ProDEC explains bureaucratic routines for mayors, civil services and authorities

Account to the public, win consent: Manuals support administrative reform in Niger

2021-06/ Instability and vulnerability to terrorist surge to power such as suffered in Niger these months, require a policy of small steps. To assist the process of democratization and devolution that is attempted by the Nigerian government the ProDEC programme has edited three manuals, supported by ECO Consult.

To regions struck by political crisis as currently in parts of Western Africa long-term approaches of democratization and devolution of power are the most promising to fulfil a vision of sustainable development. These processes, among others, rely on citizens capable to exercise their rights. In turn, for citizens to voice and act on their own behalfs it is essential that local administrations account for their work and bring it before the public. Corresponding legislation such as, for instance, mayors' reporting duties twice a year on local development plans, budget spending, administrative response to public demands, has been put in place in Niger's recent years of decentralization. But overall, a corresponding bureaucratic culture and tradition yet needs to come to life. ECO consultants, as local implementers of the ProDEC programme jointly with GOPA Consultants for the last three years, have contrived three booklets to spur the process.

The manuals define the concept of public accountability by local government executives, point out its legal basis and present chronological steps as ways of action, devicing roles and responsibilities. They address mayors and town councils as well as local governmental service agencies, national authorities and NGOs, to inform and shape an awareness for the individual citizen's and interet groups' right to be informed and participate in the definition, implementation and evaluation of communal action as a solid basis for good governance and sustainable communal management. Although the setting and reported experience is of course specific to Niger (or even the ProDEC intervention area) the booklets' utility is by no means confined to that. The manuals could contribute to other audiences' endeavors too, to delineate the way to a culture of transparency and mutual trust in local public policies. The roughly 50-page-manuals cover the following issues: (i) Reddition des Comptes par les Audiences Publiques (RCAP), (ii) Contrôle Citoyen de l’Action Publique (CCAP) and (iii) participatory (interactive) radio broadcasts as a tool for civil participation.

At the end of the current ProDEC interventions it remains our duty to capacitate stakeholders to participate in planning, implementing and monitoring of public policies and work towards consensus among local people. Without any blueprints or short-cuts on this way it remains to create sensitization and empowerment in a policy of small steps.


Prize awarded for best poem on woman's role in agricultural adaptation

Competition encourages youngsters to reflect on climate change

2021-05/ A young women is winner of a poetry contest that was organized in Burundi by the Environmental NGO "Réseau pour la Promotion de l'Education Environnementale" (RPEEBU). Danny Christa NSANZIMANA of the Environnemental Club of the Ecole d’excellence Lycée Ngagara (above, middle), convinced the jury by the outstanding performance of her poem with the title "Qu’elle vive" ("So that she can live"). Her 47 lines in praise of a woman farmer who adopts new cultivation methods to cope with changed climate conditions in the fields was selected prize-winning at the final ceremony on May 15th in Cankuzo.

60 pieces of poetry had been selected for the final competition. They were composed and most of them declaimed by students of associated high schools throughout the Bujumbura region.

The contest was supported by the ACCES+ programme of German cooperation, with a GIZ representative  also present in the jury. ECO Consult, which is implementing one line of action of the programme, has composed an accompanying booklet with a compilation of the 21 best poems (see excerpt above, right), to be distributed country-wide. >Download here (PDF, French, 5.4 MB). As GIZ's programme representative, Stephan Hauch, underlined: "Our nearest future lies with young people and women, and the future of all our humankind is tied to climate and environment".

In this sense the competition was to encourage young people to reflect on the phenomenon of climate change and sensitize them to the importance of adapted agricultural practices.They were invited to cast their thoughts about climate adaptation into poetry, under the title: "Women as indispensable players in the sustainable management of water and soil for nutritional security".

The ACCES+ programme intervenes for the sustainable management of water and soil for nutritional security in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

In the picture on the left: Adeliselle KERUMUCO of Lycée Etoile des Montagne d’Ijenda; on the right: Ami Eloge HABINEZA, ECOFO MUSHASHA I school.



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