Aawaz II works with local communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab to promote the rights of children, women, youth and other marginalised groups to strengthen and facilitate their development. The British Council is leading on the delivery of the Aawaz II community engagement component which aims to create awareness and behaviour change and increase citizen-state engagement to promote change in the harmful practices of child labour, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence (GBV), exclusion, exploitation and intolerance. The programme works through a network of 19 district and provincial partners in 22 districts—9 in KP and 13 in Punjab—to provide information referrals, facilitate citizen-state engagement for the uptake of services, and enhance the capacities of local communities. To achieve these aims, Aawaz II has set up district and sub-district Aawaz II Aagahi Centres (AACs), community-based and led village forums (VFs), district forums (DFs) and provincial forums. All forums have government and civil society membership. An important component of the programme is developing a critical mass of youth volunteers (aged 18–35) from these communities to promote behaviour change through social action projects (SAPs).
- Establishing community forums and providing capacity building and institutional support to forum members, which eventually generates ownership and empowers them to address behaviour change, reduce harmful practices, and adopt appropriate means of pre-empting community conflict without infringing on the rights of the vulnerable.
- Strengthening citizen engagement to effectively raise informed and focused demands. This is critical when engaging government duty bearers and elected representatives, when advocating for service provision, budgetary allocations, efficient and timely use of resources, or the protection of vulnerable groups’ rights.
- Training and development of Aawaz II Change Agents, who engage with communities through Social Action Projects (SAPs). • Developing and disseminating behaviour change messages using interpersonal, print, radio and digital media.