What is the challenge?
Civil society has grown in size and importance around the world. A vibrant civil society can ensure that millions of poor people have a voice and that they play a central role in the struggle to further political, social, economic and constitutional rights. Civil society can identify and amplify the problems around which collective problem solving needs to take place. CSO are also becoming more important as a result of state service reduction or lack of services. However, in many countries where ACTED works, and especially in fragile and conflict-affected states, the civil society is still in a nascent state, poorly organized and/or restricted and thus citizens cannot claim their rights and make their voices heard on issues that affect their lives and hold the state to account for its performance in reducing poverty. In these countries, CSOs are often small and informal and do not have the means and capacity to effectively advocate beyond their immediate local communities. Institutional capacity to promote dialogue and coordination mechanisms within civil society and between civil society and public institutions is often lacking. Joint initiatives and networking at local, national and regional level need to be developed in order to amplify voices and defend citizens’ interests. The lack of sustainable resources and weak governance both in the external environment and within CSOs hinders their effectiveness.
ACTED supports citizens in articulating their voices to actively claim their socio-economic, civic, political and cultural rights, and to engage with decision-makers and duty bearers in a meaningful and constructive way.
What we do
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of CSOs (for example organizational and financial management, program implementation, external relations and fundraising);
- Supporting the formation of civil society initiatives, including developing alliances and promoting networking among CSOs at local, national, regional and global levels;
- Provision of training and small grants to CSOs to support their core mandate programming;
- Supporting CSOs and individuals for more effective engagement to promote their rights;
- Strengthening communication and advocacy capacity for interest groups through media;
- Supporting civil society to deliver quality services in the absence of state actors (for example in contexts of conflict or fragile states).