The fundamental mission of ODI-Sahel is to promote the social and economic well-being of the communities of the Sahel. It aims to contribute to the socio-economic, organisational and institutional development of rural and urban communities through a participatory approach, taking into account the gender aspect and the protection of the environment. It works in particular on:
- The training and empowerment of communities with a sustainable and equitable management of their resources and the protection of the environment;
- The promotion of the local potential of populations; and
- Support of peasant organisations for genuine self-promotion at ground level
ODI-Sahel works through participatory diagnosis to identify the priorities in every situation. It places particular emphasis on gender and taking into account vulnerable groups in all its interventions, with local populations always considered as key partners. Through analysing the economic and social environment of every programme, it seeks to turn those priorities into lasting change.
ODI-Sahel is national in scope but primarily involved in the Mopti region of Mali. It has developed strong partnerships with peasant organisations, poor and decentralised communities, and groups association of people with disabilities.
ODI-Sahel is a member of the climate Change Network Mali. Since August 2005, ODI-Sahel has held the Presidency of the Mopti Regional Water Partnership, and since January 2006 has been a member of the Malian Coordination of actors and professionals of drinking water and sanitation (CAPEA). It is also a member of the Network of West African Stakeholders in Water (CAP-Net) and the Global Water Alliance (GWA).
ODI Sahel has run significant projects in many different areas, including:
- Sustainable management of the conservation area of the Mare de Gossi.
- Environmental support against desertification in Youwarou and Sebi.
- Conserving biodiversity in the Konosoro floodplain Location: Soye and Socoura, Mopti.
- Developing mains drinking water and sanitation in Mopti, Bankass and Tenenhou.
- Developing agreements on the integrate management of water resources and conflicts.
- Campaigning against and providing support for the victims of gender-based violence.
- Initial financing for income-generating activities.