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AGAIB: Community Development Project

Summary : The Support Agency for Grassroot's Initiatives (AGAIB) has been engaged in a Community Development project in Togo since 2008 with the aim of reinforcing the effectiveness of local community projects, to involve the beneficiaries in the conception process and in setting up projects thereby encouraging auto-determination.

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Programme

  • Start date : 2008
  • Budget : 3050000
  • Source and details on funding : Belgian fund for food security and Vets Without Borders

Organisation(s)

  • AGAIB
  • 200
  • Employees : 13
  • Volunteers : N/A

Localisation

Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  17/05/2014
Solution(s) : Democracy and good governance
Country :  Togo
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Rural population
  • Domain :  Work, Health, Education, Training, Farming

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Atchrimi Tossou , « AGAIB: Community Development Project », **Journal RESOLIS** (2014)

Background to the programme

In Togo, a number of obstacles hinder the dynamic of development. Public powers and NGOs have run aground mainly because of corruption and negligence of the real needs of the population. Humanitarian organisations have a responsibility in this failure, by virtue of their lack of transparency, their method of imposing their vision and the discrepancy between their vision when faced with reality.

Objectives of the programme

To put in place an alternative system of development projects which provide a greater role for local organisations, listen to the targeted population and an ability to take decisions while remaining transparent at every level. AGAIB proposes financial and technical support for local initiatives directed towards revenue generating activities and the construction of socio-economic infrastructure.

Implemented actions

- Financial help to as many as 580 local micro-projects.
- Construction of infrastructure (schools, hospitals, school canteens, a hydraulic facility) the development of work involving high intensity labour, the rehabilitation of 100 workplaces generating economic activity (water pools, piscicultural pools).
- Training volunteers in project management and it's compatibility.
- Regular monitoring of the advancements made by different projects (respect for the plan, accounts, etc.)

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

- The improvement of living conditions, a reduction in exposure to poverty since 2008.
- Replanting of more than 2000 hectares of land.
- Creation of jobs: 13,774 new managers (out of a total of 14,000 in 2012), 25,000 temporary jobs.
- Reduction in rural exodus and prostitution.
- The political weight of local structures was reinforced.

Original characteristics

The AGAIB left the choice of initiatives to the beneficiaries who are equally involved at every stage of the project (selection of partners, opening of bank accounts, etc.). They participate equally in the financing of the projects, up to 5%.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

Village Committees for the Development of the Region. Other NGOs who provided technical or financial aid.

Feedback

Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

Significant weaknesses in the areas of education and health have slowed the dynamism of the professional training (illiteracy too widespread for some of them to be useful) and at times have limited the longevity of projects (epidemics, HIV have badly effected entire villages).
Dependence of AGAIB on the World Bank. No dialogue with public powers.

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

To prioritise sanitation and education projects in order to provide the necessary base for economic development. Without these two pillars nothing can be done.

Suggestions for future improvement :

- The importance of creating favourable conditions in which beneficiaries can take over projects.
- Involving and making the public aware of their responsibilities allows them to promote themselves as they are better placed when targeting and responding to their needs.
- Self-financing, even minimal, allows greater ownership of the project.
- Aid given to groups and village committees and not individuals enforces cohesion and limits selfish behaviour.
- Transparency, of information and financial administration, allows a climate of trust to develop between the different actors of the program.
- Not to encourage dependence but promote activities which allow financial autonomy.
- To privilege female groups.

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