The Communities in Action (Jigerduu Jarandar) project enhances collaboration between civil society, the government and the private sector in Kyrgyzstan to address issues of local concern by deepening linkages between diverse actors with common goals. The project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, provides communities with networking opportunities to increase their financial, human and intellectual assets for conducting grassroots advocacy. It applies ongoing learning about what works to engage citizens effectively in civic participation. And, the project works with lawyers and civil society organizations to strengthen citizens’ understanding of their legal rights, increase demand for the rule of law and improve access to justice.
Communities in Action uses learning labs in ten target communities to provide iterative feedback on local solutions and encourage those communities to apply that learning to refine the solutions over time. Communities in Action supports vertical networks between these communities and national-level advocacy campaigns to bring local issues to national attention and to build engagement between civil society organizations and the communities most impacted.
In addition, Communities in Action leverages the media, conferences and other venues to showcase locally led solutions that achieve concrete results, demonstrating the value of civic engagement and publicizing information about civic rights. The project uses a variety of methods to assist citizens in better understanding their legal rights, including a mobile legal user guide and peer educators. It builds the capacity of civil society organizations and legal aid providers to defend those legal rights and to assist citizens with obtaining legal services.