Skip Navigation LinksHome


Citizen participation and civil society support

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The SDC supports citizens to claim and use spaces for participation and to take ownership of and co-responsibility for public matters. It is expected that informed and organised citizens can voice their interests, hold governments accountable, influence policy agendas and decision-making for their good. But importantly, having a voice and being able to participate is intrinsic to peoples' well-being and a value on its own.

This usually requires time and many intermediary steps (building blocks), as well as targeted measures to empower women and marginalised groups. Active, aware and empowered citizens do not emerge automatically, or just by being invited to participate. People need to gradually develop their own sense of entitlements, rights and responsibilities vis-a-vis the State. Blueprint participatory designs with standard project implementation modalities are usually less successful and leave the door open to elite capture. For inclusive and effective citizen participation it is essential to understand the power issues at stake. You can find resource documents below on this page.

SDC started to look out for new approaches: invest more in strengthening the sincere ownership of civil society organisations and the connectivity to their members (legitimacy); reach out to locally trusted forms of collective action; and explore ways to include non-formalized civic action into its activities.

The topic of Civic Engagement has figured high on the ddlgn agenda for some years now. Network members learned to build a joint understanding of the underlying concepts and theories and share and reflect on own experiences and practices. The learning journey included experience capitalization, e-discussions, exchange on research papers and learning retreat. You can find relevant documents under the subtopic learning journeys. Network members also shared their civic engagement learning journey with us. Watch the video to fuel your imagination of how to make best use of these rich resources to strengthen your practice and enhance your work's impact!


Is your favourite reading on civic engagement missing? Send us the document plus a short note why you think that this is a great must-read and we'll be happy to share it!



Key documents: SDC

click here for more

 .

  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/SiteAssets/Document_Type_images/Deza_PDF.png

    Donor responses and tools for responding to shrinking space for civil society: a desk study

    This report summarises and analyses donor responses to the closure of civic space around the world. It is part of a wider effort within the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to enable joint learning to support SDC offices in dealing with the growing challenges they encounter in restrained or shrinking spaces for civil society.

    Key Reading Document
    IDS for SDC
    2019
    Naomi Hossain & Nalini Khurana
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Thumbnails/analysis%20of%20SDC%20case%20studies_logo.PNG

    Learning Project Analysis of SDC Case Studies

    This section analyses twelve case studies on civil society participation and accountability in local governance processes. It looks at power issues and the analysis of power, the role of civil society and participation of civil society in local governance, accountability mechanisms and experiences, alignment with national policies and systems, and specific issues in fragile contexts.

    Key Reading Document
    SDC
    2018
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Thumbnails/8%20case%20studies_logo.PNG

    Learning Project 8 Case Studies

    The case study focuses on the outcomes and impacts of social audit practices in the framework of the Improved Livelihood of Rural Communities (ILRC) project implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Afghanistan.

    Key Reading Document
    SDC
    2018
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Thumbnails/Policy%20Brief%201%20Strategic%20Level.PNG

    Learning Project Policy Makers Brief

    The objective of this brief is to provide policymakers with strategic recommendations to support project/programme teams in strengthening SDC’s programming in civil society participation and accountability based on key learnings from the case studies.

    Key Reading Document
    SDC, Helvetas
    2013
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Thumbnails/Practitioner-Brief_logo.PNG

    Learning Project Practitioner-Brief

    As part of the learning project, eight case studies and four mirror case studies1 were developed to assess approaches and extract key learnings based on the experience of SDC and selected other local governance programmes in a variety of contexts, including fragile ones.

    Key Reading Document
    SDC
    2013
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Thumbnails/Synthesis-ediscussion_logo.PNG

    Learning Project Synthesis of e-discussion

    The Learning Project was launched by SDC in the framework of DLGN and mandated to HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. Recommendations were formulated on the basis of eight case studies and four mirroring cases and were further debated in an e-discussion conducted between the 9th and the 19th of April. This document is a synthesis of the main discussion points.

    Key Reading Document
    SDC, Helvetas
    2013
    🇬🇧



Key documents: other

click here for more




Further reading documents

click here for more




Links

click here for more

 ....

  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Documents/Useful-Links-Open-Forum-for-CSO-Effectiveness.jpg

    Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness

    In formal existence from 2009 to 2012, Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness is a global fully participatory space run by and for civil society organisations (CSOs) worldwide to improve the impact of their development work and advocate for more favorable government policies and practices for CSOs. The website contains a lot of resources and information on CSO Development Effectiveness, including toolkits.

    Link
    CPDE
    2016
    🇬🇧
  • https://www.shareweb.ch/site/DDLGN/Documents/Making-all-voices-count-initiative.jpg

    Making all voices count initiative

    Making All Voices Count is about promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.

    Link
    IDS, HIVOS, Ushahidi
    2016
    🇬🇧