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Participatory Democracy

The interface between government, civil society and beneficiary communities is the cornerstone of building a culture of human rights.

Participatory Democracy

This programme aims to strengthen participatory democracy at all levels of government.

The Constitution and other legislation provides for civil society participation in national, provincial and local government, including community participation in the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring of programmes at a local level.

However, civil society is often not able to use existing opportunities for participation. This limits the involvement of the vulnerable in these processes, which robs the nation of critical inputs that would deepen and sustain a democratic culture based on the values enshrined in the constitution.


Activities of this part of the programme are designed to enhance participatory democracy through public policy dialogue, civil-society networking and strengthening the capacity of civil-society organisations (CSOs).

  • Convene provincial and national forums between civil society and the government on human rights issues
  • Build the capacity of CSO staff and members to enhance participatory democracy
  • Support CSOs to participate in public policy dialogue
  • Develop a programme to build and support CSO networks and their human rights initiatives in South Africa and the region
  • Develop programmes that facilitate dialogue between CSOs and public institutions especially chapter 9 institutions
  • Advance women’s equality, particularly those projects that are designed and implemented with women from vulnerable and marginalised communities