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Amman- On September 10, 2019, the Center for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan hosted a conference to present the main findings of a Civil Society Organizations’ needs assessment that have been carried out during the first half of 2019. This study is part of the Qararuna project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and aims at strengthening the role of civil society in contributing to democratic governance and policy making. The event was chaired by the Center for Strategic Studies, the University of Jordan, the European Union Delegation in Jordan and the Embassy of Spain in Jordan.
Qararuna is a project of €4 million which is part of the EU-JDID programme, “Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development”, worth €12 million. The latter aims at supporting Jordan's reform process towards consolidation of deep democracy and to promote inclusiveness of national policy and decision-making processes, including women and youth, leading to a stronger democratic political culture and to deepen the role of civil society in contributing to democratic governance and policy making. This support is in line with the EU efforts to develop a vibrant civil society that is able to express the views and represent the interests of all segments of society, notably women and youth.
The study presented during the conference includes an assessment of the current context and main needs of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in those areas relevant to Qararuna’s goals, mainly: civic education, voter information, public awareness on the roles of the Parliament and the IEC, promotion of the role of women and youth in political life, domestic election observation, parliamentary monitoring, coalition building and joint advocacy, lobbying and policy-making and monitoring human rights. The assessment has gathered information from 443 Jordanian CSOs active in all these fields.
Furthermore, the study lays the foundations for the design of a comprehensive training program that the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) will implement starting on September 2019. The program will build the capacities of over 200 Jordanian CSOs from all around the Kingdom in different thematic areas that will contribute to increase their participation in policy making and their contribution to democratic governance. Within the framework of Qararuna, CSS will also design an e-learning program targeting young Jordanians and activists willing to participate in civil spaces towards the project goals.
These capacity development activities carried out in Qararuna are complemented with grants to CSOs, managed by AECID, in fields such as the promotion of the role of women and youth in politics, election observation, parliamentary monitoring and the support to civil society coalitions.
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