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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

USAID helps to strengthen democratic governance, reconciliation processes, and inclusive economic growth in Sri Lanka toward the development of a prosperous country and society. The following activities contribute to democratic governance and reconciliation by strengthening government institutions and accountability; building a robust civil society; increasing access to balanced and accurate information through the media; promoting dialogue and conflict mitigation among multi-ethnic communities; and building local capacity for disaster response and risk reduction.

Religions to Reconcile
The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka brings together and strengthens the capacity of community-level religious leaders in District Inter-Religious Councils (DIRCs) to mitigate local conflicts and advocate for peace.  This activity establishes and expands DIRCs in eight districts in five provinces.  

Victims of Trauma Treatment Program
This activity provides counseling to families and survivors of conflict, torture, and gender-based violence, while improving sustainable service delivery by building the capacity of local service providers. It also aims to incorporate psychosocial services into truth and reconciliation processes.

Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project (SDGAP)
This activity focuses on strengthening public accountability systems; improving government strategic planning and communication, policy reform, and implementation processes; and increasing the political participation of women and underrepresented groups in democratic governance.

Improved Election Management Program
USAID is assisting Sri Lanka’s Election Commission in its transition to an independent public commission. The activity aims to build the Election Commission’s institutional capacity and improve voter education programs. Efforts also support the Sri Lankan Parliament to engage in the the Open Governance Partnership - a multilateral initiative that encourages governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, harness new technologies, and work with civil society. 

Coherent, Open, Responsive and Effective (CORE) Justice
This activity will help to strengthen the judicial system by improving its processes and capacities. It will focus assistance primarily on justice sector institutions, including the Ministry of Justice, Attorney General’s Department, the Judicial Services Commission, and the Judges’ Institute.  It will also work with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and other civil society organizations that are actively involved in justice system reform and rule of law issues.

Media Empowerment for a Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND)
This activity will strengthen the media sector in Sri Lanka to improve citizens’ access to balanced, reliable, and objective news through improving media governance and the enabling environment; strengthening media’s capacity to provide balanced, informed, impartial and ethical reporting; and helping media to serve as a forum for important national dialogues around good governance and reconciliation. 

Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE)
The purpose of the SCORE activity is to strengthen Sri Lankan-led efforts to advance social cohesion and reconciliation. This will be achieved through a mix of quick impact and longer-term sustainable interventions that: 1) promote a cohesive Sri Lankan identity; 2) reduce socio-economic disparities and exclusion; and 3) enhance community resilience.
 

Last updated: October 12, 2018

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