© Helvetas / Simon Opladen

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Amplifying all citizens’ voices, fostering good governance, preventing conflicts and the radicalization of youth, and promoting the transformative effects of migration on development are key focus areas of Helvetas’ global programs.
© Helvetas / Simon Opladen

In many of the countries where Helvetas works, citizens are excluded from participating in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. Every year, Helvetas supports up to 350,000 people in exercising their civil rights.

Fostering good governance

Voice, inclusion and social cohesion is an aspiration, not a reality, for many people. The troubling trend of authoritarianism in recent years, fueled by populist rhetoric and nationalism, is exacerbating the situation. Meanwhile, space for civil society continues to shrink.

The Covid-19 crisis has led to further encroachments on civil and political rights. But the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of functioning governance systems. Fostering good governance and  protecting human rights takes time — especially in areas of the world marked by fragility, conflicts and humanitarian disasters.

© Helvetas / Emil Alybaev
«I used to have to go knocking on lots of office doors when I wanted information, a form or a permit. Now I can contact the responsible offices directly online at my town’s One Stop Shop.»

Alma Kurti, owner of a private home for senior citizens in Shkodra, northern Albania

Our work

Helvetas works with local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and citizens to promote effective and inclusive governance, conflict transformation and safer migration.

We help citizens engage in decision- and policy-making to influence and hold local governments to account. We strengthen the capacities of local governments to provide quality public services in a gender responsive, pro-poor and efficient manner. 

Helvetas works with forcibly displaced persons and supports the most disadvantaged internal and international migrants seeking a better life by protecting their rights, minimizing migration risks, and maximizing the impact of migration on local social and economic development.

We foster peaceful relationships and social cohesion at the community level to prevent conflicts and the radicalization of youth that is fueled by scarcity of resources, unresponsive governments and populist rhetoric.

Our Expertise and Services

Through implementing large-scale projects and providing advisory services, Helvetas has accumulated a wealth of experience in addressing root causes and exploring innovate and effective ways to support voice, inclusion and cohesion. Our multilingual experts form an in-house center of excellence that provides advisory services to Helvetas country programs and projects, partner organizations, and external clients.

Learn more and contact us by clicking on one of our three working fields below. 

Our Working Fields

Conflict Transformation

Sustainable development can only happen in a peaceful context, where human rights are respected and promoted.

Governance & Civic Space

Helvetas pursues a society in which all people have equal opportunities, can express their opinions freely and participate in democratic decision-making.

Migration

Helvetas neither encourages nor discourages people from migration. We recognize migration as a viable livelihood strategy.

Multimedia Story: Women Inspiring Change in Guatemala

After a traditional upbringing, Irma is now the director of the women’s center in her community. She wants to empower women and give them a voice. Here is her story.

Selected Projects: Voice, Inclusion and Cohesion

© Helvetas
Laos Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Fostering Civic Engagement

© Helvetas
Ethiopia Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Taking Responsibility for Village Administration

© Helvetas / Simon Opladen
Guatemala WASH & Water Governance

Good Governance Makes for Good Water

© Helvetas
Pakistan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Economic Prospects for Peace and Stability

© Helvetas
Bangladesh Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Sound Local Policy for Real Change

Sri Lanka Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Making Labor Migration a Success

© Helvetas / Bruna Fossati
Sri Lanka Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Young People on Course for Reconciliation

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Justice for All

© DLDP
Albania Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Building Confidence in Local Government

© Helvetas / Armand Habazaj
Albania, Serbia Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Social Sciences for a Better Society

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Water for Sustainable Development

© Helvetas
Bhutan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Partnership for Diverse Civil Society Actions

Bangladesh_CSO-LA_5 | © Julia Thienhaus / Helvetas
Bangladesh Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Strengthening Capacities of the Disadvantaged

© Helvetas
Nepal Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Making Labor Migration an Informed Choice

© Helvetas
Kyrgyzstan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Contributing to a More Cohesive Society in Kyrgyzstan

© DEMOS
Kosovo Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Building a Democratic Kosovo

© Water for food
Global Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Tackling Corruption in the Water Sector

© HelvetasBhutan
Bhutan Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Bringing Decision-Making to Local Communities

© Helvetas
Guatemala Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Entrepreneurship in the Guatemalan Highlands

Sri Lanka Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

A journey towards a Human Trafficking Free Sri Lanka

Open History Exhibition Dawei | © Helvetas Myanmar
Myanmar Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Open History: Arts for Peace

Bangladesh Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Local Government Initiatives on Climate Change

© Helvetas
Serbia Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

ACT for a Stronger Civil Society

Myanmar Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

For a Pluralistic, Inclusive and Peaceful Society

© Helvetas
Vietnam Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Strengthening Land Rights of Ethnic Minorities

Lebanon Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Strengthening Civil Society through Digital Literacy