Against the backdrop of the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees, UNDEF participated in an interactive panel discussion on the political participation of migrants and refugees, hosted by International IDEA at UN Headquarters.
An UNDEF-funded project has just begun in war-torn Yemen to assist peacebuilding and promote democracy by empowering youth to participate more in civic life.
This project addresses challenges posed by ethnic and religious tensions. Implemented by the Khadija Foundation for Development, the project aims to build youth capacity by involving them in advocacy campaigns and raise civic awareness by creating youth networks. The goal is to engage youth on how to build peace beyond the life of the project.
Despite protracted conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past decades, there has been some progress towards peace and the consolidation of democracy - in spite of everything elections took place in 2006 and 2011. However, one of the challenges holding elections in a country as vast and with as many challenges as the DRC is ensuring all citizens are able to vote.
Pakistan has a massive youth population which comprises 60 per cent of the country’s 190 million people. Many of them are increasingly active on social media. An UNDEF-funded project works uses this tool to engage youth on political and governance and local development issues. As grassroots issues receive limited or inadequate attention in national media, web-based media is key in addressing them in smaller and rural districts.
SEP 10, 2015
An UNDEF-funded project in Turkey works with Syrian women refugees in Reyhanli, Turkey, so as to give them opportunities to organize, engage and support other refugees while preparing for the future, whether in Turkey or in Syria. The women are trained in international law, including human rights, women's rights, child rights and humanitarian law; democratic mechanisms, project conceptualization and design; and communication techniques.
For Nepal's Chepang people, an indigenous group living in the Himalaya foothills, poverty and marginalization remain a daily reality. Chepang women are further marginalized by lower literacy rates, lack of access to health services, and scarce economic and political influence in a traditionally male-dominated environment. This is why UNDEF funds a project implemented by Development Exchange Centre Nepal, a local NGO, to empower Chepang women to become change agents in local governance processes, promoting pro-poor and gender responsive decision-making.
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, reaching women in forests and mountainous rural areas. This helps them engage on issues related to their human rights, economic and political advancement and governance processes.
An UNDEF Kosovo* project works to engage civil society in monitoring local governance to advance transparency and accountability in local governance. Coordinated by the Kosova Democratic Institute, the project works in 14 municipal assemblies across all seven regions of Kosovo -- Prishtina, Mitrovica, Peja, Gjakova, Prizren, Ferizaj and Gjilan. It trains civil society groups in monitoring local assemblies and in implementing actual monitoring and civic action exercises, including issue identification; holds town hall meetings; and elaborates public issue papers.
The first project of UNDEF's Eighth Round of Funding was signed on 9 September 2014, one of some 50 new initiatives that will be launched by UNDEF in this new Round. The project will work to strengthen independent journalism in Libya, so that local citizens have better access to information about the country’s democratic process even amid considerable security challenges. Implemented by the Rory Peck Trust together with local partners, the project will train a core group of freelance journalists in freelance tradecraft and safety skills.
Protecting the rights of internally displaced women from Kosovo*
FEB 18, 2014
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 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, who will in turn train other women and men and spread the acquired knowledge across their communities.
UNDEF finances a new project for a centre of excellence to mainstream Libyan women in politics and develop a nationwide civic education strategy. The centre will train women in democratic processes and institutions, gender, leadership and interpersonal skills. Once the project completes its pilot phase, it will present the Libyan government with a plan to introduce the training across the country as a whole.
Former slaves and their descendants -- in particular women -- remain victims of severe discrimination in Mauritania. Hampered by illiteracy and poverty, they are excluded from political processes, unaware of their human rights, and subject to electoral manipulation. UNDEF funds a project to advance their political participation, strengthen their decision-making skills and build political dialogue. In November 2012, the project held training sessions in the province of Medbougou on organizational and leadership skills, social mobilization and advocacy.