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Conference hears about ways to strengthen civil society

By JT - Sep 10,2019 - Last updated at Sep 10,2019

AMMAN — On Tuesday, the Centre for Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan hosted a conference to present the main findings of a civil society organisations' (CSOs) needs assessment that was carried out during the first half of 2019.

This study is part of the Qararuna project, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), which aims at deepening the role of civil society in contributing to democratic governance and policy making, according to a statement issued by the EU and AECID.

The study presented during the conference contained an assessment of the current context and main needs of civil society organisations  in the areas relevant to Qararuna’s goals gathering information from 443 Jordanian CSOs, according to the statement.

The main results of the study show that although the number and role of CSOs in the democratic governance process has increased considerably in the political arena in recent years, their influence in the democratisation process in Jordan is still weak and mostly ineffective, read the statement.

Relations between civil society organisations and decision makers also hinder their efforts and CSOs face different obstacles when creating alliances or coalitions, the statement said.

To achieve their goals and activities, CSOs are mostly in need of financial support, assistance in reaching supporters and training and qualifying their cadres, the statement said.

The study also laid the foundation for the design of a comprehensive training programme that the Centre for Strategic Studies will implement in September 2019 to build the capacities of over 200 Jordanian CSOs from across the Kingdom, the statement said, adding that the centre will also design an e-learning programme targeting young Jordanians and activists willing to participate in civil spaces.

The conference was chaired by the Centre for Strategic Studies, the University of Jordan, the European Union Delegation in Jordan and the Embassy of Spain in Jordan.

Qararuna is part of the EU “support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development” (EU-JDID) programme, which is composed of four different but interconnected components: Parliamentary support, electoral assistance, support to the political party system and support to civil society organisations, the statement said.

EU-JDID aims at supporting Jordan's reform process towards consolidating a deep democracy, promoting inclusiveness of national policy and decision-making processes, including women and youth leading to a stronger democratic political culture and deepening the role of civil society, the statement said.

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