Center for the Promotion of Human Rights and Development in Africa

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Citizen Participation

Working with citizens to engage in their country’s political process is one cornerstone of CPHDA programs. CPHDA provides technical assistance in organizing techniques, civic and voter education, budget oversight and other skills that help make governments accountable and transparent.

Developing and implementing democracy programs so they can provide tangible improvements to people’s lives is one of the principal objectives of the Center’s citizen participation initiative. Democracy can only work when informed and active citizens understand how to voice their concerns, act in tandem and hold public officials accountable. Citizens must understand ideas about citizenship, politics and government. Knowledge is quintessential in the decision making process about policy choices and the proper use of authority, along with citizens’ ability to voice their concerns, act gregariously and demand accountability from holders of public offices. Citizens also need to have the desire to exercise their rights, and they need the political space to do so without unreasonable resistance or harassment from authorities or others.

CPHDA’s citizen participation programs – including support of civic and voter education, get-out-the-vote efforts, issue organizing and advocacy, budget oversight and government monitoring – help citizens master the techniques needed to initiate action, solve complex problems and become leaders in their own right.