Maldives has got more than 1,200 registered Civil Society Organizations. All the CSOs have to register with the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Associations Act 2003. The number of CSOs working on civic engagement and participation comprises of 2 main areas: raising awareness of and preparation for political activities and the political arena- promote participation in policy response and contribution, and raising awareness to rule of law and to legal matters- promoting rule of law, promoting awareness of the legal aspects of a modern multi-democracy, providing legal aid.
There is a small number of CSOs working on good governance and democracy (approximately 6%) which aim to work on issues of good governance, accountability, transparency, and promoting the rule of law amongst states and other entities, and to promote democracy within the country.
In 2013, Transparency Maldives conducted the first ever systematic elections observation after about 400 observers and volunteers were trained by Transparency Maldives to become election observers in Male and all the 20 atolls in preparation of election day. Apart from this, long term observers focused on observing the preparedness of the Election Commission, the campaign process, voter education programs in the islands and abuse of state resources.
FJS Consulting Pvt, Ltd, Comprehensive Study of the Maldivian Civil Society, UNDP, Sep 2011, http://www.mv.undp.org/content/dam/maldives/docs/Democratic%20Governance/comprehensive%20study%20of%20the%20maldivian%20civil%20society%20(web).pdf.
Transparency Maldives to conduct first ever systematic elections observation for upcoming poll, Transparency Maldives, September 2, 2013, http://transparency.mv/category/elections/.