The Supporting the Yearly Training Programme of the École de Maintien de la Paix project aimed to strengthen the impact of peace operations (UN and non-UN) by directly addressing the challenges related to paring deployed personnel. More specifically, the project sought to reinforce the École de Maintien de la Paix (EMPABB) to host training of African personnel deploying to peace operations. The project planned to achieve its goals by enhancing accessibility to the regional training centre, empower local trainers to deliver impactful training and equip personnel from the region to effectively operate in high-risk environments.

The project activities consisted in i) a review of the EMPABB internal operating framework; ii) establishment of a roster of certified trainers; iii) delivery of pre-deployment training; and iv) delivery of training on cross-cutting topics of Malian and ECOWAS Member States representatives.

The evaluation assessed the project against the six OECD/DAC criteria: relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, likelihood of impact, and likelihood of sustainability. The evaluation also used these criteria to identify good practices and potential challenges that the project had encountered throughout its implementation. The evaluation was carried out between December 2022 and July 2023.

The evaluation adopted a mixed-methods approach using various analytical tools to draw findings and focused, actionable recommendations. Several challenges in data collection were encountered throughout the evaluation being these i) trainers not always being able to discern between activities implemented between the evaluand and other UNITAR projects for which EMPABB was also the implementing partner; ii) lack of contacts of final training participants; iii) lack of baseline measures for some of the logframe indicators; and iv) limited access to project documentation.

Key evaluation findings and conclusions

Relevance:  The evaluation found the project to be relevant for all stakeholders, though not equally across all project components. The organisational strengthening component could have benefitted from a more comprehensive gaps assessment conducted in closer collaboration with EMPABB.

Coherence: The evaluation did not find any overlap or duplication in the thematic areas and teaching methods offered by EMPABB and UNITAR, despite the wide landscape of organizations providing training in Mali. Moreover, the training was perceived by stakeholders as practical and well-aligned with the needs of the security forces, civilians and the prevailing contexts.

Effectiveness: Assessing effectiveness proved challenging given the lack of baseline measures for some of the logframe indicators. However, the project performance was deemed satisfactory given its short time frame, with successful training implementation and positive feedback from both participants and trainers. On the other hand, the evaluation found the institutional assessment’s final report, the bilan, to be limited in providing strategic recommendations critical for EMPABB’s achievement of financial independence and adoption of a business strategy. The evaluators could not access the roadmap document to inform EMPABB's future organisational strengthening strategy.

Efficiency: A revision of the relevant information available, the project’s financial approach was deemed suitable for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany to continue supporting its foreign policy for peace and stabilization in the Sahel. While the payment structure to EMPABB in tranches caused some delay, the financial modality proved effective in supporting the project's objectives. The project was highly effective in delivering all training activities in such short implementation timeframe.

Likelihood of impact: In spite of the limitations mentioned above the evaluation traced progress of intended outcomes over time under the broader context in which the project was implemented, i.e. considering any previous related UNITAR project interventions. In this framework the evaluation found evidence of observable impact across all previous interventions with regards to strengthening security forces readiness to deploy to peacekeeping operations and strengthened capacity to work in high-risk environments, and progress towards gender mainstreaming in pre-deployment training.

Likelihood of sustainability: The project’s sustainability is visible in its efforts to enhance EMPABB's capacity to conduct training with trained trainers. The project’s focus on reinforcing EMPABB’s independence is also a reflection of the project’s sustainability. While progress has been achieved in this respect, there is a need to further expand the number of trainers to ensure lasting impact. Collaborative partnerships and EMPABB's transparent organisational structure have contributed to shared responsibility. Additionally, efforts to diversify revenue sources and digitize training methods are promising, but the project's considerable reliance on donor funding for its operations remains notable.


The evaluation issued a set of five recommendations:

  1. Continue to enhance the pool of trainers.
  2. Address the organisational gaps within EMPABB to strengthen collaboration and establish a collaborative process involving EMPABB’s directors.
  3. Enhance the project’s M&E framework by refining outcomes and integrating qualitative indicators alongside quantitative metrics.
  4. Further promote gender integration and advance the WPS agenda by continuing efforts and taking additional steps to ensure meaningful progress in this area.
  5. Communicate actively and regularly with other international organisations working in the field of peacekeeping and capacity-building in Mali and the Sahel.

Lessons learned

The evaluation identified four lessons learned as a result of the evaluation process:

Enhanced and Sustained Funding for Desired Outcomes

Sustaining funding is essential for achieving consistent outcomes and driving meaningful changes, as exemplified by the Training of Trainers (ToT) initiatives and the dedicated efforts to train and empower female officers as trainers.

Adapting Organizational Structural Gap Assessments

When conducting organisational structural assessments, it is crucial to tailor the approach and methodology to the specific context and the maturity level of the entity. This adaptability ensures that the assessment is relevant, effective, and valuable for the organization's growth and development.

Importance of Training of Trainers Refresher Courses

Regular refresher ToT courses are highly valuable and necessary to maintain an active and motivated pool of trainers. These refresher courses contribute to the continuous professional development of trainers, including with evolving best practices and methodologies in the field of training.

Addressing Gender Bias

There exists a divergence in perception between female and male trainers regarding the inclusion of gender and human rights topics in training curricula. This gender bias highlights the need for ongoing efforts to promote a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to gender-related issues, ensuring that all trainers recognize and address the necessary topics in their training programmes.

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