24 Jul 2014

Mercy Corps - A vibrant civil society helps support a strong and stable democracy – even through crisis

Broadening Participation through Civil Society (BPCS)/Musharaka is a three-year USAID funded program with the goal that Iraq’s democratic systems become more participatory and dynamic as a result of civil society sustainably deepening citizens’ social and political engagement. The program aims to foster an increasingly professional, interactive and interconnected Iraqi civil society that offers greater opportunities for citizens to contribute to and benefit from the country’s development. Over the past year, BPCS has worked with a network of over 100 Iraqi civil society organizations offering capacity strengthening via organizational development initiatives, subgrant funding to support CSOs’ policy advocacy and civic engagement activities, physical space for collaboration via seven civic participation hubs, and raised visibility of civil society and its work to over 10,000 Iraqis via 37 civil society fairs.

Although media pundits focus solely on the political and military solutions to the current crisis, BPCS believes Iraqi civil society represents a bright spot during these trying times. Civil society organizations represent communities across the country, which are affected at the most basic levels by this crisis. In addition, CSOs were quick to respond in a number of positive ways from conducting rapid needs assessments of newly relocated internally displaced persons (IDPs) to distributing food and non-food items where needed. BPCS also believes if CSOs remain true to their organizational values, mission, and beneficiaries they are well positioned to promote a peaceful, pluralistic, and inclusive outcome.

To find out how BPCS is responding to the crisis and coaching CSOs through these difficult times find our official statement in English, Arabic, and Kurdish.

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