Active citizenship

Influencing decision-making structures and processes

Result in 2016

27,401 people engaged in activities to address discriminatory norms that limit the participation of women and other groups in society.

21,000 men and women in the West Bank and Gaza have increased their knowledge on women’s inheritance rights.

128 Change Agents were trained to raise the human right’s awareness in their local communities and gather information about human rights issues in Myanmar.

Over 60% of the world's population live in countries with restricted possibilities to influence their own development, the nature of their government, and the provision of public services. They can face serious threats when organising, speaking out, or peacefully taking action to protect human rights values.

We believe that it is crucial to the dignity of every human being to have the opportunity to participate in decision-making, voice concerns, and influence their own development. We therefore work against all forms of discrimination and barriers limiting people’s right in this regard. People need a safe and enabling environment where it is possible to speak out alone or with others without their peaceful action threatening or endangering them in any way.

Open and healthy relationships between the state and its citizens are necessary for democratically influencing change. Creating links between the state and its poorer women and men is particularly important for securing a state that lives up to its human rights obligations, addresses inequalities, and can peacefully manage and settle disputes.  Citizens’ knowledge and influence is also crucial for combating the misuse of government funds and contributing to a more equitable and transparent distribution of resources.

Download the Programme Policy here

We work to ensure that:

  • the poor have skills, networks and an enabling environment to participate in local governance
  • women can take up leadership and elected positions and gender sensitive policies, practices and norms are promoted
  • all citizens, including those from marginalised and remote communities, are well-informed and can safely participate in electoral and other democratic processes
  • human rights defenders and civil society organisations can operate safely and access protection
  • there is an active citizenry monitoring the use of public resources and relevant institutional frameworks for a fair and transparent use of resources
  • gender based violence is prevented and justice is promoted by a range of actors, including faith-based leaders
  • there is a safe space for dialogue between conflicting groups
  • the private sector respects human rights and consults communities
  • civil society organisations, social movements and -associations are themselves transparent and respect democratic practices and human rights 

Over recent years, DCA has adopted an array of technologies in its programmes, and innovation is a key priority within the organisation. Read Smart Use of Civic Tech to Promote Accountability and Transparency Report

Where we work with active citizenship