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Supporting Democracy

The need to strengthen and promote participatory democratic governance in Egypt in order to improve livelihoods is great. Through a project supported by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with the Development Support Center (CDS) in Cairo, BLACD is contributing to the efforts of bringing about a situation where local and national power structures meet the needs and uphold the rights of the communities they are responsible for. Activities to empower civil society organizations and build the capacity of Local Popular Councils are carried out in nine poor communities in five governorates - Minya, Aswan, Qena, Suez and Cairo - since 2007.


Members of a civil society organization in Aswan make a map for their local community

Empowering Civil Society Organizations

Recognizing that civil society organizations play an important role in the process of strengthening democracy, BLACD builds the capacity of non-governmental community based organizations and grass roots initiatives in 9 communities in 5 governorates. Organizations are empowered through trainings to mobilize their communities to express and negotiate their needs and rights with the relevant decision-making bodies and to hold them accountable. Organizations also received the necessary training to conduct a study on the main problems in their communities, how people in these communities view governmental services and what they expect from civil society organizations. Organizations then formed committees to address the various problems identified in the studies. Members of the committees will receive further training to enable them to work with these issues.
The organizations participating in the project include Bent El-Reef Association for Women’s Development (Qena), Al-Qeadat Al-Nisa’ia (Minya), Al-Mosaada Al-Qanoniya Association (Aswan), Al-Yakaza Al-Nisa’ia for Development (Aswan), Maakom for Development (Cairo), Al-Shehab for Development (Cairo), Bashait for Development (Cairo), Community Development in Shalofa (Suez) and El-Sawahlea sons for Development (Suez).

Training for project coordinators in Qena on how to make needs assessments in their community


Building Capacity of Local Popular Councils

A parallel process to mapping and identifying problems in the communities and mobilizing community groups around these needs, is to build the capacity of the Local Popular Councils in the communities to be prepared to work with the empowered civil society organizations in assessing needs and finding solutions to local problems. BLACD provides training to members of the local councils on needs assessment, local law and their role and responsibilities as local popular councils.

Documenting the experience

Considering the project to be an important pilot, documentation is carried out by BLACD throughout the project in order to consolidate the gained experience into a booklet and short film.

Words of Beneficiaries

“We used to suffer a lot going back and forth to bring water to the house, but now we spend more time taking care of our children” A woman who received clean piped water to her house/

Water and Sanitation