The power of Benkadi

Climate & Natural resources,Development Policy,Knowledge brokering,Magazine,Poverty & Inequality30 Jun 2022Yannicke Goris

Last year, The Broker embarked on a collaboration with Woord & Daad in support of their 5 year project ‘Benkadi’. To support local consultants in carrying out a power analysis for their baseline studies, The Broker and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) developed a tool for power analysis. This tool is now available for download.

The Benkadi Project is a strategic partnership between organisations from the North and the South, implemented in four countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. As part of the Power of Voices programme it aims at mobilising, strengthening and supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) to contribute to inclusive climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.


The Benkadi programme

The populations of the four target countries are facing severe consequences of climate change. Droughts, heavy rainfalls, degradation of land, floods and various other climate-related disasters are posing a great threat to the living environments and livelihoods of many people; especially of local communities and marginalised groups. By influencing relevant policy cycles in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as the management of natural resources, the Benkadi programme aims to strengthen the resilience of those communities and contribute to the sustainable management of their (living) environments. In this endeavour the Benkadi project stands out for its focus on Southern leadership. From the start local partners are in the drivers seat. The Broker is happy to work with Woord&Daad to support these local actors in where they need it.


A tool for power analysis

In the initiation phase of the Benkadi project, local partners had conducted extensive baseline studies, which also included an analysis of power relations in their target regions. It is for this analysis that our knowledge broker Kiza Magendane and Yannicke Goris, in collaboration with the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) develop a tailor-made tool, the Power Scan. This tool – which is based on earlier tools to analyse power in food systems transitions – provides partners operating in the Benkadi project with an actionable framework to integrate power dimensions and power relations in their baseline studies and identify leverage points related to power, to realise the objectives of the Benkadi programme. Although Power Scan is tailored to the needs and contexts of partners operating in the Benkadi programme, it also has the potential to be applied in other contexts and by other parties when adjusted to their specific objectives and needs. You can download the Power Scan here, in English and in French.


The road ahead

After completion of the baseline studies, The Broker analysed and synthesised the results of the power analyses. With the expert input of WCDI consultants Nina de Roo and Dieuwke Klaver we formulated a synthesis report that identified leverage points for local civil society to best achieve their lobby and advocacy objectives. Having completed the baseline studies as well as their roadmaps for the coming year, Woord & Daad’s local partners are now purposefully moving ahead. This is ‘Leading from the South’ put into practice! Hopefully, in years to come, The Broker will be able to make its contribution once again to this inspiring programme.