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Civic Participation in Public Policies and Local Development

Active Involvement of NGOs in the Formulation of Development Strategies at Regional and Municipal Level
Democracy Network Programme


The project stimulates the involvement of non- governmental organizations in the regional development at the start of the new century highlighting the challenges in front of them in a more clear-cut context. During the second year, the project activities are focused on the realization of a number of training modules, which we have called the House of Policies - NGO's Effective Involvement in Regional Development. The six training modules will be summarized at the International Conference in Bourgas in September as well as in a handbook with materials from the training.

Topics in the NGO Forum - The House of Policies
1. How to plan strategically?
2. How to hold sessions of shareholders' working groups in order to attain results?
3. How to form teams and how to convince them in our goals?
4. How to maintain a successful presence in the public space?
5. Risks and crises and how to manage them?
6. How to become leaders in order to attain good results?

The project's working group formulates the topics according to the dynamics and the needs of the training. Since each regional group works on a real-life case, which should be solved within the framework of the training, the format of the modules involves alternation of lectures, work in small groups and discussion of results in the big group.
The facilitator Ventsislav Penchev will help steer the training process closer to the actual conditions in which Bulgarian NGOs exist and develop and will ensure that the process leads to its results - a main goal in all of CSP initiatives.

Experts
According to the topic of each module, the project's working group will benefit from different experts.
· Jane Grube, Director of ISC - Sofia
· Galia Dimitrova, Coordinator of ISC - Sofia
· Haralan Aleksandrov, BIHR
· Ilcho Damianov, Mayor of Sapareva Bania (1995 - 1999.), presently Internal Policy Advisor of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria
· Rafael Chichek, BIHR
· Borislav Zjumbjulev, Deputy Editor-in-chief of 24 Hours Newspaper
· Evgenia Atanasova, BNT
· Vladimir Dajnov, Programme Director of BG Radio
· Ivan Bunkov, Editor-in-chief of Nov Zhivot Newspaper
· Colonel Dr. Valeri Rachev, Deputy rector of the Military Academy "G. S. Rakovski"
· Valeri Todorov, Psychologist - Institute of Psychology at the Ministry of Internal Affairs
· Dr. Nikolaj Mihajlov - Psychiatrist, lecturer at NBU
· Hristina Jordanova, Psychologist - Institute of Psychology at the Ministry of Internal Affairs


Participants
The number of participants in the Forum will be constant (30-40 people) - NGO management representatives from Burgas, Kardjali, Kjustendil, Smolian, Pazgrad and Russe.


Terms of Participation

The participants in the Forum are selected after filling in a questionnaire about the activities and capacity of their NGO stressing on its potential and impact on a local level.
The participation in the training is personal and all who have taken a place are committed to the work of the Forum from the beginning to the end.
The participation in the Forum is free of charge. Participants' expenses are covered by Democracy Network Programme. Travel expenses are reimbursed upon submission of travel fare receipts.

Duration of the Forum
November 2001 - May 2002

The training within the framework of the House of Policies is divided thematically into 6 modules, held at intervals of 6 weeks.

First Module: 15 - 16 November 2001, Sofia
Second Module: 20 - 21 December 2001, Sofia
Third Module: 31 January - 1 February 2002, Sofia
Fourth Module: 8 - 9 March 2002, Kardjali
Fifth Module: 5 - 6 April 2002, Russe
Sixth Module: 17 - 18 May 2002, Smolian

The Forum will help to:
1. Identify the stakeholders represented by NGOs (Whose interests do they defend?) as well as identify NGO strategic priorities.
2. Discuss issues on the role of NGOs in the decision- making process and select priority actions to boost the effectiveness of NGOs.
3. Develop the skills of local NGOs to work with institutional representatives in a new competitive environment.
4. Even out the capacity of individual NGOs through active exchange of information, practices and skills.
5. Establish partnerships between local NGOs and think tanks to influence central institutions of the government.
6. Popularize the activities of the NGOs from the presented regions in the central media.
7. Create an effective NGO network able to form coalitions for solving similar problems
8. Formulate topics of common interest and select priority actions for solving concrete problems on-site.
9. Provide information to the NGO community, institutions and the media on the prospects for the development of the Third Sector
10. Recommendations for next steps.

For further information:
Vania Chalburova, Project Coordinator
tel. 02 / 981 21 88, 980 81 70, 980 89 37
fax: 02 / 986 44 05
E-mail: vania@csp-sofia.org

  
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