SIL is an international non-governmental association. It is composed of about 4,440 people from over 86 countries. SIL started its work in Burkina Faso in 1976. Nowadays, the staff of SIL in Burkina Faso is involved in a handful of language projects.
Originally, SIL worked in cooperation with the University of Ouagadougou. In 1984, SIL joined the SPONG (Secrétariat Permanent aux Organisations Non-Gouvernementales) and the DSONG (Direction du Suivi des Organisations Non-Gouvernementales) and is still a member of these organisations. In 1985, SIL signed an agreement with the government of Burkina Faso to work in the domains of linguistic research, literacy and translation of documents into national languages.