28 April 2009
Improving citizen’s participation, strengthening dialogue between local authorities and civil society, and developing partnerships on community issues is key to consolidating democracy. This requires building advocacy skills among civil society and community organizations, so as to foster dialogue with local authorities and engage civil society in local Government decision-making processes.
This is why UNDEF funds a regional project in Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan for “Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy and Leadership skills”. The project, implemented by Partners Jordan, aims to increase the number, scope, diversity and effectiveness of local-level community-based advocacy initiatives by building the capacity of civil society to advocate for change and participate in Government decision-making processes. It also works to support local Government efforts to design development plans, taking into account community input.
As part of this initiative, Partners Jordan conducted two four-day
Training of Trainers courses in Yemen and Lebanon in March 2009. Using
a participatory and hands-on approach, building on the experience of
the participants as members of civil society organizations, the training
aimed to not only advance knowledge and practice of advocacy tools and
strategies, but also to anchor experience, develop contextually appropriate
advocacy strategy plans and strengthen the community of advocacy practitioners
through exchanging and pooling experience.
Participants in Yemen said they benefitted most in the areas of “Process of Advocacy” and “Type of Advocacy”; those in Lebanon emphasized “the Process of Advocacy” and “Advocacy Strategic Planning Tools”.
The courses conclude the first phase of this two-year project, which started in October 2008. In the coming months, trainers will pass on their knowledge and skills to other local community organizations, according to tailored national strategies building on activities already conducted in this area.
For more details, click on the project website: http://www.partnersjo-advocacy.com/.