Capital: Dakar

Official Language: French

Population: 14.13 million

The Senegal Country Program was launched in August 2009 and has focused its interventions on fostering citizen participation in decision-making (especially youth and women) processes at grassroots level, promoting transparency and accountability mechanisms and citizen’s control in public service delivery, supporting reforms of the justice sector and the media environment with the aim to combat impunity and strengthen the participatory democracy.

The country office has thus positioned itself strategically to provide substantive assistance and on-the-ground knowledge to both civil society organizations and states institutions. The Foundation seeks to play a catalyst role through building innovative and fruitful linkages between states and non-states actors for better chances to achieve the desired societal changes.

During the past 2012 presidential and legislative elections, OSIWA dedicated specific interventions towards ensuring free, fair and peaceful elections. OSIWA worked to strengthen public institutions charged with enforcing the provisions for electoral accountability set by the African Union and ECOWAS and foster dialogue on needed electoral reforms. To strengthen Senegal’s judiciary, OSIWA supports advocacy for the adoption and implementation of progressive laws, with a specific focus on the penal code, the family law, the regulation of the media environment and the adoption of a freedom of access to information law. With regard to the legislature, OSIWA will seek to help reinforce the capacity of parliamentarians to control the implementation of the national budget and to ensure the enforcement of anti-corruption laws. The foundation will work to strengthen transparency and accountability in managing public funds by supporting citizen oversight and improving access to information.

The country program will deepen the work already started with a greater focus on:

  • Strengthening citizens’ participation in governance processes ;
  • Working with civil society and the media to build a social movement demanding electoral accountability and ensuring the probity and integrity of candidates in the 2012 elections ;
  • Support civil society monitoring of campaign promises ;
  • Work with a coalition of CSOs to advocate for the enforcement of laws governing fiscal accountability in public procurement.

OSIWA is also greatly concerned by the inhumane condition that street children, commonly called talibes, endure in Senegal. The country program is planning to work on this issue in the coming years. Building on the initiatives so far made by civil society organizations and other funders, OSIWA will seek innovative and lasting solutions to protect this vulnerable population from further human rights abuses and to press for legislation that ensures their human rights, including the right to education.

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