Kenan Institute Asia

Lao Encouraging And Applying Democracy For Civil Society (LEAD)

United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) (October 2010-September 2015)

Originally a two year project, Lao Encouraging and Applying Democracy for Civil Society (LEAD) was the first United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) project to operate in Lao PDR.

It focused on enhancing the enabling environment for CSOs to operate more effectively by increasing the engagement between Lao government officials and CSOs, as well as building the capacity of CSOs to operate through trainings in small business and management skills, proposal writing, business planning, and grant management skills. Following the success of the original project, UNDEF granted its first ever project extension to Kenan in 2013. Since then, LEAD II has shifted its focus to increasing the capacity of Lao CSOs to undertake advocacy work on behalf of their beneficiaries.

Since beginning LEAD II, Kenan experts have built the capacity of 35 Lao PDR government officials and 690 civil society leaders and managers from over 30 CSOs, including one-on-one mentoring for 20 CSOs, and an intensive study tour to Thailand for 10 leading CSOs and 4 government officials, who met with and learned from Thai NGOs. Additionally, LEAD has awarded sub-grants to 19 Lao PDR CSOs, totaling US $115,000, to conduct advocacy activities promoting community and national changes.

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