For democracies in transition, NGOs play a vital role. In the period shortly after the transition to democracy, South African NGOs working in the democracy field had an important educational and watch dog function.
In these initial days much attention was focused on ensuring that the public with newly acquired freedoms was able to exercise their democratic rights in an informed manner. More recently, the focus of these NGOs has turned towards making government work for the people. Participatory governance and sustainable democracy are two important new approaches that have emerged.
Proponents of sustainable democracy focus on building strong institutions at the grassroots level to enable informed participation in electoral processes. While proponents of participatory governance examine and engage with governance processes particularly as they relate to public participation in decision making structures, which have implications for the distribution of social resources.
Overall, ensuring the protection of human rights is an important goal for NGOs working in the democracy field.
For information about NGOs working in related fields, visit the PRODDER NGO and Development Directory.
Common Programme Areas
- Educate and mobilise for citizen participation
- Raise citizen awareness of policy issues
- Advocate on vital issues of governance and justice
- Contribute towards clear strategic policies on the delivery of socio-economic rights for the disadvantaged
South African NGOs Working in Democracy
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