Community resilience in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso – OKP-SHL-104897

Sahel project
Sahel project

22 January 2022

Continent: Africa

Duration: 2020-2021

Donor: Nuffic

Partner: Maastricht School of Management (MSM) & European Center for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

08 March 2021

Introduction to the project

In the middle of Africa lies the Sahel realm, which separates the Sahara and the Sudanian Savanna. At this moment, the Sahel is going through a complex crisis that has had serious political, socio-economic and humanitarian consequences as well as consequences of an environmental nature (e.g. climate change) and inadequate governance.

In the light of this crisis, three universities from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso respectively have decided to join forces to improve the community resilience and give a more sustainable perspective for their future. These universities are: Université des sciences juridiques et politiques de Bamako (USJPB/ Bamako), Université Joseph Ki Zerbo (UJKZ-Ouagadougou) and Université Abdou Moumouni.


The project aims to strengthen the capacities of the Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) in the three Sahel countries through regional and international collaboration. The posed challenge for CINOP and partners was to first understand the dynamics between climate change, conflict, security issues and law regulations. Secondly, measures were to be identified and implemented to strengthen the resilience of communities to the effects of climate change and conflict.

Our solution/approach

This project which started 01/09/2020 was formally launched in the beginning of February in Mali in the presence of the Minister of Higher education of Mali. In this launch meeting the following five main courses of action have been presented:

  • The development of a joint research project in the three countries. Collecting and analyzing relevant data and knowledge, disseminating this knowledge and feeding it into different dialogue platforms at community, regional and national levels with the aim of contributing to appropriate policies and responses;
  • The training of trainers in teaching methods and distance learning;
  • A diagnosis of the curricula of the faculties concerned to better take into account the problems of resilience, security and the rule of law in teaching;
  • Facilitation of access to law and justice for communities and vulnerable groups through caravans and legal clinics and dissemination of good practices of resilience (exchange platforms);
  • Strengthening South-South and North-South cooperation through policy dialogue and policy influence in these areas.
Sahel project


At the end of the project, we hope that all partners established a more institutional collaboration with each other and that the research component gives a good overview of the challenges and the solutions at regional, national and local level. We hope to map how the population acts and reacts to improve living conditions, to mitigate climate change and to find peaceful solutions for insecurity and insufficient governance. Furthermore, ideally the university teachers will have improved their distance learning and data collecting skills. The curricula will also be improved to include more important issues in climate change, security and rule of law. The project will give opportunities for students to develop more practical skills in the area of justice (clinique et caravane juridique) by listening to the needs of the local citizens with the organisation of the clinics and the caravan. By the initial implication of policy structures, we hope to influence the policies in economic, social and environmental development with a main focus on climate change mitigation, justice, security and governance in the Sahel.

CINOP was part of this project from the initial development of the proposal and is (partly) responsible for the strengthening of capacities of the teachers, the curriculum development and the clinic et caravan.

Other work in the Sahel region

Capacity Building for a Better Security and Rule of Law System in Mali

New project to promote adolescent sexual health & reproductive health in four West African countries