As part of the Programme to support civil society initiatives (PAISC), in the last three years, GRET conducted four projects in Senegal aimed at strengthening citizen participation in the areas of water, sanitation and the environment. We take a look at these projects full of innovation and learning, all funded by the European Union.
The Sense project, conducted in partnership with the Regional development agency (ARD) and Gaston Berger University (UGB), is one of several projects that ended in the 1st half of 2019. Sense made it possible to strengthen multi-stakeholder dialogue on the role of users in the sectoral reform of drinking water in Senegal. A user representative system was also tested by the project in the Gorom-Lampsar area, the first water services delegation in a rural area in Senegal. The representative capacities of the Users’ federation committees were also strengthened.
Ultimately, concrete proposals were drawn up in order to monitor drinking water services within public service delegations. The results of this action-research were documented via the production of several capitalisation deliverables.
The Sunu Gox project, conducted in partnership with the Y en A Marre movement, made it possible to strengthen young people’s sense of citizenship in the suburbs of Dakar, through the implementation of projects to develop and embellish public spaces. Approximately twenty urban development initiatives, together with awareness-raising actions conducted by young people’s associations were undertaken during the project.
It is worth highlighting the strong involvement of the “Y en a marre” movement, which conducted extensive work on networking, awareness-raising and advocacy on issues relating to the environment and young people’s sense of citizenship, thereby actively contributing to the success of this project.
The Pact project, conducted with the Forum Civil association, supported the participation of local civil society organisations in monitoring of drinking water and sanitation services and policies. With this support, the project strengthened the capacity of more than 70 community-based organisations, providing them with a tool for monitoring and analysis of investments in and quality of the services. This collaborative approach enabled the implementation of a tool for civic certification, which was tested in the regions of Saint-Louis, Kolda and Kédougou, with a view to being extended to other regions.
The Pradalis project, conducted with pS-Eau and other partners, made it possible to strengthen the involvement of civil society and local authorities in sustainable sanitation services in intermediate localities in Senegal. A system for technical and financial monitoring of sanitation (Stepha) was tested in Richard-Toll and Rosso-Senegal. This tool was aimed at facilitating the involvement of local authorities, populations and civil society in the issues of wastewater treatment, hygiene and public health. A methodological guide for the development of appropriate sanitation services for these communes is currently being published by the Pradalis project partners.
These four projects, although very different in their purposes and approaches, enabled GRET to progress its reflections on its position in favour of citizen participation. Some initial lessons learnt can be highlighted:
– The mobilisation of legitimate stakeholders expressing themselves in the national public debate (Y en a marre, Forum Civil, UGB) is a key element for work in the area of citizen participation.
– GRET’s position in these projects is one of support/backup, providing its expertise and its methodological support for better understanding of issues in a territory or sector, and the production of reliable information and analyses subsequently enabling construction of advocacy and civil society mobilisation.
– Coordination between sectoral dimensions (water, sanitation, environment, etc.), territorial dimensions (neighbourhood/regional approach, etc.) and advocacy at national level is also a common thread in these projects.
Ultimately, apart from their specific results, these projects were sources of innovation and learning for GRET, in terms of its position and its actions supporting citizen participation.
See the Sense project factsheet
See the Sunu Gox project factsheet
See the Pradalis project factsheet
More information on GRET’s “Civic issues and democracy” activities
Read the Sense project booklet (in French only)
See GRET’s activities in Senegal