Diakonia works in several African countries. To read more about a specific country, please use the links in the menu to the left. The work is coordinated from our regional office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Five themes caracterise the work
The Diakonia policy states five themes that characterise all our international development work:
These themes are also the starting point of our analysis of the region and our strategies for how we and our partner organisations best contribute to changing the situation for the most disprivileged.
Diakonia believes the civil society has a crucial role in the process leading to democracy. In some areas of
The majority of the countries have in recent years held multiparty elections, there are several political parties etc. Still, many steps remain to reach truly participatory democracies. For example, the level of transparency needs to be improved, as well as the participation of citizens in decision making processes on all levels.
Gender based discrimination is apparent in all countries in the region. Several initiatives have been taken to improve the situation, such as national policies to promote gender equality. The challenges have been the implementation of these policies. The majority of the poor in the region are women, women’s participation in leadership and decision making processes varies and needs to be strengthened on many levels.
Also the HIV and AIDS pandemic has had a severe impact on the region and the women’s situation. They are for example infected in larger number than males.
The legal framework protecting the human rights is in place in most of the countries in the region. There are also many prominent groups and organisations promoting human rights.
However, the actual practice of the legal frameworks is not present. This is especially obvious in areas that are affected by high insecurity and/or violent conflict. There exist discriminatory structures not only in regard to gender, but also to ethnicity, sexuality, disability, people living with HIV and AIDS etc.
Social and economic justice
Unfair economical structures have a large impact on people’s life as well as on national policies in the region. For example,
Many countries have a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) as a basis for all lending operations. The civil society has had the possibility to participate in the creation of these papers, but still participation and transparency in processes regarding national budgets, trade regulations and agreements needs to be improved.
Peace and conflict transformation
In most of the countries there are different phases of conflict and insecurity. In some areas, the population suffers tremendously. The conflicts have many roots and ingredients and they result in a high number of internally displaced and small arms and light weapons being proliferated. Poverty increases as well as the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. Severe abuses of human rights, particularly against women and children, are also common in these areas.
Linda and Christelle in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, are studying at a school supported by Diakonia. They learn foor preservation techniques, in order to be able to cope better with the difficult climate conditions in their country. Photo: Peter Hoelstad