The project aims to work with civil society organizations that already have a well established portfolio of activities and are involved in initiatives advocating for citizen interests. The project’s main objective is to further strengthen the capacity of a small group of selected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the sphere of legislative lobbying, advocacy and monitoring, along with their ability to build coalitions around issues of common interest to CSOs and Members of Parliament (MPs).
At the end of a lengthy and professional selection process based on an evaluation matrix developed specifically for this purpose, four partner CSOs were selected to take part in the project. Due to the scope and limited resources of the project, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in partnership with the Institute for Parliamentary Democracy (IPD), could only select four partner CSOs to take part in the series of trainings, workshops and follow-up support.
The four CSOs which were selected to take part in the project have been active in recent years on a number of initiatives in the civil-society sector. The selected CSOs, and the initiative they would like to undertake as part of this project, are:
- NGO Republic Center for support of individuals with intellectual disability-Poraka (Ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
- NGO Konekt (Overseeing the implementation and amendments to the Law on Donations and Sponsorships in Public Activities)
- NGO Youth Educational Forum (Adopting a law on the organizational aspects of students)
- NGO Humanitarian association of the Roma, Mesecina – Gostivar (Adopting a Law on Anti-discrimination)
NDI is focusing its technical assistance on strengthening the selected civil society organizations’ capacities in advocacy, negotiation, legislative research, legal drafting, budget proficiency, media relations and coalition-building skills for issue-specific legislation. Assistance involves both skills-building and guided practice. The National Democratic Institute, in partnership with the Institute for Parliamentary Democracy (IPD), have to date designed and successfully delivered two capacity building modules tailored to the specific needs of the four partner organizations. The topics for the two modules were: Strengthening the internal and mobilization capacities of partner CSO’s (Mavrovo, October 20-21, 2009), and Strengthening the abilities for communication with the public and organizing campaign(s), (Ohrid, November 17-19, 2009). Both modules were delivered by experienced trainers with extensive expertise in the areas covered. A third seminar is to follow in the spring of 2010. Training topics have included: mechanisms of public policy development in Macedonia, surveying and tabulation, budget literacy, coalition building and negotiations, public speaking and media relations.