CYPRIOT CIVIL SOCIETY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME
The Cypriot Civil Society Strengthening Programme (CCSSP) was implemented in 2006-2008 by the Management Centre, the NGO Support Centre and INTRAC.
The main aims of the CCSSP included:
- Strengthening the role of civil society as a crucial actor in deepening citizen dialogue within and across communities and participation in decisions affecting the island's development;
- Strengthening sustainable local capacity building to support the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities;
- Strengthening skills of individual trainers, leaders, staff and volunteers to improve understanding and practice;
- Promoting a stronger Cypriot civil society by increasing knowledge and skills of individual consultants and organizations in designing; planning and managing their own organizational development processes.
Programme activities included:
- Open Training Courses for CSOs that were developed to promote participatory learning by exploring a combination of conceptual and practical issues.
- Tailor-made Technical Assistance for CSOs that included capacity building support in the areas of organizational development, monitoring and evaluation systems development, strategic planning, project proposal writing and project implementation.
- Long term Capacity Building support that worked closely with 20 organizations across Cyprus to enhance the development of their organizational capacity, beginning with capacity assessment and action planning, leading to implementation and review.
- Dialoguing Events for CSO and non CSO Actors that incorporated a combination of events that included workshops, conferences and roundtables to promote the exchange of ideas and knowledge on a range of critical issues facing Cypriot civil society.
The programme proved to be successful in terms of increasing the capacities of the CSOs and individuals that took part in the organised activities, as well as strengthening the partnership between the two local implementers: the Management Centre and the NGO Support Centre. The programme and the partnership led to a strategic planning process being implemented focused on the current and future needs of civil society and the promotion of civic engagement. This then laid the foundations for the ‘Engage - Do Your Part for Peace’ project (2009-2011), which was to continue playing a vital role within civic engagement and reconciliation. One of the main recommendations of the CCSSP final evaluation report was to continue with “capacity development in relation to dialogue and citizen engagement”, which was the core objective of the ‘Engage’ project for the following two years.