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Community Engagement

UAlbany’s Center for International Development Awarded $13.4 Million to Strengthen Legislative Development in West Africa

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 6, 2013) – The University at Albany's Center for International Development (SUNY/CID) has been awarded a $13.4 million grant to strengthen legislative development in Cote d'Ivoire. SUNY/CID will help the West African nation’s National Assembly improve its representational and oversight functions by implementing the Center’s "Legislative Strengthening Program."

The five-year grant is through the United States Agency for International Development’s West Africa mission (USAID/West Africa).

National Assembly Building of Cote d'Ivoire
UAlbany's Center for International Development has been awarded a $13.4 million grant to assist the National Assembly of Cote d'Ivoire.

SUNY/CID is recognized as a world leader in developing strategies to help legislatures function more effectively and democratically. For more than two decades, the Center has specialized in designing and implementing "legislative strengthening" programs that take into account each government's unique institutional and societal conditions, the interests of stakeholders, political will, domestic support, and specific needs and existing capabilities in representation, lawmaking, oversight, infrastructure and management. Through the program, SUNY/CID helps nations implement institutional modernization plans, strengthen internal management, and improve all aspects of legislative functions.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to support government and civil society organizations in Cote d’Ivoire as they seek to build stable and accountable institutions to better deliver vital services to citizens," said Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, Director of SUNY/CID. “Strengthening the legislature is particularly important to the country’s economic recovery, not to mention social accommodation and political reconciliation in the wake of a decade of civil conflict.”

The project will be designed to help Cote d'Ivoire's National Assembly more effectively meet their responsibilities in the areas of lawmaking, government oversight, constituent representation and internal management. Within the National Assembly, the project will improve the capacity of research, budget and committee staff to provide deputies’ with the information necessary to improved policy making and oversight.

In addition, the project will work with regional districts – also known as communes -- to ensure regular interaction between the respective deputies and their constituents. Commune-based activities will include the creation of an alliance of critical local stakeholders, and identification of critical community problems that can be realistically addressed by government.

At the national level, activities will focus on assisting regional deputies to articulate needs identified at the local level with appropriate ministries, publically query executive officials, and create a greater culture of accountability.

Learn more about UAlbany's Center for International Development at Rockefeller College.