The local training seminars were designed to enhance the capacities of CSOs, as well as transform the voices of citizens into a key part of the decision-making process.
An open call for applications to participate in the capacity development program was announced across six EaP countries. Following the selection process, representatives of 20 civil society organisations from each country were invited to start a learning journey.
The seminars were rolled out in each of the six countries and were grouped into three training modules:
Module 1: Strengthening technical/organisational aspects of CSOs
Before preparing CSOs to participate in any policy dialogue and become partners in the reform process, they were supported to strengthen the capacity and overall sustainability of their organisations. Therefore, the first module consisted of two trainings on organisational development for CSOs covering the following topics:
- Strategic planning,
- Resource management,
- Project design and management,
- Change management,
- Volunteer management.
Module 2: Development of technical and organisational skills in the sphere of effective participation in policy dialogue
The second module aimed to prepare CSOs for participation in policy dialogue with local authorities. The covered topics included:
- Policy analysis: approaches, mechanisms and tools;
- Negotiation skills;
- Basics of citizen’s rights;
- Advocacy and lobbying;
- PR/media for CSOs;
- Monitoring of policy making and implementation.
Module 3: Strengthening alliance building and networking
The module focused on the development of skills and opportunities for CSOs in the area of alliance building and networking. In the period between the seminars, participants were given assignments to apply gained knowledge and utilise networks in their current work in the form of concrete activities within and between their own organisations.
The third module brought together the initial group of CSOs trained in the first two modules with well-established CSOs that already have wide experience in policy dialogue at the national level. The activities under this module were conducted in dialogue-oriented formats, such as: Open Space, Future Search, World Café and / or Appreciative Inquiry.
During the learning phase, the participating CSOs shared their experiences and best practices, identified common interests and priorities, developed and pursued plans for cooperation and participation in joint activities related to advocacy and policy dialogue for the benefit of the constituencies they represent.
In particular the programme helped CSOs to:
- Enhance skills in project development;
- Conduct stakeholder and needs analysis for CSOs;
- Plan joint initiatives;
- Establish organisational mission and vision for improved strategic planning;
- Produce financial sustainability plans for their CSOs;
- Start successfully applying fundraising tools for their CSOs using the skills acquired through the training;
- Launch local advocacy campaigns on issues important for their communities;
- Develop stronger and mature CSOs, improving internal governance and strategic planning;
- Elaborate on roadmaps for change in different areas, integrating advocacy and multi-stakeholder activities into CSOs operational planning;
- Establish regional civil society coalitions to address the reform agenda on issues related to inclusive education, the alternatives to dispute resolution, and rights of people with disabilities;
- Initiate high level policy dialogue interventions with the project participants and liaise with a National Parliament to improve the situation in social development and environmental protection.
According to participants’ feedback:
- 81% considered the capacity development seminars to have met all of their expectations;
- 89% found the capacity development programme to be very useful;
- 89% have reported receiving new skills and knowledge that they would be able to use for effective inter-sectorial dialogue in the future.
Further information about the trainings can be found in our news section.