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Civil Society Development

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University-based Legal Clinics Enhance Professional Opportunities for Young Belarusian Lawyers
USAID supports the development of university-based legal clinics that create a stimulating environment for the professional development of students and provide them with opportunities to learn from national and international law professionals.

USAID civil society development projects foster well-informed civil participation in community-based initiatives and public advocacy across the social and economic spectrum in Belarus. USAID programs help citizens develop ways to participate in social and economic decision-making by encouraging cooperation between local civil society, local governments, and the private sector. This, in turn, creates sustainable solutions to local development challenges. USAID provides training, expert advice, and small grants to support non-governmental organizations and communities, independent business associations and legal assistance providers. We also assist civic initiatives in solving social and economic problems through cross-border cooperation and adoption of best practices from neighboring democratic societies. Exchange programs introduce Belarusians to best American professional practices and offer opportunities to experience American culture, traditions and values.

Current Activities

Local Capacity Development Program

USAID provides support to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to better serve the needs of the society. USAID support aims to increase the sustainability of local NGOs, enhance their advocacy efforts, promote the sustainable development of professional and local communities, and improve the quality of services delivered by NGOs to the communities and to the general public. Activities include organizational capacity development, specialized trainings for NGO management, mentoring and peer-to-peer collaboration, and small grants to NGOs to build capacity to address the development challenges of their professional and local communities.

Community Connections Exchange Program

Community Connections (CC) is an exchange program that supports U.S. public diplomacy goals and builds and promotes mutual understanding between American and Belarusian people. CC contributes to economic and democratic reforms by exposing Belarusians to American citizens and their culture.

The program provides Belarusian professionals in business, education, law, civil society, and government the opportunity to gain practical experience from their American counterparts within their respective fields. The program lasts three weeks and includes site visits to American governmental agencies, businesses and NGOs. Each year, 60 participants representing different sectors take part in exchange programs tailored to their professional interests. Over 340 professionals have successfully visited the US since 2006 under the USAID-administered program.

Last updated: January 26, 2015

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