Aid information management in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

January 30, 2011Andrea Calabrese

The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) produced a short video describing its experiences using Development Gateway’s Aid Management Platform (AMP) (video in French, with English subtitles).

AMP is a web-based software that builds capacity for aid information management, enabling host countries to more efficiently collect, report, and monitor data on foreign aid flows.

In 2001, the DRC emerged from a devastating period of armed conflict, and has slowly recovered with the help of macroeconomic reforms and foreign aid flows.  According to Yvon Mombong, AMP administrator for the DRC, annual public development aid amounts to nearly $2 billion, accounting for the majority of the state’s budget.  In order to enable effective aid management and informed policy decisions, the DRC decided to implement AMP in 2008.

In the video, DRC government officials and consultants describe how they have used and benefitted from AMP—in constructing national budgets, analyzing national appropriations by sector and province, developing strategic provincial development plans, researching aid effectiveness, and more.  Because AMP can be accessed online, all relevant DRC ministries and offices have been able to take advantage of the platform’s database and data management tools.  Mr. Roger Shilungu, an adjunct coordinator at the DRC Ministry of Finance, explained that AMP helped to produce budget-monitoring reports, ensuring that actual aid expenditures match those recorded in the state budget.

AMP has also contributed to aid monitoring and national policy decisions.  On several occasions, the platform has revealed discrepancies in the state’s allocation of foreign aid by sector and province. “AMP showed us,” said Kurt Petit of the Dutch Embassy in the DRC, “that we often concentrate too much on certain provinces and certain themes, and we forget other themes.” Mme. Véronique Ilunga, a UNDP Consultant, comments in the video that “thanks to AMP, we’re making progress towards the formalization and transparency of data so that it can be used by decision-makers.”

In the near future, the DRC government plans to make AMP available at the provincial level, aiming to support better aid management and appropriation by provincial governments. Mr. Mombong is helping to coordinate pilot programs in the provinces of Kinshasa, Katanga, and Orientale. “As soon as these programs are conclusive,” said Mr. Mombong, “we intend to roll out AMP to all national territories.”