Espace Associatif – For a Democratic development

Espace Associatif

For a Democratic development

Institution Presentation

Espace Associatif is an NGO that was formed by a network of Moroccan associations that strived to enhance the associative movement as a supervisor, a guide, and an intermediary with the public authorities.

Espace Associatif was created in 1996 in order to contribute to the promotion of the associative movement for democratic development in Morocco. The aim of Espace Associatif is to develop the efficiency as well as the quality of intervention of the associative movement and to improve the aptitudes of the employees and the environment of their respective associations.

Espace Associatif takes public initiatives in order to react about positive or negative issues of the associative movement in Morocco. Espace Associatif is privileged to take the following initiatives and make the following interventions:

  • Espace Associatif does not substitute associations; it informs, solicits, and supports the associative members in the actions that are congruent with its missions;
  • When direct intervention is a priority, Espace Associatif makes sure to bring the associative actors together to restrain its intervention;
  • Espace Associatif does not take any public position in spheres that do not involve its missions, but can support public initiatives of other associations when it comes to the promotion of democracy in the associative movement;


Moroccan civil society and its result, the associative sector, did not come into being overnight.  By the end of the 1980s, there were at least 17,000 NGOs in Morocco.  However, these organizations were not able to realize their full potential nor were they able to establish their own autonomy vis-à-vis the government because of a lack of resources and appropriate training.  Organizations were limited to acting as instruments for the intervening parties in an elite political scene, satisfying certain social needs and neutralizing the potential empowerment of opposing political parties.

For many decades, international support for the Moroccan associative sector remained insignificant as international organizations feared that by supporting local opposing political parties, they would antagonize the Moroccan government.  Moreover, the government tried to limit the various organizations’ autonomy.  Instead of encouraging them to develop, the government tended to manipulate them for their own purposes. The last decade has witnessed a considerable change in the associative sector and its relationship with the government.  Civil society is now blooming and with it the need to strengthen the associative sector’s efforts.  In 1996, Espace Associatif was established to help strengthen and train members of the numerous nascent NGOs.

Social, Economic and Political Developments

While Morocco’s GNP ranks it among many rising economy countries, certain social indicators place it with sub-Saharan Africa.  In the 1997 UNDP World Report on Human Development, which ranks countries according to a combination of three indicators (literacy, life expectancy rates and purchasing power), Morocco ranked 123rd out of a total of 174  countries included in the report, behind Iraq, Algeria and Egypt.  National statistics hide significant urban-rural disparities, preventing the achievement of a more equitable society for all Moroccans.  The most recent studies conducted show that while almost 100% of urban dwellers have access to a safe drinking water supply, only 14.3% of rural populations enjoy the same service.

If urban-rural disparities are great, the disparity between rural men and women is possibly greater.  While legal gains are being made regarding the status and rights of women, the gains have yet to reach rural areas.  According to recent studies conducted by UNICEF, 89% of rural women are illiterate, only 22% of rural girls go to school.  More qualitative studies confirm that women are members of Moroccan society who work the hardest, earn the least and are the least educated.  Therefore, NGOs have a lot of work in front of them.  Espace Associatif aims to unite NGOs working in development and human rights work in order to make a greater impact.

The various initiatives undertaken by NGOs has thus far multiplied and expanded in scope.  Their work ranges from defending human rights to economic development, including activities in health, education, environment and culture.  The potential influence and power of the associative sector is immense.

NGOs have become more legitimate on the national and international scale while, simultaneously, the extent of their activities and success of their projects are becoming more and more visible to the public eye.

Institution Missions

The missions of Espace Associatif are based on the development of the associative milieu in Morocco. Its working methods consist of training, informing, supporting associations at a legal and institutional level by giving them an opportunity to consult with other associations and providing them with crucial advice. Espace Associatif involves associations and people who agree on its status, its regulations, and its charter. The association’s regulations determine the profile of the members as well as their rights and obligations to EA.  Each member pays for an annual contribution set by Espace Associatif ; the membership should be approved by the General Assembly composed of all the members who pay their contribution until the date of the next GA[1] which takes place once a year. All the activities of Espace Associatif are financed by the annual contributions of the permanent members, the extraordinary contributions, and the contribution of International and National NGOs.

[1] GA: General Assembly

Specific Objectives of Espace Associatif

Since its creation in 1996, Espace Associatif has strived to:

  • Develop the expertise of associations and their advocacy networks in their respective fields of intervention by information, training and critical thinking;
  • Reinforce the efficiency of associations through the disposal of tools aimed at integrating the practices of good governance and the clarification of a pertinent strategic vision;
  • Make the associative poles influential with other actors at a local and national level;

Make EA an environment of excellence and reference that facilitates the introduction of good governance practices;

Contributions of Espace Associatif

Espace Associatif has initiated several associative dynamics based on the implementation of democratic values:

  • Reinforcement of the capacities of associations;
  • Mobilization of associations working in the field of plea or advocacy;
  • Development of good governance practices in the associations;
  • Increasing awareness regarding the Millenium Development Goals;
  • Integration of approaches based on rights, participation, and gender in the associative action;

Trainings on associative management;


During its operation, Espace Associatif does not act alone. It has developed relationships based on shared experiences and cooperation at the national and international levels.

Besides that, Espace Associatif has other Network:  Open forum des OSC, Better Aid, Reality of aid CRTDA


From a long list of proposed items, our team’s brainstorming has resulted in the following:

  • To eliminate all unnecessary values according to us;
  • To maintain the reference values;
  • To choose some unifying values and assign others to better define the content of each one.

The evaluation of each value is based on its content holding the cohesion of our five principal values.


  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability


  • Impartiality
  • Respect
  • Diversity


  • Equity
  • Justice
  • Sharing


  • Participation
  • Citizenship
  • Alternation


  • Cooperation
  • Listening
  • Usability

Motivating force behind the creation of Espace Associatif

Espace Association was founded based on the following values and motivating forces:

  • Modesty
  • Question Frequently
  • School
  • Innovation
  • Continuity
  • Striving for Excellence
  • Sharing
  • Referring to Democracy elsewhere

After long discussion, the primary motivating force for the creation of EA was:

For the sake of creating a strong democratic associative network which promotes democratic change.

Contact us

Espace Associatif

Tel +212.53.777.4341

Fax +212.53.777.41.83


Facebook :


55, Rue Melouiya, Appt.1, Agdal,

Rabat, Maroc

Pour un développement démocratique.


novembre 2021