At Chemonics, we believe that the challenges we face today are best solved through the right partnerships – sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience to deliver results. From our decades of experience working in more than 150 countries around the world, we know that effective governance and accountable institutions are critical to alleviating poverty and achieving sustainable results in all sectors. So we partner with governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), the independent media, and local communities to strengthen democratic governance systems. We help prevent crime and violence in Mexico by improving government capacity at the federal, state, and municipal levels. And we ensure governance participation of women, people with disabilities, and youth in Nigeria. Our programs pursue a higher standard of transparency and accountability of leaders and institutions, and they protect and promote universal human rights.
Democracy and Governance.
More than 200 organizations make up ASOLIPNAR, an Afro-Colombian organization led by women in Colombia. Many members represent social or ethnic minorities, and all are committed to improving their communities in the face of conflict.
Freedom, Rights, and Custody
Following a rocky marriage, Neema went to Women in Law and Development in Africa, a grantee of USAID’s Pamoia Twajenga project. With their legal assistance, Neema was able to claim her freedom and regain custody of her children.
Thinking and Working Politically
Panelists discuss how donors and project implementers can support politically savvy interventions to better respond to dynamic local contexts and sector-specific outcomes.
Empowering Colombian Women
The Mobile School empowers women in Cauca as political and social organization leaders — training them on topics such as democracy, peace, and women’s rights. Women then replicate the training with others in their own communities.
Bolstering Jordan’s Water Sector Governance
The Water Governance Activity in Jordan works alongside Jordan's Ministry of Water and Irrigation to promote sustainable water governance, and increase water security in the country.
Strengthening Public Service Delivery in Mozambique
Supporting Mozambican citizens to participate in policymaking and the design of public services can improve the effectiveness of state systems and services.
People-Centered Justice in Kosovo
Sourcing and implementing citizen-centered rule-of-law solutions will help promote public trust in Kosovo’s justice system.
Promoting Integrity Networks in Peru
To curb corruption in Peru, the public and private sectors must partner to improve investment processes.
Reducing Crime and Restoring Trust in Mexico
Addressing root causes of violence in Mexico is key to reducing crime and restoring citizens’ trust.
Countering Human Rights Violations in Mexico
Cycles of violence in Mexico continue to take a toll on civilians, necessitating greater accountability in Mexico’s human rights system.
Transforming Economic Governance in Vietnam
Local institutions in Vietnam must be equipped with the resources needed to maximize growth.
Stepping Up Public Accountability in Somalia
To secure debt relief, Somalia must strengthen financial oversight practices and embrace principles of accountability.
Increasing Access to Justice and Enhancing the Rule of Law in Rwanda
Access to justice is a crucial factor for Rwanda in combating poverty, promoting peaceful resolution of disputes, and enhancing the rule of law.
Promoting Unity in Ukraine
Divisive pressures undermine political unity in Ukraine, particularly in eastern regions. Connecting citizens with their government can help.
Supporting the Peruvian Government to Promote Alternatives to Coca
Peru is making significant strides in reducing coca production in rural communities. Yet, solidifying these gains and helping increase effective state presence and viable economic opportunities is still a major challenge.
Introducing the Rule of Law in Myanmar
Building a transparent and inclusive justice sector is a critical step to improving legal rights for Myanmar’s people in the wake of recent political transition.
Enhancing Stability in Somalia
Somalia’s state assemblies must work in tandem with local and international actors to strengthen government capacity and promote a more peaceful, stable Somalia.
Strengthening Somali Governance
Somalia is taking steps toward re-establishing governance with effective and accountable government institutions.
Building Peace in Libya
It is important to build stability and resiliency through civic engagement and community dialogue in Libya.
Improving Information Sharing and Coordination in Ghana’s Justice Sector
Better coordination between justice sector institutions in Ghana is needed to reduce delays in prosecution. A case tracking system is making a difference.
Laying a Digital Foundation
Improving ICT infrastructure is a critical step in strengthening the Liberian government’s decision-making around how to manage health, education, and other services for its citizens.
Elevating Security Sector Reform
The global development community and U.S. government need the right tools, innovations, and proven technical approaches to improve security through security sector reform programs.
Creating A Safer Honduras
To reduce crime and violence in Honduras, communities need resources and governmental support that ensure citizen security in the areas of greatest need.
Modernizing the Sri Lankan Judicial System
As Sri Lanka transitions to a more inclusive and democratic society, its government is reinforcing principles of judicial independence, accountability, and efficiency.
Reforming the Justice System in Indonesia
Reforms to the Indonesian justice system are bringing positive changes to the Supreme Court and Attorney General’s Office.
Strengthening Municipal Governance in Jordan
Jordanian communities need innovative, sustainable ways both to improve how municipalities deliver services and to develop closer relationships between citizens and the government.
Ensuring Sustainable Peace in Colombia
An effective, inclusive, and responsive justice system is essential to Colombia’s peace process, especially in conflict-affected regions.
Digital Revolution: The Future of Higher Education in Liberia
After decades of instability, how can Liberia build a 21st-century learning environment for its higher education institutions?
Cracking the Case to Strengthen Haiti’s Judicial System
Disorganized systems hindered the Haitian judiciary’s ability to effectively manage cases and curb corruption. USAID's Justice Sector Strengthening Program created a system to give judicial stakeholders the tools they need to help restore efficiency and build public confidence in the country's judiciary.
Youth Voices for Peace
In Colombia, hundreds of youth are reclaiming peace by promoting a culture of human rights in communities recovering from conflict.
Strengthening Children’s Rights Guarantees in Ukraine
Increasing the professional competency of judges and attorneys who handle juvenile delinquency cases is changing the way children are treated in Ukraine’s justice system.
A Roadmap to Reform
In Kosovo and Vietnam, the World Bank’s Doing Business Report is providing a framework that helps governments reshape the private sector’s role in advocating for and promoting economic growth.
A New Agricultural Extension Policy Takes Root in Uganda
When a farmer’s crop is being destroyed by pests or contaminated after harvest, who can she turn to for help? In Uganda, extension agents are becoming better prepared to provide farmers with answers.
The Path Toward Protected Rights in the West Bank
Thanks to structured training, the West Bank family courts now constitute a powerful platform through which victims of gender-based violence can access services that more effectively address their needs.
Historic Policy Changes in Vietnam Extend Rights
As the Vietnamese economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, transgender groups are leveraging historic policy changes to break down barriers to opportunity.
Judging Justly: Ukraine’s Journey toward Judicial Reform
A judicial reform effort in Ukraine has built the foundation for a more accountable, transparent judiciary and restored public trust in government institutions.
Involving Local Communities in Kosovo’s Spatial Planning Efforts
With a new law in place, citizens in Kosovo are finding more opportunities to participate in discussions on how public spaces are designed and used.
From Policy to Practice: Exercising Gender-Equal Land Rights in Rwanda
With a communications campaign across four districts, Rwanda is raising public awareness of a key element of land reform — equal rights between men and women.
Solving Land Disputes in Côte d’Ivoire
A conflict resolution workshop in western Côte d’Ivoire has helped the villages of Dah and Béoué settle longstanding issues concerning borders and land ownership.
Building a One-Stop Pension Shop in Armenia
To support an effective and trustworthy e-pension system, the Armenian government has trained civil servants and created an outreach plan to educate the public.
Empowering Farmers, Improving Food Security in Tajikistan
Recent legislation and trainings in Tajikistan are teaching local officials how to implement land reform and helping farmers to protect their property rights.
Women Empowering Women to Overcome Gender-Based Violence in Colombia
With a participatory strategy that positions women as agents of change, USAID and Chemonics are helping victims of gender-based violence reclaim their voices, lives, and rights in one of Colombia’s poorest, most violent cities.
A Relentless Champion for Land Rights in Tajikistan
In Tajikistan, where individuals often struggle to exercise their land rights, Gulbahor Rajabova has helped countless female farmers take legal action and protect their economic well-being.
Indonesian Supreme Court Improves Public Information Services
From May 2010 through May 2014, a USAID project is cooperating with the Indonesian Supreme Court and Attorney General’s Office to increase transparency and accountability in the Indonesian justice system.
Next-Generation Urban WASH Requires Transparent, Innovative Governance
In the first blog entry in this series, More than Pipes and Pumps: Good Governance Drives Improved WASH, we describe how governance is central to meeting the challenges that rapid urbanization poses for provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. In this entry, we focus specifically on how improved WASH governance can enable technological innovations,…
More than Pipes and Pumps: Good Governance Drives Improved WASH
We live in an increasingly urban world with infrastructure and essential services struggling to keep pace. From the current level of 56% in 2020, the United Nations (UN) projects that 68% of the world’s population will be urban by 2050. Many of the world’s fastest growing populations over this period are projected to be rapidly…
3 Lessons from Jordan on Using Asset and Liability Management to Encourage Local Economic Development
Introduction of key concepts and Jordanian context Municipalities own many assets that residents and businesses depend on for critical services. We all rely on drinking water which is treated and flows through municipal pipes to our homes. We depend on our trash being collected and disposed of in the municipal landfill, and the trucks that…
For Holistic Violence Prevention, Consider the Local Systems Framework
Community violence manifests in myriad forms, from gang violence to organized crime. The gamut of ways in which violence materializes implies a litany of societal cleavages, weak governance, and discordant agendas. Too often, efforts to prevent violence either diagnose the causes of violence too narrowly or fail to connect violence prevention on the individual level…
Combatting Human Trafficking During COVID-19
Human traffickers prey on people in crisis, and the global economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health restrictions have left many people desperate for necessities and vulnerable to deceptive and unscrupulous economic exploitation. At least in Myanmar, people are becoming increasingly desperate for employment and are willing to overlook known risks of…
How to Conduct Applied Political Economy Research in a Pandemic
Applied political economy analysis (APEA) is a qualitative field research methodology that supports more effective, politically feasible, and actionable development strategies and relies heavily on field data collected in person at multiple sites in the project country or region. Globally, COVID-19 ushered in rapid and unanticipated travel, health, and safety constraints that make primary data…
Three Questions on Financing Self-Reliance with Mario Kerby
In May, Chemonics, the Urban Institute, and USAID co-hosted a panel discussion and interactive breakout sessions to explore approaches for fostering commitment to more transparent, sustainable financial governance. This summit highlighted experiences and lessons from three USAID projects — including the Chemonics-implemented Fiscal Reform for a Strong Tunisia (FIRST) project — that have successfully built…
The Work You May Not Know You’re Doing and How To Do It Better
Author’s Note: We drafted this blog post and scheduled it to publish before the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests for justice and reform. Our original intention was to highlight the importance of security sector reform (SSR) work for international development programs. We believe that the recent events in the United States related…
Best of the Blog 2019
Check out our countdown of the 10 most popular blog posts from 2019! 10. To Respond to the Venezuelan Migration Crisis, Let’s Also Tap the Private Sector By Ariana Szepesi-Colmenares As Venezuelan migrants navigate challenges in host countries, the private sector must play an active role in maximizing their economic opportunities. 9. Development Works Here…
Let’s Get Creative: Localized Data Collection for Stronger Project Outcomes
In discussing and measuring project success, the international development community is increasingly turning to “data-driven deliverables” that collect solid, demonstrable data to show project results and to build, design, and implement successful development programs. Yet the development industry, by nature, works in places where high-quality, reliable, and consistent data is hard to collect. Local environments,…
An Argument for Inclusive Stabilization
Photo courtesy of USAID Colombia Human Rights Activity. This post originally appeared on Devex. When everyone is struggling to recover from violent conflict, singling out one community for assistance among many ethnic and religious identities can actually make matters worse. Yet, to heal the inter-community rifts that set the stage for conflict, targeted outreach to…
Using Civic Justice to Disrupt Cycles of Violence: Lessons Learned from Mexico
Last month in Morelia, Michoacán in Mexico, a woman returned to her vehicle to find she was being ticketed by a police officer for parking in a no parking zone. She became verbally aggressive towards the officer, pushed him, and accused him of distributing tickets only to collect bribes. Three years ago, Morelia authorities would…
3 Questions with Todd Diamond on Countering Violent Extremism and Preventing Gang Violence
This post was adapted from an interview between Elisabeth Dallas, Chemonics’ Peace, Stability and Transition Practice director, and Todd Diamond, a conflict, stability, and security director in Chemonics’ U.K. Division. For the full interview, watch the video below. How are violent extremism and gang violence — and the development community’s approaches to them — similar?…
A New Solution for Advancing Criminal Justice in Latin America
Nearly half of Latin American countries rank among the nations with the highest impunity scores worldwide, suggesting that criminal justice systems lack resources to prosecute and try crimes effectively in a context of widespread crime and violence. Yet, Latin America has the partners, the resources, and the interest to tap one promising solution to the…
Coding ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ into a Project’s DNA
For decades, the international development community has struggled to prove its effectiveness by ensuring that programs deliver politically viable solutions that respond to locally led processes. Guaranteeing these principles is a shared responsibility between donors and implementers. While donors need to shed the straitjackets of untested theories of change, pre-established project activities, and onerous reporting…
Development Works Here with Dzenita Kolja
We’d like you to meet Dzenita Kolja! Dzenita serves as managing director of the Audit Preparedness Unit within Chemonics’ Global Health Supply Chain Office. Once an aid beneficiary herself, she shares her development journey from Bosnia to the U.S. and what draws her to this work. Dzenita is one reason #DevelopmentWorksHere. 1. Can you tell…
Stop, Look, and Listen! Preventing Recruitment of Youth into Illicit Activities in Southern Colombia
This post originally appeared on Harvard’s Center for International Development’s Building State Capability program’s blog. The authors successfully completed the 15-week Practice of Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation online course. This is their story. As development practitioners, we tend to rush in with solutions to deal with complex problems. We impose so-called best practices without digging…
Harnessing Technology to Address Gross Human Rights Violations
For the past decade, Mexico has faced a serious human rights crisis. More than 35,000 people have gone missing since 2006, their whereabouts still unknown. The National Commission of Human Rights has documented several alarming, unlawful killings of civilians by Mexican security forces without any authorities being charged. And torture continues to be a common…
Can We Actually Think and Work Politically?
Development is not working — at least not at the scale or pace needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This is the central, fact-based premise behind calls and movements to do development differently from host-country recipients of aid, international organizations, donors, and implementing partners. Such calls emphasize adaptive, locally-owned, problem-solving approaches to tackle chronic development challenges.…
Best of the Blog 2018
Check out our countdown to the most popular posts from 2018:* 10. Making Development Dollars Go Further By Spencer Parsons and Gabriel Gonzalez-Kreisberg It will require an extra $2.5 trillion to achieve the SDGs. Can the development community find creative ways to fill that gap? 9. How Can Countries Pay for Their Health Systems? Supply Chains Might…
Working the System: What We’ve Learned About Strengthening Accountability
When designing a new project, how often do we set out to strengthen a particular actor’s or institution’s ability to “hold government to account?” What does that mean exactly? Maybe the better question to ask is: what is the most effective way to strengthen accountability in our development work? And then, what does it look…
The Politics of Biodiversity: Two Experiences with Thinking and Working Politically
What do forest and species loss have to do with politics? A great deal, in fact. Conserving and protecting natural resources involves a complex set of power dynamics, interests, and economies — licit and illicit — that affect how a program can operate within an existing local system. Biodiversity programming must embrace a Thinking and…
Increasing Resiliency in the Face of Disaster: Four Best Practices
As Category 4 Hurricane Florence barreled toward the Southeast of the United States last week, preliminary damage estimates indicated 758,000 homes across three states could be impacted. Reconstruction costs were estimated at $170.2 billion. Despite the dire forecast and its associated challenges, however, the United States is one of the countries most prepared to respond…
Connecting the Dots: How the Open Government Partnership and USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance Go Hand in Hand
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative launched in 2011 which supports countries in consulting with local civil society to develop national action plans which focus on commitments to reforms that strengthen governance by promoting transparency, empowering citizens, and fighting corruption. The annual OGP Summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, which took place on July…