DWF builds civil society’s ability to request support from South African Provincial Legislatures through an Online Learning Workshop Series

JOHANNESBURG, 8 April 2020 – Democracy Works Foundation is set to train community organisations working with some of South Africa’s most disadvantaged communities to access support from Provincial Legislatures. The community organisations are based in Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West Provinces.

Between 6 April and 8 May 2020, the DWF’s Civil Society Participation in Provincial Legislatures (CSPPL) project will take the civil society organisations (CSOs) through online learning workshop series aimed at improving their engagement with their provincial legislatures. The decision to hold the training online is in response to the COVID-19 nationwide outbreak and lockdown, to ensure continued learning on behalf of the CSO participants.

The CSPPL project aims to strengthen the ability of Civil Society Organisations and political representatives to address service delivery challenges through ongoing and sustainable public participation in democratic institutions.

“South Africa’s most marginalised communities face major obstacles in engaging their elected representatives about their challenges. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in supporting communities to attain this democratic right and can connect communities and provincial departments. Bringing the work of Provincial Legislatures and CSOs closer together, therefore, has the potential to strengthen democracy and deepening accountability,” says CSPPL programme manager Mira Dutschke.

With a total of five online learning workshops, each session focuses on a different thematic area including:

  • an introductory session (understanding the course and course content)
  • what is government?
  • why do we have a separation of powers?
  • what is the legislature? and
  • how do we engage with the legislature?

The CSPPL Project seeks to increase levels of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) activity in public participation and oversight at the provincial legislatures in Limpopo, Northern Cape, and North West Province. The project is implemented by DWF in partnership with Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), with financial support from the European Union (EU) and WFD. The project is implemented through facilitated events with CSOs and Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) and key legislative staff.  These events and ongoing support aim to increase state responsiveness and accountability in the thematic areas of public health and public safety in three provinces.

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is a southern African non-profit company with headquarters in South Africa which promotes and develops inclusive, equitable and sustainable consensus democracies.

For further information or an interview with project manager Mira Dutschke, please contact Nabeelah Khan on 010 023 0835 or nabeelah@democracyworksfoundation.org

Nabeelah has an academic background in governance and democracy. She has conducted research writing at the Media Review Network and the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute (ASRI). In 2017 she completed an ASRI fellowship as part of their Future Leaders programme and where she subsequently worked as a project co-ordinator. She holds a BA degree in Public Management and Governance and she currently serves as the Chairperson of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Lenasia Youth Club.

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