4 min read
30 Jun

In a bid to promote active youth engagement in governance and service delivery, the Civil Society Strengthening Network (CSSN), in partnership with the Network for Active Citizens (NAC) and with support from Dream Town, is implementing the Open Civic Space for Youth II project.

The project focuses on empowering youth-led Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to continue utilizing knowledge and resources developed during Open Civic Space I, while addressing internal gaps identified during the organizational capacity assessment and strengthening process, as well as strengthening the capacity and motivation of youth-led Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to become effective actors in their communities. 

As part of this initiative under the Open Civic Space II project phase (January–December 2023), an orientation meeting for the Community Action Plan was held today at the Arua Youth CSO hub to introduce the 20 partner CSOs to the concept of Community Action Plans (CAPs) through five thematic groups. 

The meeting aimed to equip CSOs with the necessary tools and knowledge to develop CAPs that address the specific challenges faced by their communities. 

In The Meddle, Mrs. Evelyn Mugisha, NAC Facilitating The CAP Tool

During the meeting, representatives from the CSOs were provided with an in-depth understanding of CAPs, including how to develop them and utilize fundraising techniques to gather resources. The CSOs were also divided into five clusters based on the thematic areas of the National Youth Manifesto (2021–2026). 

These clusters will serve as support systems, enabling CSOs to collaborate and motivate each other during the implementation of their CAPs. 

Mrs. Kirabo Deborah, one of the project team leaders from CSSN who serves as the Program Associate and Facilitator of the project training on CAP, emphasized the importance of keeping communities at the forefront of problem identification, solution creation, and mobilization. By engaging community members and youth-led CSOs in the co-creation of solutions, the project aims to strengthen the relevance and impact of these organizations in the constituencies they represent. 

During the orientation meeting, representatives from 20 partner CBOs were provided with a detailed understanding of community action plans (CAPs) and how they can be developed to address the specific needs and challenges faced by their communities. 

Mrs. Kirabo Deborah, Explaining to the CSOs About the CAP Tool

The Community Action Plan (CAP) tools, which have been customized to generate information on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in Arua City, were introduced to the CSOs. This equips them with the necessary skills to collect resources and mobilize their communities effectively. The CAP tools, shared with the partner CSOs, will enable them to gather valuable insights into the needs and aspirations of their communities. By using these tools, CSOs can identify priority areas for intervention and develop action plans that resonate with the specific needs of Arua City. 

The emphasis on community involvement and problem identification will ensure that the CAPs are aligned with the aspirations of the local population. 

As per the insights from the participants drawn from the 20 CSO’s under the open Civic Space For Youth Phase II project, they appreciated NAC, CSSN and the Donor Dream Town on the innovative and comprehensive ideas of the CAP 

"The orientation provided us with valuable insights into the CAP process," said Mr. Amule Mansur – ED RIAD Foundation(Rural Initiative For Community Development). We now understand how to use the CAP tools effectively to address the challenges faced by our communities." 

Mr. Amule Mansur, ED - RIAD Foundation, Speaking

Through the implementation of the CAPs, the project envisions that the CSOs will actively contribute to improved governance and service delivery in Arua City. By strengthening their networks, promoting peer learning, and sharing resources, the project seeks to foster collaboration between youth-led CSOs and their communities. 

However, according to Mr. Hillary Joe, ED of Rising Hope Community Initiative, "We believe that by engaging community members and youth-led CSOs in the co-creation of solutions, we can strengthen the relevance and impact of these organizations in the constituencies they represent, said Mr. Hillary. 

Mr. Hillary Joe, ED of Rising Hope Community Initiative, Speaking

Kirabo Deborah, representing CSSN, expressed her optimism about the project's expected outcomes. 

"We anticipate that the CAP tools provided to our partner CSOs will enable them to generate valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities in Arua City. This will empower them to implement targeted and effective interventions that address the needs of their communities." 

The project's focus on coaching and mentorship will further support the youth-led CSOs in their efforts to utilize the knowledge and resources gained from previous projects. The mentorship action plans (MAPs) developed as part of this phase will address any existing organizational gaps and strengthen the capacity of the CSOs. 

CSSN and NAC will continue to provide ongoing support and guidance to the partner CSOs throughout the implementation of their CAPs. Regular monitoring and evaluation will ensure the progress and accountability of the CSOs, as well as the effective utilization of available resources.

The Open Civic Space for Youth II project is poised to bring about positive change in Arua City by empowering youth-led CSOs to actively engage in governance processes and contribute to the overall development of their communities. With the CSOs now equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge, they are ready to embark on their journey towards a more open and participatory civic space. The successful orientation meeting marks a crucial milestone in the Open Civic Space for Youth II project. 

In Pic Members in attendance

The clustering of CSOs and the provision of CAP tools will empower the 20 youth-led CSOs to develop targeted action plans to address the challenges faced by their respective communities. This inclusive and collaborative approach is expected to foster sustainable change, promote active citizenship, and contribute to the overall development of Arua City. 

As the project progresses, it is expected that the CAPs developed during the orientation will serve as roadmaps for these CBOs to address community challenges effectively and collaboratively. With the engagement of young people at the forefront of problem identification and solution creation, the Open Civic Space for Youth II project holds great promise for the future of Arua City and its communities. 

For more information and updates on the Open Civic Space for Youth II project, please visit the CSSN and NAC websites

BY: OMAR El BASHIR - Dailywestnile.info
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