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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance


Image of an Egyptian woman and man holding up their inked fingers to show that they have just voted.
USAID's work in Egypt includes voter education and the provision of voting equipment, supplies, and training.

Soon after Egypt’s revolution and in the spirit of partnership, USAID made substantial investments to support the democratic transition. The focus was on the immediate priorities that Egyptians identified:  holding free and fair elections, empowering citizens to play an enhanced role in their country’s future, protecting and expanding universal rights, expanding independent civil society and building democratic institutions that are transparent and accountable. Such projects build on the energy, commitment and accomplishments of the Egyptian people.


USAID works with Egyptian counterparts to:

  • Support rule of law and human rights programs that provide quality, accessible legal aid services for underserved populations.
  • Support Government of Egypt decentralization efforts focused on developing fiscal, administrative and political strategies and initiatives that directly respond to community priorities and promote community participation.
  • Strengthen civil society to build up the administrative, programmatic, and financial management abilities of non- governmental organizations, encouraging increased civic participation.
  • Improve the professionalism, sustainability and diversity of the public and private media sector through targeted training for media professionals and citizen journalists.
  • Promote competitive political processes that support election administration, through the provision of voting equipment, supplies and training; and voter education. 

Project Areas

Rule of Law and Protecting Human Rights:  USAID helps expand access to justice for all citizens by supporting legal aid offices for underserved populations; training mediators and judges; and working with the Ministry of Justice to increase efficiency of case management within the courts.

In criminal justice, USAID has trained prosecutors on human rights and defendants’ right to counsel, provided public information on legal rights, and enhanced the functioning of the Prosecutor General’s Office. USAID programs have helped to reduce violence against women and children by supporting Egyptian advocates for policy change, which has increased public awareness, and improved services that protect and assist victims of violence.

Good Governance and Combating Corruption:  USAID works with the Government of Egypt to develop strategies and initiatives for fiscal, administrative, and political decentralization. Programs provide training and technical support to local governments to manage resources and improve services. With civil society organizations, USAID enhances civic engagement at the local and national levels. Programs help citizens hold local governments accountable for public service delivery and support ways for citizens to express their views and priorities to government officials. With Egyptian and international organizations, USAID supports activities that enhance transparency between government and citizens.

Civil Society and Civic Participation:  USAID supports the growth of Egyptian civil society by building the administrative, programmatic, and financial management abilities of citizens’ groups. Egyptian and U.S. organizations are working toward a transparent and independent election administration and increased civic participation at the national and local levels.

We have also focused on improving the professionalism, sustainability and diversity of the Egyptian media sector with the overall goal of increasing access to information through objective media and promoting the role of media as a watchdog. 

Last updated: March 19, 2015

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