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Active citizenship case studies

Public dialogue arranged by a Within and Without State partner in South Sudan February 2013. (Credit: Crispin Hughes/Oxfam)

Active citizenship is a means to achieve development, because it enables women and men living in poverty to raise their voice in defence of their rights (health, education, jobs, dignity). But it is also an end in itself: knowing that your voice counts, that you can organize along with your fellow citizens to influence the decisions that affect your lives, is itself a powerful contributor to a sense of well-being and fulfilment. For these reasons, promoting active citizenship is an important part of Oxfam's work.

This page pulls together 10 case studies to illustrate that effort. The studies, written over the course of 2013/14, employ a 'theory of change approach' to explore how change happens in different contexts. They cover a wide range of programmes, both in terms of geography and sector (humanitarian, long-term development, advocacy and campaigns). They have produced some thought-provoking findings in terms of improved programme design, more effective ways of working, and staff cultures. The case studies also identify some of the recurrent dilemmas in promoting active citizenship through aid.