Community Organizations Council


Purpose

Community Organization Councils strengthen the network of community organizations on a subdistrict and municipal and give them a united voice through which they can affect government policy. Initially organized on an informal basis, the 2008 Community Councils Act has formalized the administration and regulation of community organization councils.

On a day to day basis, community organization councils are responsible for designing and carrying a community master plan, setting up welfare programs, and support sustainable agriculture, among other activities. Representatives from each community organization in a subdistrict meet regularly to discuss local problems and develop policy recommendations for the local government.

Each year, there is an annual meeting of community organization council members. Two representatives are sent from each province to discuss their progress and challenges. Together, they make policy recommendations to the government. Through CODI, the community organizations councils have access to the national government and cabinet.

Structure

In order to form a council, community organizations in one region formalize their network and register with the local government. The objective is to have representatives from each community organization in the subdistrict or municipality, totaling an average of 30-40 communities. Through regular meetings, the council discusses local problems and agrees on solutions and appropriate strategies.
There are 1,586 Community Organization Councils (October 2009) and over 45,000 members nationwide.

Future Plans

Over the long run, community organization councils should be a key actors in local development. Any local government project, should be scrutinized by the councils, as they are often more able to represent the citizens and advocate on their behalf.