The Collaborative Governance Program (CGP) has taken a new innovative step in capacity building with CSOs. The CGP has both the necessary information on the sector’s overall trends, strengths, and weaknesses; as well as the tools to address those weaknesses.  The CGP addresses the need to strengthen CSOs that focus on protecting citizens’ rights, carry out the crucial functions of advocacy, monitoring, and providing social services.

Portfolio of Tailored Technical Assistance

Since 2013, the CGP has been working to strengthen CSOs by introducing a new approach through tailored organizational assessments including CSO profiling, voluntary diagnostics, and capacity development through trainings and workshops. The CGP encouraged the CSO partners to demonstrate their willingness to learn about their human and organizational strengths and weaknesses, and to demonstrate that they had been actively addressing their weaknesses prior to competing for CGP’s grant opportunities.

In July 2014, the CGP started the profiling process by collecting general information about organizations to begin communication with the profiled CSOs on the opportunity to undergo the diagnostic assessment. The CGP, through its partner, the Association of Civil Society Support Centers, developed a CSO diagnostic toolkit and methodology, that includse assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of CSOs over 10 human and organizational parameters resulting in written CSO “Health Reports” and a CSO Strengthening Plan. The CSOs, that completed the profiling process and then went through the diagnostic assessment, are eligible to apply for CGP grants program and attend CGP provided trainings, workshops, and seminars.

To date, the CGP has provided 136 seminars on 10 topics for 322 CSOs with 2,197 participants. A significant majority of participants surveyed rated the usefulness of the knowledge and materials they received during the seminars as “Excellent,” the highest rating. According to the M-Vector survey, the CSOs highlighted the usefulness of the CGP assistance that considerably improved their capacity.

Capacity Development for Local and Emerging CSOs

In 2018-2019, the CGP will provide tailored training and technical assistance to targeted CSOs that focus on protecting citizen’s rights, including vulnerable groups. The CGP will accomplish this goal through a structured and broad-based process of CSO capacity strengthening activities.

The CGP will work with target CSOs that focus on protecting citizen’s rights with an established constituency, have taken steps to improve their original capacity by using the “health reports” and “capacity strengthening plans” provided through the CGP diagnostic process, and were actively participating in the CGP provided workshops and seminars.

The CGP, through its local partner Civic Participation Fund (CPF), will conduct an assessment to identify areas that require additional improvement. The CPF will use the results of the assessment as a guide for further effective delivery of capacity strengthening activities for target CSOs. The capacity development activities include group trainings, and if requested, one-on-one consultations.