Self-Directed, Civic Participation | Matthew Aubry
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Quickfacts
Grant Title:
​Building the Capacity of Civic Participation and Empowerment in The Bahamas​
Legal Organization:
ORG Bahamas Foundation
Project Dates:
Start Date: 01 September 2018
End Date: 31 August 2021
Grant Amount:
$896,610

Responsible, accountable, and transparent governance is a central challenge for societies seeking to provide equal opportunity and socioeconomic stability for their citizens. Responsible Governance is the foundation for a more prosperous future for all.

From Apathy to Disassociation

Amidst a decline in socio-economic conditions, The Bahamas finds its citizenry in a crisis of disillusionment and disenfranchisement. The social and economic impacts of the dual crisis of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic in The Bahamas have only reinforced the critical need for self-directed, civic participation.

There is, however, much evidence that the public has lost confidence that their input and efforts can have an impact to improve the conditions and governance that prevail in the nation. There is an increasing trend towards apathy and disassociation from civic participation.

If this continues unchecked, the capacity of the public to contribute and work to solve the challenges of the nation will be greatly diminished.

A More Prosperous Future for All

With the support of Templeton Religion Trust, the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) working to increase the social, emotional, and economic potential of The Bahamas through research and public engagement.

Through education and engagement of the citizenry, government and civil society, ORG sees an opportunity to reverse the current, rapid denigration that threatens the socio-economic, cultural, and spiritual future of The Bahamas.

The ORG Approach

Accountable Governance: ORG empowers civil society and introduces key policy and legislation to ensure the actions of the country’s leadership are subject to oversight and serve the best interests of the Bahamian people.

Education Reform: ORG addresses failing education systems with innovative policies and programs generated through research and cross-sector collaboration.

Economic Development: ORG convenes industry leaders and international and local scholars to develop solutions and plot a path to greater prosperity for all.

"The singular national focus on the massive relief and recovery effort post-Dorian required us to ground the project activities and messaging in the context of disaster recovery and preparedness .... This did help to highlight the value of the project to a wider audience, but it also resulted in a necessary reconfiguration of our predetermined approach and timelines."

Empowering Engagement in the Wake of Dorian and COVID-19

While facing a dual crisis, ORG has worked to move the needle on self-directed, civic participation as a means toward empowering engagement.

As a result of this project, civic education, public consultation, integrity, and the freedom of information have become a more regular part of the national dialogue. The status quo of minimal public engagement around policy and governance matters has started to change. There is a growing recognition that citizens have a valuable role in the development of their communities and the nation. This is reflected in the increased attention of the media to matters of civic engagement and the emphasis upon transparency and accountability. These are encouraging signs, even as ORG’s work continues.

Responsible, accountable, and transparent governance is the goal, but this requires civic participation. ORG is working to equip Bahamians to do their part in order to realize a more prosperous future for all.

Learn more: https://www.orgbahamas.com