consisted mainly in: (i) presenting this working document to a local committee to make sure that all projects that are likely to contribute to poverty alleviation are evaluated, (ii) confirming the execution rate given in the draft report, (iii) assessing the quality and relevance of actions with regard to poverty reduction objectives and (iv) taking note of observations by beneficiaries as well as proposals for corrective measures.

137. The meeting was held in four committees representing the sector groups created within provincial committees, namely the Production committee, the Infrastructure committee, the Social committee and the Governance committee.

138. Results of this review were used in the present report as concerns elements related to the appraisal by beneficiaries and proposals for correctives measures.

139. To conclude, it can be said that significant progress was made towards the establishment of the follow-up and evaluation mechanisms for the implementation of the PRSP, notably as concerns its three components which include the institutional, statistical and participatory follow-up mechanisms. The process of the putting in place of the institutional mechanism is now completed. The statistical mechanism needs to be refined with the selection of indicators, the specification of the calculation formulae and an estimate of the costs of data collection operations. The Government is quite advanced in negotiations with donor agencies in view of their support that will help to refine and effectively put the mechanism in place. The participatory follow-up mechanism which derived from the existing one is being satisfactorily implemented.


4.1 Budget tracking exercise

140. The survey on public expenditure tracking and satisfaction of beneficiaries in the education and health sectors (budget tracking), which falls within the Governance and anti-corruption component, is one of the triggers for the completion point of the HIPC initiative. Recommendations made during this exercise will be adopted and implemented by the Government following a calendar that will be established subsequently.

141. The survey had the following objectives: (1) Preparation of a report on the execution of the budget and appraisal of service delivery in the various sectors by the beneficiary population; (2) Adoption of a priority plan of action whose implementation is likely to contribute to the tracking of the management of public expenditure and to improve the quality of services.

142. The survey was conducted in two phases given problems encountered in the organisation of the exercise. The first phase covered the component budget execution in the health sector and the component satisfaction of beneficiaries. This phase took off in October 2003. Exploitation, analysis and preparation of the report on the results were conducted until March 2004. The second phase concerned the component on budget execution of the education sector. This phase, which consisted in data collection, was conducted in March/April 2004. Analysis of data will begin in May while reports on results are awaited in June/July 2004. The methodology used to assess aspects related to the satisfaction of beneficiaries was based on ECAM II works conducted in 2001 throughout the national territory.

143. During this survey, some aspects that fall within the section “treasury” were deliberately left out for the simple reason that previous works were conducted in this area, notably the final report of the first mission of annual audits of the Ministries of Public Health and National Education, conducted by the PROMAN consultant services and published in March 2003. Meanwhile, the study conducted by the Ernst & Young Consultancy on the audit of execution and control procedures of public investment expenditure paved the way for an examination of the budget chain.

4.1.1 Major results

Budget tracking information

144. As concerns tracking (transparency) of budget execution, it was necessary to collect and appraise the quality of the information provided by vote holders. The general observation made at this level is the incomplete nature of such information.

  • This is more frequent as far as the execution of the PIB is concerned.

145. Based on this observation, most of the explanations given by officials, have to do with (1) absence of accounting archives in health institutions, (2) conflicts of authority between the chief Doctor, who prefers working either alone or with the Stores Accountant, instead of working with the Appointed Accountant Officer or Bursar, (3) high-level management of credits allocated, and (4) absence of an Accountant Officer to assist the person responsible for the structure.

146. An analysis of the information collected led to a first observation that there is a gap between the Finance Law, which is the reference document for the state budget policy, and the reality in the field. As a matter of fact, about 25% out of a sample of 109 public health establishments were not programmed in the 2001/2002 Finance Law, and this statistic moved up to 27.5% in 2003.

147. The second observation is that there are considerable discrepancies between the amount of credits provided by the Finance Law and the amount declared by vote holders. The third observation is the return of the credit voucher. This practice does not allow for the follow-up of expenditure by the initially appointed manager. The fourth observation is the relatively long period of time that runs from the beginning of the financial year and the effectiveness in the execution of the budget. As a matter of fact, 3 to 4 months separate the date the budget is voted and the beginning of its execution, including 2 months between the beginning of the financial year and the withdrawal of the credit voucher, and less than 2 months between the date the voucher is withdrawn and the beginning of the execution of the budget.

148. The execution rate of the budget expressed as a ratio between the total amount of commitments and the amount allocated in the budget is globally satisfactory as it stands between 85% and 95%. Here are by order of importance, the problems encountered by vote holders in the execution of the budget at their disposal: (1) delay in the reception of credit vouchers: (2) bargaining with contractors for a “satisfactory” execution of the order with regard to conditions presented by contractors on the execution of contracts, problems encountered in the payment procedure, the remoteness and land-locked situation of the area where the contract is to be executed, and the low profit margin compared to the rate on the price list; (3) low budget allocation; (4) incoherence between the needs stated per budget heads and credits allocated; (5) inapplicability of some budgetary allocations, for instance, structures with no vehicles receiving vouchers related to “fuel and lubrication”; (6) lack of liquidity in some local services of the Treasury; (7) poor functioning of local tender boards, especially concerning acquisition of drugs and health equipment; (8) service quality below the amount of credits engaged (officials questioned think there should be an over estimation of about 25%).

149. In general, too much centralisation of the PIB through the practice of centrally managed Delegations and/or periodic Delegation was regretted. Characteristics of the supply of health services

150. On the basis of a sample of 150 health institutions, including 109 public institutions and 34 private hospitals, the appraisal of health service supply focuses on basic infrastructure, availability of health personnel, salary of staff, availability of essential drugs, number of people visiting these institutions, and supervision of the functioning of health institutions.

Basic infrastructure

151. As concerns access to electricity, almost all District Hospitals are connected to the power network (AES-SONEL). However, in the East province, two District Hospitals (DH) out of three have electricity. For CMA and CSI, about one CMA out of two do not have electricity. The figure is slightly in an upward trend in CSIS (53%).

152. As concerns water supply, only 65% of DH, 37% of CMA and 23% of CSI are provided with this facility. To fill this gap, most health institutions use alternative sources of water supply such as boreholes, (27% of DH; 31% of CMA and about 25% of CSI), wells/harnessed sources (21% of DH; 44% of CMA and 42% of CSI°.

153. With regard to telephone and radio communications, 6 DH out of 10 have a telephone line, as against 37% of CMA and 10% of CSI. As an alternative communication means, the use of radio is not very widespread: 11% of DH, none of CMA and 10% of CSI.

154. Medical laboratories are available in all DH of the sample, while 81.3% of CMA are provided with these laboratories. The situation is more worrying as concerns CSIs. As a matter of fact, about 46% of these institutions are not equipped with laboratories.

155. All District Hospitals and 87.5% of CMA are equipped with freezers and fridges (cold chain) used in the preservation of vaccines and some drugs. 7 CSIS out of 10 are equipped with these appliances.

156. Availability of consultation wards, beds for cases of hospitalisation or observation and basic medical equipment depend on the category of the health institution, on the localisation and on whether the institution is public or private. Generally speaking, DH are better equipped. Similarly, private lay hospitals are generally better equipped.

157. Globally, the overall health institutions in which the survey was conducted lack transport equipment. As a matter of fact, 85.1% of these institutions do not have functional ambulances (88% for public hospitals and 75.8% for private hospitals). Service vehicles, excluding ambulances, are almost absent in all hospitals visited. 37.7% of these institutions have at least one motorcycle, 6.3% have two motorcycles and 2.8% have more than three motorcycles as against 53.8% that have none.

Health personnel

158. According to the results of the survey, the number of health personnel in health institutions visited did not vary during the various periods of the survey (2001/2002 and 2003). The average number of health personnel for 2001/2002 was 37.6 for District Hospitals, 13.1 for CMA and 7.9 for CSI. In 2003, these figures did not change significantly.

159. The North Province is ranked first among the provinces that lack health personnel: the average number is 10.3 in District Hospitals, 3.5 in CMA and 2.6 in CSI.

Availability of health personnel and their relationship with patients

160. Among patients questioned, 28.8% said they were consulted by a doctor, 32.9% by a head nurse and 37.5% by a nurse or a midwife. In fact, if nurses and midwives do consult patients, it is due to the unavailability and/or lack of doctors and head nurses who are qualified for making diagnosis. Consultation by health personnel depends on the standard of the health institution.

161. As concerns the quality of medical care, about 9 patients out of 10 said the consultation was good and complete in most cases. As concerns staffs behaviour, 85% of patients said health personnel are humanists as against 10% who said they were given poor medical care. Patients were also satisfied with prescriptions and physical examinations.

Absenteeism in health institutions

162. The survey focused on cases of absenteeism to appraise the availability of health personnel. The rate of absenteeism was 5.6% in the overall health institutions visited. More specifically, this rate stood at 3% in District Hospitals, 8.5% in CMA and 10.4% in CSI. The highest rates of absenteeism were recorded in the Far North, Adamawa and East provinces, with 17%, 14% and 13% respectively.

Salary of health personnel

163. Among incentives that can have an impact on the quality of services rendered by this staff, and besides the working environment, the survey focused on the salary of health personnel as well as related benefits, notably bonuses.

164. Beside the problem of irregular payment of shares, the overall staffs of medical and health institutions are globally unsatisfied with the conditions of payment. The double salary cuts in 1993, the devaluation of the CFAF and inflation account for the poor purchasing power. According to most personnel questioned, some professional misconduct could be explained by these factors.

Availability of essential drugs in health institutions

165. The survey focused on the availability of the following essential drugs: Metronidagole, Rifampicine, Chloroquine, Cotrimoxazole, Measles vaccine and DT/DTP vaccine. The following drugs were available during the period the survey was conducted: Contrimoxazole (available in 97% of health institutions. However, only 7 health institutions out of 10 have stocks of measles and DT/DTP vaccines. About one health institution out of two is not provided with chloroquine, while Rifampicine is rather scarce (only 14% of health institutions have this drug).


166. 65.3% of patients received their treatment in public hospitals, as against 34.7% who preferred private hospitals. In Douala and in the South-West province, people questioned said they prefer private hospitals: 55.6% and 53.6%, respectively.


167. During the 2003 first semester, 88% of heads of District hospitals supervised health institutions under their jurisdiction at least once. 82% of them had a supervision plan in advance. During the same period, 85% of heads of District hospitals were supervised by their immediate supervisors. In the sample of health institutions, CMAs were the most supervised (87.5%), followed by CSI (76.9%). Criteria for supervision are still not understood by about 40% of heads of health institutions. Characteristics of health demand

168. The demand for health services was appraised at three levels: (i) the number of patients, (ii) the profile of patients, and (iii) their appraisal of services.

Number of patients

169. In 2001/2002, health institutions visited received an average of 15 patients per day, that is 22 patients in DH, 17 in CMA and 12 in CSI. The number of patients depends on the type of hospital. Thus, a reference hospital will receive more patients than ordinary hospitals. This can be justified by the quality and quantity of services delivered by these hospitals.

170. In terms of spatial distribution, Douala and Yaounde, the two major cities account for 45% of patients received in District Hospitals. According to the area of study, Douala records the highest number of patients per day, all categories of hospitals included, followed by the North-West and Far-North Provinces. The lowest rate of patients that go to hospital is recorded in the South, East and Adamawa provinces.

Profile of patients and factors of choice

171. Going to a hospital or not depends on a number of isolated and/or combined factors including: (i) the purchasing power of the socio-economic group, (ii) the reference of the hospital, (iii) proximity of the hospital, (iv) costs of treatment. These empirical factors were confirmed after an analysis of data on the basis of a multi-correspondence approach1.

  • The Socio-economic group

172. The analysis of data revealed that for patients, going to a hospital or not depend on their financial means: the rich ones go to DH in urban areas while the poor ones attend lower categories of hospitals. In rural areas where poverty is more acute (ECAM II), the most indicative factor seems to be proximity to hospitals.

  • Technical capacities of hospitals

173. Another factor that prompts patients to prefer one hospital to another is the technical capacity of the hospital in delivering quality services. Thus, 40% of patients go to DH for serious diseases that require qualified medical staff. For minor disorders, patients prefer to attend small categories of hospitals. For a better medical supervision, 77% of pregnant women attend health centres for prenatal and postnatal consultation. This high rate can be justified by proximity and lack of complication in the activities.

  • Proximity of hospitals

174. Patients are usually sensitive on this aspect. However, they are ready to cross a long distance (when they have enough means) to seek medical care in renowned public or private hospitals (qualified doctors and technical capacity) located in far distances.

  • Costs of treatment

175. Households spend on average CFAF 659 per person for consultations in DHS, CFAF 967 in CMA and CFAF 1032 in CS7. In general, physical examinations are more expensive in Yaounde and Douala than in the other towns. The lowest rate of costs of treatment is recorded in the grand Northern regions.

176. Despite the high costs of treatment, many households are ready to go to private hospitals because of the good quality of services delivered. Thus, 94% of patients questioned were satisfied with the quality of consultations, 82% were satisfied with the drugs prescribed which, they said, are adapted to their diseases and about 53% of households said the costs are reasonable as compared to the results obtained.

  • Time lapse and duration of consultation

177. According to the survey, it all depends on the qualifications of the medical practitioner. In general, a patient will spend 52 min waiting for a doctor, 30 min for a head nurse and for any other medical staff. This time lapse also depends on the category of the hospital: the more hospitals are referenced, the more this time increased.

Appraisal of the quality of service delivered

178. Appraisal of the quality of service delivered focused on the following elements: staff qualifications, the quality of reception, conditions of hospitals and costs of medical care.

179. The quality of service delivered in hospitals depends on staff qualifications. Globally, about 29% of patients were consulted by a doctor, 33% by a head nurse, who is also the head of the hospital, and a little more than 37% by the other medical staff. The number of patients consulted by a doctor is higher in private hospitals than in public hospitals. This explains why patients prefer private hospitals than public hospitals despite the high costs of medical care practised there.

180. With regard to reception, most of the patients (90.3% including 24.8% who were very satisfied) said they were satisfied with the reception in hospitals. 91.4% of them said the consultation was complete, thoroughly and well conducted and lasted about 20 mn.

181. With regard to the hygienic conditions of hospitals, 42.2% of patients said hospitals were in a good condition, while 42.2% said toilets were clean and 59.8% said hygiene and sanitation conditions were good. However, 13% of patients were not satisfied with these conditions: 19.1% said toilets were dirty and 19.3% regretted the poor hygienic conditions in the hospitals visited.

182. With regard to the appraisal of costs practised in hospitals, 53% of patients said the costs were just reasonable in relation to the results achieved. However, one third of the patients questioned said they were satisfied with the costs while 13% said these costs were very high.

Suggestions and recommendations

183. Suggestions and recommendations of the survey were reviewed during a workshop held on 13 and 14 April 2004. The workshop aimed at drawing up a priority plan of action whose implementation will contribute to improve on the budget execution and on the quality of services delivered to the beneficiary populations. The workshop brought together experts in public finance, the health sector and development partners. The draft priority plan of action to be submitted to the Government focused on the following items:

  • (1) Tracking of budget information, (2) budget execution, (3) improvement of health services, (4) satisfaction of beneficiaries and (5) sustainability of the mechanism.

4.2 Other recent surveys

4.2.1 The Third Demographic and Health Survey

184. The first and second surveys were conducted in 1991 and 1998, respectively. The Third National Demographic and Health Survey took off in March and will be completed in September 2004. It will last six months.

185. The EDSC – III survey is conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Committee (CNLS) and the Central Bureau for Census and Population Studies (BUCREP). The DHS programme (Demography and Health Survey) of ORC Macro International Calverton, Maryland, USA, will provide technical assistance thanks to a contract signed with the United States International Assistance Agency (USAID). EDSC – III will be financed by the National AIDS Control Committee (CNLS) thanks to the support of the IDA, USAID and UNICEF. The Cameroon Government will also contribute to the project by providing local experts and logistics. EDS has as main objectives to:

  • - Collect data throughout the national territory in order to calculate basic demographic rates, especially fertility and child mortality rates. It will also assess direct and indirect factors that determine the level and trends in fertility and child mortality;

  • - Determine the level of knowledge and use of contraceptive methods by women;

  • - Collect data on family health: immunization, prevalence and treatment of diarrhoea and other diseases among children aged below five years, prenatal consultation and delivery care;

  • - Collect data on the prevention and treatment of malaria;

  • - Collect data on nutritional practices among children;

  • - Collect data on men and women’s awareness and behaviour as concerns STIs and AIDS, and evaluate recent trends in behaviours with regard to the use of condoms;

  • - Collect data that will help to determine adult mortality rate at the national level;

  • - Collect qualitative data on the knowledge, opinions and practises on female circumcision;

  • - Take blood sample for anonymous HIV screening of men and women aged between 15 and 49 years with a view to measuring HIV prevalence among adults.

186. The Centre Pasteur of Cameroon will be in charge of analysing blood sampling for HIV screening.

187. To achieve the above mentioned objectives, the EDSC-III will be based on a stratified national sample of about 11,000 ordinary households. Persons in institutions such as hospitals, prisons, etc, are not concerned. All women aged between 15 and 49 years living in the selected households on a permanent basis, or present the night before the survey will be eligible for the survey (about 12000). Moreover, a sample of about 6000 men aged between 15 and 49 years will also be concerned by this survey. A sub sample of 50% of the overall households of the sample will be selected. All men in the sub-sample aged between 15 and 49 years will be eligible. All men and women of this sub-sample eligible for the survey will also be eligible for the HIV test. Still in this sub sample, all men, women and children aged below 5 years will be eligible for the anaemia test. All eligible women and children aged below 5 years will have their height and weight measured to determine their nutritional status.

188. Four reports will be prepared on the basis of EDSC-III results: a preliminary report on the main results of the survey, a preliminary report on the results of the HIV test, a final report and a summary report. Once the national and regional reports will be published, the data file of the survey will be available for any institution or individual interested and willing to make further analysis at the national and international levels. The first results are expected towards the end of the first quarter of 2005.

4.2.2 The Third General Population and Housing Census

189. Works related to this broad operation are going on. As a matter of fact, preparatory and cartographic works are completed. Training sessions are currently being organised for supervisors and monitors in view of the imminent and effective take off of counting operations.

4.2.3 National survey on employment and informal sector

190. Preparatory works are completed but the effective take off of data collection operations depends on the end of budget execution.

4.2.4. Survey on basic education in the Adamawa Province.

191. The survey on basic education is financed by UNICEF within the framework of its 2003/2007 cooperation programme with Cameroon. The survey is in line with Government and development partners preoccupation to ensure a better mastery of socio-economic and demographic data of the country.

192. The Survey was based on two quantitative and qualitative approaches and covered the whole Adamawa province. Results of this survey helped to sustain the follow-up and evaluation mechanisms in this province thanks to indicators on immunization coverage, nutritional status of children, child mortality, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and STIs, education and child labour.

193. The methodology consisted in identifying eligible children in households and handing a questionnaire to all women of the households aged between 10 and 59 years, and in half of households all men aged between 13 and 59 years. Lastly, information was collected on children aged below 5 years.

194. The data collection operation lasted three months (from 9 March 2003 to 8 May 2003). The examination of data is now completed and analysis of results led to the production of a main report. Thematic reports are being finalised.

4.3. Statistical follow-up and evaluation mechanisms

195. The process to put in place the statistical follow-up and evaluation mechanisms of the PRSP is going on. The first version of this paper has been submitted and assessed. Development partners requested the validation of this paper by international experts, mainly as concerns the selection of indicators, determination of operations (plan of action) and estimates of costs. The EU is ready to pay expert’s fees. The NIS forwarded, via MINEPAT, the terms of reference of this mission and proposed a working calendar. The reply is awaited in the forthcoming days.


196. Like for the preparation of the PRSP, the Government is carrying out the implementation and follow-up/evaluation of poverty reduction strategies by the involving all stakeholders, especially beneficiaries at the grassroots. This participatory approach will help not only to ensure a better appropriation by beneficiaries of poverty alleviation actions, but also an efficient orientation of such actions in priority sectors. In this regard, half-yearly participatory evaluation reviews that were organised throughout the country in March 2004 present results that will enable the Government to better target its future interventions.

5.1. Participatory evaluation reviews

5.1.1. Organisation reviews

197. The reviews were organised in provinces following a directive of MINEPAT, and in conformity with instruments regulating the follow-up of the implementation of the PRSP. Three task forces comprising four officials each went in and around the ten provinces of the country.

5.1.2. Period of the reviews

198. The teams in charge of the reviews were simultaneously deployed in the field from 22 to 30 March 2004. The first team covered the Centre, South, Littoral and South-West provinces, the second team covered the East, West and North-West provinces and the third one was deployed in the Adamawa, North and Far-North provinces.

199. These task forces worked on the basis of documents produced by provincial committees in charge of the follow-up and evaluation of the PRSP. These committees previously convened members of the review committee, representatives of beneficiaries, NGOs and associations, local authorities, and administrative officials. Works were conducted in plenary sessions, while specific issues were discussed in workshops. Four workshops were thus held in the following sectors: social infrastructure, production and governance. Meanwhile, at the close of sessions, non administrative officials were grouped into a panel to fill a questionnaire. This last chapter will first of all focus on the main results of the review and then on the results of the questionnaire.

5.1.3. Remarks and main recommendations

200. Participants made the following general recommendations:

  • - Step up the integration of project from development committee to the public investment budget;

  • - Increase in quantity (number) and quality (specialisation in specific fields) of translators to promote and reinforce bilingualism;

  • - Organisation of training programmes in the preparation of projects financed with HIPC funds.

  • Specific recommendations are highlighted in the presentation of sectors. Social sector
  • (a) Education

201. Participants lauded Government’s efforts in this area. They appraised efforts made to sensitise parents and village committees on the advantages of education in the Grand North provinces. They also pointed out that the programme on the construction of classrooms and equipment of schools with furniture, teaching aid and computer materials was implemented at a reasonable rate as compared to the objectives prescribed. However, they made the following recommendations:

(i) Immediate absorption of young graduate teachers to enable them to get set, and concerning temporary teachers, beside their recruitment, they recommended the stabilisation and regularisation of the payment of their salary.

(ii) Equity in the posting of teachers to urban and rural areas;

(iii) Urgent measures to solve lack of technical schools (second cycle) in the Far-North province. Participants also regretted the absence of English-speaking teachers and recommended creation of a specialised training centre.

202. Lastly, despite the construction of numerous classrooms, there is still inadequacy between the number of classrooms and teachers, especially in landlocked areas.

  • (b) ealth

203. With regard to the health sector, participants appraised efforts made in the construction and rehabilitation of health centres, distribution and/or reduction in the costs of essential drugs and continuation of major control programmes, satisfactory execution of public health programmes and intensification of the fight against STIs/HIV-AIDS. Participants also expressed their satisfaction with the distribution of treated mosquito nets to pregnant women in some provinces. However, they recommended the extension of this campaign throughout the national territory as well as its extension from pregnant women to children.

204. Despite these encouraging actions, participants pointed out that increased efforts should be made to alleviate poverty. Thus, they recommended the following actions:

  • i) Construction of houses for health personnel to ease their settlement in localities;

  • ii) Speeding up of the reforms on social security, especially the issue of health insurance;

  • iii) Revival of the national hygiene and sanitation campaign and improvement of urban sanitation.

  • (c) Social affairs and gender

205. As concerns social affairs and gender empowerment, participants lauded the good conduct of projects on the education of women and the girl child, as well as efforts made in the construction and rehabilitation of social centres for the disabled. However, they regretted some shortcomings and recommended the:

(i) Improvement of women’s access and other vulnerable groups to income by granting and creating specialised vocational training centres;

(ii) Equipment of reinsertion centres for the supervision of street children.

206. Lastly, in the area of youth and sports, the population regretted lack of physical and sports instructors, as well as lack of sport infrastructure. Infrastructure

207. Globally, participants noted the improvement of the quality of services in this area. They appraised the construction of several tarred roads, rehabilitation and maintenance of rural roads, intensification of the rural electrification programme and development of potable water points. In the area of telecommunications, they pointed out that the privatisation process in this sector and the development of telephone operators helped to improve the nature and quality of communication. Participants also lauded the availability of domestic gas thanks to the construction of a specialised unit. They however hoped to see the operation extended throughout the country. This operation will be highly welcomed in areas were the use of firewood is responsible for desertification and destruction of the ecosystem.

208. Participants, however, pointed out that these achievements should not overshadow efforts to be made in view of:

(i) Ensuring the availability of gas bottles, as it was observed that one of the factors accounting for low consumption of domestic gas is the scarcity of these bottles;

(ii) Extending the optical fibre throughout the national territory, especially as the outcomes of the reduction of transaction costs and improvement of services are highly awaited;

(iii) Pursuing the extension of the rural electrification programme on the electrification;

(iv) Improving services charged with the supply of petroleum products. Production sector

209. In the agricultural sector, participants were satisfied with the good execution of projects related to the PNVRA programme and expressed their hope to see activities of the PNDP and PADC extended throughout the country. They also expressed their satisfaction with the training of farmers to the projected rate of 25%, though this rate is still low.

210. With regard to access to production means, participants were satisfied with the involvement of the NEF and NGOs in the institutional support and in the training of populations in the conduct of income generating activities.

211. With regard to the promotion of community forestry, they pointed out that it contributed in enhancing the income of local councils, which enabled them to be more active in the improvement of the living conditions of their population.

212. They also observed that the promotion of alternative solutions to the issue of poaching is fully accepted by the population.

213. However, in the cotton sector, there was a dispute between farmers and SODECOTON over access to oilcakes for livestock feeding. This was a major concern for participants in the Far-North province. They suggested the setting up of a multiparty follow-up committee to settle this dispute.

214. In general, participants recommended sensitisation actions to ensure agricultural diversification, as it was observed that concentration on cash crops will aggravate the poverty of rural populations. Governance

In this area, participants were satisfied with the general implementation of the participatory approach adopted by the Government, especially as concerns the follow-up of the PRSP. However, they recommended the reinforcement of the following actions:

  • - Speeding up of the popularisation of the PRSP;

  • - Extension of the participatory follow-up process to divisions;

  • - Extension of poverty alleviation units to provinces and divisions;

  • - use of all available communication means to strengthen the fight against corruption;

  • - Increase in public service salaries as a first step in the fight against corruption;

  • - Speeding up judicial procedures;

  • - Systematic production of procedure manuals in all services;

  • - Sensitisation of citizens on their rights;

  • - Extension of the CRTV coverage throughout the national territory;

  • - Improvement of management procedures of credit delegations at the provincial level;

  • - Consideration of real needs and preoccupations of the population;

  • - Enhancing liquidity of the Treasury in some provinces (South, East, Adamawa), which have serious difficulties in paying their contractors;

  • - Improvement of the knowledge of grassroots stakeholders on the procedures of the award of public contracts (notably through training seminars at the divisional level);

  • - Improvement of the quality of services delivered by strengthening controls and reliability of reception committees.

5.2. Direct interview of beneficiaries

5.2.1. Methodology

216. Participants were consulted within the framework of provincial reviews. Only non governmental officials were retained as seen below:

  • - Representatives of NGOs and associations;

  • - Representatives of the civil society;

  • - Religious groups;

  • - Local government representatives;

  • - MPs;

  • - Beneficiary populations.

217. The evaluation exercise was focused on seven types of projects, namely:

  • - Construction, rehabilitation and equipment of schools;

  • - Construction, rehabilitation and equipment of Government high schools and colleges;

  • - Construction, rehabilitation and equipment of hospitals;

  • - Construction, rehabilitation and equipment of health centres;

  • - Construction and rehabilitation of roads;

  • - Water supply projects;

  • - Rural electrification.

218. Unlisted projects were classified in the column “others”.

5.2.2. Method of data collection

219. For a good appraisal of the targeted impact, consultation reviews were based on the use of the provincial report on the follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of the PRSP prepared following a standard plan, and on the questionnaire designed to this effect and submitted to the various beneficiaries of poverty reduction actions or their representatives. The objectives of this operation were to:

  • - appraise the level of mastery, approval and impact by the beneficiaries themselves and achievements of local authorities in their different localities;

  • - Enable beneficiaries to evaluate the way projects are executed and to make recommendations for an optimal implementation of these projects.

5.2.3. Results

220. Thanks to the results obtained, the various Government actions can be appraised from two basic perspectives. As a matter of fact, these results helped not only to better identify projects as well as beneficiaries, but also to measure their knowledge of these projects, and their appraisal of the execution and impact of project on the living conditions of the population. Identification
  • (a) Beneficiaries

221. 255 persons aged above 25 years were questioned in the 10 provinces as seen in the table below. There was a weak participation of women, who represented only 28% of the persons questioned.

Table 1:

Distribution of respondents by gender

article image

222. About 52% of people questioned (132 persons) represented direct beneficiaries, while 34% represented local authorities, 12% NGOs and associations and 2% religious groups.

Table 2:

Distribution of respondents based on their status.

article image

223. Despite the weak representation of women, the presence of local authorities, NGOs and religious leaders in the survey gave credence to the results obtained given the mastery of these respondents and the roles they play within the framework of sensitisation and poverty reduction activities at the local level.

  • (b) Projects

224. During the review, 1087 projects were identified and ranked by order of importance. 30% of these projects do not fall within one of the seven main categories of projects. There is a predominance of projects related to the following sectors: education, road infrastructure, and health, representing 27%, 18% and 11%, respectively. However, actions in favour of electrification are less considerable (only 5%).

Table 3:

Distribution of projects identified by region

article image

225. The review revealed that respondents had a poor mastery or knowledge of projects underway. As a matter of fact, few of them (10% of respondents) were able to name the 10 major projects under execution in their locality due to lack of information in this area. The worst of it was that, 27% of respondents in the sample could talk about only one project out of the ten required, while 62% could not identify more than four projects. This shows how much the grassroots population is ignorant about constant efforts made by the authorities to bring them out of poverty.

Table 4:

Number of projects identified by respondents

article image

226. Projects cited by beneficiaries are mainly financed by the Government (45% under PIB, and 9% under HIPC funds), other sources of financing represent 23% and councils 11%. As concerns local contribution, council contributions not included, it accounts for 6% including 5% from NGOs. This shows the lack of enthusiasm by the population to finance some projects themselves.

Table 5:

Distribution of projects based on the source of financing

article image

227. With regard to the execution of the above mentioned projects, the study revealed that beneficiaries do not know the officials in charge of the execution of projects (53% of the sample of projects retained); and if we were to add projects executed by piece workers (4%), it will be difficult to know projects that are poorly executed or even not executed at all. Just as it was observed for financing, it can be said that local communities do not participate too much in the execution of projects of their localities (1% out of the overall intervention).

Table 6:

Distribution of projects identified, based on the implementation agent

article image Appraisal

228. Results of the survey enable us to focus our reflection on two basic points: level of execution and impact on poverty reduction.

(a) Level of execution

229. Despite the lack of information concerning about 21% of cases, 40% of projects mentioned have been completed. The execution of other 32% projects is going on smoothly and about 8% of projects faced problems relating to effective take off. Among the projects that are still to take off, there are mainly those benefiting from rural community financing (27%), HIPC funds (23%) and other sources of financing (10%). If we all know the reasons accounting for the delay in the disbursement of HIPC funds, we can say that for other sources of financing, there are problems linked to liquidity at the treasury and lack of enthusiasm by the sources involved. With regard to follow-up, projects financed by religions groups seem to be in a better position (50% completed and 50% underway), followed by those financed by donor agencies, PIB and councils.

Table 7:

Level of execution based on the source of financing

article image

230. The quality of works was very good for 36% of projects identified, average for 27% of them and poor for 6%. Respondents had no opinion to express on 338 projects representing 31% of the sample. This was mainly due to their poor knowledge of ongoing activities.

Table 8:

Quality of works, based on the source of financing

article image

(b) Impact of projects on poverty reduction

231. According to the 255 people questioned, about 51% of projects identified had a vital impact on poverty reduction, that is, 550 projects out of the 1087 concerned, as against 45 projects with below average impact on poverty reduction. One can note with satisfaction here that projects that have been well or fairly well executed are more likely to reduce poverty (74.29% and 55.44%, respectively).

Table 9:

Respondents appreciation of the quality of work executed, based on the impact on poverty reduction

article image

232. If we were to exclude the direct beneficiaries of poverty reduction actions from the sample, given their poor knowledge of some local activities, the number of projects bearing vital characteristics will move from 550 to 405, and those deemed useless from 45 and 65. It is obvious that the health sector presents the most important projects in favour of the population. This sector is closely followed by the following sectors by order of importance: water, education and road infrastructure.

223. Results obtained during this experimental survey helped to measure the real impact of government’s action in favour of poverty reduction on the population. The results fall in line with the preoccupations expressed by the population during workshops held in provinces towards the end of March 2003. Efforts should be made to ensure transparency in the award of contracts and effective participation of local experts in project execution. Lack of information by grassroots population also appeared as a hindrance to the smooth intervention of Government services. Sensitisation and information programmes on Government’s actions should be intensified and perpetuated in order to solve such problems.

234. Finally, it is very important for the population to ensure ownership of various local programmes. If the process goes along with appropriate sensitisation, it will help to better orientate projects in priority sectors and towards appropriate targets.


See main report on results P. 70.

Cameroon: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Implementation Progress Report
Author: International Monetary Fund