Historically, Benin ranks second behind Haiti among the beneficiaries of assistance from Initiative Développement (ID). A first assessment mission was conducted in 1994, at the request of Benin-born Laurent Gbahoué, the founding director of Initiative Développement (ID).
This mission led to an integrated development programme in the outlying districts of Cotonou, with actions in the fields of education, the fight against AIDS, micro-credit, and also in welfare and family support. With the creation in 1996 of the NGO RACINES by one of the leaders in the Benin project, Mesmin Dossou Yovo, Initiative Développement (ID) became involved in supporting the new-born NGO. In 2006, Initiative Développement (ID) transferred all its activities to RACINES, except the micro-credit project which it transferred to the Benin NGO, ALIDé.
In 1997, Initiative Développement (ID) extended its action to rural areas in the Atlantic Department. In this coastal region adjoining the Bight of Benin, it began shaping its local-development approach, supporting village development committees in their conduct of village-development diagnoses, and co-financing village projects. This activity was aimed at paving the way to decentralisation. Although announced as early as 1993, this measure was effectively introduced only in 2003, with the election of the first mayors. Since then, assistance has been provided at the level of municipal authorities, which Initiative Développement (ID) supports in framing and implementing development plans within their remits.
This is the canvas within which Initiative Développement (ID) is currently assisting local-authority water and waste-water treatment schemes in the municipalities of Allada, Zé and Toffo.