Dear colleagues and friends,
We are finalising the second phase of the Project: ‘Clearing House: Ensuring Sustainability’ (CH) which is implemented by the Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels, Belgium) in cooperation with the Office for European Expertise and Communication (Minsk, Belarus) and supported by the European Commission.
During six months we have organised a training for CH consultants on evaluation of projects results and reporting, four information days on the EU programmes and opportunities for Belarusian organisations; six working meetings on elaborating and implementing international projects, and three meetings of the CH Advisory Board (AB), while our team of consultants has been providing counselling services for Belarusian civil society organisations (CSOs) in project proposal writing, offering suitable open calls for organisations, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and other project management issues.
The previous phase of the CH showed that Belarusian CSOs from the regions of the country do not actively participate in the Commission’s calls-for proposals for a number of reasons including lack of positive experience. That is why while planning the regional trainings under the Action we chose to use the following strategy.
First of all, we invited local organisations to become our partners at the events. They were responsible for spreading invitations, adjusting agendas to the local needs, as well as advised the local speakers for the events. The local experts openly shared their own success stories in implementing international projects, gave advice on where to look for and how to establish relations with partners from other countries, how to strengthen their own organisational capacity with no funds available for these purposes, how to build trustworthy relations with local authorities, and many other useful tips accompanied by vivid examples. The idea behind focusing purely on the regional experience was not only to show that successful operation is possible but also to stress the role of local front-runners who could become experts for CSOs in their own regions.