Media organisations and CSOs working to control public initiatives
Project timetable: Burkina Faso : January 2017 – December 2018 / Guinée : June 2017 – June 2018
Estimated total cost: Burkina Faso : €1.2m / Guinée : €245,000
In many African countries, civil society has expressed a desire to participate actively in public life. Citizen Dialogues is helping to realise these aspirations by providing specific aid for the media, particularly in Burkina Faso and Guinea.
In the wake of the historic elections in Burkina Faso, society has huge expectations surrounding the new regime. Citizen Dialogues, conducted in partnership with UNALFA (Union Nationale de l’Audiovisuel Libre du Faso), echoed this observation and helped the media to relay the aspirations of the citizens with regard to politics and by promoting “virtuous” cooperation between the media, civil society organisations and elected officials. It was in this context that the project started in 2017, by inviting these various stakeholders to sit down at the table to discuss matters of public interest and clarify the role of each stakeholder, at both a local and national level.
Around fifteen journalists from the cities Bobo-Dioulasso and Fada N’Gourma were trained in the production of programmes that allow citizens to express their views in public. 50 or so journalists also enhanced their skills in relation to the political interview, while around 20 journalists from various forms of media (radio, written and online press, television) were introduced to investigative journalism, regarding subjects of public interest, and to the use of open data.
The GAF (Gouvernance Accès Facile – Easy Government Access) search engine, launched under the project, a press manager and an entrepreneur, makes it possible to follow news on meetings held between government ministers and ensure sound governance by providing, in the form of a database, all the deliberations of the government minister meetings and all the public contracts awarded
After having made our contribution to the election process as media organisations, it is only right and proper that we relay the expectations of our listeners to the local executive committee in order to promote citizen-led control of public initiatives. I really appreciated the team work between journalists, local elected officials and CSO members in a spirit of harmonious citizenship!
Raymond Salif Zida, journalist at Savane FM (Bobo-Dioulasso)
A strong tool in strengthening democracy
In Guinea, Citizen Dialogues was conducted in partnership with Aide et Action, via PROJEG (a coordinated programme for strengthening the capabilities of civil society organisations and young Guinean citizens). Sadly, the country still regularly suffers from instances of corrupt governance (such as the questionable awarding of contracts or the embezzlement of public funds), which makes the concept of citizen-led control a powerful tool for strengthening democracy. In 2017, 13 two-person teams (one a journalist and the other a member of a Civil Society Organisation) were supported in the production of citizen-led control investigations and the implementation of a communication strategy for the result of those investigations (media plan, white paper).
Emission spéciale « artiste et citoyenneté » au FESPACO – Mai 2017
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