The study conducted by the Support Network for Local Initiatives (RAIL) analyzed the achievements of the Cesson-Dankassari Decentralized Cooperation (CDCD) since 2009 in the rural commune of Dankassari. The City of Cesson-Sévigné has entrusted the implementation and monitoring of decentralized cooperation activities to the Association for Solidarity Exchanges Cesson-Dankassari (AESCD) and the implementation of the actions is entrusted to the Network of Educational Actions for Sustainable Development (RAEDD). AESCD and RAEDD both work within the framework of the Franco-Nigerian collective Tarbiyya-Tatali. Consultation with the municipal authorities of Dankassari is permanent.
The intervention components of the cooperation concern many aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals in the following main areas
- Hydraulics and sanitation
- Women’s health and empowerment
- Food Safety
- Geographic information system
They benefit from the support of many organizations in France, the main ones being the City of Cesson-Sévigné, the Loire Bretagne Water Agency, the Brittany Region, Rennes Métropole, the Eau du Bassin Rennais Collectivity and the Departmental Syndicate of Energie 35 and the Departmental Council of Ille t Vilaine, as well as the contribution of the State of Niger.
Overall, all the interventions carried out within the framework of the CDCD are carried out in a concerted manner with all the actors, in particular the beneficiary populations who are associated with the entire project process. The investments and actions carried out have had an impact on reducing poverty and have contributed to the reduction of social inequalities. The study finds that the actions of the CDCD are consistent with the strategies and policies of Niger and the municipal development plan (PDC) of the rural municipality of Dankassari. The interventions are relevant, given the areas they cover and the conditions in which the communities live before the CDCD initiatives. Indeed, the question of drinking water, sanitation, literacy and improvement of income, civil status, reproductive health, are major concerns of the populations before the intervention of the cooperation. . In view of the results of the evaluation, it is clear that the actions carried out by the RAEDD and the AESCD are interested in the real expectations of the populations. They concern the main areas transferred by the State to rural municipalities, namely water and sanitation, health, education, environment. The work carried out is characterized by its relevance, its coherence, its efficiency and its beneficial effects, linked to the sustainability and long-term nature of the CDCD. Unlike ordinary projects that involve little communities, the projects developed by the CDCD were implemented in a concerted and optimal manner. The approach adopted in the implementation of the CDCD, which favored the empowerment of beneficiaries through the establishment of management committees and women’s groups, the transfer of skills to these committees, the involvement of local elected officials and technical services, the coordination mechanism makes it possible to pursue and ensure the sustainability of the results. However, the current level of involvement of local actors in monitoring and decision-making must be improved to perfect the operationality essential for sustainability. It is essential to have at the level of the rural municipality a service that takes care of all the actions carried out by the CDCD, with a reliable database that integrates the interventions of the other partners and a regular follow-up with the municipal services. This necessarily involves the will of the municipal council through local elected officials who promote the actions of the CDCD. Sometimes, the distribution of actions did not take into account the interventions of the other partners of the municipality, which reduces the relevance of the choices of certain localities. This omission is attributable to the rural municipality and its municipal services, as well as to the RAEDD, since since the origin of the CDCD, the AESCD had requested this approach for the proper distribution of interventions. On the hydraulic component, for example, the study shows that some areas have benefited more from the interventions than others. The southeast zone of the municipality has more hydraulic structures than the other parts. Many of the partners concentrate their interventions in the South-East zones, while the North zone, for example, is more deprived.
The study concludes with several recommendations, including
To the leadership of Dankassari:
- develop a plan to turn all boreholes into stand-alone water stations;
- pecruit a municipal water and sanitation officer;
- produce a map of all development actions by nature and by donor;
- involve elected officials in the implementation and monitoring of decentralized cooperation actions.
To technical and financial partners
- adopt objectives and working methods allowing the population of Dankassari to move towards its sustainable development
- work in synergy within the framework of their interventions in the municipality.
The study was funded by the Brittany Region and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.