Enhance the capacity of civic actors to address citizen identified issues
Civil Society Engagement Program will provide tailored capacity development assistance and flexible funding to new civic movements and leaders across the country.
At the initial stage, the program conducted the Civic Activism in Georgia Mapping to identify new civic actors with potential and interest to grow, harness lessons learned from their activities to date, and identify their shared goals and priorities.
This participatory mapping and other rigorous assessments will inform the Program’s training and mentoring activities that will equip new civic actors and existing CSOs with the new skills to enhance their public outreach and engagement, volunteer cultivation and management, advocacy, and other needs. The Program will also put special emphasis on matching the capacity building around these hard skills for civic activism with the soft skills that are necessary to protect civic activists from stress and exhaustion often associated with their work.
Flexible grant programs for community groups and CSOs will enable them to design and implement innovative and context-specific public education and advocacy initiatives. EWMI will use diverse and simplified grant solicitation and reporting procedures and approaches to minimize bureaucratic burdens and ensure efficient and effective grant implementation. This will include issuing seed money and then providing additional grant support to scale up a successful approach, as needed. Grant programs include:
- Innovation and Challenge Grants for community groups, and local, regional and Tbilisi-based CSOs to increase civic engagement on a broad range of topics reflecting citizens’ concerns (up to 80 grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000).
- Strategic Support & Policy Grants for CSOs to support initiatives that hold the government accountable and advance good governance in citizens’ priority areas, such as healthcare, social welfare, education, and employment (up to 11 grants of up to $85,000 each).
- Rapid Response Grants to support public awareness or community mobilization efforts on important and time-sensitive political, economic, and social needs (up to 6 grants annually ranging from $5,000 to $15,000).
- In-kind Grants to support civic activists to mobilize additional resources through people’s funding to implement citizen-led ideas (up to 30 grants annually).
Program will engage with its grantees as early as in the planning stage and throughout the grant implementation using various methods of co-creation. In particular:
- Social Labs will invite diverse stakeholders in participatory discussions around the grant program design to identify citizen priority issues to focus on and propose realistic and efficient interventions.
- Design Sprints will engage diverse stakeholders in helping civic actors design effective public outreach campaigns through prioritizing target audiences and developing actionable communication plans with a wide range of tactics.
- Communication Hubs will apply a learning-by-doing approach and engage creative, digital, PR/media, and production teams in helping civic actors frame their key messages and fine-tune their communication tools to engage wider audiences.
- Citizen Assemblies will engage citizens in larger societal debates around divisive policy questions and solutions put forward by civic actors before these solutions are shared with the government.
Throughout the program implementation, EWMI will offer diverse capacity building opportunities to its grantees and other civic actors based on a rigorous and participatory analysis of their needs.
Additionally, CSEP will also support existing e-platforms and develop new e-tools to initiate civic campaigns, collect input and new ideas from citizens, and mobilize supporters. EWMI will organize regular hackathons to drive and sustain innovation for adapting existing tools and designing the new ones.