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Not-For-Profit Organizations Debate Public Policy


CONTACT: Melanie Reimer
In Guyana, 592-227-4096

Kay Torrance
In Atlanta, 404-420-5192

Georgetown, Guyana…..Six Guyanese not-for-profit organizations from three regions will compete in the finals of a contest to present the best paper advocating a solution to a public policy issue. The contest is an activity funded under United States Agency for International Development's Democracy and Governance Program and implemented by The Carter Center in Guyana. The contest will be held Wednesday, Dec. 17, and will help the organizations hone their communication to relevant decision makers, as well as other persons in the community. The participating organizations, supported with training and small grants over the past two years, have selected issues including truancy, access to education for the disabled, access to legal services for the poor, and police handling of domestic violence.

Thirteen organizations submitted entries and based upon the written submissions, six finalists were selected and will defend their papers before an independent panel of Guyanese civil society experts. Awards will be presented at the Center's office, North and King Streets, Lacytown, at 2 p.m. Dec. 17. The awards ceremony will include highlights of the positions presented by the top-ranking groups and is open to media.

After the competition, the Center will assist the organizations in finalizing their position papers to bring about desirable changes in policy and procedure at various levels of government. In many cases, they have already established close cooperative relations with local government officials, who appreciate their input on decisions affecting the community. In this way, these not-for-profit organizations are helping to voice the needs and desires of the community at large to policymakers.

These activities are sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development's program More Responsive and Participatory Governance and Rule of Law in Guyana. Through this program, The Carter Center is working to strengthen the judicial system and the capacity of civil society or not-for-profit organizations in Guyana to contribute to public debate and public policy-making, with a focus on organizations that involve and assist women, youth, and Amerindians. The Carter Center is working with the National Democratic Institute and the International Foundation for Election Systems in the overall project.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.

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