WDI, U-M’s Weiser Center Partner To Train NGO Leaders

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

WDI has partnered with U-M’s Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia (WCEE) and the Slovak-based Pontis Foundation to provide leadership training to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The goal is to make them more successful and strong, thereby strengthening civil society in new democracies in order to advance positive social and political change.

Ukrainian revolution

Called the NGO Leadership Bootcamp and funded by the WCEE, the training will give NGO managers the skills they need to interact with international partners, government stakeholders, and the public. It will feature training sessions – taught by international faculty – on vision and strategy, financial management, resource mobilization, and proposal writing. Participants will be selected through a competitive application process and will attend the training at no charge.

The past 30 years have seen the collapse of the communist regimes in Europe and Eurasia, and the attempt to democratize these societies. While some countries have succeeded, democratic institutions in many others remain weak and ineffective. Civil society organizations are critical to building better and more responsive democratic institutions. Many such organizations are working across Central and Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union to advance civil society. However, these organizations themselves need to be strengthened to maximize their effectiveness – a role the bootcamp seeks to play.

The bootcamp will be open to 20 leaders from organizations in Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Southeast Europe, Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Turkmenistan.

The program will be held Oct. 20-23 at the Pontis Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia. The four days of training will be followed by two half-day sessions delivered online.

The Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia (WCEE) combines academics with practical applications, promoting scholarship to better understand the conditions and policies that foster the transition from autocratic rule to democratic governance, past and present. It also educates new generations of practitioners who can apply their learning and experience to help extend democratic freedoms. The Slovak NGO, Pontis Foundation, works to support democratization and the development of civil society.

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