WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY
Of all the tenets of United Europe the one of empowered and thriving civil society has always been at the core. Deeply believing in true democratic values as prerequisite for peace, growth and development, the EU has long committed to stand by these values and is ready to share its experience with every nation willing to embrace the way of democratic change.
As the Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – have proclaimed their intent for building their future in the spirit of democracy, human rights and freedoms and free market-driven economic development, their demand for new knowledge and skills necessary to introduce changes has been met by the EU with readiness to provide every possible expertise and support necessary to make reforms in these countries happen.
In the scope of its ongoing cooperation with the EaP countries, specifically, in the domain of civil society development, the EU has come up with a new Civil Society Fellowship Programme aimed at helping CSO leaders and civil activists in the six EaP countries to develop their leadership skills and building CSOs’ capacities to facilitate their initiatives at the grassroots, national, regional and international levels.
The Fellowship Programme will take form of a series of Calls for Applications that will be announced during 2017-2020. While the eligibility criteria might vary for each Call depending on the aims of the designed Programme, we expect each Call will conclude with approximately 20 fellows selected. The fellows will have an opportunity to get up to EUR 5,000 to implement specific activities outlined in their applications, travel outside or within their countries or cover service fees for hosting organisations.
SO, WHAT IT IS ABOUT
Through its EaP Civil Society Fellowship Programme the EU supports a wide range of activities, including:
- Collecting local evidence on how public services are delivered at local and national level;
- Engaging into policy making to gain expertise in drafting policy papers or organising advocacy campaigns;
- Strengthening organisational capacities of fellows’ CSOs;
- Involvement in public monitoring through development of monitoring tools and activities;
- Improving CSOs’ accountability and tailoring their activities to citizens’ needs;
- Working together with other CSOs on issues of common interest;
- Developing and implementing ideas for specific ICT solutions for eTransparency and eParticipation contributing to improvement of dialogue between civil society and public authorities in the EaP countries.
All activities will have to be held in the countries of the EaP region or the EU Member States.
The Fellowship has been conceived to allow its participants implement their ideas through:
- Distance learning. Think of flexible and innovative training opportunities you can grab. For this, you will have to mention in your application an organisation or individual who will engage in distance learning on selected fellowship topic.
- Mobility programmes.Travelling to the host organisations in the EaP countries or the EU Member States will be possible depending on the needs and areas of activities of the fellows. The applicants can either propose a host organisation they think fits their purpose or select one from the list of possible hosts developed by our Team (check the list below).
- Access to additional technical expertise. It will be available to those who propose to develop ICT tools for transparency, accountability and participation but lack relevant human capacities and resources to fully implement their ideas. The Fellowship available for this category of applicants will help to cover the expenses related to implementation of such initiatives like, e.g., hiring an IT specialist, obtaining additional software, paying for a domain name and hosting, getting access to the state registers and/or visual databases etc.
LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL HOST ORGANISATIONS?
If your application has a capacity building component within host organisations in the EaP countries or the EU Member States you might be interested to check our list of institutions which gave their preliminary consent for hosting fellows.
Host organisations can be non-profit organisations, associations, IT hubs, local authorities or educational institutions. Hosts will have to provide adequate facilities for implementation of ideas coined by the applicants as well as guidance and mentoring possibilities for fellows. To achieve the intended outcome, we will sign a formal agreement with the host organisation and the fellow to see that the roles and responsibilities for each party throughout the fellowship period are clearly worded and understood.
- TUMO Creative Technology Centre (Armenia)
- Microsoft Innovation Centre (Armenia)
- Impact Hub (Armenia)
- Сivil Development Agency (Georgia)
- NGO ‘Go Group Media’ (Georgia)
- Internews Georgia (Georgia)
- NGO JumpStart (Georgia)
- Youth Advocate Programmes (Ireland)
- Reanimation Package of Reforms (Ukraine)
- Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law (Ukraine)
- The Eidos Centre for Political Studies and Analysis (Ukraine)
- Maker Hub (Ukraine).
If your organisation is interested in hosting the EaP Civil Society Fellows please contact our Help Desk at [email protected]
2017 EAP CIVIL SOCIETY FELLOWSHIPS
The First Call for Applications under the EaP Civil Society Fellowship Programme was launched on August 15, 2017 with the deadline for submission on September 25, 2017. Twenty young activists in the civic sphere in the Eastern Partnership region have been awarded Fellowships under the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility, to pursue a programme of activities that will allow them to develop their leadership skills, and enhance their contribution to civil society development in their respective countries.
The Fellows – 12 women and 8 men, aged 18 to 36, – come from all 6 EaP countries, and were selected on the basis of their track-record of achievements to date, and the strong potential they demonstrated in their proposals, to act as drivers of change in the civic sphere. They come from a range of backgrounds – some having worked in Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), others from the think-tank or research sphere, others have been engaged in informal civic activities to date.
The Fellows’ chosen topics for the work programme of the Fellowship covers a range of priority areas in the civil society realm – e.g. addressing the needs of local communities through engagement in participatory decision-making, monitoring and analysis of policy implementation and the work of government institutions (at local, municipal, national levels), capacity-building and networking among CSOs. The outputs anticipated by the end of the Fellowship period (awards are made for activities lasting up to 6 months) include policy papers on a range of important themes, e-learning course materials, visualisation of archive material, and the establishment of functioning networks of activists.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Still unsure of something or have unanswered questions on the Fellowship Programme? Then try reaching our Help Desk ([email protected]) to get more information and advice on all aspects of participation (technical and administrative matters of calls for proposals, programme priorities, co-financing possibilities and other.)