Funded by UNESCO’s emergency fund, an evaluation of the degree of social inclusiveness of public policies in three countries of the Sahel will be launched on Monday 10 June 10 2013 during a workshop held in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Two other workshops will follow: one in Niamey (Niger), on 19 and 20 June, and another in Dakar (Senegal) on 24 and 25 June.
This workshop – the first one to be organized in West Africa as part of an interregional UNESCO programme covering nine countries around the world, including three which are part of the Sahel region – will bring together approximately forty participants in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), on 10 and 11 June 2013. They will be given the opportunity to master the terms of reference related to the assessment of public policies, which will be conducted in this country with the support of the UNESCO.
They will finalize and validate the methodology proposed for this survey developed by a multidisciplinary team of consultants. They will also decide on the composition of the Council Committee in charge of assisting the team that will take the lead for the assessment – whose final objective is to ensure the consolidation of national capacities in Burkina-Faso. The objective is to help the government to evaluate, compare, and reform its national and local policies, as well as that of the regulatory frameworks in which they are being implemented, in order to increase the level of inclusiveness and their social sustainability, including towards women.
The same exercise will also be conducted a few days later in two other Sahel countries, through similar workshops that will be held in Niger on 19 and 20 June, and in Senegal, on 24 and 25 June 2013. All in all, nine countries around the world will be covered by this UNESCO programme.
Everywhere it is to be conducted, the assessment of the degree of inclusiveness of public policies will strive to promote harmonized national and/or local regulatory frameworks and policies that are conducive to inclusive societies and guaranty equal opportunities for all.
Thus, some of the main results expected include the formulation, validation and dissemination of a methodology assessing the degree of inclusiveness of public policies and regulatory frameworks in the concerned jurisdictions. This will be done in a coordinated and participative approach that fosters consensus around the principles chosen for these assessments, the identification of good political practices and lacunas, and the formulation of genuine “roadmaps” for the reform of the assessed public policies.
To this end, partner country governments and all key stakeholders in these public policies definition and conduct processes – including NGOs and other interest groups – will receive technical support and advice from UNESCO experts for the implementation of recommendations and political scenarios, and for the formulation of socially inclusive policies and policy planning processes.
In Burkina Faso, as in the two other Sahel countries where this assessment will be conducted, the workshops enabling the restitution and validation of the results will be organized to ensure a large participation of the concerned populations and enable a wider appropriation of the validated results.
Public policies assessments and Burkinabe, Nigerian and Senegalese regulatory frameworks launched by the workshops of Ouagadogou, Niamey and Dakar, should also contribute to make social inclusion a general objective and an essential component of these three countries’ public policies, leading to the development of inclusive societies that guaranty an equitable access to opportunities for all.
Building inclusive societies is indeed needed and requires a long-term commitment on the part of the international community and especially on the part of UNESCO, which has made it one of the priority themes of its Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme in 2012-2013.
In 1995, the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen has defined inclusive society as being a society for all, in which each individual has an active role to play. This community is based on fundamental values of equity, equality, social justice, human rights and freedoms, and on principles of respect of diversity. It is also equipped with necessary mechanisms that enable citizens to take part in the decision-making process that have an impact on their lives, and finally condition their common future.