21 October 2021
Vue d'Abidjan depuis la mer. Immeubles en arrière plan
Abidjan - Côte d'ivoire - Wikimedia Commons
The EICPAD project (Expertise, Engineering and Skills in the service of sustainable development policies of local auhorities in French-speaking places) brings together communities from Morocco, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Madagascar as well as French local authorities in order to to mutually reinforce project management and engineering capacities for development and equipment projects by including adaptation to climate change.

Cerema and CIEDEL (international center of studies for local development development - Catholic University of Lyon) are the technical partners in this decentralized cooperation programled by the AIRF(international association of French-speaking regions). This program was the winner of a call for partnerships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The objective: to share project management and engineering practices

Plage du Bénin touchée par l'érosion (dunes attaquées)
Benin coastline - Cerema

This program will be launched in early November for the upstream phases, and the first activities are expected to start in December 2021. The overall objective of the program is to share practices, terms of project management and engineering, in a perspective of ecological transition and adaptation to climate change.

The French-speaking local authorities that are members of the international AIRF network encounter difficulties in using territorial expertise in their area when they have to ensure their competences of project management in the fields of territorial development and equipment. This observation is reinforced when the projects they are carrying out concern the issues of transition and adaptation of public policies to climate change.

The EICPAD Project "Expertise, Engineering and Skills for Sustainable Development Policies of French-speaking local authorities" aims at strengthening the capacities of 32 local authorities in Benin, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Morocco, as well as 3 national associations of local authorities of these countries in this field.

This inter-regional cooperation project aims to strengthen the links between the French regions involved in the project with the French-speaking territorial authorities beneficiaries and on the other hand to participate in the realisation of reflections and tripartite projects associating two communities of the French-speaking area and a French community, this with the objective of contributing to the development of synergies and decentralized cooperation between multiple stakeholders.


Strengthened exchanges between Francophone actors

The 6 proposed actions will be spread over a period of 12 months and will primarily be targeted at the technical staff of the communities with a referent agent who will be responsible for informing, disseminating and transmiting within the services of his community the knowledge acquired and the experiences transferred throughout the project. Each community will also mobilize an elected official who will be informed of the progress of the project and who will be involved in the first action of the project (action 0), and during the last action (action 5).

The course of the program is as follows:

  • Action 0: Launch of the project at the AIRF 2021 General Assembly of AIRF 2021 which was held in Lyon on October 11 2021 ;
  • Action 1: Each participating community conducts a self-diagnosis of its organization and its performance in terms of territorial expertise on the basis of a questionnaire proposed by AIRF, Cerema, CIEDEL and CIEDEL and the 3 national associations of local authorities mobilized;
  • Action 2: Distance learning activities, in digital format, will be proposed throughout the project, in order to build a group dynamic group dynamics and to maintain the mobilization of agents, between the "physical" gatherings: animation of a WhatsApp group and 4 collective videoconferences;
  • Action 3: A technical seminar in Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan) will bring together all the technical focal points of the project in each communityfor 5 days. It will address the cross-cutting themes of project management and development;
  • Action 4: A technical seminar in Morocco (Casablanca, Fez or Tangier) will bring together all the technical focal points of each community for 5 days. technical focal points of the project from each community. It continue capacity building around the cross-cutting themes of cross-cutting themes of project management ;
  • Action 5: A technical-political seminar in France (Region to be determined) will bring together, for one last time and during 5 days, all the technical focal points of the project in each community, in the form of a closing seminar on "Assessment and perspectives" which will also mobilize the elected officials in charge of the project ;
  • Action 6: 6 thematic participatory webinars of a 2h30 duration will be offered throughout the project (3 between action 2 and 3, then 3 between action 3 and 4) in a 100% digital format and will address each time a specific area’s development policies :
    • 1) Coastal erosion and coastal management ;
    • 2) Transport infrastructure transport, engineering structures and road safety ;
    • 3) Integrated vision of water management and drought and flood hazard ;
    • 4) Port development and port management ;
    • 5) The energy efficiency and environmental performance of facilities, infrastructure and buildings;
    • 6) Energy transition at a local level (ENR, circular economy, waste management, ...).

Each of the themes will address aspects of adaptation to climate change.

Route n°5 dans le sud du maroc, dans une ville
Road n°5 in the south of Morocco - Wikimedia Commons

In terms of development projects and equipment projects, the aim is to respond to the specific needs of foreign communities, to enrich each other through feedback, and more generally to develop links between French-speaking communities. For example, it will be proposed to to co-construct methodologies, tools adapted to different contexts, cultures and local specificities.

Cerema will intervene at several levels:

  • Preparation and facilitation of thematic webinars: each webinar will be led by an specialized agent who will be able to call on colleagues to prepare and facilitate the presentation. This should constitute a sequence lasting between 2 and 3 hours
  • For the 3 missions in Morocco, Ivory Coastt and in France of one week, the Cerema team, constituted for each of the three weeks of travel, will contribute to all the work: preparation of the meetings on site, thematic workshops and analysis of specific local issues (organization of the MOA, engineering, a specific area for experimentation), synthesis deliverables
  • Capitalization of the network with technicians from abroad and from France in view of other cooperation missions in terms of engineering and expertise.