Shifting the power dynamic between donors and civil society activists
How to navigate between a pre-planned larger project logframe and complexity of a civil society ecosystem to make space for transformational change, which may not be always possible to be planned in advance? Whose reality counts in this process?
We would like to share our experience with participatory approaches to capacity strengthening for emerging/grassroot civil society actors (CSAs) within an EU-financed regional project, which took place at the same time in Moldova, Georgia and Armenia (2020 – 2022).
We did not promote a uniform trajectory of CSA capacity strengthening, growing into a grants-based NGO for example, instead, each actor (including informal initiatives and social movements) could take different paths which made sense in their context. This brought its own challenges and opportunities, both in managing the project upstream with the donor and downstream with the CSAs.
As well as sharing this project example, this session is an invitation to explore potential answers to our questions with those who come.