This publication is a section of the WHH position paper on rural development.
No development is possible until people are able to organise themselves; this is an essential foundation for self-determination and self-reliance. Civil society organisations enable people to articulate their needs, pursue common goals and so contribute to the shaping of political, social, cultural and economic life. In rural areas the focus is usually on providing social services, establishing institutional and physical infrastructure and dealing with issues concerning the use of natural resources and food security.
A strong civil society which participates in political processes and is actively involved in shaping development is essential for progress. Citizens’ involvement is a significant factor in establishing fair economic and social development, fighting corruption and progressing towards gender equality, sustainability, democracy and the rule of law.