The Centers for Civic Initiatives (CCI) and the Center for Civil Society Promotion (CCSP) implemented a five-year Civil Society Sustainability Project (CSSP), to strengthen and maintain the capacity of civil society organizations in BiH.
The Civil Society Sustainability Project (CSSP) strengthened the competencies, influence, professionalism, and legitimacy of civil society organizations (CSOs) in BiH, so they became true representatives of the communities they represent and an equal partner to governing structures, with special emphasis on negotiation processes. EU accession.
By enabling civil society organizations (CSOs) to independently advocate for a more favorable legal, institutional, and tax framework, conditions are created for their long-term sustainable development.
The project is a response to the unfavorable environment for the work of CSOs and their non-transparent financing from public funds. It is also a response to underdeveloped corporate philanthropy, the need to achieve organizational professionalism, and a strong dependence on foreign donors.
The CCSP was in charge of capacity building of 22 organizations in 12 sectoral areas, through special educational programs, and through technical assistance in the process of strengthening their sustainability. The sectoral areas in which these 22 organizations operate are anti-corruption, employment, and the labor market, economic policies, education, health, human rights of marginalized groups, women’s rights, agriculture and rural development, culture, public finances, justice, environment, and energy efficiency. It is also very important to establish partnerships with the business community, the media, CSOs, and the authorities, to effectively address the key problems of BiH. society.
The 22 CSOs involved went through an organizational capacity assessment process and then training in the areas necessary to run campaigns. This education enabled them to apply knowledge in networking and form broad sectoral coalitions at the state level and strengthen advocacy capacities in creating a supportive environment for the development of civil society. Also, the project supported activities that lead to the self-sustainability of the CSOs involved, which includes the development of stakeholder networks, the creation and implementation of sustainability strategies, and active communication with the segmented and general public.
To achieve self-sustainability, campaigns are conducted to improve the legal and fiscal environment for civil society, address the issue of individual and corporate philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and self-regulatory mechanisms for the cooperation of CSOs with government institutions.
The CCSP designed an Advocacy Program, under which four campaigns were conducted, to achieve change in these areas.
The CSSP also supported the SMART Resource Center (SMART RC), which was established in 2006.
SMART Resource Center (SMART RC) is a unique service established to develop capacity, acquire knowledge, develop and improve skills, and develop professionalism and effective action in all segments of society. The SMART START RC provides education, counseling, and mentoring for CSOs, to build or strengthen the organizational capacity, network, and build partnerships and coalitions, to achieve a better working environment and create a fairer society.
Thanks to the high level of quality of services it offers, SMART RC has established itself as a leading center for the education of CSOs and citizens from all over BiH. Since 2010, SMART RC has been offering educational services and professional support to companies and government institutions in BiH and the region.
SMART RC publishes information of interest to its clients such as project calls and current news and has a database of CSOs from all over BiH, a list of trainers, and training in areas of interest to CSOs.
Almost half a million people visit the SMART RC on our website annually.