Balkan Civil Society Acquis – Strengthening the Advocacy and Monitoring Potential and Capacities of CSOs

Duration: 1 December, 2012 to 30 November, 2014
Project Description: 

This project aims to strengthen foundations for monitoring and advocacy on issues related to enabling environment and sustainability of civil society at regional and country level. The project is being implemented simultaneously in the countries of Western Balkans and Turkey by the members of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network. The project is financed by Partnership Programmes for Civil Society Organisations of the European Union and it has a duration of two years. The project is coordinated by Balkan Civil Society Development Network at the regional level with headquarters in Skopje. In Albania, IDM – Institute for Democracy and Mediation and Partners Albania – Center for Change and Conflict Management are in charge for its implementation.

Overall objective(s)

1. Strengthening foundations for monitoring and advocacy on issues related to enabling environment and sustainability of civil society at regional and country level;

2. Strengthening structures for CSO integration and participation in EU policy and accession processes at European and country level.

Activities

The activities include: monitoring, advocacy, research/analysis, capacity-building, information-sharing, coalition/network-building, re/sub-granting. The inception phase will be used to establish SMART and SPICED indicators/benchmarks/milestones of achievements both at regional and national level in consultation with stakeholders. These will ensure that after the end of the 4-year FPA period, the project will not just yield to concrete and tangible, but also realistic results. It will also lead to lasting changes in the legislative framework, practices and “raising the bar” on standards for development, support and cooperation with civil society in WBT.

The implementation phase, covering the 4-year FPA period, will focus on activities under Priority 2 as this would be a new area of engagement for the network. The activities will include monitoring the enabling environment for CSDev in 8 IPA beneficiary countries on a half-yearly basis in order to provide continuous pressure and articulate the voice of civil society on the basic developmental needs of the sector (Priority 1). Moreover, the strategy envisages to address two specific areas of pivotal concern to the CSDev in WBT, i.e. funding policies and procedures for civil society based on EU rules and practices and economic and human resource value of the sector (Priority 2) and civil dialogue structures and practices (Priority 3). This direct pressure will be complemented with actions addressed to civil society by providing expert, information, capacity and coalition-building support (Priority 5 and 6). In addition, the strategy will include providing strategic involvement with the existing donor community on one hand, and national institutions on the other, as a way to enable the creation of sustainable exit strategies for civil society funded primarily by non-local means to one being supported by local (re)sources (Priority 4).