© Simon Opladen

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Amplifying all citizens’ voices, fostering good governance and peacebuilding, and promoting the positive effects of migration on development are key focus areas of Helvetas’ global programs.
© Simon Opladen

In many of the countries where Helvetas works, men and especially women 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.

Why good governance and civic space matters

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. We strengthen the capacities of local governments to provide public services in a responsive, pro-poor and efficient manner.

The number of international migrants was 3.5% of the world’s population in 2019. Almost 80 million people are forcibly displaced beyond or within their countries. We work with forcibly displaced persons and support 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

Our Expertise

Through implementing large-scale projects and providing advisory services, Helvetas has accumulated a wealth of experience in addressing root causes and finding lasting solutions to development issues in governance, peace and migration. 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 about Governance and contact us

Learn more about Conflict Transformation and contact us

Learn more about Migration and Development and contact us

Sri Lanka

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 Governance, Peace & Migration

Fostering Civic Engagement

© Helvetas
Ethiopia Governance, Peace & Migration

Taking Responsibility for Village Administration

© Helvetas / Simon Opladen
Guatemala WASH & Water Governance

Good Governance Makes for Good Water

© Helvetas
Pakistan Governance, Peace & Migration

Economic Prospects for Peace and Stability

© Helvetas
Bangladesh Governance, Peace & Migration

Sound Local Policy for Real Change

© Helvetas / Bruna Fossati
Sri Lanka Governance, Peace & Migration

Young People on Course for Reconciliation

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Governance, Peace & Migration

Justice for All

© DLDP
Albania, Eastern Europe Governance, Peace & Migration

Building Confidence in Local Government

© Helvetas / Armand Habazaj
Albania, Serbia, Eastern Europe Governance, Peace & Migration

Social Sciences for a Better Society

© Helvetas
Tajikistan Governance, Peace & Migration

Water for Sustainable Development

© Helvetas
Bhutan Governance, Peace & Migration

Partnership for Diverse Civil Society Actions

Bangladesh_CSO-LA_5 | © Julia Thienhaus / Helvetas
Bangladesh Governance, Peace & Migration

Strengthening Capacities of the Disadvantaged

© Helvetas
Nepal Governance, Peace & Migration

Making Labor Migration an Informed Choice

© Helvetas
Kyrgyzstan Governance, Peace & Migration

Improving the Life Conditions in Rural Areas of Kyrgyzstan

© Helvetas
Kyrgyzstan Governance, Peace & Migration

Contributing to a More Cohesive Society in Kyrgyzstan

© DEMOS
Kosovo, Eastern Europe Governance, Peace & Migration

Building a Democratic Kosovo

© Swiss Embassy in Albania
Albania, Eastern Europe Governance, Peace & Migration

Strengthening Local Governance for Empowered Citizens

© Water for food
Global Governance, Peace & Migration

Tackling Corruption in the Water Sector

© HelvetasBhutan
Bhutan Governance, Peace & Migration

Bringing Decision-Making to Local Communities

© Helvetas
Guatemala Governance, Peace & Migration

Entrepreneurship in the Guatemalan Highlands

Sri Lanka Governance, Peace & Migration

A journey towards a Human Trafficking Free Sri Lanka

Open History Exhibition Dawei | © Helvetas Myanmar
Myanmar Governance, Peace & Migration

Open History: Arts for Peace

Bangladesh Governance, Peace & Migration

Local Government Initiatives on Climate Change

© Helvetas
Serbia Governance, Peace & Migration

ACT for a Stronger Civil Society

Myanmar Governance, Peace & Migration

For a Pluralistic, Inclusive and Peaceful Society

© Helvetas
Vietnam Governance, Peace & Migration

Strengthening Land Rights of Ethnic Minorities

Lebanon Governance, Peace & Migration

Strengthening Civil Society through Digital Literacy