Civic Engagement Project

Raising awareness among youth about importance of civic engagement
Creating discussion about youth influence on gender norms and gender equality through civic engagement
Natasha Stankovic

WHAT IS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECT?

The five-year, $9.4 million, Civic Engagement Project is USAID/Macedonia’s flagship program for strengthening dialogue between citizens and government on important social issues.  Working through a contract with New York City-based East-West Management Institute (EWMI), the project is actively building the capacity of civil society organizations—both individually and through established networks—to raise public awareness and engage government officials on issues on which they are passionate, issues like environmental protection, government accountability, the protection of LGBTI rights, and youth empowerment.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

EWMI has partnered with four Macedonian non-profits, two of which—the Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI) and the Foundation for Internet and Society (“Metamorphosis”)—provide grants either directly to local civil society organizations (CSOs) or to their networks.  A third partner, the National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM), invites young people ages 18-25 as project “fellows” to design and implement community-level service activities.  The fourth partner—the Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM)—coordinates all CEP’s capacity development assistance to all grantees and carries out a significant portion of these activities.

Civic Engagement Project is part of USAID’s overarching goal of helping to strengthen civil society, media, political processes, and ethnic integration in Macedonia.  The end state of the Civic Engagement Project will be a visibly strengthened ability of ordinary citizens, working through networks of indigenous, non-profit organizations, to engage public officials and entities on issues of vital national importance on a self-sustaining basis.

WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED?

So far the project has awarded 66 grants to CSOs and informal groups and individuals, valued at over $2 million; identified 39 fellows to spearhead community-level activities; provided video cameras, mobile projectors, and training to grantees to help improve their online presence and promote citizen engagement; and carried out an Annual Youth Civic Engagement Award (YCEA) ceremony to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of two youths and one youth group.

Last updated: August 31, 2018

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