Selecting decentralized villages

Selecting intervention villages for development projects on criteria that everybody knows with recipient participation


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BF Burkina Faso
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About the project Edit

(This project sheet was written for 2iE master IDS training. The author would like to clarify that this project is responsible for its own vision and will not be involved in the official vision of a program, NGO and its partners.)

Since the launch of the pilot phase the multifunctional platforms (MFPF) program of Burkina Faso in 2000, the Tin Tua Association put into place a selection committee at its headquarters. The MFPF craze became strong very quickly and requests came pouring in. In 2006, this committee was to analyze more than 300 files per year for the MFPF to install fifteen or so. Instruction time and file analysis were very long. Choices were hard to manage since headquarters had little visibility on specific village realities, (eastern Burkina has 5 provinces and more than 670 villages), risk of lack of transparency in decision-making, as well as choosing “problem” villages.

The Tin Tua Association “Let’s develop ourselves ourselves” in the Gourmanché language is a well-established organization in the area around Diéma – a union of at least 15 village groups that are geographically close and who want to work together – the association’s decentralized structures. Made up of about 500 base groups, Seventeen Diéma brings together close to 10,000 members and are, therefore, very representative of the villages and groups. They support Diéma members that the groups elect for four years. The selection committee, therefore, made the decision to decentralize recipient selection committees to Diéma levels. Therefore, the following process has been put into place:

- The Appropriation and Validation Committee (AVC) attached to Tin Tua headquarters is responsible for operating the annual MFPF distribution to implement in the intervention zone. The committee is made up of all CAC agents and other Tin Tua department heads.

- Request Analysis and Selection Committees in each Diéma: Once distribution is completed, it is the Analysis and Selection Committee (ASC) at the Diéma level where selection of recipient villages occurs. ASC are made up of 55 permanent members including those responsible at DIEMA and 3 observers: a facilitator responsible for MFPF followup, a representative from Tin Tua headquarters and a representative of the CAC. They sit at least once a year depending on the number of MFPF’s programmed for Diéma’s coverage area and the number of requests received to launch the selection process. Communes are involved in two ways: they forward requests from certain villages, the ASC consults so they can give their opinion when the list of priority villages is established which is sent back to the CAV that establishes annual programming on this basis. Now that the process is well established, it should integrate local communities regarding local development plans at all levels of selection.

It is, therefore, the committees close to each requesting villages that now addresses and defends its file for program intervention in its village. Villages not retained can learn why their request was not retained and the strengths of village requests that were retained can be compared to their own.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Unlike the traditional project development approach, choosing recipients is done by project facilitators based on criteria that they are unaware of. This new approach is unique because the program’s village intervention selection process is transparent with the participation of primary recipients which are the rural populations. At the project team’s suggestion, the Analysis and Selection Committee put in place an analytical framework of the files which includes 3 major areas: the village’s knowledge, the requesting group’s knowledge, and the social economic factors. In addition, the field visits by CAS members in the requesting villages are carried out to discuss with the populations and confirm or disprove pre-study data.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

There is the decentralization of the decision to intervene in a village that is given to the Analysis and Selection Committee (ASC) of recipient villages. These committees are put into place from each Diéma and each village has the possibility to present and defend its application file. As well, each application can evaluate for themselves their own chances of success because criteria is known and accepted by them beforehand.

This approach, therefore, gives key stakeholders even more responsibility to develop community-based management with village groups, analyze files with full knowledge more thoroughly in order to limit risks and operate in a transparent manner.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The decision is transparent, shared and decentralized at the field level. Selection criteria is clear. Diémas who follow up are stakeholders from the process startup. For the counselling support unit, it represents a significant savings in time since it is only slightly involved in the process, if only for facilitation and control of the process. As well, it found an increase in quality and reliability in the results of the measures taken since selected villages are very motivated and well organized.

This approach can, therefore, not only be duplicated within all multifunction platform programmes of CEDEAO member states, but also the group of development projects and programs in Africa or elsewhere in the world.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

La sélection des villages est la clé de voûte d'un programme de développement. Elle doit se faire dans un Village selection is key to program development which must be transparent and objective. If the right project leader is identified, the risk of problems arising is minimized. The selection procedure put responsibility on all levels of the project including: women village group, the village, the commune, Diéma, the facilitator, the CAC, NGOs – it is the gage of success for the MFPF enterprise and the measures taken.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The process is a bit heavy and requires a significant investment for startup. Once the process is functioning well, however, startup constraints will fade away.

To hold an Analysis and Selection Committee (CAS) session of a given zone, a financial need of 50,000 francs is sufficient, but it could vary depending on the travelling distances. Representatives of requesting villages are responsible for their own travelling expenses to the meeting location.


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