This pilot project is being run in Serbia by the British Council with its local partner, the Trag Foundation. It aims to support at least 30 civil society organisations (CSOs) and grass-root initiatives in order to improve their capabilities to engage citizens more actively in holding authorities to account.
The project is funded by the FCO through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) within the Good Governance Fund (GGF) programme and will run for nine months from September 2019.
It has two main outcomes:
CSOs will have the knowledge and skills to actively engage with citizens and articulate their interests
CSOs will be perceived by citizens as more transparent and legitimate.
The pilot will support the CSOs/grassroots through a combination of financial and non-financial means of support. The envisioned support consists of:
• The tailor-made coaching for capacity development
• Implementation of the grant-funded local actions by CSOs and grassroots
• Mentoring/counselling of the CSOs and grassroots during the local actions’ implementation
• Support to the informal peer-to-peer networking and exchange.
The pilot project assumes that improved CSOs’ advocacy and communication-related knowledge and skills have a positive effect, for example increasing citizens’ mobilisation.
It also assumes that more engaging modalities of work with citizens, including running effective advocacy campaigns, have a positive impact, e.g. increasing the overall CSOs’ capabilities, their transparency and legitimacy.
The pilot will be testing these assumptions and through the monitoring, evaluation and learning, it is expected to contribute to building an evidence base about effectiveness of capacity development package designed under the pilot. Lessons learnt from this pilot project will be built into the design of a larger project intervention that might follow a successful pilot project completion.
For the above activities, the project will use different types of technical expertise, including advocacy campaigning coaches and trainers, assessors of local action project proposals developed by the CSOs and grassroots, as well as a monitoring, evaluation and learning expert