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Civil Society

A young woman at a USAID-funded meeting in Tafilah ranks community priorities.
A young woman at a USAID-funded meeting in Tafilah ranks community priorities.

An engaged and effective civil society is critical to Jordan’s development and long-term stability in a region undergoing dramatic political change. Civil society organizations (CSOs) serve as a conduit for citizens and interested communities to participate in policy development and as a space to vocalize public opinion to government leaders. Many political reforms depend upon energizing citizen participation. USAID supports efforts to expand political pluralism and inclusion in public affairs. We encourage a vibrant civil society that has both the rights and capacity to play a more effective role in decision-making processes, advocate for citizen rights and expand opportunities for meaningful civic engagement around key issues.

Despite rapid growth in the number of Jordanian CSOs in recent years, they still face serious challenges. Our programs support improving the enabling environment for CSOs, strengthening national civil society networks and establishing better linkages between civil society and local governments as a means of promoting citizen engagement in political decision-making. We are also enhancing CSO’s management capacity to strengthen effectiveness of their work and their readiness to manage donor funding as partners in development. 

USAID places special emphasis on organizations that increase opportunities for women and other marginalized groups to participate more fully, as well as those that build respect for gender equality and human rights. Creating channels of communication, platforms for participation and awareness of national issues among youth is a special focus.  Strengthening the media is a means for stimulating these issues of citizen engagement on matters of public interest. 

Examples of USAID-supported impacts on civil society: 

  • Engaged more than 1,300 CSOs in a diverse portfolio of programs, grants and technical assistance. 
  • Created a network of nearly 300 specialized trainers in advocacy, communication and NGO excellence to build civil society capacity nationwide.
  • Supported interventions advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, including a coalition of university students campaigning for disability rights in education.
  • Supported local civil society coalitions that worked directly with youth and women on various political process activities that increased public participation, such as local election observation missions, youth political education programs, and awareness campaign programs.

Last updated: October 05, 2015

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