Voluntary Aid’ works to empower people to engage politically, prosper economically, and thrive socially. Our civic empowerment approach focuses on building the capacities of citizens with preference to (young people and women groups) to develop innovative solutions towards the co-creation, co-delivery and co-utilization of public services in their local communities.
Today, infrastructure innovators are using real-time road quality data to create micro-contracts for community-led road repairs, helping millions of people access paved roads while creating jobs and lowering the cost of repairs.
In Africa, where half of government spending goes toward contracts, tools like the African Partner Pool have opened opportunities to SMEs; and since its launch, the platform has provided USD $15 million worth of tenders for more than 800 SMEs. Also, solutions like Open Contracting, has helped in opening up opportunities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) while maintaining transparency and accountability of projects.
However, in the face of shrinking civic space and sparse public services, we believe that empowering citizens involves opportunities that grant citizens access to initiate, own and manage public services and projects, hold leaders accountable and also exercise their civic freedoms. Hence, citizens need to overcome significant barriers to collective action through community organizing strategies that promote citizen-state development practices and relations.