Open Door Meetings with CSOs
In December, EWMI ACCESS organized open door meetings with interested Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and activists in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Zugdidi to better inform them about the Citizen Outreach Grants (COG) program and explain the ACCESS’ new approach in grant-giving. At the meetings, representatives of more than 40 civil society organizations received detailed information about the program requirements, priorities and procedures.
In order to ensure wider engagement of CSOs, civic activists and informal groups in its Grants program, EWMI ACCESS has embarked on a new, participatory grant-making approach and consequently revised its grant-giving procedures: at the initial stage, applicants are requested to submit brief concept papers. Once the best project ideas are shortlisted, EWMI ACCEESS will work with the shortlisted applicants to assist them in developing full proposals (detailed action plans and budgets). To this end, EWMI ACCESS, in close cooperation with the respective applicant, will organize Social Lab discussions (i.e. apply the co-creation method) with diverse groups for getting thorough understanding of the targeted problem(s), ensuring more creativity and securing a closer collaboration of the people required to achieve success.
Apart from announcing the RfCP, EWMI ACCESS used the meetings to inform CSOs about ACCESS work in general and to discuss problems existing in the CSO sector in Georgia. One of key topics that CSOs were mostly concerned about related to difficulty of getting donor funding due to complicated procedural requirements. Other problems included engaging beneficiaries in project activities and ensuring their commitment for project goals. To address the CSOs concerns, EWMI ACCESS representatives shared their observations and recommendations with the participants in terms of project planning and proposal-writing, as well as establishing closer ties with citizens.