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Communities’ Ability in Consultations and Land Transactions: Improving the “Empowering Effect” of Tenure Security Initiatives in Rural Mozambique

Giorgia Mei, Mariagrazia Alabrese,

The 1997 Land Law in Mozambique recognizes the “Right to Use and Benefit from Land” (DUAT) in the following situations: collective or individual “customary occupation”; individual “good faith occupation”; temporary (renewable) authorization for commercial exploitation of the land to national and foreign individuals or corporate entities. Mozambique’s Land Law establishes also that in cases of…

Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: A Strategy for Strengthening Women’s Land Rights

Deborah Espinosa, Florence Santos,

Kenya’s new Constitution guarantees all Kenyans the right to access justice, recognizes customary justice institutions to the extent they do not violate the Constitution, and prohibits gender discrimination in land matters. These provisions form the basis for the USAID-supported Kenya Justice Project, which piloted a model for improving women’s access to customary justice as a…

Finding a Voice for the Voiceless: Indigenous People Gain Recognition in Bangladesh

Ayesha Dastgir, Bibhash Chakraborty, Oxfam Great Britain,

Despite the fact that the government has signed international agreements protecting their rights, the 2.2 million indigenous or adibashi peoples of Bangladesh experience structural prejudice, discrimination, and violence from the majority Bengali community. They lack power and influence at community, regional, and national levels. In response to this, Oxfam GB and its 20 partner organisations…

Case Studies on Successful Civil Society Initiatives to Measure Budget Impact: Hakikazi Catalyst uses PIMA Cards in Tanzania

Vivek Ramkumar,

In 2003, the International Budget Project organized a conference in Mexico that brought together budget advocacy organizations from 40 countries. One of the presentations was made by the Public Affairs Centre from India, which has successfully implemented citizen report cards to evaluate public satisfaction with government service delivery. After attending this conference, the director of…

Citizen Initiative for Freedom of Information in Guatemala Citizen Action

Edgar Alfredo Pape -Yalibat,

Fifteen Guatemalan civil society organizations joined together to form a Citizens’ Observatory. Its purpose is to initiate processes and activities that strengthen the democratic capacity to exercise the right to freedom of access to government information and to hold public officials accountable for their administrative actions. Structurally, the Observatory is a voluntary, multistakeholder council that…

Citizen Control of Public Action: The Social Watch Network in Benin

Cyrille Chabi Eteka, Anne Floquet,

In the 1990s, the democratization of Benin’s public institutions, together with government withdrawal from the production of many social goods, promoted the emergence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs). Initially, NGOs and CBOs were meant to take over the provision of public services. Gradually, they would also defend the interests of their members…

Enhancing Civil Society Capacity For Advocacy and Monitoring: Malawi’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Budget

Dalitso Kingsley Kubalasa, Limbani Bartholomew Elia Nsapato,

Malawi has adopted a number of policies to combat poverty, disease, and ignorance, including the Statement of Development Policies. While these have continued to exist on paper, the reality and implementation usually have not matched the rhetoric. The situation changed considerably following the country’s shift to a democratic multiparty state in 1994, which ushered in…

Participatory Budgeting in Fissel, Senegal

Bara Guèye,

This chapter presents a case study on participatory budgeting as a tool to promote inclusive and transparent mechanisms of local governance. The initiative took place in the communauté rurale (rural commune) of Fissel, one of the first rural communes in Senegal to be decentralized in 1972. Fissel also benefits from many years of active community life,…

Gender-Sensitive and Child-Friendly Budgeting in Zimbabwe

Bob Libert Muchabaiwa,

NANGO is the umbrella body of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe. Over the years, it has become the premier coordination body of more than 1,000 local and international NGOs. Its mission is to create space and identify opportunities for NGOs to pursue their missions and visions and to facilitate the building of members’ capacities,…

Tracking the Ghana District Assemblies Common Fund

Charles Abbey, Vitus A. Azeem, Cuthbert Baba Kuupiel,

Over the past few decades, Ghana has received billions of dollars of overseas development assistance to support its economy and development. Currently, close to 40 percent of Ghana’s annual domestic budget comes from external sources. It is becoming imperative for civil society to be actively involved in budget formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation at both…

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