Democracy and Governance

Development-Democracy Partnerships in Comprehensive Development

The principles espoused in democratic governance and human rights act as crucial components of effective, comprehensive development. Robust democracies not only help bring about long-term transparency and stability but also assure citizenry security and growth. One need only turn to the recent and ongoing transformations such as Arab Spring and other current examples where development-democracy partnerships need to flourish.

CAMRIS works across the globe, particularly with emerging and transitioning democratic states, to foster democratic governance. Combating corruption, conflict and human rights abuses, we work with governmental agencies, corporations and non-government organizations through a comprehensive approach to promote legitimate, inclusive political institutions and civil society, support objective economic growth, ensure security, and protect human dignity.

CAMRIS works toward these ends by helping societies establish and monitor free and open elections, develop formal and informal civil society programs, encourage independent media and advocate for rule of law.

While each of these components must be addressed to contribute to democracy- building, it is vital to consider the cultural uniqueness present in each society’s heritage. CAMRIS consciously incorporates these traditions in its projects.

When clients need to add capacity execute their mission, CAMRIS weaves solutions that increases client capabilities. We increase your capabilities through our service delivery tracks that include:

  • Program and project design and implementation

  • Capacity building

    • Individual

    • Organization (agency, bureau, mission, implementing partners)

  • Institutional support

  • International experts

  • Researchers

  • Administrative

  • Delivery of high quality baseline through end of project evaluations

  • Monitoring and evaluation


Bolster civil society in an unstable region of Ecuador that neighbors Colombia as part of USAID’s Communications and Public Diplomacy Activity for Ecuador’s Northern Border.

CAMRIS Approach

CAMRIS worked with USAID, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy, the Ecuadoran government, local NGOs, and border communities to develop effective communication strategies and carry out project objectives focused on violence reduction; counternarcotics; drug, community, and hygiene education; and citizen participation in building and maintaining water and sanitation facilities and other sectors of local development.


The project received a prestigious Magellan Award in the community relations/nonprofit/governmental body category. Its success resulted in:

  • Increased stability
  • Strengthened cohesion between populations
  • An improved investment climate
  • Improved resilience to border conflicts and drug trafficking


Design, develop, and install distance learning/web-based training modules in basic civic education with a USAID perspective and advanced topics supporting the work of USAID’s democracy and governance (D&G) agenda.

CAMRIS Approach

Interactive and participatory methodologies, including e-learning modules, blogs, and distance learning to help USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) develop its professional development and learning framework and website. CAMRIS staff engaged in curriculum design and delivery, learning assessments through evaluation, and dissemination of electronic information and e-learning.


The CAMRIS e-learning product included three distance learning/web-based training modules; two instructional design training programs; two facilitation skills training programs; a monthly D&G e-zine; a D&G “toolkit” in database format; and postings of comprehensive training session descriptions and associated materials for all training courses.


For the Australian Agency for International Development and the Regional Assistance Mission for the Solomon Islands (RAMSI): strengthen law and order in the Solomon Islands during a period of post-conflict tension, revitalize the public sector, and improve economic governance and accountability.

CAMRIS Approach

Implement annual performance assessments and related monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tasks. The CAMRIS team employed a performance framework that generated qualitative and quantitative information to develop and implement the performance assessments, M&E tasks, and new performance management systems.


CAMRIS provided RAMSI and the Goverment of the Solomon Islands with a comprehensive evaluation report that documented successes and provided recommendations for overcoming weaknesses. The revised performance management systems demonstrated a high level of transparency and accountability to donors and the government about progress toward goals and policy and program coherence.


Identify and measure the impacts and successes of USAID-supported democracy and governance activities in southern Sudan in:

  • Assisting the organizational development of democratic political parties
  • Improving political party capacity to participate in elections
  • Increasing the effectiveness of the Southern Sudanese Legislative Assembly (SSLA)
  • Strengthening party caucuses in specialized committees that promote good governance

CAMRIS Approach

A thorough program evaluation involving:

  • Review of planning documents and program data
  • More than 50 key informant interviews/visits with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Southern Sector Secretariat personnel, other SPLM party members, state governors and government officials, women’s and youth league leaders, other donor personnel working in the sector
  • Attendance as observers at SPLM convention and a political party training course


The CAMRIS evaluation team found that the SPLM was progressing in increasing its capacity and becoming an effective political party but that the SSLA was progressing more slowly. The team’s report made extensive recommendations for program planning, training, recruiting, technical assistance, and collecting program indicators to enable robust performance monitoring and evaluations.


For USAID/Colombia’s CIMIENTOS program, re-establish a tangible state presence and services and restore civil society programs in areas emerging from periods of civil conflict.

CAMRIS Approach

Implement participatory strategies to strengthen the skills of local officials to meet demands for improved services and ensure more transparent and accountable governance processes, open to citizen oversight. CAMRIS field activities included consensus building, training, special events and campaigns, and improving coordination and information sharing among government agencies.


By working with citizens and officials, CAMRIS field teams helped improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of government services and rebuild a sense of community and social peace in the post-conflict communities.