Participatory Responsive Governance
Counterpart implemented the five-year, USAID-funded Participatory, Responsive Governance – Principal Activity (PRG-PA) project. PRG-PA promoted governance and policy reforms that support equitable access to education, health, and security services. Together with our partners, we supported increased citizen participation and government responsiveness to citizen priorities through dialogues, advocacy, social partnerships, accountability mechanisms, and communication and information programs to mobilize community engagement. We partnered with social sector stakeholders (civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and traditional and religious leaders) to build capacity to enact change. We worked with government agencies to transfer planning, resource allocation, and monitoring to the local level. Under the Security Governance Initiative, Counterpart promoted communication and collaboration between government security forces and citizens in conflict areas. Counterpart worked to provide mechanisms for citizens to express their needs and priorities and receive information from security authorities. Counterpart also worked with civil society organizations and media on security issues.
PRG-PA created opportunities for dialogue and allowed a safe space for citizens to identify their needs and priorities:
- Completed 51 multi-stakeholder forums to identify citizen priorities in 14 service sectors. 3000 participants – including 800 women – from the public, private, and social sectors contributed to a published national list of priorities and recommendations.
- Sponsored 48 communal and regional multi-stakeholder dialogues for 1,626 citizens (419 female). CSOs, CBOs, media, local government officials, private sector representatives, and other community leaders focused on specific health and education issues, particularly lack of teachers and health agents in rural communities.
Based on these local priorities, the following activities were implemented:
- Trained 156 journalists and radio hosts – including 48 females — to provide information on citizen priorities in health, education, and security.
- Broadcast 18 radio programs on education, health, and security issues to inform and motivate citizens to advocate for better service delivery.
- Formed 8 community-based Listening Discussion Clubs to evaluate PRG-PA radio broadcasts and provide feedback.
- Assisted the Ministry of Primary Education and three teachers’ unions to negotiate redeployment of over 1,176 surplus teachers in Niamey to vacant rural positions.
- Assisted ministries of primary and secondary education to create teacher redeployment commissions at communal level.