Citizen Engagement for Good Governance, Accountability and the Rule of Law (CEGGA)


In Lao PDR, the space for citizens’ involvement in public affairs is a challenge, as the overall environment for the civil society is strongly controlled and not conducive. While the National Assembly (NA) is assuming a more assertive oversight and representative role, it still faces many constraints to function as an effective representative body. The new CEGGA Programme will provide more opportunities for Lao CSOs to engage in the country development processes, and to collaborate with the NA in bringing local experience, lessons learned and citizen’s voice to the NA. It will also strengthen the NA’s autonomous role, contributing to a greater formal division of power, and to engage more systematically with non-state actors as part of its deliberations on draft legislation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Laos
Governance
Democratic participation and civil society
Public sector policy
01.06.2016 - 31.12.2020
CHF 5'450'000
Background

The Lao PDR has a one-party state system, and the formal operating space for independent Lao CSOs is tightly regulated. The role of CSOs in poverty reduction is recognised by authorities, albeit strictly controlled. The National Assembly has taken cautious steps towards outreach, accountability and oversight. However, resources and capacities remain underdeveloped and the division between legislative and executive bodies is not strictly enforced. Strengthening the link between the State as the provider and the citizens as recipients of public services will be essential to enhance further progress, as the Lao Government is committed to establishing a “Rule of Law State” by 2020. Increasing citizen’s engagement in political processes will help to ensure that public resources are being used wisely and for the benefit of all.

Objectives

“A more inclusive development process in Laos based on increased citizens’ engagement in the national development process and established rule of law”.

Target groups

Direct beneficiaries: local CSOs and INGOs; National Assembly members; MOHA and MOJ

Indirect beneficiaries: Lao citizens (women and men, with focus on ethnic groups in remote areas) in selected provinces.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Civil society
Increased engagement of civil society organizations in the national development process based on an improved environment and increased operational capacities.

Outcome 2: National Assembly
Strengthened representative, legislative and oversight functions of the National Assembly.

Outcome 3:  Access to Justice
Improved state of the rule of law and enhanced implementation of human rights obligations.

SDC will earmark its contribution to Outcomes 1 and 2, as access to justice support is not part of the SDC’s Local Governance and Citizen Participation Domain’s strategic orientations (and corresponding indicators), under the current SDC Mekong Region Strategy 2013-2017.

Results

Expected results:  

Under Outcome 1 and 2 (SDC’s contribution):

1.1. The organisational capacities of CSOs to implement small projects are improved;
1.2.  Engagement of Lao CSOs in policy dialogue with GoL, NA, ASEAN and Development Partners will be strengthened;
1.3.  Lao civil society policy and rights-relatednetworking is strengthened;
1.4.  The handling of citizens’ applications for NPA registration through MoHA/DoHA is strengthened;
2.1. The NA and Provincial People’s Assemblies (PPA) parliamentary functions integrate regular and wide-ranging consultations with the public
2.2.  The NA and PPA law making and amendmentsto existing law will be based in analysis (incl.gender analyses), evidence-based review and acoherent rationale.
2.3. The commitments of the NA and PPA to transparency and public accountability are strengthened.


Results from previous phases:  

  • About 85 Lao CSOs have increased their technical and organizational capacities. This has enabled them to develop needs-based programs and contributed to improve the quality of services and livelihood of 130’000 disadvantaged people in rural areas.
  • 34 of these CSOs were supported in the development of 42 project proposals, of which 31 were successfully funded by other donors.
  • CSOs engaged in policy and human rights dialogue at national, regional and international levels.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
  • Other OI


Other partners
Ministry of Home Affairs (leading partner), National Assembly, Ministry of Justice, Local CSO’s (including NPA’s), International NGOs.
Coordination with other projects and actors

EU projects: Legal Sector Master Plan, N-GPAR;
SDC projects: N-GPAR, Lao DECIDE Info, NASSP, PEI and the Local Governance Initiative & Network (LOGIN).

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'450'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'518'236
Project phases Phase 2 01.06.2016 - 31.12.2020   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.05.2011 - 30.04.2016   (Completed)