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CSO Network for Efficient Active Participation

The NEAP project is designed to amplify the existing efforts of CSOs by providing them with capacity-building skills and abilities to use new technologies for networking and enhancing their advocacy work. With these tools and trainings, local CSOs will dramatically improve their connections horizontally with each other, with their communities and the general public, and vertically with the government. This will lead to coalition building, improved public engagement, and opportunities for CSOs to influence policy-making and democratic reforms. The project focuses on four key areas: strategy building through wide consultation, capacity building for CSOs, small grants for targeted advocacy campaigns, and creation of a wide user community.

The project will identify six groups of diverse CSOs working on various issues of importance to their local communities or with national significance, and build their technical capacities enabling them to function as networks, in order to better cover their common agenda. The structure of these networks will reflect the diversity of Macedonian society and the wide range of issues that can be solved through joint work of CSOs with the relevant government bodies through combined use of online and offline active citizen participation mechanisms. Their experiences will then serve as good practice models that can be replicated more widely.

Overall Objective: To help create a more dynamic civil society in Macedonia that can effectively mobilize citizens for active engagement on good governance and transparency issues and has the capacity to influence policy and decision-making processes at local and national level.

Specific Objectives:

  1. To connect at least CSOs from 6 cities so they can work together on issues of common concern, and add value to local or national efforts;
  2. To build CSO networks’ capacity to connect with their constituencies and give voice to citizens in decision making (the “grass-roots” connection);
  3. To assist CSO networks in establishing management mechanisms to connect with government institutions and influence good governance reforms, incl. to better understand the IPA, and to provide more efficient contributions to the IPA programming process (the “vertical” connection).