Civic Education addresses civil society’s participation in democratic and development processes at both local and national levels. It is an important means for capacity development on the societal level by empowering people for effective civic engagement. It is an essential dimension in strengthening a society’s ability to manage its own affairs and is complementary to capacity development on the individual and institutional levels. At the core of Civic Education are the values and principles of transparency, participation, responsiveness, accountability, empowerment and equity. This module uses a broad, educational definition of Civic Education and in this context refers to School & Community Based Civic & Citizenship Education.
This module should be used in conjunction with the Voter Information module. There is much overlap between Voter Information and Civic Education modules – many repeated (generic) sections – and many complementary activities. When facilitators are designing agendas for their participants – they should have a clear understanding of the terminology used in these modules (especially how Voter Information / Education, Voter Awareness, Electoral Education, Civic Education are defined and differentiated), and a clear idea of what the participants are expecting the topic to be about. Training objectives should be built around the needs/expectations of the participants.
Agendas (of 1 to 5-day durations) have been designed that examine the concepts of Voter Education and Awareness programs, and Civic (and Electoral) Education programs – discretely, and also in combination (so both are covered).
The subjects covered in this module include:
As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans.
The module provides a much-needed framework and methodology for EMBs, educators and other providers of civic education and to potential voters and society at large. By taking these approaches and principles to heart, civic education values can be instilled in society from a very young age, vastly improving the quality of their participation in democratic processes their electoral system and ensuring the sustainability and vitality of democratic participation.