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Teaming up to improve public services in Moldova

For 20 years, basic water, sewer and garbage services were a rare luxury for most people in Telenesti, Moldova. The town of 9,000 used to be one of the country’s poorest. Decaying infrastructure languished without repairs. For residents like Mihai Druta, 76, that meant struggling to carry water over More

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Egypt: ID cards help women proclaim their existence

At 28, Nesma is the principal provider for her children and husband, who is living with a disability. Like many others in Egypt, her family is struggling for food, shelter and education due to the challenging economic situation. So when Nesma heard about the Citizenship Initiative, a project aimed More

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Afghan youth vote in historic elections

Despite rain and security challenges in many parts of the country, Afghans went to the polls on 5 April 2014 in Presidential and Provincial Council elections. The elections marked the first time in Afghanistan’s history that power was handed from one democratically-elected government to another. You More

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In Somaliland, local communities benefit from decentralization

For Fosia Ahmed Ismail, a returnee to the Somaliland district of Hargeisa, life was hard. Many basic services were inadequately delivered, and access to authorities was limited and sometimes even unthinkable. “The local government resettled us here,” said Fosia. But infrastructure in local districts More

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Timor-Leste: Convictions boost state justice system

Sitting on the verandah of his home, Camilio dos Santos, the chief of the village of Galitas in East Timor reflects on how conflicts used to be resolved in Timor-Leste. “Before independence we relied only on traditional justice to resolve any disputes in communities. It is good that now we have our More

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Through village courts,
justice for all in Bangladesh

When Jahanara Begum’s sons stole mangoes from a neighbour’s garden, what should have been a petty incident of children’s mischief escalated into a violent confrontation between Jahanara and her neighbour. Angry at Jahanara, her neighbour assaulted her and injured her eye, which then required expensi More

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Afghanistan: Bringing the police closer to the people

Farza, Kabul Province—Colonel Noor Aqa Ibrahimkhail, the district Chief of Police for Farza, located 45 kilometres north of Kabul, is a veteran officer who has experienced many brushes with violence and unrest throughout his career. But compared to his previous postings, he says, Farza is a haven of More

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Paralegals bring justice to women in South Sudan

In a young democracy like South Sudan, most disputes are still resolved through traditional, customary structures and institutions. Alice Adye witnessed how breakdowns within state institutions, including police as well as statutory and customary courts, undermined and victimized women in rural area More

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Cambodian councils cooperate to provide community with school

Several years ago, Soy Pheap, a 39-year-old mother of seven, was forced to make a tough decision: send her daughter away, or forfeit the young girl’s education. Until recently, Pheap’s village, part of the Tuol Pongro commune in Banteay Meanchey Province in northwest Cambodia, lacked an adequate sec More

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Local governance paves way for poverty reduction in Lao PDR

The rainy season used to mean a loss of revenue for Timchai, a farmer in the southern Lao province of Saravene. Rainfall during this five-month period would often make the road running from her village to the nearest market impassible, causing her produce to rot before she had an opportunity to sell More