Our approach

Listening and acting in partnership

Listening to beneficiaries – considered as true partners – both during the design of projects and throughout their implementation, constitutes an absolute priority for Coginta. Involved at all stages, the partners take greater ownership of the projects, precisely developed to meet their needs. Thus, when formulating a project, Coginta organizes joint missions in order to promote local expertise and take into account the sociological, cultural and anthropological dimensions of the context in which the project will be implemented. The investments to be made (e.g. sites for the infrastructure to be built, materials and equipment delivered, etc.) are identified jointly with the partners so that they truly meet their needs.

Training modules are also developed with the participation of partners, and are often designed and conducted by local trainers. Training or awareness activities for the general public are also developed in a concerted manner, particularly with members of civil society including representatives of customary authorities or associations, young people and women, who contribute to developing the messages to be conveyed. Joint monitoring missions and periodic status updates are also organized according to partner requests and project progress, in order to address, together, any constraints or difficulties encountered.

Promoting an operational approach close to the local populations

For many years, cooperation projects in judicial and security matters were mainly concentrated in the capital, at the institutional level, with a strong commitment to systemic and global reform. These projects, as useful as they were, had little visibility among populations whose access to justice and daily security did not seem to be improving despite significant support from technical and financial partners. Coginta's approach is intended, as far as possible, to be more operational, with projects implemented in difficult-to-access areas where populations have a feeling of disconnection from the State, due to the scarcity of basic services, of which justice and security are part. The issue lies precisely in these economically marginalized areas, far from the centers of power, which struggle to reap the fruits of public policies.

Coginta has chosen to act in a localized manner by implementing cooperation projects that promote the action of security forces and the judicial system to provide better security to populations and allow them to go about their socio-economic activities in safer environments. This approach involves strengthening the conditions for the deployment of security and justice institutions, technical assistance to enable them to become more professional and field work with populations to strengthen the link between the State and citizens.

Adopting a conflict-sensitive approach

When implementing projects, our teams always take care not to unintentionally aggravate community, social or political tensions that could exist in the intervention areas. On the contrary, all activities carried out must make it possible to strengthen social cohesion and peace. For each project, we therefore conduct an in-depth analysis of the context of the intervention area and take into account as much as possible the needs expressed by the partners as well as the points of concern. Our projects are flexible depending on the evolution of the context, thanks in particular to the flexibility allowed by the procedures which govern the implementation of the projects, but also due to the profiles of the members of our teams who know how to adapt and offer solutions or possible corrective measures.

Guaranteeing sustainability by promoting local skills

Coginta works with sustainability in mind. Indeed, our approach is based on the fact that the results obtained during the projects must be long-term and last beyond their completion. To do this, Coginta systematically favors partnership with already existing structures, avoiding the creation of ad hoc mechanisms which would struggle to take root or would be too costly to maintain for the partners. As part of such sustainability approach, Coginta promotes peer training, particularly on themes for which executives and/or technicians from beneficiary institutions have already been trained in the past. Coginta recommends the training of trainers as much as possible, in order to guarantee the sustainability of the transfer of skills and know-how. At the end of the projects, the modules are returned to the partners and a database including all the staff trained by Coginta is given to the institution concerned.

The modules thus developed by Coginta can be reused by the competent institutions and the training provided is valued in career management. Furthermore, as part of the implementation of awareness and prevention activities, traditional community communication channels are favored, with the participation of representatives of different local interest groups (women, young people, religious people, traditional leaders, etc.) to strengthen their anchoring and impact.

Acting for gender equality

As an essential condition for the socio-economic development of any country, gender equality constitutes the basis of good governance. Promoting this equality requires tackling the structural and root causes of existing inequalities, with a view to bringing about systemic changes in terms of representation, access to resources and recognition of rights. Coginta's action therefore aims to guarantee free and equal access to justice, protection against all forms of discrimination and violence, the elimination of obstacles that hinder women's equal access to justice and physical protection.

In addition, Coginta ensures that victim protection services and procedures, legal aid and detention conditions are gender-sensitive (health, hygiene, privacy and security conditions adapted to the needs of women, whether they are victims or perpetrators of crimes). The content of our training activities is gender-sensitive and includes, where relevant, modules on the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence. The infrastructure we build also takes into account the specific needs of women, with separate spaces when necessary.

Furthermore, Coginta works for better representation of women in the security and justice institutions. This underrepresentation in key sectors affects the ability to meet the needs of victims, the majority of whom are women. This also contributes to discriminatory responses based on gender, which are therefore ineffective and aggravate the population’s lack of confidence in the police and judicial authorities. Coginta therefore encourages and supports the recruitment of female staff in institutions responsible for security and justice so that they are diverse in terms of gender, in order to provide adequate access to justice and protection for women and men, according to their specific needs.

Promoting human rights and paying particular
attention to the most vulnerable groups

Human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms inherent to every person, regardless of nationality, gender, ethnic origin, religion, language or any other characteristic. Any country that adheres to an international human rights treaty is called upon to transpose these standards into its national legislation and apply them. In doing so, Coginta supports States in their obligations to respect human rights by protecting individuals against violations perpetrated by state and non-state actors, and to strengthen the power of action of the holders of these rights.

In the security sector, human rights establish appropriate standards of behavior and practices for agents in the exercise of their functions. Among the principles of good security sector governance is the requirement to subject the use of coercive force by security institutions to democratic control, so that it serves to protect individuals and communities and not to threaten them.

So that respect for human rights can contribute to security, Coginta works to promote inclusion, non-discrimination and the participation of populations in security policies. Thus, the accountability of the security sector is expressed through respect and promotion of human rights to allow populations to flourish. Respect for human rights by security sector actors also increases the civilian population's trust in government institutions and effectively prevents conflicts.