In Mali, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is supporting the development of a dynamic, competent and sustainable civil society sector. A consultative process has led to the development of widely accepted standards for a good quality civil society organisation (CSO) and the design of a self-assessment tool to measure an organisation’s progress towards reaching these standards. AKF has facilitated 285 CSOs across every region of Mali to complete self-assessments and has supported the capacity building of 80 of them.
In recognition of the importance of strong relationships between Government and civil society for the nation’s growth, the Foundation has also been working to promote better collaboration between the two sectors. This work has led to multiple fora at Bamako and regional levels with government officials and civil society representatives to identify core opportunities and challenges in the relationship and devise strategies to address these. In addition, this collaboration has led to better inclusion of citizen priorities in government planning and a corresponding increase in tax recovery rates from 20-50% to 60-100% over only one year.
AKF has also supported the development of a comprehensive civic education curriculum, teachers’ guide and modules for use in the non-formal education sector. This guide is being adapted for use in the formal sector as well, thereby laying the groundwork for a population more aware of their roles and responsibilities as citizens.
Additionally, AKF has worked to introduce best practices on corporate social responsibility and institutional integrity in Mali. In partnership with the International Business Leaders’ Forum and Tiri, the programme has trained project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. These interventions are now in the process of being expanded beyond the Network.
AKF has prioritised the development of local civil society institutions as part of its Mopti Coordinated Area Development Programme. As such, AKF is building the capacity and competence of local health, education, agriculture, women’s and microfinance organisations and is assisting them in mobilising local resources to realise their objectives. AKF has also facilitated the creation of village organisations which analyse the context, propose solutions and implement activities to address major development needs.
The programme will gradually strengthen organisations of all the villages in its area of operations. It will support cooperatives and women's groups in the development of sustainable mechanisms for resource mobilisation and will help train 6000 farmers including 3,000 women in marketing and market development.