The Community Level Civic and Political Engagement for Democracy project is implemented in the framework of Sub-National Civic Engagement and Outreach Grant (SCEOG) of CounterPart International CPI and followed two specific objectives:
Communities’ active participation means but not limited to understand meaning and value of voting, having capabilities to influence government policies related to the election and as well as other policies related to citizens’ day to day life. Considering the fact that Afghanistan is a centralized state and policies are being decided at the national level, any influence to a policy needs enough knowledge, strong communication skills, networking and advocacy skills. Thus, local CSOs should work with citizens at the local communities to enable them; 1) to understand their crucial role for bringing basic positive changes in their communities, 2) to find gaps and problems in the policies or policy implementation at the local level through overseeing policy implementation, 3) enhance responsiveness in the civil servant institutions and 4) improve local institutions’ accountability and transparency through result based advocacies at the local and national level.
To achieve project objectives, SCEOG suggests civic and voter education that is systematically lead to changes pointed out by project objectives as follows:
Using noted three levels of the program, citizens understood value of their votes, using it in the best way, finding existent gaps and challenges in the policies and policy implementation and advocating for positive changes. Within this process, provincial CSOs are the key players who are providing the opportunity for capacity building of local communities and as well as connecting them to the local, provincial and national level authorities and CSOs in order to support their advocacy steps for change at the local level and national level.
Such practice is not only useful before, during and after election but, also local communities will use it for the other aspect of their social, political and economic life in the long run which will result to a sustainable changes in Afghanistan.