Empowering Citizens to Deepen Democracy

What is the project about?

Since the People Power Revolution in 1986, the Philippines is making headway to foster democratic governance. The establishment of a presidential system of government, the restoration of elections, and the development of a vibrant civil society, suggest that significant strides have been made towards this endeavour. In spite of this, critical challenges remain in empowering Filipinos and deepening the country’s democracy.

The quality of Philippine democracy is challenged by electoral injustice, which disenfranchises some sectors of the population. For instance, women are not expected to know or be informed of political issues, let alone exercise their right to vote. For instance, women are not expected to know or be informed of political issues, let alone exercise their right to vote. Indigenous and cultural communities who live in remote areas don’t have access to the electoral process with limited capacity of the Philippine Commission on Elections to deliver registration and voting machines to their areas. Moreover, indigenous peoples, informal settlers, and the urban and rural poor often lack the birth and residency documents needed to register their vote. Due to these factors, these people from these basic sectors rarely have the time, capacity, or confidence to participate in governance processes, whether it is casting their vote, more so running for political office.

In order to foster genuine democratic governance at the grassroots level of Philippine politics, there is a need to empower citizens with the capacity, the tools, and the voice to claim democracy for their own. To this end, the project will initiate reform through a rights-based, local democracy model that aims to strengthen voice channels between claimholders (citizens), and duty-bearers (government). Interventions will be geared toward establishing indirect and direct voice channels at the local level, where the practice of democratic dialogue, constituency-building, and inclusive participation can be strengthened.

What have we accomplished so far?


Donor name Amount contributed
UNDP USD 120,000.00

Delivery in previous fiscal year

2012 USD  82,353.94
Project Overview
Project start date:
January 2012
Estimated end date:
December 2016
Geographic coverage:
National but with affirmative action for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Masbate, Abra
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
MDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Project officer:
Emmanuel E. Buendia, Team Leader, Democratic Governance
Commission on Human Rights, Institute of Political and Electoral Reform, Social Watch Philippines, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Transparency and Accountability Network, Consultative Group on Indigenous Peoples, Christian Convergence for Good Governance, Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Philippine Society for Public Administration, Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation
Project Documents
2012 Annual Work Plan