During December 2013, ACDI/VOCA supported eight Civil Society fairs in the provinces of Dakuk, Diyala, Erbil, Ninawa, Salah ad Din and Sulaymaniyah under the BPCS program. These Civil Society fairs aimed to reinforce the role of CSOs in strengthening a democratic, accountable and participatory governance system. They provided occasions to inform people about the social works and activities of CSOs and the changes they can bring about to communities, and generate public support for their activities.
Despite the ever-present security concerns, the eight fairs conducted in December saw almost 2,200 visitors pass through their doors, including many local and provincial government officials, media representatives, and civil society activists. These innovative events have increased the knowledge of many visitors regarding the work of CSOs, and enhanced communication among CSOs themselves, the Iraqi and IKR government, and communities. It has also contributed to strengthening the capacity of CSOs, which will positively impact their organizational work.