ASSOAL

Thursday 12 February 2009 by Assoal

Association des Amoureux du Livre
(Association of Book Lovers)
Actions Solidaires de Soutien aux Organisations et d’Appui aux Libertés
(Actions of Solidarity and Support to Organizations and Freedoms)

BP : 5268 Yaoundé-Cameroun, siège national : Quartier Bastos, face Kindjo
Phone nb. (+237) 22 20.10.12 /99 94.79.53 / Fax: (+237) 22 21 46 11
E-mail: assoalcam@yahoo.fr
Websites: www.devloc.net , www.assoal.org, www.rnhc.org

Introduction

Organization

About us

  • A reading club for students in 1997
  • An Association of Book Lovers (Association des Amoureux du Livre) in 1998
  • A social organization of support to stakeholders and processes of local development in 2002
  • Actions of Solidarity and Support to Organizations and Freedoms (Actions Solidaires de Soutien aux Organisations et d’Appui aux Libertés) in 2006
  • An association loi 90 waiting to be acknowledged as a NGO under the terms of Law 99/014

Common vision

  • The ASSOAL members dream of a society in which the social demand (the inhabitants’ voice) would be well-organized and acknowledged;
  • A social demand (the inhabitants’ voice) that would be taken into account in public policies;
  • Public policies developed as part of the permanent dialog and cooperation between the key stakeholders of the three sectors of society (the State – represented by the governement and local land communities, the market – represented by economic companies, and the cultural sector – represented by civil society organizations);
  • A dialog and cooperation aiming at coming up with answers planned according to the needs (citizens’ requests);
  • The planned answers consist in basic social services, infrastructures, or collective equipments made available and accessible to the inhabitants of underprivileged neighborhoods.

Main missions

  • Help develop urban sector development policies that are less unequal, more conducive to equity, the development of underprivileged neighborhoods, and the respect of the environment, and that show the diversity of the different interest groups;
  • Support the creation of multi-stakeholder training groups able to analyse the (economic, social and cultural) system malfunctions, raise the awareness of - and involve - the different stakeholders (State, private companies, development partners, civil society organizations, populations) while giving them a sense of responsibility;
  • Support the new ideas that will come up concerning the urban sector governance and the cooperation, empowerment and awareness raising capacities that will be built;
  • Implement advocacy strategies directed at the persons in charge of urban development public policies at the level of local land communities, and regional, national and if possible international levels.

Working fields and themes

Field of action: Urban development
Working themes

  • Habitat and social housing
  • Social protection
  • Citizen participation
  • Participative budget
  • Basic social services
  • Young and women’s entrepreneurship

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ASSOAL’s objectives

Global objective
Help improve the access to a decent habitat and basic social services for people from underprivileged neighborhoods.

Specific objectives

  • Help people to better organize for them to participate more in the dialog and management of urban development;
  • Improve the supply of – and people’s access to – housing and basic social services in underprivileged neighborhoods;
  • Support the raise of young people’s and women’s income in underprivileged neighborhoods.

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Action methods

  • Capitalization, analysis and exchange of experiences: to build a citizen voice and reinforce the dialog between stakeholders
  • Advocacy and lobbying: to influence and change urban public policies, especially in terms of habitat and housing
  • Participative Budgets to promote economic, social and cultural rights
  • Support to the organizations of people from underprivileged neighborhoods: to strengthen citizen participation and the supply of basic social services, and improve the habitat’s quality, the access to housing as well as young people’s and women’s entrepreneurship.

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Some of our achievements

Capitalization, analysis and exchange of experiences

  • Promotion of the National Network of People Living in Cameroon (Réseau National des Habitants du Cameroun – RNHC); promotion of forums and the inhabitants’ three-yearly meeting (formulation of common propositions for more social and sustainable urban public policies)
  • Promotion of the African Alliance for a Participative Budget (Alliance africaine du Budget Participatif)
  • Promotion of the Platform of Habitat Mutual Insurance Companies’ and Cooperatives’ Promoters
  • Methodological support to the participative diagnostic and the drafting of development plans for the Batcham and Edzendouang communes (districts)
  • Methodological support to the participative diagnostic and the drafting of a development plan for the Nkolo neighborhood
  • Study on the land status of the Nkolo, Mimboman 3 and Nkoabang neighborhoods
  • Creation of a Resource Center for Local Development (Centre de Ressources pour le Développement Local): each year a new knowledge sharing program since 1999, and the access to a documentation center;
  • Creation of the Local Development Organizations Support Office (Bureau d’Appui aux Organisations de Développement Local): a multimedia space with access to high-speed internet, a room and logistics for the meetings’ organization, various websites created and permanently updated, and a plan for communication and media contacts implemented.

Advocacy and lobbying

  • For a decent habitat and access to housing in the underprivileged neighborhoods of Cameroon;
  • For the sharing of health risk: Promotion of the health risk sharing urban system (contribution to the development and adoption of a national strategy for the promotion and development of health mutual insurance companies);
  • So that the voice of people from underprivileged neighborhoods will be heard and taken into account in public policies (Participation in the political dialog and formulation of citizen propositions to reduce poverty and improve local democracy in Cameroon: Ministry of Health (Ministère de la Santé - MINAS), Ministry of Urban Development and Habitat (Ministère du Développement Urbain et de l’Habitat - MINDUH), Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Settlement (Ministère de l’Economie, de la Planification et de l’Aménagement du Territoire - MINEPAT), the Urban Community of Yaoundé (Communauté Urbaine de Yaoundé- CUY);
  • To raise the budgets allocated for social investments in underprivileged neighborhoods: provide support to have the MINDUH’s and Communes’ budgets take local projects into account (youth center, young entrepreneurship, local social policies, Nkolo, Mimboman and Nkoabang’s public roads)

Participative Budgets

  • Promotion of the African Alliance for a Participative Budget and the RNHC’s local governance project and participative budget
  • Methodological support to the creation of the Participative Budget and conducting of the meetings in the Batcham and Edzendouang communes
  • Capitalization and sharing of Participative Budget experiences in Cameroon
  • Participative Budgets are being started in Yaoundé’s communes 1, 2, 4, 6 et 7
  • Promotion of economic, social and cultural rights in the communes’, ministries’ and partner associations’ budgets

Support to the organizations of people from underprivileged neighborhoods

  • Help develop, implement and monitor microprojects focused on basic social services: drinking water (build and operate wells equipped with hand pumps, expand and maintain the network Camerounaise des Eaux – having replaced the former Cameroon National Water Company (SNEC)), electricity (Expand and maintain the AES/SONEL networks), public roads (maintain the access roads to Nkolo and Nkolbikok, and pave the roads in the cité verte neighborhood), hygiene and decontamination (create and manage an hygiene and domestic waste precollection squad in Mendong, Nkolo, Mimboman, etc.;
  • Support small entrepreneurs through Income-Generating Activities (Activités Génératrices de Revenus - AGR) for young people and women: reinforcement of around fifty beneficiaries, 35 Common Initiative Groups (Groupes d’initiative Commune - GIC) and 3 cooperatives;
  • Promotion of young people’s employment: a website dedicated to youth and employment, a local plan for young people’s integration, two crafstmen and young people networks, 1000 people being assisted;
  • Promotion of the Yaoundé Community Mutual Health Insurance Company (Mutuelle Communautaire de Santé de Yaoundé): a development plan, products, a network of partner health units, a team and management tools, etc.);
  • Promotion of 6 Habitat Mutual Insurance Companies and Cooperatives;
  • Assistance provided with a view to obtain almost 50 land titles.

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Some more information about Communication

Written material:
La tribune du citoyen
Support to the Courrier des Habitants

Websites:
www.devloc.net
www.assoal.org
Support to www.rnhc.org
Bank of urban experiences with almost 2000 files
Lists of urban actors classified according to the typology and field of action

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Our targets

Direct targets

  • Populations and their organizations in underprivileged neighborhoods;
  • Young people;
  • Women;
  • The representatives of local public officers and local authorities;
  • The RNHC and its members.

Indirect targets

  • The Civil Society Organizations which will find a favorable space to implement their actions;
  • State services, partners in some fields of activities: policies development, stakeholders’ coordination/cooperation, monitoring of the commitments made;
  • The media;
  • Local authorities;
  • Local development companies. 

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Management and cooperation

Activities management

  • A General Assembly
  • A Board of Directors
  • An Executive Office
  • A General Coordination of the programs

Cooperation system

  • A Steering Committee
  • A Monitoring Committee
  • A Technical Committee
  • Cooperation Committees
  • Several working groups

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Associated networks

  • Platform of Habitat Mutual Insurance Companies’ and Cooperatives’ Promoters in Cameroon;
  • Platform of health mutual insurance companies’ promoters in Cameroon
  • National Network of People Living in Cameroon (Réseau National des Habitants du Cameroun - RNHC);
  • Dialog for the Progress of Mankind (Dialogue pour le Progrès de l’Humanité – DPH), France;
  • Global Network of sustainable local development actors (Réseau mondial des acteurs de développement local durable), France;
  • "Radically Democratize Democracy" Network (Réseau Démocratiser Radicalement la Démocratie - DRD) France;
  • International associative information sharing network for a responsible and solidarity development (Réseau associatif international d’échanges d’information pour un développement responsable et solidaire - RINOCEROS);
  • International Alliance of Inhabitants (Alliance Internationale des Habitants).

Main support partners

  • Ministry of Urban Development and Habitat (Ministère du Développement Urbain et de l’Habitat - MINDUH);
  • The Urban Community of Yaoundé (Communauté Urbaine de Yaoundé - CUY);
  • Yaoundé’s 5 communes 1, 2, 4, 6 et 7
  • The Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid - CORDAID (Netherlands);
  • The Delegation of the European Commission, Yaoundé;
  • The French Embassy in Yaoundé (Cooperation and Cultural Action Service);
  • The Francophone Information Highway Fund (Le Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes - FFI) ;
  • The Support Program for the Structuration of Civil Society Organizations (Programme d’Appui à la Structuration des Organisations de la Société Civile - PASOC);
  • Juristes-Solidarités (France);
  • Terre des Hommes France
  • The Impact Network (France);
  • The "Radically Democratize Democracy" Network (Réseau Démocratiser Radicalement la Démocratie - DRD) France.

Main operational partners

  • The 5 local organizations in the 5 communes
  • The 3 Institutions of Microfinance (IMF) or partner cooperatives
  • The networks of inhabitants’ organizations in the 14 neighborhoods
  • The project promoter associations in the 14 neighborhoods
  • The advocacy group for the habitat and social housing
  • The networks of youth organizations in the 5 communes
  • The task force in charge of supporting and implementing the national strategy for the promotion and development of habitat mutual insurance companies and cooperatives
  • The craftsmen’s networks in the 5 communes
  • The network of neighborhood chiefs in the 14 target neighborhoods
  • The operational offices in charge of monitoring the Participative Budgets of the 5 target communes
  • The AMI (workshops for a social use of information)
  • Habitat and participation
  • The National Network of People Living in Cameroon (RNHC)
  • The Common Initiative Group, SUPRM and the Yaoundé Community Mutual Health Insurance Company
  • The Platform of Habitat Mutual Insurance Companies’ and Cooperatives’ Promoters
  • The service provider structures
  • The network of partner health units
  • The network of media and partner communicators
  • The competent technical services of the communes, the Ministry of Urban Development and Habitat (Ministère du Développement Urbain et de l’Habitat - MINDUH), the Ministry of Estates and Land Affairs (Ministère des Domaines et des Affaires Foncières - MINDAF) and the Urban Community of Yaoundé

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