Local governance Libya

Strengthening Libya’s civil society despite the lockdown

For civil society’s work to make a real difference, projects need to be based on real needs and address challenges in concrete ways. We were planning on training ten civil society groups to help accomplish this, sharing tools and good practices. With the knowledge acquired, these groups would be able to apply for funds more effectively to implement their own projects. However, as the covid-19 pandemic reminded us, the best-laid plans can quickly need to be adapted.

At DRI Libya, we are used to navigating around conflict to work with civil society, but the lockdown imposed in response to the coronavirus meant that we needed to find a solution that would work. We knew that we wanted to move the training online, the question was making sure that our partners would be able to access the relevant information despite power outages and bad internet access.

We were finally able to find a solution that would work for all our participants through social media, enabling them to download training materials to consume offline as needed. We also made sure that these training materials had both audio and visual elements, to adapt to our audience’s needs.

I am happy to say that our efforts were not in vain. Najat Al Malti, from the Nana Marne Charity Organisation, noted that “This was a creative solution to the problem. The materials were clear and included all the information that we need. Having the material available in different ways makes it easier for us to share it with others even beyond the training.”

Including Najat, 21 participants, including ten women, took part, representing ten organisations from Libya’s three regions. This included three organisations that focus on including youth and women in decision-making processes, three working with Amazigh or Tuareg people, two groups that focus on women's issues, and one organisation that works with people with disabilities.

This work took place as part of the “Strengthening Civil Society Engagement on the Constitution and Political Transition” project financed by the German Federal Foreign Office.