With populations in both Malawi and Zambia consisting of over 50 per cent young people, there is an increasing push among governments, development partners and civil society to recognize the specific needs and vulnerabilities of young people as well as their immense capacity to contribute positively to development.
An UNDEF-funded project in Liberia works to empower rural women by providing speedy information and networking opportunities via radio and mobile technology. Implemented by the Liberia Women Media Action Committee, the radio-to-mobile service makes broadcasts of Liberia Women Democracy Radio, LWDR 91.1 FM, available via cellphone and on line.
Cameroon suffers from a shortage of communication and accountability between local elected leaders and their electorates in planning and implementation. This is why UNDEF funds a project to build participatory governance and including local communities in local decision making processes.
An UNDEF-funded project in Sierra Leone has empowered the National Council of Paramount Chiefs with a comprehensive five-year strategic plan to be responsive and accountable to the needs and rights of their people as well as contribute to sustained peace, security and development.
In the Longido District of northern Tanzania, UNDEF supports a community development project among the Maasai population with a special focus on women. It works to strengthen women’s role in decision-making and priority-setting to better reflect their needs.
Studies show that voters in Liberia, particularly rural women and youth, vote out of fear and ignorance because the majority are illiterate and have no access to civic or voter education. An UNDEF-funded project provides voter and civic education in rural areas as vital mechanisms to ensure that rural constituents understand their rights.
An UNDEF project in Uganda works to build a critical mass of women grassroot activists who demand accountability and improved service delivery to communities. The project seeks to influence democratic processes through empowering communities to hold their leaders accountable and to demand for gender-sensitive service delivery.
An UNDEF-funded project in Cameroon works to promote a culture of democratic practices among young people, and to transform community radio into an effective tool towards this end. It gives rural, marginalized people an opportunity to to make their voice heard.
An UNDEF-funded project in Zimbabwe works to empower women and increase their participation in politics and the decision-making process. The project, implemented by the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust, trains women in the Binga District to be popular opinion leaders.
An UNDEF-funded project for using public interest litigation to strengthen human rights and the rule of law in Southern Africa has yielded some significant developments in just one year. The initiative's implementers, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, recently litigated a case in Botswana on behalf of four elderly sisters challenging a discriminatory customary law practice.