7. Sustainability and Accountability
The developed capacities in lobby and advocacy of the program partners, the setting of coalitions, the large range of studies that generated arguments, all contributed to enforce power for sustainable actions toward the government and private sector. Dialogue spaces have been created to assure future proofness. For now, and as midterm results effective legislation for the shea and cashew sectors (decrees, laws, formal dialogue platform, etc.) is really in progress and the change in policy makers’ attitude appears as due indications for the sustainability of the results of the program.
To enhance the multi-stakeholder dialogue, Civic Engagement Alliance facilitated the establishment of both a Cashew Coalition and a Shea Coalition, both platforms rallying all non-state stakeholders in the sectors. In these coalitions, participants develop joint positions to solve the problems in the sector and engage in joint lobby towards the government.
In order to have better documented arguments, and to open up the working of a sector, the Cashew Coalition undertook a convincing case study (commissioned to ECDPM, the Netherlands), among other, geared at the capitalization of the successful experience of Ivory Coast; world leader of cashew production with more than 700,000 tons/year. The study contributed to better understanding the driving forces of the rapid development of the cashew sector (regulation and functioning) in Ivory Coast in order to be adapted to the Benin context,
Local NGOs, community based organizations and unions are the actors of the program. They meet quarterly in a steering committee for mutual exchange and adjustments. Studies carried out have been disseminated to grassroots level producers and the position paper is also distributed to them (downward accountability).