Since 2015, the central regions of Mali have become hotspots of insecurity. Jihadist groups, military operations, intercommunal violence, and conflicts between pastoralists and farmers frequently converge, making life difficult and dangerous for the people living there.
To better understand how the local population perceives security, governance and socio-economic development, SIPRI and its partner Point Sud have conducted quantitative panel surveys of 1800 households in the 15 cercles that comprise central Mali, every three months since 2019. These surveys are part of the European Union-funded project ‘Central Mali for Security and Development, which aims to explore the complex reality of the security situation in central Mali and communicate it in the most comprehensible way possible.
To do this, the project has produced a short, full colour comic book, Écoutez-nous! (Hear us!), beautifully illustrated and designed by the Malian publishing house Editions Seyna.
Écoutez-nous tells the story of the project, from its conception to the recommendations it has made to the EU and Malian authorities. Key survey findings are spoken by characters representing different population segments.
Copies of Écoutez-nous have been shared with local communities and leaders, Malian authorities and partners in the region. The aim is to show them how the survey findings were used and disseminated, and to raise awareness of the population’s needs and concerns.
Écoutez-nous is published in French and three of the main local languages of central Mali: Bambara, Dogon and Fulani.