Document no. 3:6 (2003-2004) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of the effectiveness of Norwegian development aid to Mozambique was submitted to the Storting on 19 January. The aim of the audit was to assess the performance of aid projects in Mozambique supported by Norway, the projects’ poverty orientation, and the risk assessment and management of development aid projects by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The audit included a review of documentation for 31 aid projects, which together represented approximately 75-80 % of the Norwegian bilateral development assistance to Mozambique in 2000 and 2001. Six projects within priority areas such as energy, health and the fisheries sector, and NORAD’s risk management related to its financial support to Mozambique’s fiscal budget, were studied in greater detail.
The audit revealed that there was inadequate documentation available to assess the achievement of objectives of the Norwegian-funded development aid projects in Mozambique, and that NORAD’s reporting on progress and goal achievement is not up to the agency’s own standards. The review of the six individual projects revealed a consistently low degree of achievement of objectives compared with the original targets set for the projects, and that there was considerable disparity between planned outputs and achieved outputs.
The main objective of reducing poverty and contributing to economic growth that benefits the poor in particular was not sufficiently operationalised in the planning documents that formed the basis for decision-making. The findings of the study of the six individual projects also showed poor performance in terms of poverty reduction.
The review of the documentation for the 31 selected development aid projects showed only limited implementation of NORAD’s own routines for assessing project risks and sustainability. The audit also revealed that in the period 1996 – 2002, there were deficiencies and weaknesses in NORAD’s risk assessment and management of the financial support to Mozambique’s fiscal budget. Furthermore, the budget support was disbursed for six years from 1996 before it could be documented that the funds received were recorded in the main account of the Ministry of Finance. The Office of the Auditor General queries whether NORAD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have an adequate basis on which to monitor and control that funds for budget support has been used to increase public spending in social sectors and to finance measures for poverty reduction.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is concerned about the weaknesses pointed out by the Office of the Auditor General and has announced measures to improve the quality of the development aid co-operation in general and measures aimed at the support for Mozambique in particular.
This report is available in Norwegian on the Office of the Auditor General’s website – www.riksrevisjonen.no – or can be ordered from the University bookshop Akademika, tel. +47 22 11 67 70.