Democracy, Rights, and Governance

school children gathered at school courtyard

EnCompass supports the MacArthur Foundation’s Big Bet On Nigeria program as its Evaluation and Learning partner. The On Nigeria program focuses on reducing corruption in the country by encouraging accountability, transparency, and good governance in many sectors of society, including electricity distribution, universal basic education, home grown school feeding, criminal justice, and media and journalism.

This month, many individuals are seeking ways to be better allies by upholding and protecting the rights and dignity of friends, family members, and colleagues. But what does it mean for an organization to be an ally?

As we honor Pride Month at EnCompass, we have been reflecting on how our work supports dignity, security, rights, and inclusive human development. One recent example stands out.

Pride Flag

In 2011, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) launched the Global Equality Fund, which supports human rights defenders and civil society activists on several levels. Through the Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance program, the Global Fund provides emergency assistance for activists under threat, and additional support to build security and resilience of advocacy organizations working on a wide range of LGBTI issues. 

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, by Presidential proclamation. As we leave January behind, it’s imperative that we continue the fight against modern day slavery. Being focused for one month is certainly a great step in the right direction to raise awareness, but that’s not enough. Human trafficking occurs every hour, every day: 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months a year.

Then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, "Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally," in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 4th of July holiday presents an opportunity for all Americans to pause and think about what we are truly celebrating: whose freedom, whose independence, whose rights?  Recent discussions among EnCompass staff about the events in Charleston reveal the many different feelings and experiences among our staff about what it means to be an American. And those in EnCompass whose identity is in other nationalities and live in the United States, or in other countries, have yet a different set of experiences of this country. There are many things to celebrate on the 4th of July; to name a few: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 enacted by the U.S.

South African President Jacob Zuma

Mothers in ancient Sparta washed the newborn with wine to ensure it was strong.  Later the baby was brought by its father to the elders, who inspected the newborn carefully. If they found that the child was deformed or weakly they threw it into Kaiada, the so called Apothetae, a chasm at a cliff, of the mount Taygetos. (See http://www.sikyon.com/sparta/agogi_eg.html)

Panelists at the International Republican Institute

EnCompass conducted an evaluation of the International Republican Institute's (IRI) political party development program in Tunisia. The evaluation focused on the IRI’s contributions to improving internal party structures, party communication, constituent outreach, strategic planning, and campaign tactics. Data collection included in-country interviews and focus groups with IRI staff, as well as interviews with political party members in several regions across the country. Results of the evaluation will help to inform IRI’s strategy for the program moving forward.

USAID Staff in the Field

EnCompass designed and delivered the Leadership Development Program for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). The blended program focused on leadership in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments, for mid- and senior-level managers and supervisors. The program was delivered through two, multi-day face-to-face workshops, in-person coaching, and intersession collaboration and action learning practicums.

Gathering of men, West Africa

EnCompass conducted a mid-term evaluation of the Peace Through Development Program, which seeks to dissuade marginalized populations from joining extremist organizations by using community-based, youth-based, and media outreach efforts. The objective of the evaluation was to gain a deeper understanding of the counter-extremism initiatives that have been effective and to incorporate these findings into the next phase of the program. The evaluation included fieldwork in Chad and Niger.

Speaker at Conference

The Contemporary Issues (CI) Fellowship program brought 922 promising mid-career professionals from 12 post-Soviet states to the United States to conduct policy research for four to six months. The EnCompass evaluation assessed the long-term impact that CI had on alumni careers and the extent to which CI fellows influenced policy change and/or contributed to institutional-level change. The evaluation used a combination of document review, key informant interviews conducted in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, and an online survey.

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