POSDEV in collaboration with three of its member organizations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Rome, Italy) is providing technical assistance to civil society groups including farmers groups to critically analyze policy issues on agriculture, infrastructure, marketing, decentralization, fiscal decentralization, privatization, agricultural mechanization and globalization, over a duration of two years. The participating member organizations are the African Center for Human Development (ACHD) Ghana, Institut Africain de Gestion et de formation (INAGEF) – Mali, and KOKARI – Niger.

The project will also equip them with advocacy skills to enable them put their concerns on the national agenda for dialogue and policy reform.

At the same time, the programme will seek to lobby local authorities on the need to devolve decision making to the grassroots or to ensure effective participation of grassroots in decision making on local development.

The present program is designed as three pilot projects in identified districts of POSDEV member countries – Niger, Ghana, Mali where member organizations are already involved in strengthening rural producer groups whilst at the same time strengthening democracy and local governance.

It is also anticipated that this process will ultimately input into the formulation of sub-regional economic and trade policies for the general development of the people of the West African sub-region. As a follow-up phase, and advocacy programme will be formulated for CSOs in the sub-region to interact with sub-regional government bodies like ECOWAS, CILSS, UEMOA, WAMT to facilitate consultation and dialogue with CSO to promote accelerated regional integration.

In addition, the programme offers a unique opportunity for civil society organizations at the grassroots level to reflect and input into the current Poverty Reduction Strategy processes and the NEPAD underway and at various stages of progress in the selected countries.

Regional meetings/consultations and technical workshops will be organized in Mali, Niger and Ghana between the coordinator/ facilitators and target groups to ensure the smooth running of the project.

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