On 10 December 2012, His Majesty King Abdullah directed the King Abdullah II Fund for Development to implement the Democracy Empowerment Initiative. It was announced during a visit by His Majesty to the University of Jordan, where he delivered a speech on the 50th anniversary of the first university in Jordan.
The programme seeks to draw up and implement initiatives and activities that contribute towards enrooting democratic culture, political participation, constructive dialogue, volunteerism and social responsibility through supporting social entrepreneurs.
The launch of the programme reflects an approach that regards democratisation as a process that is not mere rules and legislation; but rather, a value system, that is educational and attitudinal. These legislative and value systems are interdependent.
The Democratic Empowerment Programme is also envisioned as a tool to curb negative social trends like disrespect for law, othering, evading responsibilities, sensational stereotyping, and arguing without listening back.
It is hoped that the programme will contribute to raising the level of public awareness, especially among school and university students, of democracy as a tool citizens can use to achieve positive change and chart their future.
Vision: A strong Jordan with a deep-rooted democratic system reflected in the practices, values and culture of the state, society and individuals.
Mission: The inclusion of all segments of society, particularly the youth, in building a democratic culture and advancing development.
- Promoting and developing the principles and values of democracy among Jordanians as a means of expression and change for the better.
- Providing all forms of support that entrepreneurs need in all fields so that they can launch and expand their activities.
- Stimulating civil society organizations to play their role as an enabler of citizens and social entrepreneurs.
- Replacing negative attitudes with progressive values such as the rule of law, revoking violence, acceptance, dialogue and accountability.
Tools of Action:
- Dialogue: Encourage activities that enroot a culture of dialogue, such as debating skills.
- Community service: embracing and developing talents and arts and harnessing them in community service.
- Social entrepreneurship: by launching the “Jordanian Youth Window” which empowers high-impact social initiatives that address issues affecting Jordanian youth.
- Strengthening mechanisms for accountability, transparency and the right of access to information
- Supporting existing civil society initiatives that share similar objectives and help them develop and scale-up their activities
- Creating partnerships with public institutions and non-profit organizations involved in advancing democratic empowerment