Coady Institute is pleased to collaborate with Voice to support its From Open to Inclusive Governance: Global Innovate and Learn grant program participants.

The collaboration includes a €25,000 allocation for Coady staff to design and facilitate an online learning and accompaniment program titled, Livening the Linking and Learning: Supporting Citizen-Led Accountability Project Planning and Implementation for Voice grantees with projects in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, and Ghana.

Julien Landry and Carmen Malena will lead the program development with contributions from organizational partners and Coady graduates working in governance in local communities around the globe.

Participatory governance is all about ordinary citizens having a voice and being able to influence and contribute to public decision-making processes that affect their lives,” Julien and Carmen explain.

“Inclusive governance extends that idea by acknowledging that not all citizens have equal voice or equal influence and, therefore, that explicit actions are required to ensure that all citizens can participate in public life and that no one is left behind.”

Voice grantees participating in the program will be designing and leading initiatives, such as:

  • Rapid Research for Agile Policy Making (Uganda)
    Rightsholder group: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
  • Full Circle Tax Watch for All (Nigeria, Mali, Ghana)
    Rightsholder groups: Vulnerable elderly and youth; People with disabilities
  • The Unknown about Albinism (Uganda)
    Rightsholder groups: People with disabilities; Women facing exploitation, abuse, and/or violence
  • Chambua: Enhancing Inclusive Taxation (Kenya)
    Rightsholder groups: People with disabilities; Women facing exploitation, abuse, and/or violence
  • We are here. Listen to us. (Tupo.Tusikizwe) (Kenya)
    Rightsholder groups: Vulnerable elderly and youth; People with disabilities; Women facing exploitation, abuse, and/or violence
  • The Wealth of Our Lands (Boititap Korenyo) (Kenya)
    Rightsholder group: Indigenous People and ethnic minorities

“The program is designed both to create linkages between the various project teams and to stimulate collective learning,” Julien and Carmen explain.

“As each of the project teams is composed of experienced practitioners who work in different countries and sectors but share a common commitment to inclusive governance, participants have much to learn from one another, as well as from the experiences of other governance practitioners from around the world.”

Participants will receive support over a one-year period, throughout the design and initial implementation of their respective initiatives, allowing the opportunity to learn, apply, and adjust their plans in real time.

“The Livening the Linking and Learning program is designed to directly support them as they design practical citizen-led accountability interventions and think strategically about how to maximize impact and negotiate meaningful social and political change.”

Voice is a grant facility financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and executed by a consortium between Oxfam Novib and Hivos, which supports diversity and inclusion in ten low- and lower-middle income countries in Africa and Asia.

“What is particularly exciting about this new partnership is the alignment in Voice’s and Coady’s values and approaches to learning for social change,” Julien and Carmen say.

“Voice is an innovative funder and is going the extra mile to build accessibility and inclusion into their processes and practices, and as a result they are able to support truly grassroots and constituency-based organizations working to advance the rights of rights-holder groups at risk of being left behind”.

“I like to think it was serendipity,” Tomás Chang Pico, Global Programme Officer for Voice, adds.

“What we thought would be a short-term collaboration turned into a wonderful partnership. To have our partners strengthen their know-how on social accountability and in the same vein have Coady support them in directly applying that knowledge in their projects – that can only be described as a win-win-win scenario.” 

Julien Landry (Senior Program Staff, Coady Institute) designs and facilitates educational programs focused on citizen engagement, advocacy, social accountability, good governance, and leads the Institute’s thematic work in Participation, Accountability and Governance.

Carmen Malena (Associate, Coady Institute) supports the design and implementation of social accountability and participatory governance initiatives around the world with numerous international NGOs, foundations and development organizations and brings that expertise to the Institute’s thematic work on Participation, Accountability and Governance.

Coady International Institute

St. Francis Xavier University
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