The establishment of an accountability framework: the key to success in achieving the 2030 ambitions of the GGW



Mrs Ndeye Fatou MAR
Land Department Coordinator
Sahara and Sahel Observatory



The Great Green Wall is a pan-African initiative for the development and integrated management of ecosystems. It promotes Land restoration and sustainable management. Today, it is a reality for millions of Africans. Visible actions have already been taken on the ground, but given the hope placed in this vision, many expectations still need to be fulfilled. The 2020 assessment report prepared under the auspices of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification clearly identified the lack of coordinated actions in the Great Green Wall area. This does not make it easy for the efforts to be promoted nor the expected results to be achieved.

The Ministers of the Environment of the Great Green Wall callout to the international community in September 2020 and the concrete solutions proposed during the “One Planet Summit” in January 2021, have furthered the establishment of ''an accelerator at the level of the UNCCD in order to coordinate efforts and monitor the objectives set around the following 5 pillars of action:

  • Investing in small and medium-sized enterprises, strengthening local market value chains and organizing the exports;
  • Consolidating land restoration and ecosystem management;
  • Multiplying climate resilient infrastructure and facilitating access to renewable energy;
  • A beneficial economic and institutional framework for effective, sustainable, stable and secure governance;
  • A capacity building plan.

Several partners have thus committed to combine their efforts around this common vision and secure a more than € 16 billion funding to meet the 2030 ambitions of the GGW with:

  • 100 million hectares restored;
  • 250 million of tons of carbon confined or avoided;
  • 10 million jobs created; and
  • 400 million beneficiaries.

Now, what is next? How to complete this process of efforts pulled together? Would it be possible for us to say in 2030 “Yes, the objectives were achieved or not” and how?

The OSS, in collaboration with its partners, is implementing several programs in the Great Green Wall area of action. They already allowed several countries to carry out actions of sustainable land management, mobilization of water resources for the development of agriculture, adaptation to climate hazards, and establishment of early warning systems but also and above all to develop tools for monitoring and evaluating on-the-spot operations.

Therefore, establishing an aligned framework is a fundamental step for the success of this common ambition and is necessarily one of the keys to success. Tools must be provided and actions must be undertaken to monitor achievements, step by step, and at all levels, with:

  • The adoption of a harmonized grid of indicators taking into account the specificities of all stakeholders and donors while giving as much priority as possible priority to indicators with spatial references;
  • The release of a common guide on the definition, collection pace, calculation procedures, common rules and standards;
  • Giving priority to an online monitoring and evaluation system for better interaction between the different operators;
  • The establishment of regular monitoring and evaluation activities by a taskforce in order to keep up reporting according to the format adopted;
  • Capacity building for information providers;
  • The different donors focusing on the most urgent needs of information producers;
  • The adoption of a network approach based on partnership.

The establishment of a beneficial accountability framework and an effective monitoring and evaluation system should be everyone's business. On the road to success, every action counts and each step forward must be valued. For this to happen, it would be highly important to reach a common understanding of the methods but also and above all a GGW label that each operator would adopt and use. At this level, African regional institutions have a crucial role to play. Indeed, their field experience and strong collaborations with the different stakeholders in the area is an opportunity for them to build on solid and sustainable technical and scientific foundations.