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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 2 - Selected Strategic Priorities and Analyses

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
February 15, 2013


RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS: Advance and protect human and individual rights, and promote societies where the state and its citizens are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, consistent with international norms and standards.

Analysis: The United States supports programs that help countries build the necessary rule of law infrastructure, particularly in the justice sector, to uphold and protect their citizens' basic human rights. The rule of law is a principle of governance under which all persons, institutions, and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated, and consistent with international laws, norms, and standards. Activities in this Program Area also advance and protect individual rights as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international conventions to which states are signatories. This includes defending and promoting the human rights of marginalized populations such as women, religious minorities, disabled individuals, indigenous groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.

The U.S. Government has a two-fold strategy to promote and defend human rights by supporting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate and monitor human rights and by training defenders of human rights in the legal profession and other watchdog groups. In FY 2012, more than 15,000 human rights defenders were trained and supported, exceeding the target of 3,405 by 450 percent.

Photo showing a presentation of the ACTA Civil Society analysis of the FY 2013 Afghan national budget.

Presentation of the ACTA Civil Society analysis of the FY 2013 Afghan national budget. USAID

CIVIL SOCIETY: Strengthen democratic political culture and citizen engagement by supporting the means through which citizens can freely organize, advocate, and communicate with members of their own and other governments, international bodies, and other elements of civil society.

Analysis: Civil society participation in democratic policymaking improves the transparency and accountability of one's government and of the legislative process. The indicator measures Civil Society Organizations active participation in, or engagement with the legislature; for example, attend and contribute to committee meetings, send policy briefs, send comments on proposed legislation, and provide research. In FY 2012, more than 11,000 Civil Society Organizations receiving USG assistance engaged in one or more advocacy interventions, nearly triple the target.

Analysis: The provision of voter and civic education in developing democracies helps ensure that voters have the information they need to be effective participants in the democratic process. This unit of measure is defined as any eligible voter that receives voter or civic education messages through print, broadcast, or new media, as well as via in-person contact. Voter and civic education also includes community-based trainings in underserved areas, public service announcements on electronic media, written materials, internet-based information and messages using the new media. Voter education efforts are concentrated prior to major national elections in order to increase voter participation. Nearly 60 million eligible voters were reached through USG assisted voter and civic education programs, well in excess of the nearly 30 million voters targeted.


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