The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the Government of Senegal (GoS) meet its own development targets to decentralize management and fiscal authority by delegating decision-making to regional and local governments, improve transparency and accountability at the national level, and consolidate and improve the quality of democracy in Senegal.
Since 2012, USAID has supported GOS commitments to strengthen the independence of key political institutions, improve service delivery and accountability, and protect human rights.
INCREASING CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT PROCESSES
USAID works with civil society organizations to increase their ability to hold government institutions accountable and to effectively engage the public in improving governance in Senegal. USAID funds elections activities such as public information campaigns, domestic observation of elections, public issue debates, and building the capacity for courts and magistrates involved in the electoral process. USAID also promotes women's empowerment and civic engagement programs to improve women's participation in decision-making roles in the home and the community. USAID-supported community radio stations help women speak for themselves and play a critical role in decision making in important community matters.
STRENGTHENING EFFECTIVE LOCAL GOVERNANCE
USAID is supporting Senegal’s decentralization reforms and improving local government’s ability to be responsive to citizens. USAID-funded activities strengthen the ability of local governments to respond to citizen requests, improve management of local public resources, and foster community participation in the management of public services. This work is done in collaboration with state institutions, local government, and civil society, often integrating approaches such as participatory planning, and community monitoring of service delivery in health, education and other areas.
USAID also supports GoS efforts to effectively and sustainably reduce human trafficking, especially involving vulnerable children. USAID is working at the national level, as well as with several local Dakar municipalities, to reduce the incidence of forced begging while improving educational and health outcomes for children.
IMPROVING NATIONAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
USAID-supported activities improve transparency by providing public access to GoS budget information, providing parliamentary assistance, and supporting various commissions within Parliament with technical expertise to strengthen national policies. In addition, USAID is working to improve citizens’ access to government decision-making processes, enabling them to have constructive discussions with policy-makers around approaches and decisions.
PROMOTING PEACE-BUILDING IN CONFLICT AREAS
USAID is addressing the Casamance conflict directly through activities such as conflict resolution at the grassroots level - including the cross border area, and indirectly through facilitation of high-level political meetings and dialogue. Activities work to build opportunities for conversations among civil society, local authorities and security actors to break down existing barriers and create a common agenda for peace, which will also allow opportunities for economic development.