Civil Society Strengthening Program
Since the Arab Spring in 2011, the government of Morocco has worked to improve its political and economic policies. Operating under a new constitution, the government is committed to increasing accountability, and civic participation. And yet there remains a need to help both government and civil society work together to ensure a more inclusive government that is representative of all Morocco’s citizens, especially women, youth, and marginalized groups.
Counterpart International, partnered with its main sub-partner, the International Center for Non-Profit Law (ICNL), in supporting the Moroccan participatory democracy approach through the implementation of the Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP) in Morocco.
With support from the U.S Agency for International Development, the program partnered with all levels of government and civil society in Morocco to build the capacity of the social sector to represent citizen needs and increase civic participation. The project helped improve the government’s ability to respond to the needs of its people. Through our “cascading model,” we supported a core group of local organizations focused on improving the country’s lawmaking and public policy process. Using a variety of tools and techniques we provided capacity building training to more organizations, thus expanding the reach and impact. We also helped the government identify and implement ways to encourage and support civic engagement.
Within the life of the program, we:
- Built the capacity of 5 key civil society organizations, who then provided support to at least 20 community-based organizations per year, helped to improve their advocacy services;
- Built a network of approximately 130 civil society organizations over four regions;
- Supported 24 local organizations advocating for the rights and civic engagement of women, youth and marginalized groups;
- Organized a national conference on civil society-government collaboration;
- Provided technical assistance to the Moroccan government, including the Ministry in charge of Relations with Parliament and Civil Society.
Counterpart partnered with Collectif des Communautés Subsahariennes au Maroc (CCSM), a non-profit organization based in Rabat that aims to defend the rights of migrants and to work for their socio-economic and cultural integration. Through funding provided by Counterpart, CCSM implemented a 9-month project entitled “Access to Education for all without Distinction.” The project implemented awareness-raising campaigns and trainings to ensure that the right to education for migrant children is realized, in line with the 2011 Constitution and circulars issued by the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training.
Through funding provided by Counterpart, Association Aspirations Féminine (AAF), a local organization in Morocco, implemented a 7-month project to contribute to the performance improvement of local equality and gender mechanisms. The objectives of the project included strengthening the local gender and equality approaches and mechanisms in compliance with the constitution and relevant regulatory laws for communes in Fez Meknes and strengthening the role of members to contribute to the development of consultative action plans.
Dkhisa (Meknes): Advocacy for the Generalization of Lighting in Dkhisa Commune to Reduce Violence Against Women
Counterpart partnered with Associations des Enseignants des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre – Fes (AESVT–Fes) to implement a 7-month project contributing to the revision of the “Waste is a Resource” environmental policy, which is a guideline for waste management in the communes of Fez and Tangier. AESVT-Fes focused on strengthening the skills and involvement of civil society to play an effective and sustainable role in the topic area, initiating local and national debates on waste management, and following dialogues, drafting proposed texts to improve and adjust the waste management policy in an inclusive way.
Fez: For A Successful and Efficient Garbage Management in Morocco