Strengthening Democratic Governance in Senegal

Senegalese holding his ID and voter's card after casting his vote in the 2012 presidential elections
2012 presidential elections: Senegalese holding his ID and voter's card after casting his vote
USAID

USAID/Senegal is supporting the Government of Senegal’s National Program for Good Governance, which includes commitments to control corruption, improve service delivery and accountability, and protect human rights. USAID is also working with civil society organizations to increase their ability to hold government institutions accountable and to effectively engage the public in improving governance in Senegal. And USAID is addressing the Casamance conflict, directly through activities such as conflict resolution at the grassroots level, and indirectly through facilitation of high-level political meetings and dialogue.

WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP AND CIVIC JOURNALISM

USAID’s Women's Leadership and Civic Journalism project promotes women’s leadership at the community level by increasing the presence of women in local media in the Thiès and Diourbel regions. Programs are created and presented by women, featuring interviews with women leaders and portraying women in ways that encourages leadership roles in their communities. The second phase of the program is building capacity for women reporters, ARLS staff, radio staff, and Community Based Organization (CBO) members to help them more effectively advocate (through radio programming and community-based activities of listening groups) for increased roles for women in community decision-making while addressing the underlying barriers that often keep women from these roles.

Since 2015, this concept of a successful grassroots women’s leadership development project has been replicated in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. In collaboration with the local women’s association Santa Yalla and the Network of community-radios for Peace and Development, the project covers 25 communes in regions of Ziguinchor, Sédhiou, and Kolda through 18 community radio stations. The radio broadcasts also cover border villages in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau. 

CONFLICT MITIGATION AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

USAID is developing people-to-people (P2P) programs and activities that seek to promote resolution of conflict in the Casamance, and with cross-border issues in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia and Senegal affected by over three decades of conflict in the Casamance. These programs include:

Strengthening Community Opportunities for Peace and Equality (SCOPE)

USAID is helping communities inclusively resolve local natural resource conflicts, which can play a critical role in community cohesion in the Casamance, to improve their capacity to effectively participate in the Casamance peace process. The project increases and enhances citizen participation – particularly marginalized groups, such as women and youth – in identifying and addressing root causes of the conflict.

Building Sustainable Peace in the Fogni, Through Livelihood Development

USAID promotes peace, reconciliation, and helps improve livelihoods in target communities of the Fogni area. The districts most affected by the conflict are those on the border with The Gambia, particularly Oulampane, Sindian, Djibidione, Djinaki, and Kataba The project is expected to directly reach approximately 20,000 people in 228 villages. The approach centers on small grants to improve livelihoods, build the capacity of civil society organizations (CSO), and improve community dynamics.

BUDGET INFORMATION AND TRANSPARENCY

The Budget Information and Transparency project know as "Sunu Budget" program, which is devoted to public access to budget information, focuses on budget transparency, which is at the center of democracy and good economic governance.

The Sunu Budget program assists the government in disseminating information, promoting a constructive dialogue between policy makers and citizens about the budget, which is the prime instrument for the execution of public policies and government priorities. It is an extension of a USAID project promoting reforms conducive to sustainable democratic governance through capacity-building for members of the National Assembly, and better citizen participation in the decision making processes, law making and implementation.

The Sunu Budget web platform provides and array of information, enabling citizens to understand the budget and related processes so they can have more leverage in the development, implementation, and monitoring of national funding approaches.

COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

USAID’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) program works to reduce human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of vulnerable children under conditions of forced labor, by building the capacity in the Government of Senegal to sustainably and effectively respond to this problem. USAID is responding to the problem with a two-pronged approach. First, by offering Leadership Change Management training and mentoring to members of the National Trafficking in Persons Task Force. And by supporting two Dakar municipalities with direct funding and technical assistance to implement their programs to reduce the incidence of forced begging while improving the educational and health outcomes for children in the non-formal education sector. After two years of support, the local authorities have banned child begging in the municipalities in 2016. This is the first ever strongest and lasting stance against forced child-begging in the country.

Last updated: August 05, 2019

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