In Nepal, a project initiated by the National Democracy Institute and the Nepali Election Commission uses street theater to encourage participation in elections and responsible voting practices.
Right to Participate in Government & in Free Elections
The Iraqi Civic Action Network (ICAN) led a large civil society movement by engaging national and international stakeholders to put pressure on the Iraqi parliament to integrate amendments agreed upon by the broad alliance to the law on the establishment and functioning of Iraqi non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As a result, a second draft law, based on the recommendations of the civil society organizations and reviewed by the parliament was sent to the president to integrate the suggested recommendations.
Prior to 2003, Cities for Peace, a coalition of local elected officials and concerned community members, worked to get City Councils and other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a US led war on Iraq. Although the group focuses on the anti-war effort, this tactic has also been used to show local opposition to a variety of federal actions, such as investment in apartheid and the curtailment of civil liberties under the Patriot Act (2001).
The Culture and Free Thought Association has established youth centers, run by youth parliaments, to teach adolescents about the democratic process and provide them with positive life experiences. The youth centers are now governed by the elected members of the youth parliaments. This program for youth sprung out of a need to illustrate the democratic process for young people who had never witnessed it. Many youth in Palestine had witnessed or been subjected to violence.
The Civic Democratic Initiatives Support Foundation (CDF) in Yemen created local level “shadow committees,” parallel structures to official policy-making bodies, to promote issues related to women’s rights and women’s participation in development. The capacity building process not only enhanced the ability of local women to advance their issues in their local public political sphere but also resulted in local level NGOs promoting women’s rights.
CDF carried out a number of steps to develop the local level shadow committees:
During Kenya’s 2002 presidential elections, independent monitoring groups used mobile phones to keep the election process honest by immediately reporting vote tallies from each polling place.
Using a constitutional provision that had never been invoked, Comisión Nacional Pro-Referéndum (CNR) organized a referendum in Uruguay, so that the public could vote on the congressional decision to grant impunity to human rights abusers employed by the military. In order to petition the government to hold a popular referendum, CNR needed, within one year of the impunity law’s passage, to collect the signatures of 25 percent of citizens who were qualified to vote.