To bolster institutional capacity and inclusive, responsive policymaking in Jordan, IRI partners with subnational government representatives and demand-side actors. IRI helps elected officials improve communication, service delivery, and promote citizen participation in local governance.

A girl holds a Jordanian national flag

IRI’s Inclusion Series highlights experts and activists working on persons with disabilities (PWD) issues to build awareness and understanding about PWD and their capabilities in contributing to leadership and activism in Jordan. The discussion sessions are designed to reduce the social stigma PWD face so that they can become more active members of their community.

Through Citizen Committees, IRI assists small groups of volunteers in partner municipalities to encourage increased transparency and accountability by engaging citizen voices in decision-making. These Committees help to identify needs in the community through informal surveys, relay citizen perceptions to the municipality, and support municipal development efforts with volunteer initiatives. A key activity of these Committees has been Town Hall meetings, bringing together residents with their elected officials to discuss needs, priorities, and budgeting.

The Youth Leadership Academy recruits youth from across the country who are eager to run for office, form a CSO, or engage in grassroots advocacy to help build technical skills to increase citizen inclusion, transparency, and the use of research in decision-making. The Academy sets up youth as agents of change in the civic and political sphere and connects them with relevant government actors. With CEPPS, IRI will connect alumni with Citizen Committees or other activities to hear directly from fellow citizens and build alliances to take change nationwide. The alumni also act as leaders on advocacy and research initiatives such as IRI’s Critical Dialogue Groups.

Through its Women Rise Network, CEPPS/IRI engages women from IRI alumni and partner communities across Jordan to build technical and communication skills for civic engagement or possible political campaigns. These skills are then continued through research, policy papers, presentations to relevant experts and authorities, and grassroots campaigns on issues ranging from workforce participation to water to cyber bullying of women engaged in political work. The women in this cohort work together as a support system, in collaboration with women in office in their municipalities, to work on common initiatives and elevate their civic voices.

To promote the inclusion of all voices, IRI conducts annual polling on citizens’ perception of democracy and conducts focus group sessions for Jordanian youth. CEPPS/IRI’s qualitative and quantitative research on youth grievances found that Jordanian youth are hesitant to engage in civic and political processes because they believe most politicians are corrupt. In addition, youth do not trust representative institutions and fear retaliation if they were to become politically active. As a result, CEPPS/IRI launched a social media campaign to encourage dialogue on these issues. The campaign informs Jordanians of their rights and opportunities and mobilizes them to engage in the political process.

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