In the past, civil society organisations (CSOs) were restricted from accessing information and participating in any form of dialogue relating to the education sector in Burkina Faso. Due to that restriction, CSOs were unable to contribute to the development, implementation, and monitoring of education plans and programmes in the country. However, the Coalition Nationale EPT of Burkina Faso (CN-EPT/BF), a network of diverse civil society organisations advocated successfully for free, quality education for all citizens, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups, such as rural communities, women, and girls. CN-EPT/BF also advocated for enhanced working conditions and training of teachers, early childhood care and youth and adult literacy.
With support from the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF), the CN-EPT/BF demanded that there should be an increase in transparency in the handling educational matters in the country as well as an improved educational sector. They started by lobbying key decision-makers for more open and inclusive conduct of activities relating to education. They also carried out a variety of actions to increase citizens’ awareness and interest in education. They targeted decision-makers through public demonstrations and demanded transparency and better governance of the education sector.
The CN-EPT/BF further asked the government to give civil society an official role in the process of crafting education plans and budgets, and in controlling and monitoring of education budgets and spending. For the CN-EPT/BF to effectively play the role it was demanding of the government, training was done for its members in budget analysis and tracking. Research was also conducted into school governance and citizen monitoring.
In order to put pressure on the government and also to ensure that their voices are heard, the group built alliances and partnerships with lots of stakeholders working on the educational sector, such as international non-governmental organisations, the National Assembly and youth groups.
Due to the CN-EPT/BF’s advocacy, the government ensured that a document that institutionalised the relationship between civil society and the Ministry of National Education was developed. The document stipulated civil society’s involvement in developing, validating, and assessing action plans and budgets of the ministry. The document also displayed the ministry’s commitment to transparency by making sector documents and school budgets available to the public and allowing the participation of civil society in the Ministry of Education Councils at county, regional, and national levels.
With the citizens in control of tracking how the budget is spent, civil society was enabled to monitor local level school management, thereby ensuring that the funds reached intended beneficiaries. Information gotten on budget processes by the coalition and its partners were fed back to the Ministry of Education, with recommendations for how to maintain democratic governance of education at local level.
Contact of the Organisation
Coalition Nationale EPT du Burkina Faso (CN-EPT/BF)
Telephone: +226 50 38 83 72
Source: Campaign for Education
Photo source: DFID- UK Department for International Development