USAID Launches the Community Engagement Project

Putting communities in charge of their own progress

(To read this press release in Arabic, please click here)
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USAID announced today a new three-year, US$21 million community engagement project to help Jordanian communities identify the most pressing challenges facing their communities and to develop practical solutions to address them. The USAID Community Engagement Project (USAID CEP), a partnership funded by USAID and implemented by Global Communities (formerly CHF International) in collaboration with its Jordanian partners, Al Jidara and Jordan River Foundation, will strengthen Jordanian community organizations and local government efforts to meet local needs in three governorates: Irbid, Mafraq and Tafileh.

In light of challenging economic times for Jordanians, USAID and Global Communities have partnered to develop a project that brings together community members, non-governmental and community-based organizations, and local government to jointly identify and implement activities that improve quality of life within their communities.

USAID CEP will establish and support volunteer groups representing all community members in these areas, including women, youth, government, business, tribal, and religious leaders. The groups will identify their needs and create their own plans to address the development challenges before them. The USAID CEP team will provide funding to these groups and local NGOs to realize their projects, which may include initiatives to improve waste collection; the establishment of parks and youth centers; provision of job training for young people; and small scale infrastructure improvements such as school rehabilitation and road repairs. CEP will also support local public and private-sector organizations by improving their ability to implement projects that address community needs and strengthen their relationships and participation with citizens, through training them on management, finance, accounting and communication skills. 

The project includes a 120-day Rapid Start-up phase to ensure that tangible results are achieved quickly in target communities.  This phase has already begun, and after only 12 weeks the USAID CEP team has engaged with key stakeholders, including Jordanian NGOs, local government, and community leaders, launched Rapid Start-up Grants Meetings for NGOs in each targeted governorate, opened offices in each of those governorates, reviewed 66 grant applications submitted by NGOs for projects that address community needs, and approved 29 projects, which will begin implementation in the next couple of weeks.  In addition, USAID CEP held its first Community Wide Meeting in Bseira, Tafileh where community members actively participated in identifying and prioritizing their community needs and in electing volunteer members from the community to represent them on the 12-person Community Enhancement Team.  Over 200 community members participated in the Community Wide Meeting.

“We believe the community knows their own needs better than anyone else. The role of USAID CEP is to give the community and local partners the tools and training they need to address the issues that face them today and in the future,” says Chris Barnes, Chief of Party - USAID CEP.

Through these activities, USAID CEP will pave the way for stronger and thriving Jordanian communities for many years to come.

ABOUT USAID Jordan
The USAID Community Engagement Project is made possible by the generous assistance from the American people. The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

ABOUT GLOBAL COMMUNITIES (FORMERLY CHF INTERNATIONAL)
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization founded in 1952 that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities began working in Jordan in 1998, and believes that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself. Learn more at www.globalcommunities.org