In-depth: Democratic Governance

A group of girls playing in a circle

Human Rights: To promote the culture of human rights, UNDP pioneered several initiatives in Egypt predominantly the conduct of human rights training for the law enforcement sector where 304 training courses were held benefiting 10,898 law enforcement agents and human rights practitioners, as well as 131 awareness sessions benefitting 20,370 civil servants, police sergeants and students. To protect the rights of the girl child and to break the silence on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), UNDP’s support to the FGM-free village model resulted in the promulgation of the Child Law criminalizing the practice of FGM and already 70 villages have declared themselves FGM free.  UNDP supported the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) in building its institutional capacity, preparing its annual reports on the status of Human Rights in Egypt, developing its first National Action Plan for Human Rights and preparing the Council’s report to the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights in which the council consulted with 150 NGOs. For the first time in Egypt and in the Arab region, the Centre of the Political Empowerment of Women was established by the National Council for Women and UNDP to build a cadre of women with a career in politics.  In terms of legal access, UNDP contributed to increasing legal access of the poor, especially women, through the establishment of 10 legal aid offices within family courts in 5 Governorates benefiting more than 20,600 persons.

Decentralization and Local Development: UNDP was successful in putting decentralization on the national agenda through the Human Development Report of 2004 and a key programme of support that have resulted in the adoption of an integrated approach to decentralization, the development of a National Decentralization Strategy; functional analysis of local governance institutions and; and the identification and testing of decentralized planning and public expenditure processes in 3 governorates. UNDP’s support to Government also resulted in the development and documentation of the methodology for participatory urban physical planning and the development of Participatory Strategic Urban Development Plans for Greater Cairo and for the Alexandria Governorate and the New Valley.

Transparency and Anti-Corruption: Upon the establishment of the Transparency and Integrity Committee in 2008, UNDP collaborated with the Ministry of State for Administrative Development (MSAD) and the Social Contract Centre and provided a national platform for an extensive dialogue on corruption issues and on Egypt’s compliance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). UNDP’s support to MSAD to strengthen transparency and anti-corruption in the civil service included launching a highly successful e-government initiative resulting in introducing a number of online services to citizens, in addition to the conduct of policy analysis and mobilization of comparative experiences in the preparation of anti-corruption strategies and establishment of ombudsmen offices.