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Citizen Control of Public Action: The Social Watch Network in Benin

In the 1990s, the democratization of Benin’s public institutions, together with government withdrawal from the production of many social goods, promoted the emergence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). Initially, NGOs and CBOs were meant to take over the provision of public services. Gradually, they would also defend the interests of their members or intended beneficiaries. At the same time, civil society organizations (CSOs) from other countries intervened at the international level through multilateral summits to make other voices heard besides those of government.

The Social Watch Benin network of NGOs was initially created to monitor the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, because of the national issues at stake and the involvement of some of the network’s members in the Benin Social Watch’s Citizen Control of Public Action (CCPA) initiative at a local or sectoral level, the network broadened the scope of its activities to the national level. The CCPA experience has allowed CSOs and grassroots participants to increase their contributions to the establishment of good governance practices to achieve the MDGs. Social Watch has also developed dialogue and advocacy capabilities with different Beninese institutions such as the Economic and Social Council and the National Assembly.

The chapter emphasizes the original aspects of Social Watch Benin’s initiative, which combines capacity building, critical analysis, research, dialogue with the state, advocacy, and demands.

Uploaded on: Jun 13, 2017
Last Updated: Jun 14, 2017
Year Published: 2010

Resource Tags

Resource Type: Impact Evidence Issues: Education, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Health, Livelihoods, Policy Advocacy, Women's Rights Tool Type: Journal Articles & Books, Training Resources & Popular Education Method: Promoting Citizens' Participation in Governance Languages: English Regions: Benin Nature of Impact: Change in law or policy, Citizen Action & Participation, Legal Knowledge and Skills, Null Impact Scale of Intervention/Impact: Unknown Institutions Engaged: Local legislative representative, Media, National Legislative body, NGOs, President / Cabinet Evaluation Method: Case Studies