Civil Society Enablement Program
Basmeh & Zeitooneh launched the Civil Society Enablement Unit in 2018 to build grassroots and community-based organizations (CBOs) to enhance their skills to manage and implement projects. Basmeh & Zeitooneh has built on its own experience growing from a group of volunteers to a well-established organization serving thousands of people. It started as a small number of volunteers in 2012 to become a well-established local organization serving thousands of people in all of our countries of operations. In light of this experience and knowledge that skills and knowledge are acquired through learning and practice, Basmeh & Zeitooneh designed and implemented projects that aim at supporting CBOs through providing tailored training and coaching sessions that fit the specific needs of each organization. A coaching phase was incorporated to ensure that a guidance stage follows the training phase to turn knowledge into skills and practices.
Since the beginning of this program, Basmeh & Zeitooneh provided sub-grants to all targeted CBOs to ensure that those organizations have the necessary financial support to design and implement projects in their target areas. From lessons learned throughout the years, we updated the projects under this program as per evaluation results and feedback collected from participating CBOs.
The Civil Society Incubators Project falls under the Civil Society Enablement Unit at Basmeh & Zeitooneh. The project includes training, coaching and sub-granting components of local and grassroots Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to build their capacities and enable them to properly manage their organizations and implement needs-based projects in their target areas. The project starts with an open call for participation, inviting interested CBOs to submit applications reviewed by the project team, who asks eligible CBOs that fit the selection criteria to interviews. Then, selected CBOs to undergo an Organizational Capacity Assessment to identify gaps and dictate the training plan to cover the needs of each organization. To make sure organizations are benefiting from the training workshops, Basmeh & Zeitooneh provides continuous coaching sessions where the team and trainers work closely with the organizations to ensure that knowledge gained through training is turned into practical skills. After receiving several training and coaching sessions, organizations are invited to submit project proposals based on their scope of work on one hand and the needs of their target community on the other hand. During this phase, the Basmeh & Zeitooneh team supports the organizations in planning their projects as part of the learning process. CBOs are then provided with subgrants to have the financial capacity necessary to implement their proposed projects.
The training workshops have reached more than 100 members of staff in the targeted organizations. We were able to build CBOs' staff's capacity individually through coaching sessions, in which more than 110 staff members from 23 CBOs.
Each of the incubated CBOs receives a sub-grant to support their practical and executive capacities. They were able to translate the theoretical knowledge acquired during training into action. To this date, Basmeh & Zeitooneh and the incubated CBOs have implemented 16 community-based projects in the locations of the CBOs. Seven more projects are in the stage of designing and writing proposals. Through these projects, Basmeh & Zeitooneh and the partner CBOs reached more than 1900 beneficiaries. The projects aimed to empower community engagement in democracy and decision-making, raising awareness of the issues related to women's rights, human rights, constitution, and gender-based violence, and some of the projects aimed at empowering women. Opportunely, Basmeh & Zeitooneh has been developing an online platform as part of the Incubators project to serve as a safe and common space for CBOs to meet, receive training sessions, and access material. The platform has proven to be very useful, especially after the COVID19 lockdowns, for the CBOs to continue their learning journey.