Mohamed El Mustapha Benelhaj

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: The Right to Information is a Dedication to Transparency and IntegrityMorocco

Mohamed El Mustapha Benelhaj is a PhD recipient in public law at the University of Hassan I in Settat. He currently works in Dakhla city and is a member of the Regional Commission of Human Rights for the region of Guelmim-Oued Noun. Mr. Benelhaj is also the executive director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Research Agora. 

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: The Right to Information is a Dedication to Transparency and Integrity

Mohamed's project will organize a set of comprehensive training workshops on the right to information, both in theory and in practice. It aims to empower local civil society associations with legal and knowledge tools and techniques for obtaining information to use in pleading and accountability regarding various issues to manage public affairs. After the training workshops conclude, project participants will apply their training through practical role-playing exercises and attempt to obtain information from public institutions and elected councils.

"I hope that the citizens will automatically and habitually exercise the right to obtain information, and that it will be a normal behavior for the civil actor." - Mohamed El Mustapha Benelhaj

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Engaging Local Community in the Accountability of Local Authorities

Mr. Benelhaj’s project engaged the local community of Guelmim in the local governance process by engaging the citizens in an accountability process with local authorities. This project used social media to make public voices heard in front of policymakers and publicly hold the authorities accountable.

15 project participants were trained on social media advocacy to successfully organize and manage online campaigns and communicate with policymakers and local public administration officers. Trainings were also held on how to use visuals and imagery in social media campaigns and about the ethics of using pictures publicly and the copyright regulations in Morocco.

Additionally, the project established an online platform with access to all training resources and a forum to openly share ideas, problems, solutions, exchange experiences and manage shared campaigns. Physical and virtual handbooks were given to all participants to aid them in their future work to hold local governments accountable, specifically in the fields of child protection, environmental protection, and women’s rights. You can view his project here: Sharek Project

 

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Mohamed was a participant in the IVLP Project Transparency and Accountability in Government in 2021, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education. He was a participant in the IVLP Project Transparency and Accountability in Government in 2022 organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Mohamed's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "The most important lesson I learned from my visit to the United States is that donation and volunteer work are the basis for success in the work of civil society."

U.S. Communities Visited in 2022

Washington, DC; Salt Lake City, UT; Baltimore, MD; Madison, WI; Manchester, NH; Boston, MA

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually in 2021

Colorado Springs, CO; Washington, DC; Iowa City, IA; Cleveland, OH

Country: Morocco

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