ACE Impact Achievements as of February 2020

As at February 2020 the ACE for Development Impact Project had recorded noteworthy achievements in the areas of the effectiveness of some of the participating countries, institutional readiness of the ACEs, project partnerships established, numbers of students enrolled, quantity of research publications, number of internships undertaken and implementation support provided by the Association of African Universities.

Country level Effectiveness Conditions: 1st ACE Impact

The 1st ACE Impact countries - i.e. Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ghana, Guinea and Senegal had achieved country effectiveness by February 2020. In order to be effective these countries had signed their financing agreements with the World Bank, had their implementation plans approved, had designated their core implementing team members and had selected a student representative to be part of their governance structures
Burkina Faso





Institutional Readiness of the ACEs

AAU worked with the ACEs to verify their readiness in terms of having a certified Project Manager, having a functional website, having various policies to support students (Student Handbook, Scholarship Policy, Sexual Harassment, etc.) and having constituted a sectorial advisory board.
48 FM manuals Approved for renewed centers
48 Proc. Manuals Approved for renewed centers
43 Project Management Certificates Approved
40 Implementation support visits

Status of Students, Research Publication and Internships

A total of 5,097 students had been enrolled by the ACEs as of February 2020 – and an average of 17 publications had been produced by each ACE. Practical internships undertaken were largely by students (97%) and the majority of these were national level internships (90%).

Students enrolled in centers

716 PhD Students
2534 Masters’ Students
280 Bachelor Students
1567 Professional Short Course Students
5097 Total Students

Research Publications produced

739 Publications
Average of 17 per center

Practical Internships undertaken

National vs Regional

729 (90%) National Internships
77 (10%) Regional Internships

Students vs. Faculty

778 (97%) Student Internships
28 (3%) Faculty Internships
806 Total Internships

Project Implementation Support

The Regional Facilitating Unit (RFU), which is the AAU, had made significant progress in the development of the Digital Reporting System for the ACE Impact Project. In addition, the RFU, supported the verification, quality checking and reviewing of the 53 ACE Centers’ websites. Help desk assistance was also provided for centers who needed capacity building on quality website designs. The RFU developed 10 newsletter articles about the project and nurtured the ACE Impact Online Community of Communication Officers by sharing information for wider dissemination.

Digital Reporting systems for ACE Impact

1. Stakeholder consultation to match the systems functions and user needs

2. Demonstration of the system completed in February 2020, in attendance WB, AAU, & Verification Agency

3. Additional consultation meetings planned with Experts and centers

Communication support

1. Significantly supported the verification, quality checking and reviewing of ACE Centers Websites
2. Help desk for centers who needed capacity building on website designs
3. Developed 10 newsletter articles on the Project
4. Nurturing of ACE Impact online community of communication officers by sharing information for wider dissemination

Lessons learned so far

• Given the diversity and the complexity of stakeholders, timely planning for ACE supervision missions will remain critical for the project to be a success

• Continuous reference to and use of the ACE Impact Project Operations Manual by centers could enhance efficiency and timely delivery of outputs

• Some project disbursement linked results (DLRs) require more time to enhance their understanding because milestones associated with them are unique to each center/university. These DLRs include DLR 7 (institutional impact), DLR 5.3 (entrepreneurship), and DLR 4.3 (learning infrastructure).

• The ACE Impact project is dynamic, and the digital MEL system needs to be flexible and adaptable to the emerging needs but within the ACE impact project guidelines

• Consultations, Feedback and Learning on the implementation process will remain useful strategies for improvement.