News

News

An UNDEF-funded project in Rajasthan, India, completed its work in 2011 to strengthen the leadership of women elected to Gram Panchayats, or village councils. The project provided training to more than 2,000 elected women and raised the profile of women's political leadership by engaging with the Ministry of Rural Development, media, the state election commission, and civil society. In addition to strengthening the knowledge and confidence of elected women, the programme addressed practical concerns, misinformation, and women's legal rights. more >>
A new set of guiding principles for free, fair and transparent elections in Africa was launched in Accra, Ghana, on the International Day of Democracy as part of a project made possible by UNDEF. The document, known as the Accra Principles for Electoral Justice, was presented on 15 September by the Association of African Election Authorities in conjunction with Tiri, an organization pioneering institutional and organizational integrity. more >>
The Big Issue Lagos, a new and pioneering Nigerian street magazine funded by UNDEF, was launched in November 2011. It is the part of an UNDEF-financed six-country project to use street papers to give marginalized people a platform from which their voices can be heard, encourage active democratic dialogue, and empower citizens to participate in conversations on democracy, human rights and development at local, regional and international levels. The Nigeria paper will also provide much needed jobs and training to people living in poverty in Lagos. more >>
The UN Democracy Fund was one of the co-hosts of the Oslo Governance Forum in October 2011, which brought together 250 participants from government and civil society in more than 70 countries. more >>
At the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal in September, UNDEF hosted a panel discussion that brought together UNDEF projects from four continents, each focusing on strengthening the voice of civil society. Kazi Fattah, Programme Manager, BRAC, Bangladesh, explained the structures being used to organize civil society at the village level, and how issues were brought to the attention of local governance entities. more >>
In the 25 years since Vietnam introduced the doi moi programme of reforms, citizens have come to participate far more actively in politics at both commune and village levels. But government is still not fully accountable, especially on issues impacting the environment.  more >>
In eight countries of Central Asia and South Caucasus, UNDEF funds a project to increase public participation and make governance more accountable through independent monitoring of public policy-making and implementation. The initiative relies on expertise from independent policy centres with experience of democratic transformation. Through mentoring, training, regional networking and exchange of know-how, civil society organizations are learning to build new channels of dialogue with governments at the national and local levels. more >>
For UNDEF's Fifth Round of Funding, the Secretary-General has approved a short list of 64 project proposals recommended by the UNDEF Advisory Board. The proposals were short-listed out of a record number of more than 3,700 applications - almost double the average number in the past few years. Because of the large number of applicants, UNDEF is able to respond directly only to those on the short list. For more details, please see our next newsletter in July. more >>
UNDEF funded and supported the organization of a conference in Cairo on 26-27 July on "Ways to Strengthen the Democratic Transformation of Egypt". The conference, held by The Cairo Institute for Human Right Studies in partnership with the Madrid-based think-tank FRIDE, drew more than 100 participants from Egyptian civil society, political parties and academic institutions as well as a number of foreign observers. more >>
In Azerbaijan, a transitional society shaped by vast oil and gas resources, UNDEF funds a new project to create the country's first women's parliament. The initiative will serve as tool to give more meaning to women’s rights in Azerbaijan, while strengthening efforts to improve governance in the country as a whole. Two decades after independence, the country faces challenges related to both its post-Soviet legacy and the male-dominated culture of traditional Islam.   more >>

Pages