Browse by Theme: Citizen Voice & Participation

Research shows that in addition to improving income and access to savings, women’s participation in savings groups also improves their confidence, skills and ability to influence household decision-making. This prompts the question: do these benefits of women’s participation in savings groups extend into the public sphere? 

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By Dina Hanania, Katherine Mercer, and Andrew Wells-Dang

CARE’s impact data over the last five years has shown that nearly half of our total impact comes from advocacy and influencing that stretches beyond the direct implementation of programs. This striking number points to a clear conclusion: advocacy to influence policies and programs is a powerful pathway to scale and is key to multiplying impact. But what types of advocacy work? What combination of advocacy tools and tactics yields initiatives that bring impactful wins to fruition?

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“Initially, we opposed and resisted the [displaced people] from being settled in our community land. [These] are people who came in with nothing and wanted to use and enjoy our local resources at the expense of our community. But with time, meetings between the refugees and local communities chaired by local leaders … peace has returned.”

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How can governments around the world become more transparent, improve accountability and empower citizens through meaningful participation? One answer is to proactively engage women’s rights organisations in open government processes, finds action research by Rebecca Haines, Kara Medina and Tam O’Neil.

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This research was funded by the Feminist Open Government Initiative, which uses research and action to encourage governments and civil society to champion initiatives leading to gender advancements in and through open government. This includes mainstreaming gender issues throughout the co-creation of action plans that are developed as part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and adopting more gender-focused commitment content.

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For the first time in history, the United States has elected a woman of colour as Vice-President. It’s a historic moment for celebration. But the election also showed that America is a country deeply divided, with a lot of work ahead of us to make sure Americans are all constructively working for a better future – a just future – for everyone. As often happens, I find hope for that future in the amazing stories from CARE around the world, and the people who have found ways through divisive conflict. As always, Americans can learn a lot from people in all parts of the world. They show us it’s possible.

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Social movements are a critical vehicle for change around the world, including in many countries where CARE operates. This Power Tool provides guidance on how CARE (and others) can engage in strategic partnerships with social movement actors. It is based on the work of CARE in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote dignified work for domestic workers and advance their rights. Available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

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