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BİRLİKTE Institutional Support Program First Term (2018 – 2020)

16.06.2022
We implemented the first term of the program between 2017 and 2020 as a sub-grant mechanism under the grant project "TOGETHER for rights-based CSOs in Turkey".

We designed the program in the first term as two different elements that can be varied as to focus groups and applied as such. We supported CSOs working at local level in scope of the first component of the program, which composes the main body of it. In scope of first component, we supported 35 CSOs in the first application year, and 34 CSOs in the second application year. In scope of the second component of the program, we supported national CSOs which seek for contributing to civil society by building collaborations at local level.7 CSOs benefited from the support in scope of second component.

Background

We work for strengthening and developing civil society organizations for more than 15 years with the vision of a strong and democratic civil society.  During this period, we finalized many projects which focus on mostly local CSOs. During the years we have been on the field, we have been in contact with numerous CSOs and local activists from different regions and scales. We have seen the needs of the field, listened and reported them, and tried to create the most effective solutions possible within the bounds of possibility. BİRLİKTE Support Program is born precisely as a result of this effort.

The field experience of us and the need assessment studies we conducted regularly showed the importance of the institutional support which has no pre-condition of developing a certain project for strengthening local CSOs. Our experience also revealed that financial support accompanied by a mentorship program based on one-to-one work for each CSO increased the productivity of the studies.

In the period before BİRLİKTE Support Program was designed, we observed in need assessment studies performed with 123 CSO representatives in May and June 2016 that the most important needs of local CSOs for sustainability are mainly in areas such as institutional fixed costs, fund raising, developing and applying strategy, effective institution communication, using digital tools and finance management.

Most of grant programs applied in the field for providing finance for CSOs in Turkey are applied as project grant. Though project grants are vital, much effective and valuable tools for empowering civil area, they are a bit weak when meeting an important need at the field, like meeting fundamental needs of local CSOs and supporting their institutional development and sustainability are aimed.  On the other hand, competitive structure of grant programs makes local CSO's having institutional and financial development needs disadvantaged in the access for resources.

These needs assessed have formed the skeleton of BİRLİKTE Institutional Support Program by combining our experience in civil field and the existing conditions in the area. BİRLİKTE Institutional Support Program is designed and being applied for the aim of contributing to democratic and strong civil society in the local area by empowering the institutional structure and access to resources capacity of CSOs working rights based in local levels.

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