From 9-20 June 2014, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict conducted a field mission in Mali delivering trainings on the UN-led monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM) to civil society organizations in Bamako and Mopti, based on its Resource Pack for NGOs on civil society engagement in the MRM released in March 2014. The trainings were organized in partnership with UNICEF who have a shared mandate to Chair and lead the implementation of the mechanism with MINUSMA.

The trainings included sessions on the structure and functioning of the MRM, the role of NGOs in the implementation of the mechanism, information management procedures, and response to grave violations against children in armed conflict. A total number of 50 participants attended the trainings, representing 22 organizations of which most were national NGOs, but also international NGOs and UN agencies.

The trainings contributed to the UN’s objective to increasingly diversify the sources of information used to report on grave violations against children. The MRM in Mali is in an early stage of implementation and the UN is now more actively reaching out to NGOs, particularly the national NGOs who can make a significant contribution to the implementation of the mechanism.

Mali is the first of five countries where Watchlist intends to deliver trainings to civil society in 2014 as part of its effort to disseminate the material developed in the abovementioned Resource Pack.