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About us

On December 4, 2013, USAID awarded the Afghan Civic Engagement Program (ACEP) under the Co-Agreement number AID-306-A-14-00001 to Counterpart International, Inc. and its international partners, Internews Network, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and the Aga Khan Foundation USA.

The goal of ACEP is to promote civil society and media engagement that enables Afghan citizens to influence policy, monitor government accountability, and serve as an advocate for political reform. The program aims to achieve this goal through five program areas: (1) regular CSO engagement with government; (2) increase CSO and media thematic expertise in democracy and governance; (3) expand civic engagement; (4) improve access to independent news and public affairs information; and (5) increase CSO organizational capacity.

The ACEP program started its programming in May 2014 in collaboration with our proposed Afghan and International partners. Key year one programming areas focused on: 1) conducting a baseline assessment to accurately inform ACEP as it seeks to customize programming support; 2) jump starting critical civic education, especially in rural communities; 3) expanding efforts to involve more CSOs in effective policy advocacy that includes organizational and technical sector capacity building, network development, research and material presentation, opportunistic advocacy actions, and extensive policy campaigns; 4) supporting anti-corruption and government oversight activities that utilize the traditional media and the anonymity of social media to educate citizens against corruption; 5) providing media support and strengthening services that increase sustainability and quality of content in the sector, increase journalist technical knowledge and support CSOs with outreach; and finally 6) laying the legal and organizational foundation for the establishment of the proposed Afghan Institute for Civil Society (AICS).