In order for sustainable development to succeed in the long term, we believe communities should be involved in decision-making. Good governance is the back bone of strong and sustainable societies, and provides a bridge between communities and policy makers.

We aim to create active civil societies and accountable governments – two key aspects in the success of development projects. This includes:

  • strengthening local organisations by equipping them with social accountability tools
  • creating opportunities for dialogue between government and communities
  • building a mandate for civil society at the policy level
  • empowering women by increasing their role in decision-making

Governments in developing countries may be limited in their capacity to implement policies effectively. By increasing the capacity of communities to advocate and set agendas for themselves, we decrease the reliance of poor and vulnerable people on governments and increase the responsiveness of governments to community needs.

Case study: Vietnam

ms hongWhen Ms Hong and her community group were asked to monitor the development of their hamlet’s cultural house, they weren’t sure where to start. Although the group was required to monitor public investments, such as construction projects, they had no experience or training.

We developed a user-friendly handbook to guide groups like Ms Hong’s on monitoring important public projects. The handbook describes the monitoring process, provides a checklist to track each stage of construction, and offers detailed guidelines on how to inspect and report. 

After training and with the help of the handbook, Ms Hong’s group soon identified issues with the design of the house’s entrance. They presented their findings and recommendations to contractors and investors, which were quickly actioned.

“We found the training very practical and it changed the way we do monitoring,” said Ms Hong, who was nominated as vice-head of her group in 2016. “After the training, I have the tools to apply to further monitoring assignments and feel much more confident to practice our legitimate rights.”

Help more people like Ms Hong have a say in their communities:

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Action on Poverty

Action on Poverty