By Suha Alsubaihi
A project seeking to strengthen civil society organizations in Jordan towards better influencing on the democratization process was officially launched on Sunday.
Named "Qararuna", the project is implemented by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan (UJ) by the support of the European Union and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
The project aims at supporting and strengthening the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in contributing to democratization and good governance; and influencing policy making through fostering active civil society organizations in the promotion of political participation, advocacy, electoral observation and parliamentary monitoring, through focusing on women and youth.
UJ President Prof. Abdul Karim Al Qudah said at the launching Ceremony that the University is keen to become a model for university - civil society organizations partnership to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development in Jordan.
In her remarks, Ambassador of Spain to Jordan Aranzazu Banon Davalos said that the project provides an opportunity for the CSOs to identify strategies to overcome challenges and to dialogue over issues that are essential to democratic governance, such as civic education, electoral processes, women participation, right to information and advocacy.
EU Ambassador to the kingdom Andrea Matteo Fontana pointed out that the European Union strongly believes in the role of civil society organizations in supporting democratization and political reform, indicating that the project will contribute to enhancing the capacity of civil society organizations in Jordan.
CSS Director Prof. Musa Shteiwi said in his opening speech that the project will be implemented during 30 months and involves carrying out a research study on the current situations and capacities of civil society organizations, which will be the fundamental entry towards designing training programs that target civil society organizations working in the related fields.