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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

SUNY/CID Legislative Strengthening Program Helps Bring Parliament into the Constituencies

In September 2014, the USAID funded Legislative Strengthening Program in Cote d’Ivoire (LSP) and the National Assembly of Cote d’Ivoire (ANCI) introduced an innovative program to enhance citizens’ participation and representation in the governance of their constituencies through greater engagement between local community leaders, CSOs and citizens and their national deputies through the creation of political platforms for improvements in the delivery of public services.

Participant speaking during an information session in Yopougon

Participant speaking during an information session in Yopougon

"USAID assistance will consolidate democracy at the local level by favoring the participation of the Citizen in good governance."
-The Secretary General of the Governorate (Prefecture) of Man

The LSP and ANCI also designed and tested a public services delivery assessment tool to be used to develop the political platforms. 75 respondents from Korhogo and Man provided recommendations for organizing the platforms, assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of basic services delivered to them, and their perceptions of the role and responsibility assumed by the local and national officials in services provision. At the conclusion of the test, the MP for Korhogo stated "USAID support will allow MPs to effectively communicate with the citizen, who, in turn, will better understand his/her role." The Secretary General of the Governorate (Prefecture) of Man added, "USAID assistance will consolidate democracy at the local level by favoring the participation of the citizen in good governance."

In order to inform and encourage the participation of citizens in the pilots and ensure that they understand the nature of the effort, LSP devised a unique communication strategy. Building on the oral tradition of the Ivorian local community, LSP engaged theater comedians to "sell the message" with humor. This proved wildly successful. In Sorobango, instead of an expected audience of 150, up to 522 community members showed up to engage in the local collaborative platform and share their ideas for progressively improving services delivery with their national MPs and local executive authorities for progressively improving services delivery and to engage in the local collaborative platform.

See more of SUNY/CID's work in Cote d'Ivoire

Posted October 07, 2014
Updated January 20, 2015