The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM): An Assessment of Concept and Design
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has been proposed as a key element of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It is important that the APRM be thoroughly debated in terms of concept and design. This paper is a contribution to the debate. The paper derives design criteria for peer review mechanism after looking at some functioning examples. These criteria are—Competence, Independence, and Competition. It is argued that while the APRM is a welcome addition to pan-African institutional structure, its design will have to be improved for it to be truly successful. First, APRM should greatly narrow the scope of its reviews if it is to deliver competent assessments. Second NEPAD should devote significant resources to allow civil society in the reviewed country to do assessments of their own, and to critique the APRM assessment.
WP 2004-01 January 2004
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University