What We Do / Civil Society and Governance Overview

Partners is committed to strengthening and institutionalizing civil society participation and to promoting good and accountable governance and the rule of law. As such, Partners has built programs to increase civil society and citizen participation in local, national, and international processes. In addition, Partners brings proven experience in building and managing collaborative networks and establishing linkages with a broad range of organizations. The breadth and depth of Partners experience in the LAC region is unmatched and it has built local capacity in many areas, including: monitoring justice, electoral, and legislative reforms and related government agencies; implementing initiatives in micro-enterprise, election monitoring, budgeting, legal services provision, and conflict resolution; developing sustainable civil society organization (CSO) networks and facilitating their participation in regional and international policymaking; and using deliberative methodology to engage government officials, citizens and CSOs in dialogue on community needs and guiding development of strategies and policies to meet those needs.


  • Partnersí Judicial and Civil Society Strengthening Program in Bolivia designed and implemented capacity development and mobilization of a network of more than 100 Bolivian CSOs, through the U.S. Agency for International Developmentís (USAID)-funded Citizens Working for Justice Program, to expand civil societyís understanding, acceptance, and support for reform of the Bolivian Criminal Code of Procedures. To do so, Partners mobilized the Bolivian Justice and Participation Network to monitor justice reform efforts; implement a broad public education campaign on the reforms and access to justice and engage in public policy development. Partners harnessed the Network to engage citizens in the vetting and selection of candidates vying for positions on Bolivia's Supreme Court and Judicial Council, a process that was the result of nearly a year of collaboration between the legislature and the Network to increase the independence and authority of judges.


  • Partnersí Judicial and Policy Reform program in Colombia: As a subcontractor to Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc., Partners developed CSOsí capacity to participate in policy design for judicial reforms and monitor policy implementation. Partners trained organizations in conflict resolution, provided grants for judicial monitoring, and worked with the Colombian Government to expand access to justice. Partners also created the Colombians Supporting Colombians Program in the conflict-torn municipalities of Tolima and Valle de Cauca. Working with CSOs, mayors and their councils, other local officials and members of the Colombia Confederation of Chambers of Commerce transparency pacts were signed and participatory budgeting implemented. 


  • From 1995 through 2005, Partners designed and implemented activities to expand the Inter-American Democracy Network (IADN) from five founding CSOs to 366 members in 24 countries. Partners provided grants and technical assistance to civil society and government partners for citizen participation; advocacy; citizen monitoring and oversight; accountability and transparency; institutional CSO strengthening; conflict prevention and resolution and environmental protection and sustainable development. It also funded 10 organizations in nine countries to implement projects related to participatory budgeting and budget transparency at the local level. These lead IADN members, in turn, collaborated with 341 CSOs and 168 government institutions to execute their projects. The projects ranged from monitoring budget expenditures at the provincial level to municipal participatory budgeting.