Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP)

USAID’s Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP) aims to take advantage of new constitutional prerogatives for including citizens in the public policy process.
USAID’s Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP) aims to take advantage of new constitutional prerogatives for including citizens in the public policy process.
Counterpart International

QUICK FACTS

  • Project Duration: March 2015 - January 2019
  • Implementing Partners: 
    • Counterpart International
    • Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
  • Regions of focus: 
    • Marrakech-Safi
    • Fez-Meknes
    • Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima
    • Rabat-Sale-Kenitra
  • Budget: $17.3 million

CONTEXT

Following the Arab Spring in 2011, the government of Morocco initiated a series of ambitious constitutional reforms to improve the political and economic participation for all Moroccans, which included several historical prerogatives to increase civil society’s role in the public policy process. While Morocco has numerous active Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), most lack the capacity to take on the greater responsibilities granted to them by the new 2011 constitution. In the royal speech at Parliament’s opening session in October 2016, the King called upon all administrations, including local government, to improve their relations with citizens and promote mechanisms for greater participation and consultation in the political process.

USAID RESPONSE

There remains a need to help both government and civil society work together to ensure a more inclusive government that represents the interests of all citizens, especially women, youth, and marginalized groups. By increasing the capacity of civil society to engage with the government and facilitating the development of institutionalized mechanisms for civic participation in government decision-making, Morocco will be better situated to implement its reform agenda in a peaceful and sustainable manner. USAID aims to take advantage of the recent constitutional prerogatives to include citizens in the public policy process by acting as a platform to facilitate dialogue and exchange between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and different government and institutional actors.

USAID supports Moroccan CSOs in their policy advocacy efforts by providing them with tailored technical assistance in developing their constituent networks, forming effective coalitions, and developing sound policy recommendations. The Program also awards competitive grants for advocacy projects.

USAID is also providing technical support to government actors to improve the legal and regulatory framework governing civil society.

RESULTS TO DATE

  • 183 CSOs are receiving technical assistance through the Program.
  • CSOs that have undergone training through the Program have a better understanding of the opportunities to engage in the public policy process and are playing an increasingly important role in building partnerships with local and regional representatives.
  • Trust is increasing on both sides and local government representatives are increasingly seeing CSOs as valuable resources and not adversaries.
  • Local government and elected officials were trained on how to effectively respond to citizens’ petitions and a toolkit was developed.

 

Last updated: June 22, 2018

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