GrassRoots Action Support-GRAS aims to strengthen the existing capacities of community based CSOs in Kosovo and help them represent the interests of the community, by offering both financial and non-financial support. The project will mainly facilitate CSOs understanding of policy processes, institutions and other relevant actors with the aim to enable them effectively engage in public policy dialogue and processes at local and central level. GRAS is an innovative financial assistance based programme that allows project partners provide support to a wide range of civil society organisations and enables CSOs not only to enhance their engagement in the policy process but also establish partnerships across the sector for lauder voice while representing their communities, constituencies and/or interest groups. In addition to the financial support, the project will use project partners’ skills and expertise to provide training and capacity building support to grassroots CSOs in order to enhance their technical knowledge for policy making engagement, outreach and project management skills, governance and organizational capacity but also help them with their skills to access funds.
Through GRAS project we aim to enhance capacities of a wide spectrum of grassroots and community-based groups, local and national professional associations, non-governmental organisations, academic and training institutions, think tanks and other civil society actors.
GRAS has undertaken a mapping of grassroots organisations in Kosovo and their needs, which has helped GRAS decide on the eligibility criteria. Based on the results of this mapping, the project focuses on the following three key thematic areas of strategic importance:
- Good Governance: Citizen Participation and Local Accountability
- Social Justice: Socio-economic Rights
- Promotion of Culture and Cultural Heritage at Local Level
The financial support to third parties (grant scheme) will be organized in three cycles and is designed to cover grassroots organisations in diverse sectors, which will include but will not be limited to: a) employment; b) health; c) infrastructure; d) education; e) human rights; f) culture and tradition
The project will utilize a combined set of capacity building modalities to develop a tailor-made capacity building approach and respond to the needs identified during the mapping exercise. Classroom trainings, workshops and tools will be provided to support the CSOs needs, while coaching and mentoring will be the most useful and targeted tool for knowledge transfer and skills development. While coaching intends to assist CSOs in implementing their activities related to the action (the financial support to third parties) mentoring will target organisations leaders to provide senior support.
The project will organize an awareness raising campaign in a manner that serves both, the purpose of informing the public on the project carried out by the beneficiary organisations, as well as raising awareness about the general role of CSOs in the policy making process. Specifically, the campaign’s focus is on grassroots CSOs acting as an intermediary between the public (their constituents) and the government (especially at the local level). In addition to the awareness raising activities, after the first or the second grant cycle, a visual campaign will be produced using successful examples of grassroots organisations in policy process to promote the enhanced engagement of CSOs in the policy process but also ensure their greater access.