Inades-Formation Burkina has been supporting the decentralization process in Burkina Faso for nearly 15 years through the implementation of development projects.

Thus, in 2003-2004, Inades-Formation Burkina, with the financial support of the NGO/Diakonia, implemented the “project to strengthen the civil society’s capacities for participatory democracy in the municipalities of Banfora and Niangoloko”. The pilot project involved 33 civil society organizations and local elected officials from the municipalities of Banfora and Niangoloko. These civil society organizations included development associations, trade unions and human rights movements, socio-professional associations and religious communities. The main objective of the project was to “strengthen the technical, organizational and policy capacities of civil society organizations to enhance their participation in local governance. The capitalization of the project has led to results and changes in the functioning of the CSOs involved, in the relationships between CSOs and between CSOs and municipal authorities, and in governance.

From 2005 to 2006, Inades-Formation Burkina implemented a project similar to the one in 2003-2004, with the support of the Fund for Support to the Rule of Law/EU. This project, known as the “Capacity building program for local elected representatives and civil society organizations for participatory democracy in the municipalities of Boromo, Nouna and Dédougou”, involved some 50 civil society organizations and 3 municipal councils. Among other objectives, this project aimed at educating people on democracy, helping them to become better acquainted with their rights and duties as citizens and to participate actively, consciously and voluntarily in the management of their municipalities. The project was capitalized in 2006 in the form of a booklet entitled “Decentralization in Burkina Faso, a fertile field for development: CSOs and local elected officials from Boromo, Dédougou and Nouna to the conquest of participatory citizenship”.

From 2011 to 2012, Inades-Formation Burkina implemented the “Project for strengthening citizen participation for sustainable local development” in 4 regions (Center, Center-North, Center-South and Central Plateau) with funding from PROS/EU. The overall objective of this project was to enable citizens to improve their participation in the development of their localities. It also aimed at enabling civil society organizations to better understand their roles in the development of their municipalities and regions. This project deeply changed youth associations, women’s associations, print media, community radio stations and human rights associations. The project was capitalized in 2012 in the form of a booklet entitled “Civil society and citizen participation: the struggle of civil society organizations in four regions “.

From 2011 to 2013, the Project to support local governance and food sovereignty in the Boucle du Mouhoun, Center North and Sahel regions was implemented by Inades Formation Burkina, financed by the Belgian NGO Broederlijk Delen. A key focus of this project was decentralization and local governance, which targeted civil society actors and municipal and regional councilors. It was implemented in 9 territorial governments, including 6 municipalities and 3 regional administrative centers (Center North, Boucle du Mouhoun).  Its objective was to contribute to the improvement of local governance in the involved territorial governments through greater accountability of the authorities to citizens on the one hand, and on the other hand, greater participation of civil society organizations in the management of local public affairs.

From 2013 to 2017, Inades-Formation implemented, with the support of the PACT/World Bank, “The project to strengthen citizen participation in the Central Plateau region”. This project covered the 20 municipalities in the Central Plateau region and involved all development actors in the municipality and more specifically grassroots organizations such as the pupils’ parents’ associations (APE), the associations of mother educators (AME), the management committees (COGES) for health and education, the associations of water users (AUE) and local elected representatives. The overall objective of this project was to strengthen the management systems of territorial governments in order to improve the delivery of basic social services in the municipalities of the region and improve citizen participation in decision-making at local level. The specific objective was: “Territorial governments are more efficient thanks to better community supervision and the populations are actively involved in local decision-making “.

From 2014 to 2016, together with the Belgian partner Broederlijk Delen, Inades Formation Burkina implemented the project to support food sovereignty, local governance and the sustainable management of natural resources in the northern region of Burkina Faso.  Subdivided into four focus areas, area 4, called “Policy influence and decentralization “, aims to change the strong and autonomous rural world organizations that succeed in influencing public actions and policies in defense of the rights and interests of rural populations. The direct stakeholders involved in this project were civil society organizations and local elected officials.

From 2017 onwards, this project went through its second phase of implementation for a period of 5 years. The influence of policies and decentralization focus of these two phases are implemented in 13 rural and urban municipalities of the Northern region.

Inades Formation Burkina, in its support to the decentralization process, helps Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to become aware of their role in the decentralization process through awareness-raising, training and advisory support actions. Thanks to this support, the beneficiary organizations ended up perceiving their importance and their role in local governance. They are organized in a network to defend the rights and interests of the populations by carrying out influential actions through advocacy and interpellation.

The creation of the CSBs and their mission

In its support to the decentralization process, Inades Formation Burkina, after awareness-raising, training and advisory support actions to raise the awareness of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and their involvement in local governance, supports the setting up of Grassroots Monitoring Committees (CSBs).  CSBs are therefore networks of civil society organizations whose role is to monitor the implementation of public actions and policies at the local level.

Thus, forty CSBs have been set up, five (5) in the Northern region and thirty-five (35) in the Central Plateau region.

The mission of these CSBs is to:

Ensure the monitoring, mainly through the involvement, identification, actions and public policies implemented in the locality;

Collect information on the status of implementation of public actions and policies;

Monitor the implementation of public actions and policies;

Call on decision-makers in case of needs on the implementation of public actions and policies;

Serve as interlocutors for local decision-makers;

Gather the needs of local communities and defend their interests;

Influence local governance according to grassroots community’s concerns.

The Ouindigui CSB, a good example of commitment to local governance

The CSB of Ouindigui, a commune in the northern region, was set up in 2016.  Since its establishment, this committee, comprised of more than ten associations, has actively participated in the management of public affairs in the commune of Ouindigui and has on several occasions defended the interests of the local population. The activities conducted by the Ouindigui Grassroots Monitoring Committee include:

Exchanges with the communal authorities to understand the reasons for the blockage in the subdivision operation;

Denunciation of a case of diversion of medical equipment by an agent;

Reporting on cases of nurse misconduct;

These various denunciations and interpellations are often carried out in a well-organized framework, such as the meeting held at the end of the year between the municipal executive board and the members of the CSB.

In addition, on its own initiative, the CSB often participates in municipal council meetings. These sessions are held once every quarter. To abide by the rules of good conduct of the organizations, the CSB holds once every 6 months a general assembly with all its members in order to assess the activities and plan for the future.

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Diagnostic session in the village of Bolomakote on May 9, 2013
Initiated in September 2012 by the municipal council, the process of elaboration of the land charter of the commune of Bondoukuy, Mouhoun province continues with the support of Inades-Formation Burkina.

Land tenure charters empower local people in the management of land and natural resources. These populations can thus develop new rules for the collective and sustainable management of natural resources in order to preserve the environment, increase agro-sylvo-pastoral productivity by promoting good practices and reduce conflicts related to the use of natural resources. Therefore, these rules must be developed in a participatory way through the involvement of all the local socio-occupational categories concerned by the use and management of the targeted resources.

The Bondoukuy Land Charter deals with common natural resources shared by the community (agricultural, pastoral, forestry, wildlife, hydraulic, fishery resources, etc.) and is developed in three (3) phases.

The first phase, which is the preparatory phase, consisted in informing the population about a large degree of support for this communal initiative, training the actors involved, setting up village land commissions and establishing a diagnosis of current resource management Natural resources in the thirty-two (32) villages of the commune. This phase ended with a workshop to present and validate the results of the diagnosis. The main causes of the degradation of identified natural resources are animal wandering, uncontrolled riverbanks, destruction of vegetation cover and misuse of non-wood forest products (harvesting of immature fruits). Regulatory and technical solutions were proposed during the diagnosis in order to act on these causes. It was these solutions that made it possible to begin the second phase of the process of drafting the land charter, namely that of its drafting.

Indeed, a first work of synthesis, regroupment and reformulation of regulatory solutions was carried out by Inades-Formation Burkina on the basis of the results of the diagnosis. A workshop to present and amend the product of this first work was organized on November 7, 2013 in Bondoukuy. Representatives of village development councils (CVDs) and technical services (Agriculture and Environment) present analyzed and made new proposals during group work. All these elements will serve as a working support for the drafting committee to be set up by the commune of Bondoukuy. The composition of this committee was also proposed by the workshop participants in order to facilitate its establishment and operationalization. The draft charter to be drafted by this commission must be submitted to the discretion of a lawyer, the population, administrative and technical authorities at the provincial level before its adoption by the municipal council of Bondoukuy.

The third and final phase will take place after the adoption of the land charter. This