News

News

In Central Asia, NGOs and independent media often have nowhere to turn for support on new media technology, with little or no in-house knowledge and commercial alternatives that are far too expensive. That’s why UNDEF funds a new media clinic in the region. A new group of Central Asian journalists and NGO workers just completed a two-month training programme, which is run by TOL and focuses on using social media for advancing organizations’ content and causes, as well as managing and maintaining websites in general. more >>
Democratic Republic of Congo, UNDEF supports a project that promotes participatory democracy by creating clubs for Democratic Action. The project is implemented by the Organization Peace, Unity, Reconciliation, Reconstruction (OPURR). With funding from UNDEF OPURR was chosen to awareness and voter education during the presidential and legislative elections in November 2011 in the DRC. Democratic Action Clubs have been established throughout the city of Kinshasa.   more >>
A task force formed to support China's rural women’s participation in local politics convened in Shaanxi province in November 2011, as part of an UNDEF-funded project to empower women in areas where patriarchal values still dominate village governance. The group brought together representatives from Shaanxi, Heilongjiang and Hebei as well as Huazhong Normal University to discuss strategies and best practices. A few weeks earlier, the project held extensive training sessions in survey and interviewing techniques in Heibei Province. more >>
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 >>

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