The Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM)

The Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM) is an infrastructure project preparation instrument established in 2014 within AUDA-NEPAD. Its main objective is to address the lack of capacity for early-stage project preparation at the national and regional level. The SDM provides technical assistance to countries and agencies that originate PIDA projects, offering services such as institutional advisory, legal advice, communications, and capacity-building support. It complements the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) and acts as a feeder into the IPPF's project pipeline. The SDM strengthens AUDA-NEPAD's capabilities to deliver project preparation tasks in the early stages of technically complex infrastructure projects and ensures compliance with PIDA planning requirements. It also plays a role in professionalizing advisory services by creating the capacity to manage and operate an expert pool facility within AUDA-NEPAD.

Objectives of the SDM

Institutional advisory services:
This support encompasses the institutional design of SPVs that oversees the preparation, construction, operation, management and maintenance of projects.

Legal Advice: This support involves drafting and vetting legal instruments needed to develop an SPV.

Communications: This backing involves preparing project brochures, flyers, publications and communication strategies for projects.

Capacity building: This support involves workplace training, workshops and the drafting of practical manuals, lessons learnt and best practices.

Some examples of projects in the SDM's pipeline include:


Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project: The SDM provides integrated master planning and project-management advisory support, as well as scoping studies for this project.


Central Corridor (CC): The SDM works on creating an enabling environment for inland/lake transportation in this project. The central corridor refers to a transportation and trade route that spans across the central region of the continent.


The North South Corridor (NSC) is one of the projects supported by the Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM). The SDM provides project prioritization and pre-feasibility support for the NSC. The NSC is a regional infrastructure project aimed at improving transportation and connectivity along the north-south axis of Africa

PIDA Service Delivery Mechanism Outcomes

An array of activities have been undertaken under the SDM to scale up its operations since its unveiling, including:

  1. The preparation of a draft version of proposed operational procedures for the SDM. It details the application, internal review and approval processes, as well as thresholds or limits of approval. External co-ordination or steering was also finalised and shared with stakeholders.
  2. To complement SDM financial resources beyond commitments made by GIZ and NEPAD Agency, several fund-raising activities were initiated. Engagements are ongoing with the EU DEVCO to consider the SDM as part of the PanAf programme. Funding proposals have been shared with potential partners, such as the DFID, the OPIC and the SECO for further consideration. If successful, SDM resources are likely to increase to provide for additional advisory services for early-stage project preparation.
  3. A draft application form for SDM resources, indicating project or programme eligibility, as well as initial information requirements was finalised.
  4. Project pipeline development activities were undertaken to complement the fund-raising proposals. These include dialogue with the LAPSSET Corridor Authority, CC and the AUC-DIE for the TAH Missing Link project

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