Map of Ethiopia

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Ethiopia Democracy
Clans from Ethiopia’s Somali Region consult on a peace accord.
Mercy Corps

We promote an improved governance environment in Ethiopia to enable the country’s sustainable and inclusive development. To support this effort we work to expand efforts to increase resiliency and adaptation to manage conflict at the national, state and local levels. We also work to promote accountable governance that is responsive to the aspirations and needs of its citizens and that government and constituencies come together to develop consensus on improving service delivery and policy. Additionally, we promote the rule of law for sustainable development practices and access to justice and support for vulnerable populations.

To increase the resilience of populations in Ethiopia’s lowlands, we support communities and the Government of Ethiopia to prevent and manage conflict. Closely linked to these efforts is assistance to enhance accountable governance supporting the government’s focus on building the institutions of good governance, thereby promoting transparency and public accountability. Additionally, we collaborate with government at national and regional levels, universities and civil society actors on strategic areas such as improving public access to justice through legal aid and education in order to build confidence in the legal system and providing non-violent means to resolve disputes. We also provide continuing education to the judiciary on human rights and application of the law.

To sustain major development gains made in the health, education, water, agriculture and humanitarian sectors, We strengthen participatory governance within communities across its portfolio. This supports local populations to hold government more accountable for commitments they have made, improving service delivery as a result. From pastoralists taking the lead in managing rangelands and water sources to parent-teacher associations driving improvements in the classroom, We are helping to build social accountability and community voice.

We also promote and support the role and capacity of local organizations as key partners to Ethiopia’s development, and their role in promoting transparency and good governance. For example, efforts focus on encouraging local organizations to play an active policy role in Ethiopia’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. We also support local organizations to work with government on improved protection and services for vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities and those affected from harmful traditional practices.

Activities Include

  • Access to Justice and Legal Awareness: This activity aims to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable populations (including low-income groups, the disabled and victims of gender based violence) by raising awareness of their legal rights, providing them with the means to access expert legal advice to seek redress and obtain professional representation before a court of law. Beneficiaries include the most vulnerable communities living in the rural and urban/peri-urban areas of East and West Hararghe zones of Oromia Regional State, Shinile and Jijiga zones of Somali Regional State, along with Harari Regional State and Dire Dawa.

  • Enhancing the Status of Human Rights Protection and Systems of Good Governance in Ethiopia: This activity builds the capacity of Ethiopian judicial and law enforcement authorities to handle cases and improve the quality of justice and enforcement of human rights in Ethiopia. Via the bi-annual Joined-Up Justice Forum, the activity also provides a platform for justice sector and law enforcement professionals to discuss and reach consensus on common issues in connection to their role in interpreting and enforcing the law.

  • Local Capacity Development: In support of USAID Forward, the activity strengthens the institutional capacity of local Ethiopian organizations partnering directly with USAID for the first time in the areas of financial management, activity management, and monitoring and evaluation skills.

  • Peace Centers for Climate and Social Resilience: The activity, which implements in Borena Zone, aims to mitigate identified and existing risk factors that will likely trigger or drive potential conflict and to increase the capacity and confidence of households, communities and customary/formal institutions to become more adept and resilient in anticipating, absorbing and recovering from future shocks.

  • Strengthening Institutions for Peace and Development II: The activity establishes and strengthens partnerships between government and local communities to better understand and address issues that lead to violent conflict and to promote the adaptation of government interventions to be conflict sensitive.


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Last updated: May 22, 2017

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