Supporting the ECOWAS Commission in its Organisational Development

Programme description

Title: Support to the ECOWAS Commission on Organisational Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Nigeria
Lead executing agency: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); ECOWAS Commission
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

Logo Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established in 1975 with the pur-pose of promoting economic integration and cooperation in the region. In 2007, ECOWAS leaders reaffirmed their commitment to effectively advancing the West African integration process. To achieve this goal, the ECOWAS Vision 2020 was developed, with the goal of significantly increasing people's living standards through inclusive programmes in West Africa. In order to realize this vision, the ECOWAS Executive Secretariat underwent institutional reform to become a Commission, a change that broadened the impact of the organisation’s work. 

To maintain efficiency and accountability, the ECOWAS Institutions and specialised agencies must adapt their institutional capacity to coordinate the regional integration agenda. Despite the successes in the structural transformation and organised frameworks of the ECOWAS Commission, the implementation and effective use of existing tools and manuals remains a challenge. The Commission’s strategies and organisational culture are not sufficiently aligned with the intended objectives.

As a result, the ECOWAS Commission’s projects and programmes continue to have an average rate of implementation and the impacts of regional integration are not clearly visible.


The institutional capacities for promoting political and economic integration in the Economic Commu-nity of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission have been improved.

gizimage_ECOWAS COmmission_nigeria


The project aims to improve the internal processes of the ECOWAS Commission as well as the gen-eral organisational culture of employees regarding effectiveness. It promotes the establishment of a Result-Based Management (RBM) framework guided by strategic orientation. The project also sup-ports the internal management units of ECOWAS and its Office of the Vice-President, which contains both the Strategic Planning Directorate and the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. It also works closely with organisational departments with cross-cutting functions such as the Human Resources and Fi-nance Departments.

The main areas of intervention are:

  • Developing the ECOWAS Vision 2050 and its strategic documents;
  • Enhancing the RBM of the Commission’s core processes;
  • Improving the use of internal processes by employees.

The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.


Since the project’s inception, support has been given to the Human Resources Department, helping it establish an internal training unit and an inhouse training curriculum. ECOWAS organisational units are provided with ongoing support in retreats and workshops. 

Four high-level conferences have been organised for the 15 members of ECOWAS’ top management, where they reflected on the Commission’s effectiveness and management styles. The newly intro-duced interactive methodology used at retreats has improved the organisation’s capacity to create a joint understanding of the need for organisational change that complies with international standards. 

Today, ECOWAS Top Management and all Departments of the ECOWAS Commission use interactive methodologies in retreats, allowing employees at professional level to actively participate in the insti-tutional reform processes.

The implementation of the Vision and its Community Strategic Framework (CSF) 2016 – 2020 will draw to a close in December 2020. ECOWAS has already started preparing its successor titled “Vision 2050” as well as its strategic framework and other associated documents. The project also introduced the development of a monitoring & evaluation policy for submission to the Council of Heads of State and Government in order to improve evidence-based decision-making at ECOWAS. The document sets down standards for uniform processes to monitor and evaluate regional integration programmes and defines the role of ECOWAS institutions and member states. A commitment has been made to transparency and accountability.


Latest update: October 2020