Analyzing a community empowerment program in five West African countries

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Client: Tostan
Location: Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Guinea, and Mali
Sector: Community Development, Human Rights, Women’s Empowerment
Dates of service: September 2019 to January 2020
IDinsight service: Process Evaluation, Qualitative Needs Assessment
IDinsight contacts: Cassandre Pignon, Zack Devlin-Foltz, Heather Lanthorn
Status: Ongoing


Tostan is a Senegal-based organization empowering communities across five West African countries to develop their vision for a future characterized by dignity for all.

Tostan’s flagship Community Empowerment Program (CEP) assigns a trained facilitator to live and provide classes in program villages for three years. Communities also establish a community management committee (CMC) to select, design, and implement development projects.

To date, Tostan has performed several studies at the outset, middle, and completion of their programs, and would now like to know more about the state of CEP communities roughly three years after programming ended. This study will focus on the norms, behaviors, social dynamics, and governance aspects that Tostan’s theory of change (ToC) expects to be at the root of the wellbeing of women, children, and entire communities.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

IDinsight is assessing the current reality in CEP villages in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Guinea, and Mali several years after program completion. IDinsight will conduct in-depth, qualitative, descriptive analysis of the current state of communities that engaged directly in CEP classes and nearby communities reached by organized diffusion, combined with an assessment of Tostan’s theory of change for sustaining gains in dignity and wellbeing. This will allow us to describe the current reality in CEP communities and compare it to Tostan’s intent and the communities’ visions. This description will further serve as a needs assessment for future Tostan work, identifying potential design changes to make the CEP’s results more sustainable and it will inform the design of further program evaluation.


Project is ongoing.


Project is ongoing.