The Law and Society Trust, with the support of the Asia Foundation is engaging in a 12-month monitoring and reporting initiative to support Active Citizenship in these times of the pandemic and social crisis.
Active citizenship is manifested through democratic dialogue and active listening between the government and citizens and inclusive citizen participation in democratic decision-making processes depends on the creation and availability of civic spaces.
The aim of this project is to strengthen democratic institutions, rule of law and public accountability during this crisis through a vigilant civic watch.
While the government is challenged to make rapid decisions in an unchartered context, citizens must ensure that this necessity is not abused to make unilateral and arbitrary decisions as well. There remains the necessity to consult independent professionals and experts, and use established democratic institutions and processes and transparent administrative structures. Citizens in a functioning democracy must never lose their agency and government’s must strive to garner public trust even as they make tough decisions.
The civic watch will focus on:
- Analyzing the government's rapid responses to health & economic challenges;
- Providing fact-based information to citizens on emerging issues that relate to rule of law and governance, the economy, employment and the environment
- Conducting multi stakeholder dialogues & trainings to inform citizens on the content of and impact of public policy issues in the post-Covid-19 context and to hear their experiences.
- Conducting advocacy campaign to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
- Conducting needs assessment in the post pandemic context that will enable citizens to articulate their needs / anxieties and aspirations and form the basis of sensitive policy formulation.
- Documenting fundamental rights violations.
- Promoting a public discussion on public policy issues.