A graduate of an UNDEF-funded project for women’s empowerment in India has been elected Mayor of Ahmedabad, a city with a population of six million. Meenaxiben Patel, elected Mayor in April 2013, participated in a training and capacity-building programme funded by UNDEF...
Asia and Pacific
An UNDEF project in Bangladesh empowers indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to access information on public services offered by local government institutions and departments.
With more than 60 per cent of the population aged under 30, Tajikistan is one of the world’s youngest countries. Yet youth participation, both political and social, is low and young people’s opinion undervalued. This is why UNDEF funds a project in Tajikistan to encourage young people to participate in political debates on youth policy issues.
An UNDEF-funded project in Iraq has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with six Governorate Councils as part of an effort to strengthen civil society participation in democratic processes and advance accountability in Government institutions.
The project, active in the Governorates of Baghdad, Babil, Karkuk, Najaf, Basrah and Karbala, works to make communities more aware of their rights to participation and basic services, as well as evaluate the performance of Governorate Councils to address citizens’ needs.
Efforts for democratization and development in Kyrgyzstan continue to be hampered by political and administrative corruption that limits access to public goods and services. Vulnerable groups are excluded from access to land, water, shelter, sanitation, clothing, healthcare and education, as well as from participation in decisions that affect their lives.
In the world’s largest democracy, elected women still face multiple obstacles to full and active participation. UNDEF funds an initiative in India’s largest state, Rajasthan, to increase women's participation in local electoral
processes. Implemented by the Hunger Project India, the initiative strengthens the leadership of women elected to Gram Panchayats, or village councils; advocates policies enabling more women to participate; and engages with media for positive coverage of elected women's work.
How to engage young people in one of the world's youngest democracies? In Bhutan, an UNDEF-funded initiative trains students to use film to tell stories of social and political change. It enables them to produce documentaries on topics ranging from poverty and climate change to the life of migrant workers. The training is part of a project implemented by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy to strengthen media and civic education as a means to consolidate democratic processes.
UNDEF funds a project for more active civic engagement among the Bangladeshi poor, and better local government capacity for accountable and effective governance. The initiative is implemented by BRAC, some of whose beneficiaries are shown here with UNDEF Executive Head Roland Rich. It addresses both the demand and supply sides of governance, develops information-sharing practices, and targets local bureaucratic and political culture to make it more responsive towards the poor.
One of several UNDEF-funded projects in Afghanistan is an initiative on human rights within the context of Islam. The initiative, implemented by Equal Access Afghanistan, includes a 100-episode radio drama, women’s and girls’ listening circles and human rights leadership training. The radio series raises issues such as forced marriage,
violence against women, and access to education, employment and health care, often using humour as a tool to encourage audiences.
An UNDEF-funded project in Tajikistan has created a Youth Council representing each of the 44 counties of Kuhistoni Badakshon province, providing training and confidence-building for a new generation of citizens. By providing insights into the workings of local and region governance, the effort allows young people to experience direct political participation, gives them an opportunity to shape their communities, and build independent thinking and leadership skills.