We developed strategies to link decentralized governance programming with conflict management techniques, which helped bring participatory local government to more than a third of Mali’s communal councils. We trained local project staff to facilitate participatory diagnoses of conflict, identify local conflict resolution mechanisms, and incorporate conflict resolution strategies into planning.
Using a participatory tool that we developed, the Local Governance Capacity Index, we guided communes and CSO partners toward improvements. As a result, nearly 6 in 10 became mid- to high performers, meaning that they improved adherence to legal accounting standards, use of asset record systems, and delivery of annual financial reports. And nearly 9 in 10 communes took innovative actions to improve collection, often in partnership with CSOs.
We helped communes to encourage civic engagement and tolerance through public debates and village roadshows mobilizing more than 73,000 people, the majority of whom were women. Additionally, we elevated the role of radio in civic education and access to information.
Following the coup in 2012, we focused on new civic engagement and conflict resolution activities. For instance, we put in place 25 steering committees composed of village chiefs, Islamic and Christian council members, and members of conflict management committees, who received training to lead conflict resolution efforts.