Civil Society And Government Partnership: A Case Study In Sikoro, Mali
This study is an analysis of current trends in the coordination between Malian government and civil society organizations for poverty reduction. Based on the experience of the Mali Health Organizing Project in Sikoro, Mali, it examines the common experience as a small NGO attempts to establish partnership with the local and national government and navigate the impacts of 10 years of government decentralization. It intends to examine how best to build bridges between, and networks among, existing government and NGO institutions as a means of enhancing development processes and empowering the poor.
This study is based on the theory that partnerships between civil society organizations and their local governments have potential impacts in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery, the quality and responsiveness of public policies, the degree of social exclusion, the expression of public need, and the building of social capital. However, while the theoretical impacts of partnership are large, the study reveals that the current system in Mali is makes it difficult to realize the full benefits of partnership. The study concludes that there is need for a new institutional setup and coordination of poverty targeting mechanisms, These changes should include the establishment of clear policies, responsibilities, training, and financial mechanisms between the central and local governments, and incorporating local capacity constraints stressing coordination and coherence. With these given changes, CSOs can then better communicate with their local institutions as well as among themselves