Asambleas Ciudadanos


the Citizens' Assembly in Mali



Stage 2 Report

Translations : Español . français . English


Mali’s Citizens’ Assembly is a process that aims at creating a shared vision of the crisis that is blocking our country’s evolution as well as of the perspectives to exit this crisis, from the social groups, the various socio-professional means and thematic sectors on all of the country’s scales, starting from the municipalities. The process aims, then, at building a collective vision through the expression of values, challenges, commitments and proposals.

Consequently, it is an open and participatory collective construction process in which dialog, exchange and cooperation relationships between actors from the same municipality, region and country are intertwined. The relationships are not valued and they are encouraged by a shared ethics and aspiration: that of Building Mali from local perspectives. The process, in order for this happen, helps create instances of dialog about common challenges in the country’s different geo-cultural spaces so as to share, discuss and exchange the actors’ various experiences.

The Djoliba Center and the Alliance to re-found governance in Africa form the organizational foundation of the initiative, technically and financially supported by the FPH. To achieve this, they mobilize numerous collaborators and local links throughout the country.


Forty-eight municipalities (distributed in 22 of the 46 circles within the 8 regions of the country and in the District of Bamako) took part in Phase 1. The proportion of rural and urban municipalities was determined based on the sociological, demographic and cultural characteristics of each Circle. The intersection between the country’s different cultural areas and the administrative organization allowed to retain this wide sample of circles and municipalities. Thus, the meetings in each circle first began in the municipalities, where the communal word was produced by the participants through the expression of society values, commitments, challenges, proposals and strategies. Afterwards, the communal delegates (three per municipality, assisted by technical service representatives) gathered on the circle level (main city within each circle, in general). A cross-sectional analysis of the communal words as carried out during the meetings on the circle level, which led to the drafting of a circles’ book of proposals. The number of participants per circle varies depending on the number of municipalities in each circle: from 30 to 12 people. The communal and of the circle meetings last one (1) day each.


The first stage of the process started in the regions of Sikasso and Ségou, on September 2 – 17, 2009 and continued in the regions of Koulikoro and Kayes from December 10 – 20, 2009. Twenty-four (24) municipalities and twelve circles (12) were covered. The field activities were directed by two field teams formed this by a supervisor, a team leader and two note-takers. The team members were trained to use Desmodo.

People’s desire, enthusiasm and commitment to participate in the process could be spotted during the meetings, which contributed to a wide mobilization around the initiative. About one thousand delegates took part Communal and Circle assemblies, and they represented customary and religious authorities, administrative authorities, associations and socio-professional organizations who answered to the administrative organization and the geo-cultural logics of the municipalities and circles. During the first two stages developed in the regions of Sikasso, Ségou, Kayes and Koulikoro, twelve Books of Proposals were drafted – one for each circle. The documents that resulted from the meetings are a diagnosis of the local challenges in terms of ascertainments and challenges, social values, proposals and hypothesis of strategies of change (actions or searches to be carried out or deepened, types of cooperation to be built, etc.) and perspectives towards the construction of a collective project.

Summary of the cross-sectional analysis of the debates

  • Values 

People need to take into account the values and fundamental principles of the organization of societies. In fact, the hiding of values of solidarity, respect towards the common good, equality, among others, has in these peoples’ opinion set them adrift many times. This shows the failure of the development policies and reforms undertaken which face various uses.

  • People’s commitments

These people’s commitment toward their community’s development was shown strongly during the assemblies. In terms of cross-sectional readings, the following commitments can be pointed out:
- Participating in the administration of public spaces, specially by supporting the management of communal and circle public issues, tax payment, questioning representatives about the management of public affairs, participation in public reports and so on.
- Commitment to respect society’s values as the foundation to build perspectives, to manage public issues and social relations so as to guarantee transparency and respect of the common good.
- Participatory commitment to accompany and implement local development actions,
- Promotion of Inter-community and cooperation development.

  • Challenges

In spite of the many efforts made by the authorities and the civil society through development organisms, a certain persistence can be deduced, which translates into challenges lacking adequate answers:
- The provision of basic public services within the de-centralization network translates into an inadequacy and inefficiency of the supply: sanitary care, high supply cost, etc.
- The incoherence of school and university teaching in terms of labor demand,
- The little understanding and poor handling of the challenges from democracy – closeness to democratic values, forms of organization, administration of the country and local communities
- The lack of private opportunities to value local production due to a lack of public policies which attempt to value the informal sector.

  • Proposals and strategies

The proposals and strategies are articulated to build and emphasize values as paradigms of change:
- An increase in the number of sanitary centers, the provision of supplies, qualified personnel and ways to evacuate ill people (one ambulance per municipality); and the valuing of health social security;
- The selection of teachers, the strengthening of their continuous education, the adequacy of the training programs to the market needs, the increase in the number of school infrastructures and the adoption of appropriate pedagogical methods and approaches;
- Favoring a wide understanding of democracy and the challenges connected to the on-going political reforms;
- The legitimacy of traditional authorities is an efficient means to re-dynamize the places of socialization, in order for which there has to be a strengthening of their abilities through their training on the challenges set by de-centralization, democracy, etc.


End of local phase in the regions of Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao and Kidal. Eighteen municipalities, distributed in nine circles, took part in those cities.







1st stage of the Malian Assembly


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