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The Civil Society Innovation Initiative & the Greater Internet Freedom Projects: A case study in locally led development


This case study profiles USAID’s Civil Society Innovation Initiative (CSII) and the Greater Internet Freedom (GIF) projects. Both projects were designed to strengthen the capacity and resilience of civil society through the development of networks to ensure the long-term and wide-ranging ability for local actors to tackle their respective development challenges. Highlights from this case study include:

  • USAID’s use of co-development during project design supports communities in setting priorities that meet their needs, enabling long-term buy-in to shape their future development.
  • By acting as a convener, USAID can create spaces for international and local partners to take the lead in sharing information, learning from each other, collaborating, and taking ownership of local and regional development priorities. Through this approach, both CSII and GIF have worked to ensure the power to implement real and effective change is given back to local organizations, facilitating their sustainability beyond the completion of each project.
  • Incorporating diverse actors, both in terms of areas of expertise and geographical areas (i.e., local, regional, global) provides network participants with the opportunity to tap into a wealth of expertise and increased exposure.

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