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Initiative timeframe: 2008/2014

Total initiative costs

€ 1,707,074.0
Reparted as
  • Loans -
  • Grants € 1,707,074.0


90 Complete



Saff, Dessamy, Abu Nomros, Abu Ragwan (Giza Governorate) - Egypt

The project, conducted in the communities of Saff, Dessamy, Abu Nomros and Abu Ragwan, officially began in April 2009 and ended in March 2013. The initiative, which included an extensive program of training and capacity building for members of the citizens' committees identified as targets, insisted on a right-based approach, in contrast to a methodology relying on charity, aiming to provide beneficiaries themselves of the necessary tools to demand for their rights to be fulfilled, and simultaneously enabling them to identify the needs and priorities of the communities' members, developing effective intervention strategies to meet the pinpointed needs. The formation and mobilization of committees identified in the course of the activities brought to the creation of three new independent and autonomous associations. Two of them are women's associations - one in Saff and one Dessamy - officially registered under the laws in force in the country, and therefore authorized to conduct independent activities in the communities, while the other is a youth association in Saff. read more close

Main outcome

The purpose of the intervention is to promote the concept of active citizenship and conscious participation in the communities' decision-making processes, addressing in particular those fringes of civil society which are marginalized the most, such as women, youth, and children, focusing also on the issue of disability.

Initiative data

Initiative number 009161
Purpose Democratic participation and civil society
Sector I.5.a. Government & Civil Society-general, Total


Agency MAE - Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo
Counterpart authority -
Other financiers -

Following the events which occurred in January 2011 and because of the profound socio-economic and political changes that these events triggered in Egypt, the framework of the project deeply mutated. In particular, since the second half of 2011, the Community Development Associations (CDAs), which suffered the repercussions of the revolution, had gradually no longer been in line with the needs of the targeted groups in the communities of reference and with the strategic issues of the project itself , such as youth participation and equal opportunities, as well as with the implementation of activities related to the creation of social enterprises.

The above-mentioned events led to conflict situations, for the most part due to unwillingness by the CDAs to host different initiatives of the targeted groups, as well as in many cases of accepting their demands, and ultimately to the interruption of the relationship between the CDAs and the project itself.

Actions taken

Having considered the above-mentioned conditions, the project was redefined in its logical framework, since the 4 CDAs were not willing to negotiate and cooperate. The Specific Objective (SO) of the project, taking into account also the changes which occurred in the administrative geography of the area, was modified from "Supporting the communities' initiatives to promote the rights of women, youth and children, held by 4 CDAs in Helwan and in 6 October", into "Support the communities' initiatives to promote the rights of women, youth and children, held by the 4 communities in Giza Governorate." This change was made to ensure continuity with what the project had previously produced in terms of community work, which, in the current context, was in danger of being wiped out by the non-representative nature of the CDAs, with respect to the needs of the projects' beneficiary groups and of the communities in general. The results and activities within the project were also completely reformulated to ensure the full achievement of the SO.

On the basis of the evidence gathered, it appeared that since the beginning of the initiative the Community Development Associations (CDAs) have proved poorly motivated to pursue the project's specific objective, considering themselves as direct beneficiaries of the intervention rather than as promoters of communities' active participation and facilitators of the transfer of benefits to the population.

The overall objective of the project, combating the poverty and social exclusion of those fringes of the population who are traditionally marginalized, was not accessible anymore without the active engagement of the CDAs.

Actions taken

The project was modified. Social enterprise mechanisms were identified as instruments that make CDAs more responsive to the needs and interests of the target population of the project (women, children, young people). The logical framework of the project, including the specific objective, was changed by resizing the role of the partner CDAs and introducing a new local partner, the NGO New Vision Association for Development (NVD), considered to be more active and reliable for the handover of assets at the end of the intervention.