Benin Citizens’ Dialogues

Benin Citizens’ Dialogues


To enable the various actors of civil society (CSOs) and local authorities to take ownership of the notions of citizenship and accountability.
To encourage civil society organisations and the media to work together, and enable citizens to express their needs clearly in the public sphere and to achieve effective dialogue and communication with local authorities.
To provide lasting support for the management and control of radio stations.


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Project timeline

November 2016
November 2019
This project is finished


Accountability and the citizen-led control of public initiatives today are now crucial to the development policies implemented in Africa. In Benin, civil society has shown a desire for more active involvement in public life. The 2016 presidential elections fuelled a new kind of active and organised citizenship, as exemplified by the online and mobile platform Vote 229, which was created so that people could follow the elections via a network of observers across the country.

The media have a key role to play in this dialogue between civil society and the government.
The Benin Citizens' Dialogues project aims to increase the involvement of the media, so that they play their part in promoting more active citizenship and encouraging greater civic engagement. It follows on from the initiatives already carried out by CFI in Benin, and has been devised by taking account of the results of other projects launched in Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso covering similar issues.
It is aimed primarily at eight community radio stations in the Littoral, Borgou and Alibori regions along with a private television channel, print and online media outlets, and bloggers.

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Project beneficiaries

Print, radio and television journalists, and bloggers.

Project manager


1.Raising awareness of notions of citizenship, citizen-led public initiatives (CCAP) and accountability

  • Open seminar
  • Workshop on key concepts of citizenship
  • Production of small modules (or microprogrammes) on aspects of citizenship
  • Themed workshop on budget monitoring

Producing programmes on citizenship

December 15, 2016

From 22 November to 3 December 2016 in Parakou (Benin), producers and CSO members received training on the production of magazine programmes that raise awareness on citizenship.

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Strengthening radio station marketing and financial management

February 2, 2017

Eight community-based or commercial radio-station managers received training in marketing and financial management for radio stations on a course which ran from 25 January to 2 February 2017 in Bembèrèkè (Benin).

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Training in budgetary monitoring

August 29, 2017

A new training course, focusing on the national and local budget and the law on decentralisation and budgetary monitoring, was held in Benin from 3 to 8 July 2017.

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2.Building journalists’ skills

  • Training in awareness-raising magazine production
  • -Training in the production of focused broadcasts, debate and interaction
  • Production of broadcasts in synergy
  • Editorial management improvement
  • Training in investigative journalism
  • Training in social networks and online media
  • Introduction to data-journalism
  • Broadcast production contest

Newsmakers perfect their editorial management skills in Benin

November 30, 2016

From 12 to 18 November 2016, ten directors from partner media outlets, their chief editors and their programme managers took part in an editorial management training course in Cotonou.

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Civil society leaders introduced to social media in Benin

December 31, 2016

The participants in the Citizen Dialogues project have received training in the use of social media and the development of online presence strategies.

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Understanding the key concepts of citizenship

March 31, 2017

From 28 to 30 March 2017, the NGO SOS Civisme conducted a training course on the key concepts of citizenship in Parakou (Benin).

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Promoting open, interactive discussion

June 12, 2017

Nine producers or presenters from community and commercial radio stations in Benin had the opportunity to build on their skills in leading interactive discussion broadcasts. The training took place in Parakou, from 15 to 27 May 2017.

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Debates and interactivity on Benin radio stations

August 30, 2017

Building on the experience gained from the previous session, a workshop devoted to hosting adversarial and interactive debates was held in Parakou in July 2017 to consolidate the fundamentals of preparing and hosting a radio debate in public.

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3.Strengthening radio station management

  • Training in management and marketing
  • Training in associative management and social mobilisation

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