Achievements of US-funded Citizens’ Voice Project in Pakistan Celebrated

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: More than 200 representatives from Civil Society Organizations gathered in Islamabad on Monday to celebrate the achievements of the US-funded Citizens’ Voice Project, which advanced citizen engagement with public and elected institutions to promote transparent, accountable, and responsive governance.

In his remarks at the event as the Chief Guest, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar applauded the work of US Agency of International Development (USAID) in facilitating engagement between citizens and state institutions.

Thanking the American people for their assistance, Hammad Azhar said that the project has enabled the citizens to become part of the solution for accountable governance.

Achievements of US-funded Citizens’ Voice Project in Pakistan Celebrated
The USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen and the Federal Minister Economic Affairs Division Hamad Azhar in a conversation with the Citizens’ Voice Project beneficiaries.

The USAID Pakistan’s Mission Director Julie Koenen noted “The voices from organizations can enrich dialogue and help ensure that the needs of local populations are taken into account in policy making and development programs.  This interplay can foster peacefulness in societies, build successful economies and improve how people experience their daily lives”.

The Citizens’ Voice Project highlights US and Pakistani commitment to strengthening democracy and governance in Pakistan through citizen-led activities.

As one of the longest-running civil society initiatives in Pakistan, the Citizens’ Voice Project issued 364 grants to 227 Pakistani Civil Society Organizations, contributing to the institutional strengthening and development of Civil Society Organizations throughout the Country.

Since 2011, the project has worked to strengthen democracy in Pakistan through sustained investments in citizen engagement with public and elected institutions on transparent, responsive and accountable governance.

One of the major highlights of the project was its work on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Women National Identity Cards (NIC) and Voter Registration Campaign for reducing the gender-gap between male and female voters on the electoral rolls.  As a result of the campaign, the enrollment of women voters increased by 4.3 million between October 2017 and May 2018.