Highlighted results

Contribution to the development and accreditation of comprehensive sexuality education by the government.

Contribution of 50,360 people gaining access to safely managed drinking water services and creating an environment in which services are safe and sustainable.

346,981 temporary jobs are supported as part of the feeder road programmes, allowing young people to collect a start capital to become economically active (start a business or buy a plot of land)

Additional sources

Openaid NL

More project information

Countries page on Dutch government site

Information on current policy towards Benin

Introduction

President Talon came to power in April 2016 with a promising reform programme. His Governmental Action Plan (PAG) proposes reforms in the public sector, investments in infrastructure and attaining Benin’s priority Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). It aims at creating an enabling business and investment climate and at transforming Benin’s struggling economy by 2021.

The results of his policies are already visible in a number of areas, including power supply; reduction of small-scale corruption; reorganisation of the police services; rationalisation of public spending; and the appointment of competent professionals in key positions.

The Dutch policies focus on areas were reforms created a certain momentum:

Inspired by the high number of teenage pregnancies and child marriages, the Netherlands and Benin worked closely to promote comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraceptives, and girls’ rights.

The Dutch water programme provided technical and financial support to Benin’s ambition for universal access to drinking water by 2021, as well as developing national expertise on sustainable use of water resources.

In the agricultural sector, the Netherlands focused on creating economic opportunities for youth. For example rural infrastructure, information technology for agriculture, youth entrepreneurship and securing access to agricultural land.

Finally, with Dutch support the so-called Doing business indicators are slowly improving. It is important to boost the local business environment to attract domestic and international investors, and push regional trade towards its potential.

Results 2018

Apart from realizing significant and concrete thematic results of individual activities and projects, Netherlands’ efforts indirectly contributed to important public sector reforms:

Benin has recently set up several national agencies in order to boost its capacity and effectiveness to implement policies and timely reach the SDG’s. By choosing to collaborate closely with these new institutions, the Netherlands helped to get them operational and up to speed.

Dutch support for the national agency for rural drinking water has facilitated the introduction of a promising scale-up model for infrastructure investments. In addition, Dutch support for the national agency for land registry has already allowed for a more effective registration of land rights. This led to increased legal certainty and transparency.

Meanwhile, Dutch support for complex multi-stakeholder implementation of the governments’ rights policies for girls and women has led to the accreditation of comprehensive sexuality education for Benin.

The Netherlands has advocated strongly for more youth-friendly policies in Benin. Recent developments show that the government of Benin has embraced a more inclusive approach.

Results by theme

Sexual and reproductive health and rights Water Food security

Featured project Benin

Strengthening access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for adolescents and youth in Benin

Improving the situation around sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Benin requires social norm changes. It needs focused lobbying and diplomacy to influence policies in the health, education, justice, as well as the financial sector. Political, religious and traditional leaders, parents, teachers, social sector staff, and most specifically adolescents and youth need to be (made) aware of the advantages of SRHR investments for human development.

Under leadership of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum was developed, teachers were trained and health facilities were strengthened. This will increase and improve the offer of youth-friendly SRHR services.

During this period the Government of Benin formally accredited the curriculum for school based CSE.

Strengthening access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for adolescents and youth in Benin
Details about this project on OpenAid

Read more about this comprehensive sexuality education project on OpenAid

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

The results in context

In Benin, indicators on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) show a high fertility rate (5.6), 30% child marriage rate, 32% unmet need for contraceptives, maternal mortality at 347 deaths per 100.000 live births.

The Netherlands concentrates support to help increase information on SRHR and improve the quality and access to SRHR services and commodities, with a specific focus on adolescents and youth. The Netherlands works with multiple chain-partners (like e.g. private/public hospitals, health centres and local, national and international NGO’s) and multiple line ministries and donors.

The Dutch SRHR programme supports the development and implementation of age-appropriate curricula on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for both in school as well as for out-of-school youth. The programme also addresses the prevention of child marriage. Relevant ministries, United Nations (UN) organisations, local and international non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), youth organisations, religious and traditional leaders, and (among others Dutch) knowledge centres are involved.

In June 2018, the Beninese government adopted the CSE curriculum. This was an important and significant achievement. At the same time, UNFPA worked on the improvement of quality and availability of SRHR services and contraceptives.

Results

Indicator

% of young people reached with comprehensive, correct information on SRHR, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and contraception

Score

3%

Progress

On track

Although on schedule, the number of young people reached with comprehensive sexuality education remains low. However, since Benin has accredited the developed comprehensive sexuality education curriculum, more progress is expected.

Improving SRHR in Benin requires social norm change. Focused advocacy and diplomacy is needed to influence policies in the health, education, and justice sectors. Political, religious and traditional leaders, parents, teachers, social sector staff, and most specifically adolescents and youth, need to be aware of the positive consequences if adequate SRHR services and information is available for all, especially youth.

Benin formally adopted the curriculum for school based Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). This was an important and significant achievement in a context in which traditional and religious beliefs often oppose the implementation of CSE curricula. To ensure buy-in from religious and traditional leaders, a prudent approach had to be taken. This caused some delay in the formal adoption of the curriculum.

In the meantime, teachers received training, out-of-school CSE programmes were developed and implemented through NGOs, and a method for parent-pupil dialogue was developed and implemented. Since the formal adoption of CSE only occurred halfway, the reporting period, improved results in schools are expected from 2019 onward.

3%
Indicator

Number of couples protected by various contraceptives over a 1 - year period (couple - years protection)

Score

627.445

Progress

On track

These results were recorded by NGO’s that are working on SRHR, financed by the Netherlands. Although there are other initiatives and interventions in Benin, there is no reliable data available yet on achievements at the national level.

The expected results are achieved thanks to the free family planning service offer during campaigns organized in the health centers. The use of modern contraceptive methods is still very weak. The unmet need is enormous (32%). The financial and geographical accessibie of contraceptive products still remain a challenge.

627.445

Water

The results in context

Benin has set an ambitious goal to ensure that every inhabitant has access to drinking water in 2021. Currently, about half of all inhabitants do not have access to safely managed drinking water services. The Netherlands supports Benin and non-governmental organisations in obtaining results in this domain and allowing young people to contribute.

Increasing drinking water services is done through funding boreholes, pipes, public taps and household connections. Support is also given to organisations to ensure these services are sustainable. Many communities need basic hygiene and sanitation to ensure that drinking water is safe. The Netherlands also invests in promotion campaigns, infrastructure and supporting relevant organisations.

Supplying water is one thing, making sure water resources are available for different uses as well as future generations, is another challenge. The Dutch programme assists authorities, organisations, research institutes, and NGO’s in improving water management. The main objective is to better measure the amount and quality of water available, how to use these resources sustainably, and how to plan the use of these resources for the future.

Results

Indicator

Number of people using safely managed drinking water services

Score

50,360 people

Progress

Progress, not on track

Many people living in rural areas in Benin still do not have access to safely managed drinking water services. The Netherlands supported 21 municipalities in extending public services, allowing people in rural communities to access drinking water services.

Safely managed drinking water services is one of the main objectives of the water programme. For the period 2016 to 2021, the Dutch water programme aims to contribute to increased access to drinking water supply for over 750,000 people. The programme is currently behind schedule on this objective. This is due to reforms within the water sector and the creation of new implementing agencies. Delays in procurement procedures due to reduced capacity at municipal level and a limited number of specialist service providers played a role. However, extra staffing and a revision of plans should ensure that the objectives are obtained in 2021.

The main implementing organisations are the municipalities, the national urban water provider (called SONEB), the newly created national rural water supply agency, and NGO’s supported by the Dutch agency SNV. Besides safely managed drinking water services, the programme also invests in safely managed sanitation services, including a handwashing facility with soap and water. These activities have not yet been reported, but the programme aims to reach 1 million people between 2016 and 2021. Professionalization of services is an opportunity for employment of young people.

50,360 people
Indicator

Number of river basin organizations supported on water management

Score

3 organisations

Progress

On track

The Dutch water programme supported water resources management by strengthening three organisation, namely the Interministerial Commission on Water (CIE), the National Water Council (CNE), and the Ouémé River Basin Agency (ABO). The Embassy also supported the National water institute (INE), a knowledge and educational institute of the University of Abomey-Calavi.

In order to achieve effective integrated water resources management, water users can be supported by river basin organisations. These organisations develop river basin management plans, create platforms for conflict resolution, acquire knowledge on the availability and sustainable use of water resources, as well as setting rules and regulations on water use.

Through technical and financial support, the Dutch water programme in Benin supports multiple organisations that contribute to improved water resources management. Among others, support is given to the Ouémé river basin agency, which has been planned but not yet installed. The agency is responsible for planning and following-up on integrated water resources management in the Ouémé basin.

The programme also supports national concertation entities such as the CIE the CNE. With the support of Dutch expertise, INE develops planning tools for the Ouémé delta, and increases research and educational capacity for the sustainable use of water resources in Benin. The support to the institute helps young people to build capacity and knowledge in contributing to sustainable management of water resources and services.

3 organisations
Indicator

Number of climate resilient drinking water points constructed.

Score

136 drinking water points

Progress

On track

The Water Transition Fund, which started in 2016, has been completed in September 2018. The programme allowed for the extension of water services in over 21 municipalities. Implemented by 21 municipalities and the national urban water provider, the programme is on schedule to obtain set results.

Following the ending of the multi-annual water programme (called the second PPEA) in 2015, and in the context of reforms in the water sector of Benin, the Netherlands and Benin decided to the implementation of the Water Transition Fund. This fund specifically aims to provide 162,500 people with safely managed drinking water services. It is a temporary fund, which covers the period up to the effective implementation of the water programme OmiDelta. This fund ended in September 2018.

The Fund was implemented by 21 municipalities and the national urban water provider (SONEB). It includes the construction of piped drinking water systems with public taps and household connections; the increase in water production capacity; giving support to vulnerable groups to acquire a household connection; and the strengthening of hand pump maintenance systems. Among other technologies, solar powered water pumps were acquired and installed to supply water to off-grid rural communities, as well as rural communities prone to flooding.

Food security

The results in context

Benin has implemented reforms in the agricultural sector, from improved agricultural advisory to financial services for farmers. The land administration reforms are well under way. In addition, the legislation was changed to create more space for local needs, in particular investing and preserving agricultural lands and environment-friendly land use. Nonetheless, the urban-rural and north-south divide appears to be increasing in Benin, especially in terms of economic opportunities and the digital divide. Food and nutrition security programming has therefore continued to show a strong focus on rural economic development and on investing in youth. For example in rural infrastructure, information technology for agriculture, youth entrepreneurship, and developing rural land plans in order to secure access to agricultural land.

Results

Indicator

Number of people that enjoyed (more) secure tenure rights to land

Score

6,000 people

Progress

On track

More than 6,000 people in rural areas were supported to secure their tenure rights in areas that are known for having a high prevalence of land conflicts. Despite the many campaigns and specific targeting women, only 1,200 of these new tenure rights went to women.

Women continue to be discriminated in many dimensions of society in Benin, despite the laws and treaties that are giving equal rights to women and men. The two main reasons for this inequality are:

• There is no level playing field: women have lower levels of education and registration (for example they do not have a birth certificate).This effectively blocks them from equal access to goods and services.

• Customary laws and traditions: even though it is clear that succession (inheritance) should benefit all children, very often girls and women are excluded. Also after being married, it is normal that land ownership is only registered in the husband’s name.

Taking into account that only 20% of the people who benefited from access to land and land rights are female, even more attention should be devoted to promote women’s rights and ensure that women have equal access to productive assets. In an effort to address these issues better, inclusion and women’s rights has become a key element in the new programme for land administration.

This programme further promotes legal certainty and transparency, and supports the establishment of a national cadastre. Topics like equal access to services, affordability and protection of natural resources are important. In addition, aspects of a cadastre such as spatial planning (for example in better mitigating climate change) will be supported.

Number of people
Indicator

Number of jobs supported in agricultural chains/sectors

Score

346,981 jobs

Progress

Not applicable

During this reporting period, 346,981 jobs in rural areas were created, mostly as part of the feeder roads project. This contribution to employment has mostly benefitted people with relatively limited means of existence and/or in weak socio-economic positions.

Even though while the results in terms of employment are excellent, there remains room for improvement. The evaluation that was conducted showed that the impact of feeder roads in terms of access to agricultural markets and increased revenues for households were limited. It also showed that the created jobs were often temporary/seasonal (maintaining and constructing roads) and more work was needed to offer a decent job with wages that enough to earn a living. Nonetheless, it is clear that with a growing population and many young people without prospects of finding a job, the opportunity to have a salary during a few months is already valuable. It was sometimes used for buying some land or start a company.

These need of young people to be more economically empowered is further strengthened in the Benibiz programme that supports young entrepreneurs in Benin to start or grow their business.

346,981 jobs
Indicator

Number of family farms with improved access to input and/or output markets

Score

16,283 family farms

Progress

On track

The activities, as part of the Agricultural Market Access programme, are focused on strengthening the capacities of producers, food processors and traders, as well as organise them in business clusters for joint marketing, branding and collective bargaining.

This period marked the transition from the first phase into the second phase of the project. The number of beneficiaries turned out to be lower than in previous years. This is a result from the development / start-up of the second project phase, during which the focus has shifted to providing digital and mobile services to producers and have a stronger focus on youth entrepreneurs.

In the new phase of the project, most of the knowledge and information sharing can be done more efficiently and on a much larger scale through digital platforms. These platforms can be strengthened further by digital financial and technical services. For instance from mobile banking, to geo-data and market information. The development of these platforms is a joint initiative together with commercial service providers/software developers.

To achieve scale and ensure that the digital services and learning platforms continue to be in use after the project, efforts are being undertaken to ensure buy-in from national authorities as well as cooperation with other donors that are active in this domain.

16,283 family farms

Background and future Benin

Background

The Netherlands chose to collaborate closely with newly set-up national implementing agencies and to support complex processes in which different ministries and other relevant stakeholders work towards common goals. We learned that operationalising new institutions or new interdisciplinary ways of working together takes time and inevitably causes short-term delays. However, these efforts are now starting to pay off.

Glimpse into the future

The reporting period was marked by planning and designing new programmes and by developing practical implementation, collaboration, and monitoring. The near future will show a return on these efforts by a boost in tangible results. This counts particularly for youth economic empowerment, strengthening inclusion and women’s rights and digitization of approaches to reach a wider audience and be more transparent. In order to produce results, a shift from design towards implementation and monitoring of the programme is necessary. Contexts and realities change constantly and demand continuous adapting of intervention approaches. Together with the Beninese counterparts, the Netherlands is looking forward to seeing:

Broad implementation of comprehensive sexuality education and better sexual health services;

Many new sustainable and safely managed drinking water services, as well as improved hygiene and sanitation services;

More secure land rights and effective national land property registration (cadastre), especially for women;

Digitization, professionalization and innovation in food systems in order to feed a growing population and create (economic) prospects for youth;

Stronger civil society intervention in local governance;

Further implementation of the port masterplan.

Additional sources

Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of Benin on Facebook

Results Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Download PDF with results for Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Benin

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Benin

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Benin

Expenditure by channel

Expenditure

Expenditure by theme

Expenditure