Strengthening Democratic Values
Democracy Week (March 24 - April 3) Engages Voters
In advance of Peru’s April 11, 2011 national election and as part of the Democracia Activa Perú (DAP) project, C-Change sponsored Democracy Week from March 24 to April 3. The goal was to encourage citizens, especially youth, to cast informed votes in the April 11 national election and hold politicians accountable.
Activities included seminars on democracy and elections; live televised debates by congressional candidates; and information kiosks in plazas, university campuses, and other busy locations. With assistance from local implementing partners, “citizen fairs” were held where hundreds received information in the course of enjoying games and other entertainment. Information and excitement spread through a musical festival in Arequipa, parades in Ayacucho and Junín, cultural festivals in Cusco and Junín, and a democracy party in San Martín.
In the seven departments targeted, nearly 20,000 people participated in Democracy Week in some form. DAP produced 19 publications on issues important to voters and distributed nearly half a million copies. The week’s activities generated 168 print, internet, radio, and television reports. DAP has a website (with lots of social networking tools) that showcases their activities throughout the seven departments targeted by the projects. DAP also launched an automated phone system that allowed callers to compare candidates.
The project's work continues beyond the June 5 presidential run-off election and emphasizes citizens' political participation, particularly at local levels.
Democracia Activa-Peru (DAP) is a program implemented by C-Change for USAID/Peru, which is linking government, civil society, and media organizations to strengthen democratic values and positive attitudes toward political processes, government, and civic issues.
The program is designed to facilitate and sustain informed citizen participation before, during, and after national elections. It includes a cross-sector media campaign, a national communications strategy, public policy forums, community mobilization, journalism training, and targeted capacity building.