CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

Engaging Together for Real Change

Posted by civilsocietyindex on May 6, 2011

CIVICUS is pleased to announce the publication of the Civil Society Index country report from Senegal. The project was implemented in Senegal by Forum Civil, with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The report tells us that Senegalese civil society has strong values but a weak structure and the environment for its work are relatively weak. The study also shows that civil society has a noticeable impact on Senegalese democracy and the country’s development, but this too could be improved.

Values of collectivity and collective action are part of Senegalese culture, and it is upon these values that civil society can build its forces. Senegalese civil society has contributed towards improving good governance in the public sector at national and local levels. It has been working to strengthen democracy, to build a law abiding state and to promote human rights.

The generally recognised weaknesses of Senegalese CSOs are their lack of ability to plan, monitor financial management, sustain human resources and follow up their programmes and actions. Civil society promotes transparency but does not sufficiently practice what it preaches. Above all, CSOs have shown themselves little able to work in synergy on a long term basis in order to combine their forces and attack the problems of the Senegalese people. There are also weaknesses in the mobilisation of the population in the long term so as to ensure CSO impacts.

Nevertheless, the report identifies that a new generation of civil society members is present today. This generation wants to play a role in the political context, the equal sharing of resources, prevention and handling of conflicts, instilling a law abiding state and enabling efficient citizen participation in managing affairs that affect their lives. Senegalese youth wishes to take its country’s destiny into its own hands, and it is notably very critical of leadership examples and the working of state structures, even of civil society structures.

To read the full report click here

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