Pakistan—Enhanced Democratic Accountability and Civic Engagement (EDACE)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2013-2016

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Pakistan

Solutions: Governance Fragile States

The Enhanced Democratic Accountability and Civic Engagement (EDACE) programme made short-term, high-impact grants to improve rights awareness, citizen engagement, access to justice, and provision of security services to ensure that Pakistani citizen rights and democratic processes are strengthened at provincial and local levels.

EDACE worked with the AAWAZ project in Pakistan, which also worked to raise citizens’ awareness and participation. EDACE strengthened constructive citizen-state relations by empowering citizens to know and exercise their rights through democratic processes and fostering state capacity to use democratic processes to respond to citizens’ priorities in a timely, transparent, and accountable manner.

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Sample Activities

  • Encourage collaborative public-private partnerships to improve education services in marginalized and underserved communities.
  • Adapt existing voter education materials for women and minorities.
  • Support mediation and dialogue between youth and policymakers.
  • Support district-level security management improvement and capacity development with the police and security services.

Select Results

  • Following our assistance, Human Rights Desks were set up across Karachi by the Sindh Police Force, and 121 police officers who were sensitized by this project were posted to these units where cases of domestic violence, forced conversions etc., were given priority.
  • Strengthened youth associations’ organizational capacities and brought them recognition at the community, district, and national level.
  • Through technical partner, IBEX, supported the Women’s Development Department in setting up a helpline as a mechanism for the information and redressal of complaints by women across Punjab with regard to the issues being faced by them with provincial and district departments.
  • Upgraded a 24-hour complaint management and referral system, aimed at facilitating women and the general community with information and improved access to acquire support from Sindh Police. The call centre approximately received 900,000 complaints each year. To facilitate women more effectively, exclusive Women Complaint Cells were established and linked with the aforementioned service.
  • Assisted Legal Aid Society in improving its training courses.
  • Developed national consensus on rule of law reforms and facilitated initiation of dialogue between parliament and judiciary. The first-ever Parliamentary Caucus for Rule of Law formed as a result of EDACE efforts is playing an important role in building consensus on the reform agenda.
  • Advocacy by EDACE partners led to the passage of the Hindu Marriage Act 2016 by the Sindh Assembly—a long-awaited measure that provides for the documentation of Hindu marriages. In Punjab, the government initiated the Gender Management Information System to provide data on gender-related indicators on the basis of which the annual Gender Parity Reports will be produced. A Gender Parity Report Committee has also been formed to give recommendations to Chief Minister’s office for removing gender disparities in Punjab. These revolutionary steps have brought gender to the mainstream of policymaking in Pakistan’s largest province.
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