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AfriMAP: Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project

Geographical Scope: 
The Open Society Institute's Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) is an initiative to promote compliance by African states with the requirements of good governance set out in African and international treaties.
AfriMAP was established in 2004 as a response to the new commitments to good governance undertaken through the adoption of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), as well as programmes such as the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA), and their peer review mechanisms. These commitments supplement those already contained in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments.
AfriMAP aims to establish a systematic and standardized process of reporting on governance issues, based on a framework that links respect for human rights to progress in development,  a link recognized by NEPAD in particular. But AfriMAP aims to go beyond noting compliance with the minimum standards laid down by international human rights law in order to develop a deeper understanding of why those minimum standards are so often not met and what can be done about it. AfriMAP will highlight successful reform initiatives, so that other governments can benefit from the lessons learned.
AfriMAP will also draw on the concept of mutual accountability of donors and aid recipients to consider the conduct of donor countries and institutions and the extent to which they reinforce or undermine efforts to improve the accountability of African governments to their citizens. Through its in-depth analysis of particular themes AfriMAP hopes to complement and support the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and other initiatives undertaken at government level.
All reports will be publicly available and distributed within and without the continent, for use by African citizens, African governments, continental institutions, and donors of development assistance to the continent.
Themes: AfriMAP has chosen the following three interlocking themes as the principal focus of its work:
  1. The justice sector and the rule of law: AfriMAP's reports will examine the functioning of the justice sector, including both formal and informal systems, and governments' own respect for the rule of law. We take a broad view of the justice sector, as including police and prisons, as well as traditional justice systems. The aim of the reports is not only to document the main institutional issues surrounding independence of the judiciary, government respect for court orders, and so forth, but also to evaluate the usefulness of the justice system to ordinary citizens. If two individuals are in dispute, does the state provide a way of sorting out their grievances without the use of violence?
  2. Political representation: AfriMAP will evaluate the extent to which Africans are able to exercise their right to participate freely in the government of [their] country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives' by analyzing the transparency of the institutions that authorise a small group of people to take decisions on behalf of the citizens of a country in general. The research will aim to go beyond the monitoring of elections to include the functioning of national and regional assemblies and of local government, the connection between elected representatives and their constituents, and the role of political parties. In addition, AfriMAP will seek to analyse the role of formally unacknowledged influences on politics, with the aim of increasing the transparency and 'reality' of the formal structures of democracy.
  3. Civil service accountability and transparency: This theme is still under consideration, but the aim is to promote the functioning of an effective public sector in African countries by analysing the functioning of the civil service. Within this analysis, AfriMAP is likely to focus in particular on the existence of mechanisms that reduce the opportunities for corruption, whether by civil service officials or politicians. In the future, AfriMAP may take on other themes.
AfriMAP's mission: AfriMAP aims to help build open societies in Africa by:
  1. Promoting the observance by African states and donor institutions of African and international standards relating to good governance in order to help make real the new commitments by the African Union to improve the situation of Africa's peoples.
  2. Producing and facilitating high-quality research into respect for international standards relating to human rights, the rule of law and accountable government on the African continent and recommendations on the means of strengthening them.
  3. Promoting the critical role of civil society in independent monitoring and advocacy on government and donor performance with respect to human rights, the rule of law, and accountable government.
  4. Complementing and expanding upon the African peer review mechanism's monitoring efforts and evaluating the impact of the peer review process on the policies of the states reviewed.
All reports will be publicly available on project web-site.
Cost (specify currency): 
about 500 000 USD per year
Funding sources: 
Open Society Institute
Source of Data: 
Using a combination of own and existing data
Type of Data Collection: 
Administrative Data
In depth interviews
Performance assessment / Desk studies
Secondary sources
Measurement Methods / Tools Generated or Used : 
In order to complete its reports, AfriMAP first develops a detailed questionnaire on each theme, through a process of consultation with experts from around the continent. These questions are designed to collect information to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of the issues surrounding each topic of investigation. The questionnaires will be made publicly available, so that any institution or person wishing to use them or comment upon them may do so.
AfriMAP will then work with the Open Society Institute's African foundations:” the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa  to identify in-country partners in civil society to refine and then complete the questionnaire in relation to their countries. AfriMAP will work closely with those partners to identify priorities and carry out research at country level and to write a report that can also enable cross-country comparison and learning. Each draft report will be discussed with government and other stakeholders before final publication. The aim is for the in-country partners to repeat this process at regular intervals, building capacity in the analysis of governance problems and enabling identification of trends and lessons learned.
AfriMAP's methodology is based in part on the system used since 2000 by the Open Society Institute's European Union Accession Monitoring Programme (EUMAP), which examines governance issues in the ten eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, and, more recently, the five largest existing EU members (see
It also draws on the work of 'democracy assessment' developed by International IDEA and other organisations (see AfriMAP's assessments of respect for good governance standards will be based on a qualitative analysis of the data we collect. The project does not aim to rank states according to a quantitative scoring system but rather to identify critical issues that need addressing, positive or worrying trends, and successful reform efforts from which other countries could learn
List of Indicators: 
AfriMAP uses a wide range of indicators relevant to the topics being covered, taken from both international and African standards.
Main Users: 
Civil society
Donor agencies
International agencies
Policy makers