Citizen participation
Photo: Rob Steel
EMPOWERING THE CITIZENS
Sexual abuse of a thirteen year old girl
In Phambala village (Ntcheu) a young girl had intercourse with six men. The parents knew this but did not do anything. But when the local Village Rights Committee learnt about the situation it summoned all the people involved. Eventually they were all charged at Ntcheu Magistrate Court with 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Citizen participation project
This is just one of many stories that illustrates the impact of the Citizen Participation and Engagement on Policy and Good Governance Project (September 2011 to August 2015) implemented by Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) and funded by Bread For The World. Its main goal was to enhance active and inclusive participation of citizens and church leaders at all levels in policy formulation and implementation.
Citizen participation
The specific objectives of the project were:
List To increase constituents' capacity to participate fully in local and national governments policy decisions that affect their lives and to hold government and other duty-bearers accountable as rights' holders by 2015 in four districts of Malawi.
List To increase the community and church's capacity to engage and hold government accountable on behalf of the citizens as rights holders by 2015.
List To enhance transparency, accountability and responsiveness of parliamentarians and Local Assembly officials in relation to the national budget by 2015 in four districts of Malawi.

The project has helped the citizens in the four impact districts to develop confidence and knowledge relevant to fight for their civic, political and economic rights and to press for governmental transparency and accountability. It has also given them power to approach even the chiefs whenever peoples' rights are being violated.
Citizen participation
At national level the production and airing of the "Nzika Ichitepo Kanthu" radio programme on Zodiak Broadcasting Station has created an awareness of the citizens outside the four districts on the need to press for accountability and transparency from the duty-bearers.
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