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Raising awareness about the importance of Local Government system

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Nishat Welfare Organization, under the USAID Citizen’s Voice Project, has started a project to engage citizens of Hyderabad district and raise awareness about the importance of local government system. A representative local government system is widely considered essential for transparent, efficient, effective and responsive service delivery, as well as to promote democratic culture and values at the grassroots level.

Project Objectives


Objective 1: To establish informed public opinion and create awareness about the importance and need for efficient and elected local government systems

Objective 2: To sensitize relevant stakeholders (political parties, ECP, elected representatives, citizens, media etc.) about effective implementation of the local government laws.

Objective 3: To enable the public to engage with provincial legislature and executive on public policy formulation and legislation.

Activities


Engaging youth on the importance of local government system


Support a cohort of active youth (comprising 45 members, for example between ages 18-29 (male and female participants) from targeted community to be informed advocates and educators about local government.

Public forums at the union council, tehsil and district levels to engage local MPAs, ex-Nazim/NaibNazim, councilors and political candidates of local government.

Events for potential candidates of marginalized populations to gather diverse opinions and document views on the importance and need for local government system.

Campaigns on the importance of local government system


Campaigns are a series of events to engage stakeholders (i.e. citizens, relevant local government departments) in the activities to raise awareness. Components of a campaign would include multiple approaches, such as:

  • Interactive Conferences

    Engage political leaders, community elders, government officials (from different local departments), and youth (e.g. representatives from universities with a balance of male and female participants 18 years or above) at tehsil/district/provincial level conferences.

  • Walks and Rallies

    Organize peaceful walks and rallies about the value of local government and delegating the powers (political, fiscal & administrative) at grassroots level.

  • Awareness Initiatives
    Dissemination of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on the importance of local government system and law.
    Use of social media, especially in urban areas.

Media Campaign

Raise awareness on local government system through social and traditional media.

Other activities include the following

  • Debate competitions

  • Street theatre

  • Letter-writing campaigns

  • Press releases on importance of local government system and

  • Media events such as seminars or press conferences

Topics for activities would include the importance of local government system; effective implementation of the local government law; and how local government affects specific work/community interests.

Expected Results

  • Confidence in political and electoral process.
  • Improved governance as characterized by accountability, greater inclusivity, enhanced public participation in decision- making; and stronger legal and policy frameworks.

Intermediate Results

  • Relevant stakeholders at tehsil/district/provincial level conferences have greater understanding of the local government system.
  • Citizens have greater knowledge of rights and responsibilities.
  • Citizens have greater capacity, through experience, to engage the community using social media and traditional media.
  • Citizens are able to engage in advocacy with the community and the government and
  • Young leaders are engaged in raising awareness about the importance of local government system in their educational institutions.