RESOCIDE is the French acronym for the Civil Society Organisation Network for Development. RESOCIDE is a network formed by 14 organisations in 2002 with the legal status of a national association under the Law 10/92 governing the association freedom in Burkina Faso. RESOCIDE has three main intervention areas; 1) the contribution to fair global governance. In partnership with other organizations and networks worldwide, it takes part in different movements aimed at setting justice and peace in the world. 2) Conducts research on the different aspects of civil society and 3) promotes human rights at national level. To achieve its different goals, RESOCIDE has developed links with some regional and global civil society umbrellas like the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), the West African Human Rights Defenders Network (ROADDH), and CIVICUS.
At national level, RESOCIDE initiated a coalition of CSOs to monitor public policies, particularly in the field of poverty reduction and decentralisation called CDC/CSLP, which it chairs.
RESOCIDE is a member of CIVICUS’ Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA). AGNA brings together representatives of national associations from different countries around the world to share experiences and activities of the year, and collaborate on common challenges.
State/civil society relations
How does the state view and relate to civil society in your country?
Democracy itself is in turmoil in Burkina Faso. One political group is over dominating the state and all the country’s life. One side of this semi-democratic situation is a tight hidden control of associations by the leading political force. Many associations are created by the state and political actors with the aim to occupy the space of citizens and play a fake democratic game. The legal framework of freedom of association is fairly acceptable and the participatory approach is accepted by authorities. Civil society actors themselves are not very able to fulfil their role in the state-citizen dialogue because of weak capacities.
Have there been any significant changes in relations between civil society and the government in your country in the last year?
Since 2009, there is a clear will to change the legal instrument for freedom of association in order to narrow down the space of expression of citizen groups. Many attempts have been done in this sense but have not been successful so far.
What conditions do you feel need to be in place to allow for a good relationship between the state and civil society at a national level?
The key of the situation is the position of the international community towards the regime. Particularly, donors are indulgent with the political governance including the way they treat civil society. CSOs in the country can’t receive any funding from foreign donors unless the government give its approval. The way out should be an objective and positive treatment of the civil society sector by the government and the donors. Allowing a free civil society space will enable these actors to build a clear conscience of their role and improved their capacities.
The legal and regulatory environment
Are there any particular challenges with the legal and regulatory environment for civil society? (e.g. are the laws outdated / inappropriate / inadequate / over-complex / partial / not properly applied / adequate)?
The Law 10/92 governing the freedom of association is under reform and the new law is increasing the control of the state on civil society.
What recent trends do you feel have enabled or restricted the efficiency of civil society?
The year 2015 represents a key political date with the possibility of a democratic change of the head of the state. This date brings many political actors to prepare for the change and the period beyond 2015. The candidates for the presidency see civil society as a challenge because of its ability to oppose to non-democratic practices. The strategic position for political actors is to control civil society in order to not have it as an enemy in the race towards power.
Funding environment for CSOs
What is the reality of funding in your country? (Access to funding/ patterns of donor support/ restrictions on funding etc.)
As said above, civil society funding in Burkina Faso is strongly politicised. Donors don’t want to support political opposition to the regime and refuse to give any funding to an organisation unless checked by the government.
Where is money going and for what purposes?
The politicisation of the funding of civil society generates a space for corruption and the waste of funds.