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Project information

Promoting the Power of Peaceful Relationships

We are launching our new organisational strategy, 'Promoting the Power of Peaceful Relationships', and we need your help! The strategy will enable us to strengthen relationships between communities and governments in closed societies, tackling poverty and supporting human rights.

We expect the launch and integration of our new strategy to take approximately four months to complete.

Charity information: Cord

Cord logo
  • Need


    Across Africa and Asia governments are reducing the space available for civil society and communities to advocate their needs and rights. There is little trust and almost no engagement between authorities and those with little power to hold them to account. Relationships between those with power (governments & business) and those without (communities & civil society) are increasingly dysfunctional. This undermines poverty reduction, sustainable development, and human rights initiatives.


    Cord's new strategy will allow us to 1) Develop the skills, knowledge and expertise of civil society organisations (CSO), allowing them to more strategically and nonviolently advocate the needs and rights of communities with governments; 2) Generate commitment among governments to working with CSOs for the benefit of marginalised communities. 3) Make space for CSOs, government and business to meet and build trust in each other, and identify how to work together for the benefit of society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce poverty and defend human rights through the transformation of dysfunctional relationships


    » Training in nonviolent communication, strategic planning, conflict analysis, and problem solving skills for civil society organisations.
    » Training sessions for governments and large businesses in community and civil society consultation, nonviolent communication, and other key skills.
    » Facilitation of dialogue sessions that create space for government, business and civil society to meet, learn, and develop trust in each other.

    What success will look like

    Success will be governments and civil society in Burundi, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar working together to meet the basic needs and rights of marginalised communities.

  • Impact


    Civil society will become more effective and less adversarial when raising the concerns of communities with governments. Governments will in turn value the role played by civil society in identifying the needs of communities. The most marginalised communities will feel able to influence their governments, with public services reaching those who most need them. With the freedom to flourish, and the ability to live free from fear, people's quality of life will measurably improve.


    There is a risk that central government staff are unwilling to adapt their behaviour and engage with civil society. In these contexts, to mitigate this risk, Cord will focus its training on local level government staff, people who generally have more interest in understanding and responding to local issues of poverty and inequality than their central government colleagues. This understanding is based on several years' experience of working with all levels of government in closed societies.


    In 2019 we will provide periodic updates on the integration of our new strategy into the work of our country teams in Burundi, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar in our supporter newsletter, on our website and through our social media platforms.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Civil Society training Training and skills development for civil society organisations
      £5,000 Government training Training and skills development for government representatives
      £5,000 Dialogue sessions Dialogue sessions for civil society and government representatives
      £5,000 Civil Society Networking event Community of Practice events for civil society to learn from each other
  • Background


    In Burundi, the government restricts civil society, exacerbating efforts to address food insecurity and poverty. In Myanmar, the country's reform process has created space for civil society to operate, but Buddhist-Muslim tensions and poverty remain. Laos is a single party state that restricts the population's freedom of speech, where nearly a third of the population experiences malnutrition. In Cambodia, the opposition party has been dissolved, civil society lives in fear, and poverty remains.


    Communities who have only ever known a sense of marginalisation, fear or exclusion will benefit from our strategy through improved access to healthcare, education, and livelihood opportunities. This will be made possible by developing the skills, knowledge and confidence of civil society to consult these communities, and to form positive working relationships with governments. Positive collaboration between civil society and governments will allow the needs of these communities to be met.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For more than 50 years Cord has worked to build and transform relationships between people living in closed societies affected by conflict, poverty, and injustice. Our Mission is to transform dysfunctional relationships between individuals and communities and those holding power into positive and thriving relationships built on mutual dependency and trust. Our capacity development and dialogue activities are successful because we tailor our approach to the specific contexts in which we work.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andy Pask

    Andy is Cord's Chief Executive Officer, and is responsible for overseeing the successful launch of Cord's new strategy in Burundi, Laos and Myanmar.