Building a Dialogue between Civil Society and Government in Chad

Through the USAID-funded PEACE (Promoting Elections, Accountability and Civic Engagement), MSI provided democracy and governance expertise for civil society organizations, government officials and local leaders. Democracy and governance experts trained and built capacity for these organizations to advocate on issues, promote accountability, monitor budgets more effectively, and resolve conflicts peacefully.

As a sub-contractor to Counterpart International, MSI experts engaged with traditional religious and secular authorities to provide training and workshops dealing with conflict mitigation and resolution. MSI also developed interfaith dialogues, conflict management skills of religious leaders and regional actions plans. Focus was also placed on the engagement of female mediators.  MSI’s staff worked with leaders across the country to inform and educate citizens about their electoral rights and duties.

The project also helped to organize and coordinate the monthly Civil Society Organization forum. The forum brought together civil society leaders to share advocacy campaigns and create a collaborative environment. The forum’s round table received national media attention when they highlighted the inflated price of petroleum products.  The forum is an important sustainable legacy of the PEACE program.

Staff also trained 28 civil society organizations from 14 cities on monitoring state budgets, building their capacity for local accountability. These workshops were developed to improve transparency in the management of the state budget, the management of the petroleum profits and other public revenue management fields. Because the government ranks low in global anti-corruption rankings, these trainings were important in providing participants with knowledge and tools to monitor the government after project completion.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives conference, held by PEACE, was a milestone for resource management and revenue watching. Government leaders, petroleum companies, and local advocacy groups actively participated.  PEACE staff brought together experienced consultants to present on good governance and transparency in the extractive industries. The Ambassador of the United States of America and the Chadian Minister of Energy and Petroleum were in attendance for the opening and closing of the conference.