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Capacity building for CSOs in advocacy work

The objective of the project is to strengthen civil society capacity in advocacy and watchdog role. The representatives of CSOs will gain necessary know-how through individual consultations and mentoring based on needs of CSOs, workshops on advocacy related topics, networking and training of advocacy experts to ensure sustainability.

In 2019 Advocacy forum meets a great opportunity to support CSOs engaged in advocacy through different activities. This pre-defined project will address the need to strengthen the ability of CSOs to advocate for public interests. Our assessment of the situation is based on a study prepared by Ashoka Czech Republic, in which advocacy was identified as one of the needs by respondents (change makers). According to the study there is no other institution that is focused on systemic education and consultancy for the CSOs in this specific area.

In four years between 2019 and 2023 we are going to provide 40 CSOs with individual consultations. Each CSO will receive 32 hours of consultations that will be tailor-made for their individual goals. In addition to consultancies, the engaged CSOs (no matter if they are participating on consultations) will be offered 6 workshops and 6 networking events. Our aim is to address even those organizations that have little or none advocacy experience so far. The requirement is their interest in advocacy work and intent to start systemic change.

In 2021 and 2022 the team of consultants will select and train 15 representatives of CSOs to become experts in advocacy work. The criteria for selection of representatives of CSOs are set up to ensure sustainability of their work in future, such as time they have been involved in working for/with CSOs, their participation in or close cooperation with any umbrella organization, experience in advocacy and their motivation and plans for future.

What has already happened
  • 15 CSOs have their own advocacy strategies or are finishing key steps to complete it
  • November 2019 first workshop was provided
  • September 2020 second workshop was provided
  • September 2020 we published a toolkit on advocacy work
  • 4 networking events
  • February 2021 another 8 CSOs were selected for consultations in advocacy work
  • February 2021 the first round of calls for expert trainee proposals were completed

www.activecitizensfund.cz

The project is realized by: Nadace OSF
Duration: 48 months
Budget: 151 000 EUR
Grants from EHP and Norway grants: 135 900 EUR

Contact:
Štěpán Drahokoupil
Programme specialist 
stepan.drahokoupil@osf.cz
tel: +420 226 227 709

The project is being supported by the Active Citizens Fund. The programme promotes citizens’ active participation in the public life and decision making and builds capacities of civil society organizations. It promotes respect of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Active Citizens Fund came to the Czech Republic in September 2019 with the goal to support CSOs regardless of their size and experience. It is operated by the Open Society Fund Prague, Committee of Good Will – the Olga Havel Foundation and Scout Institute. The Active Citizens Fund is financed from EEA and Norway Grants 2014–2021. With EEA Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute towards a reduction in economic and social disparity and the strengthening of mutual cooperation in Europe. One of the important objectives of the programme is strengthening bilateral cooperation between donor and beneficiary states through financial contributions in specified priority sectors. It supports bilateral relations between the donor states Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic.