Technical Assistance to the Government Office for Cooperation with Civil Society
The overall objective of the project was to contribute to anchoring democratic values and structures, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law, thereby supporting the EU integration process. The project aimed att achieving a more dynamic civil society actively participating in public debate and with capacity to influence policy and decision making processes. The objetives were:
- Enhanced development of civil society and a partnership with the government.
- Sustainable institutional capacity of the Office is ensured fulfilling its mandate to strengthen the dialogue between the Government of Serbia and CSOs and to support the more prominent role of the civil society in the process of building democratic institutions and society as a whole.
- A maximum impact and visibility is achieved through the Civil Society Facility grant scheme implemented by the EU Delegation.
The project supported the work of the Office for the Cooperation with Civil Society on the improvement of the legal, strategic, financial and institutional framework for the development of civil society in Serbia. It contributed to the institutionalisation of a permanent dialogue, partnership and cooperation between the Government and civil society based on transparent and structured communication and a regular exchange of experience, information and opinions. The project also included assistance to the EU Delegation in designing the thematic focus of the grants scheme for 2013 through consultations with civil society and needs assessment, managing and monitoring of the project as well as an impact assessment of the EU assistance to civil society.
The Strategy for the enabling environment for development of civil society organizations in Serbia was developed during the project implementation period. It included the relevant Action Plan, Monitoring Plan, Public awareness and communication for the Strategy. Online public debate regarding the Strategy development, and communication with general public were ensured and steered through the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society (OCCS) micro-site devoted to the Strategy development process. Additionally, the Campaign on CSOs and targeted initiatives carried out to reach different groups in the process of Strategy development: decision-makers, civil society, and media.
Another outcome of the project was the Training programme for the OCCS to enhance communication with CSOs, dialogue with respective EU and Western Balkans regional institutions to attract additional public, private and international funding for civil society development in Serbia.