Burkina Faso Compact

A landlocked country bordering the Sahara Desert with a gross national income per capita of $670, Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and as such is susceptible to an array of external shocks that have, in recent years, included low rainfall, occasional floods, and desertification. Eighty percent of Burkina’s poor live in rural areas and the country faces several severe constraints to economic growth including: high factor costs especially in water and agriculture, lack of secure property rights, high transport costs and limited human capacity. In July 2008, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a five-year, $480.9 million compact, designed to increase the country’s economic growth and reduce poverty by investing in four project areas:   

  • agriculture;
  • land tenure;
  • roads; and
  • girls’ education.

Compact investments targeted very poor beneficiaries, 68 percent of whom earned less than $2 per day.  These investments were made with the understanding that the Government of Burkina Faso would adopt significant institutional and policy reforms around road maintenance, agriculture, water management and land tenure during the Compact, all intended to improve the larger investment climate.  At the end of the compact in July 2014, the Government of Burkina Faso had met all of the Compact’s policy and reform conditions precedent and disbursed more than 98 percent of the anticipated compact funds to improve land tenure security and land management, enhance the volume and value of agriculture production, expand access to markets through investments in the road network, and address primary school completion rates for girls. However, the estimated direct benefits from the project investments are projected to be less than anticipated over the 20 year compact period.  This was due in part to the difficulty of gathering sufficient reliable baseline data, especially concerning potential agricultural increases in zones connected by the roads investments, during compact development. The Government of Burkina Faso and MCC expect more than 1.1 million people to benefit from the investments. Further details of the compact results and impacts will be shared in forthcoming impact and performance evaluations. 

  • Original Amount at Compact Signing: $480,943,569
  • Amount spent: $474,765,824
  • Signed: July 14, 2008
  • Entry Into Force: July 31, 2009
  • Closed: July 31, 2014

Estimated benefits at the time of investment correspond to $303.8 million of compact funds, where cost-benefit analysis was conducted:

  • 1,181,296Estimated beneficiaries at the time of investment over 20 years

  • $-65,700,000Estimated net benefits at the time of investment over 20 years

Compact Changes

The Burkina Faso Compact included significant capital investments in infrastructure and capacity building. Because MCC compacts are fixed amounts and executed over five years, partner governments must maintain focus on obtaining results while constantly balancing changes to costs and the rate of implementation. During the Burkina Faso Compact, MCC and the Government of Burkina agreed to make adjustments to compact targets due to changes in estimated costs and the initial project progress, including:

  • In October 2011, after receiving bids that were significantly higher than initial MCC estimates, MCC reduced the size of Dî irrigation scheme sub-activity in the Agriculture Development Project and reallocated funds from other activities to cover the increased costs. In January 2013, as savings were realized through contingency management and visibility increased on total costs, MCC reinstated the initial number of hectares along with an additional 144 hectares. The $13.5 million for construction of these hectares (500 hectares in total) was funded in part by the release of almost $6 million in Agriculture Development Project contingencies, as well as money from the Access to Rural Finance loan fund and the rehabilitation of district markets sub-activity.
  • In July 2012, MCC reallocated funding within the compact to modify the Roads Project and cover increased costs of construction for two of three of the Primary Roads whose bids exceeded the amount MCC initially budgeted under the compact. The additional cost for the two roads was covered primarily by shifting $14.1 million from the Rural Roads Activity. By May 2013, due to effective management of contingencies, MCC reinstated all lots of the Rural Roads Activity into the compact. There was no net change in the number of kilometers of either primary or rural roads completed.
  • In July 2013, MCC terminated the Access to Rural Finance Activity after determining it had not made sufficient progress in achieving project targets. Prior to the termination of the activity, 96 loans valuing $2.8 million had been disbursed to end borrowers. After termination of the activity, approximately $2.2 million from the activity was reallocated to the Water Management and Irrigation Activity. The reflows from these loans are being used to support sustained assistance to water user associations and is managed by the government’s post-compact entity.
  • Certain components of the Rural Land Governance Project were subject to a two-phased approach as a way to allow MCC to analyze the impact of a broad and complicated set of interventions in 17 pilot municipalities before expanding them to an additional 30. In August 2012, MCC notified the Government of Burkina Faso that it had determined the project successfully met the conditions for moving to the second phase. However, based on lessons from the pilot communes, namely the time needed to implement such a broad volume of activities, the scope of the Phase 2 activities was reduced. The activity component changes did not reduce the economic rate of return or substantially reduce indicator targets.

Project Results

Roads Project

  • $194,130,681Original Compact Project Amount
  • $193,891,856Total Disbursed
  • -3.3%Estimated Economic Rate of Return over 20 years

Maintaining national connectivity throughout the year remains the most significant challenge for road transport in Burkina Faso. Poor roads conditions have several negative and overlapping consequences. Road transport costs rise as travel time increases and transit becomes more dangerous; furthermore, impassable roads prevent producers’ access to markets and impede access to social services. Additionally, road maintenance capacity presents a very real challenge for the limited resources of Burkina’s road transport sector. The Roads Project was designed to alleviate these constraints by:

  • paving three primary road segments typically isolated during long rainy seasons;
  • upgrading three lots of rural roads in the southwestern agricultural region, the Comoé Basin;
  • creating and implementing a 5-year national road maintenance plan and a 15-year master roads plan with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation, the Burkina Faso Road Fund and the national Public Works Agency; and
  • providing a one-for-one fund matching mechanism with the Government of Burkina Faso to reduce the country’s road maintenance backlog.

MCC funded the paving, upgrade or periodic maintenance of 525 kilometers of roads by the end of the compact. An additional 215 kilometers were completed two months later with assistance and oversight from the Government of Burkina Faso. MCC also invested in the development of a new road maintenance planning tool to facilitate future planning and continued management of the country’s 16,400-kilometer network, including new primary roads constructed with MCC funds.

Estimated benefits at the time of investment correspond to $148 million of project funds, where cost‑benefit analysis was conducted:

  • 842,584Estimated beneficiaries at the time of investment over 20 years
  • $-42,900,000Estimated net benefits at the time of investment over 20 years

Evaluation Findings

MCC is conducting a performance evaluation of the Roads Project. The evaluation will use the Highway Development and Management (HDM-4) Model to assess the condition of the upgraded roads.  The evaluation is expected to be available in 2018, three years following the completion of the works, in order to enable independent evaluators to measure both the impact of improved roads on traffic as well as evaluate the sustainability of compact investments with regard to roads maintenance. 

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicators Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 actuals (Sep. 2014) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (Sep. 2014)
Development of Primary Roads Activity

Outcome: Support the improvements of three primary road segments of 271 kilometers in western Burkina Faso

Kilometers of primary roads completed
  • The indicators for kilometers of roads completed is based on provisional acceptance of the entire road section (which includes completion of all accompanying signage, drainage, etc). At the end of Q20, some accompanying works remained to be completed. However, these remaining works were completed and accepted as follows: 80.3 km of primary roads on 8 Sept 2014 and 61.2km of rural roads on 21 Sept 2014: 100% of the target.
0 274 194 71%
Development of Rural Roads Activity

Outcome: Improve 151 kilometers of rural roads located in three (3) rural areas in the Comoe Basin, southwestern Burkina Faso

Kilometers of rural roads completed
  • The indicators for kilometers of roads completed is based on provisional acceptance of the entire road section (which includes completion of all accompanying signage, drainage, etc). At the end of Q20, some accompanying works remained to be completed. However, these remaining works were completed and accepted as follows: 80.3 km of primary roads on 8 Sept 2014 and 61.2km of rural roads on 21 Sept 2014: 100% of the target.
0 145 84 58%
Incentive Matching Fund for Periodic Road Maintenance Activity

Outcome: Support sustainable funding of periodic maintenance on the full road network

Periodic road maintenance coverage rate (for all funds) (%) 2 30 72 248%

Agriculture Development Project

  • $141,910,059Original Compact Project Amount
  • $140,420,941Total Disbursed
  • 5.8%Estimated Economic Rate of Return over 20 years

About 13 million of Burkina Faso’s 16.5 million people are food insecure, according to the World Food Programme, and almost one-third of children are stunted. Irrigated cropland accounts for only 0.5 percent of the country’s total land area, and rain-fed agriculture often does not cover a family’s nutritional or income needs. The Agricultural Development Project was designed to expand the productive use of land in order to increase the volume and value of agricultural production in project zones. It was designed to increase rural incomes and employment and to enhance the competitiveness of the rural economies in the Sourou Valley and the Comoé Basin by addressing core constraints typical of rural Burkina Faso, including poor availability and management of water resources, under-performing agricultural practices, and insufficient access to information, markets and credit.

By the end of the compact, the project constructed 2,240 hectares of irrigated farmland in the Dî perimeter, rehabilitated the Léry dam infrastructure, which helps protect investments in the Sourou Valley from catastrophic flooding, trained 7,830 farming households in improved production and farm management techniques, established 16 water user associations and trained 207 of their executive officers, and provided $2.8 million in medium-term loans to 96 small and medium-sized enterprises via the Access to Rural Finance Activity.

Estimated benefits at the time of investment correspond to $97.4 million of project funds, where cost‑benefit analysis was conducted:

  • 65,920Estimated beneficiaries at the time of investment over 20 years
  • $-24,700,000Estimated net benefits at the time of investment over 20 years

Evaluation Findings

MCC is conducting an evaluation of the interventions in the Agriculture Development Project. This evaluation will look in detail at each of the different components in the two activities, using a variety of data collection methodologies.  It will also seek to measure if the Agriculture Development Project program logic was sound and realistic, and whether implementation followed the intended project design.

An impact evaluation of the Dî lottery and a performance evaluation of support to Dî project-affected persons will seek to assess if the amount of land under production or the intensity of production in the Dî irrigated perimeter increased for participating farmers with respect to non-participating farmers, if the project affected the amount or components of household income, and if perceptions of land tenure security have changed.

An impact evaluation of farming training will also seek to determine if agricultural production or household income has increased or changed as a result of project intervention. A performance evaluation of the water management components will seek to measure whether the project intervention has had an impact on water conflicts, irrigation systems, or operations and maintenance responsibilities. MCC is also conducting a performance evaluation of the rehabilitation of district markets and market information systems sub-activities that will measure how transaction and marketing costs for farmers have changed as a result of the market information systems and constructed or rehabilitated markets. Results of this large evaluation are expected in 2018.

Finally, a performance evaluation of the Access to Rural Finance Activity will seek to assess whether beneficiaries were able to access credit made available by the intervention, whether newly available credit was used to make investments in agricultural production and which characteristics of borrowers and other factors strongly influenced decisions to use credit. It is expected to be available in October 2015. 

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicators Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 actuals (Sep. 2014) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (Sep. 2014)
Diversified Agriculture Activity

Outcome: Leverage improved water resources management and irrigation in Project areas to improve yields, diversify products, and exploit market opportunities throughout the agriculture and livestock value chains; lower market transaction costs to increase value added in value chains

Hectares under improved practices as a result of training 0 3,440 3,369 98%
Farmers who have applied improved practices as a result of training 0 6,860 8,237 120%
Farmers trained 0 9,800 12,307 126%
Water Management and Irrigation Activity

Outcome: (focused on the Mouhoun and Comoe basins, and Sourou Valley): more rational and equitable allocation of water resources; reduced risk of loss of control of water in the Sourou reservoir; increased yields, increased cropping intensity, opportunities for growing higher value crops; sustainable irrigation investments

Basin Water Resources Development and Management Master Plan (SDAGE) developed and validated 0 2 2 100%
Local Water Committees established and operational in the Comoé 2 12 12 100%
Number of responsible members of Water User Associations (WUAs) trained in the Sourou 0 160 207 129%
Hectares new irrigated perimeter development in Di 0 2,240 2,240 100%

Rural Land Governance Project

  • $59,934,615Original Compact Project Amount
  • $58,255,723Total Disbursed
  • 10.8%Estimated Economic Rate of Return over 20 years

Eighty percent of Burkinabè live in rural areas and make a living through agriculture, livestock and forestry, but many do not have registration for their land, which discourages investment, provides fewer options for securing loans and opens the possibility of land conflicts. The principal land tenure problem in Burkina Faso is pervasive conflict over land rights and land use, and this conflict is intensifying as a result of population pressures and increased competition over limited land-based resources. The Rural Land Governance Project targeted resolution of these problems by providing support in three critical areas:

  • Legal and procedural change and communication;
  • Institutional development and capacity building; and
  • Site-specific land tenure intervention.

The project contributed significantly to the adoption of the transformational 2009 Rural Land Law, the 2012 Agrarian and Land Reorganization Law, and 52 other implementing decrees and regulations. These reforms established the framework for decentralized land governance, more efficient land conflict resolution, improved recognition of citizens’ rights to land and better land management. At the end of the compact, the project trained more than 8,700 local officials in 47 rural communes on participatory land-use management, land-service operations and conflict mediation in accordance with the new laws. It incorporated 18,000 land parcels into the national registry, established more than 1,000 conflict mediation commissions in the villages of 47 rural communes and secured land rights for 4,793 households, businesses, and other entities. Although 2,167 Rural Land Possession Certificates out of the targeted 6,000 were approved by compact end, 13,000 applications were in process and the Government of Burkina Faso has committed to funding the land administration offices and supporting delivery of certificates post-compact.

Delays in the completion of the Dî perimeter and the approval of title and lease documents resulted in not achieving the targeted number of rural hectares to be formalized by the end of the Compact.  However, 120 days following the close of the Compact, titles and leases had been approved for 1,835 hectares, equivalent to 82 percent of the end of compact target. The Government of Burkina Faso committed to funding and completing rural hectares formalized post-compact.

Estimated benefits at the time of investment correspond to $58.4 million of project funds, where cost‑benefit analysis was conducted:

  • 52,200Estimated beneficiaries at the time of investment over 20 years
  • $1,900,000Estimated net benefits at the time of investment over 20 years

Evaluation Findings

MCC is conducting an impact evaluation of the Rural Land Governance Project, which will seek to assess whether the project led to improved perceptions of land tenure security or a reduction in land conflicts. It will also seek to measure whether improved tenure security or reduced conflict brought about by the project led farmers to change their investment decisions in ways that increase incomes. The evaluation is expected in 2017.

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicators Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 actuals (Sep. 2014) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (Sep. 2014)
Institutional Development and Capacity Building Activity

Outcome: Improve institutional capacity to deliver land services in rural areas

Land administration offices established or upgraded 0 78 78 100%
Number of municipal buildings constructed 0 47 47 100%
Stakeholders trained 0 8,452 61,057 722%
Site-Specific Land Tenure Interventions Activity

Outcome: Ensure that both the Legal and Procedural Change and Communication Project Activity and the Institutional Development and Capacity Building Project Activity yield the intended benefits in targeted areas

Number of land conflicts resolved in the 17 communes of Phase I of the project 673 306 %
Number of land conflicts recorded in the 17 communes of Phase I of the project 860 397 %
Number of rural hectares formalized in the new zone of Di, targeted under the Agriculture Develoment Project 0 2,240 207 9%
Number of Rural Land Possession Certificates (APFRs) approved by the local government 0 6,000 2,167 36%

Bright II Schools Project

  • $28,829,669Original Compact Project Amount
  • $28,829,669Total Disbursed

The BRIGHT program was designed to alleviate three major constraints to girls’ education: inadequate number of schools, school environments without proper facilities for girls and inadequate planning capacity within the Ministry of National Education and Literacy. Building on MCC’s 2005 threshold program, the compact’s BRIGHT 2 Schools Project (Burkinabè Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed) aimed to maintain girls’ participation in primary school by increasing access to girl-friendly school environments. Administered by the United States Agency for International Development, the three-year project was completed in February 2013. 

MCC invested in the construction or rehabilitation of 396 additional classrooms, 122 kindergarten buildings, 264 private latrines, and 17 water pumps. MCC funded the provision of more than 185,000 sacks of rice for take-home rations, as well as provided daily meals for over 15,000 students between 2009 and 2012. Literacy and microfinance trainings were organized for women and mothers in all 132 of the project communities. 

The Burkina Faso Compact was approved with no cost-benefit analysis for the BRIGHT 2 Schools project. Due to insufficient information for monetizing benefits, no closeout cost-benefit analysis is planned for this project.

  • 272,792Estimated beneficiaries at the time of investment over 20 years

Evaluation Findings

MCC is conducting an impact evaluation of the BRIGHT 2 School Project. This evaluation will seek to assess what the impact of the program was on school enrollment, attendance, retention and test scores. It will also look at whether the impact was different for girls than for boys and if the impacts varied by age group. An interim report is expected to be released in July 2015, and the final will be available in June 2016. 

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date

Key performance indicators and outputs at Compact End Date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicators Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 actuals (Sep. 2014) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (Sep. 2014)
All Activities

Outcome: Increase girls' primary school enrollment and attendance rates

Percent of girls passing the annual CEP exam in BRIGHT schools 0 73 78 106%
Percent of girls regularly attending (90% attendance) BRIGHT schools 94 87 96 67%
Number of students enrolled in the MCC/USAID-supported BRIGHT schools (both girls and boys) 20,465 38,619 22,366 10%
Percent of girls dropping out of school 4 2 4 -12%
Girls promotion rates to next grade in BRIGHT schools 0 90 95 106%

Coordination and Partnerships

MCC is committed to working with other donors and international institutions to leverage resources and expertise in alleviating global poverty and creating opportunities for long-term growth. Building in part off the successes of the Rural Land Governance Project, in June 2013 MCC and USAID announced a collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso and other international donors to improve the country’s capacity for land governance and increased transparency in land transactions. The partnership, part of the G-7 Transparency Initiative, seeks to benefit a poor, rural population that depends primarily on access to land for food and income-generating activities. MCC also worked in close partnership with international development agencies in the execution of the BRIGHT 2 Schools Project, which was administered by USAID and implemented by a consortium of non-governmental partners including Plan International, Catholic Relief Services, Forum for African Women Educationalists and the Tin Tua Association. Under the auspices of the Government of Burkina Faso’s Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) program, MCC coordinated with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) while drafting its basin-wide IWRM master plans for the Mouhoun and Comoé Basins. In July 2014, following ratification of the two plans by the government, DANIDA leveraged its funds to support implementation of not only the MCC plans but to produce plans for other watersheds using similar methods.

Key Conditions Precedent

To facilitate and incentivize the desired investment outcomes under the compact, MCC and the government of Burkina Faso agreed that the following conditions precedent (CP) would be met before disbursing funds needed for the projects identified below.

Key Conditions Precedent
Key Compact Component(s) Major Condition Precedent or Policy Reform Required Rating
Bright II Schools Project

BRIGHT II Schools Project

Prior to the initial disbursement of program funding, the Government shall have provided an annual budget allocation to the Ministry of Basic Education and Literacy (MEBA) for teacher salaries and other recurring costs for the 132 existing BRIGHT schools as well as the classrooms funded under the first phase of the BRIGHT 2 Schools Project).

Met on time

Bright II Schools Project

BRIGHT II Schools Project

Prior to the initial disbursement of program funding, the Government shall have ensured the placement of, or demonstrated active recruitment for, CE2 (Fourth Grade) teachers for the 132 schools in the BRIGHT 2 Schools Project.

Met on time

Roads Project

Development of Primary Roads Activity

Prior to the initial disbursement of program funding for construction or physical works relating to the Roads Project, the Government shall have delivered the following items, each in form and substance satisfactory to MCC:

  1. An official instrument of the Ministry of Economy and Finance outlining a binding schedule of disbursements for transfers of funding from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to the Road Fund;
  2. Evidence of transfer of funding by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to the Road Fund for the first quarter of the Government’s fiscal year, according to the time frame and manner stipulated in the Schedule;
  3. Evidence that each of Road Fund’s key employees, including, without limitation, its General Director and Technical Director, has been selected and remains engaged; and
  4. Evidence that all necessary modifications to the decrees governing the Road Fund's capacities and operation have been issued.

Met on time

Amended

Roads Project

Incentive Matching Fund for Periodic Road Maintenance (IMFP) Activity

Prior to the initial disbursement of program funding for construction or physical works or periodic maintenance relating to the Roads Project, the Government shall have delivered satisfactory evidence that a five-year road maintenance master plan acceptable to MCC (the "Road Maintenance Plan") for the implementation of both routine and periodic road maintenance work, including annual maintenance targets and maintenance prioritization, has been adopted by the Government, in form and substance satisfactory to MCC.

Met on time

Rural Land Governance Project

Rural Land Governance Project

Met on time

Rural Land Governance Project

Site-Specific Land Tenure Interventions Activity

Prior to the initial disbursement of program funding for construction or physical works for the 47 municipal buildings of the Rural Land Governance Project, the Government shall have delivered satisfactory evidence that each relevant municipality has adopted operational and budgetary plans for municipal building use and maintenance, and in each case approved by MCA-Burkina Faso and the appropriate Government official and in form and substance satisfactory to MCC.

Met on time

Agriculture Development Project

Water Management and Irrigation Activity

Met on time

Agriculture Development Project

Water Management and Irrigation Activity

Met on time