CiDA Holds First Informal Conference of NGOs and Donors
30 May, 2013
CiDA Holds First Informal Conference of NGOs and Donors
On May 23, the first informal conference between the Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN) and international/donor organizations was held at Sheraton Metechi Palace, organized by CiDA (Civil Development Agency). The aim of the conference was to enhance the communication between R-CSN member CSOs and donors as well as hold the informal discussion about various topical issues.
Representatives of almost 45 organizations (30 civil societies and 15 international organizations) took part in the conference that was open for the press. The
format gave the participants the opportunity to talk in the relaxed atmosphere. The participants were entitled to name the most painful topics for them and be divided into three rooms according to their objects of interest.
“We have discussed six topics in 3 hours. We expect that the network will be more efficiently represented to the donors,” Zviad Devdariani, Executive Director of CiDA noted for us subsequent to the event. “I think that the organizations have got more information about the activities of donors and it will help them in better communication. On the other hand, it was a chance for donors to get informed about the main needs and topics that are raised in the regions of Georgia - this bridge is so difficult to build. We hope that the donors will consider what they learnt today,” he added.
Reportedly and quite unsurprisingly, there are many challenges – not enough resources, the problems in writing projects, less access to the information, etc. Marika Mghebrishvili, Executive Director of the Association Biliki located in Gori town, Shida Kartli region, also talked to Georgian Journal: “For me this conference was important because it gave us a unity of regional NGOs. It was the first time when the both sides talked about their concerns, about the hampering moments for our successful communication. I hope that we will come to common conclusions. My main concern is that the main topical issues remain the same as they were some 15 years ago and they are added by the comparatively new problem of IDPs from South Ossetia. We, NGOs focus on the improvement of the economic conditions of our society and combating poverty. This is as if an undisputable matter. But in the regions, we have the direct meetings with beneficiaries and know much better about their concerns and needs. These economic problems cause additional psychological problems and therefore, we ask for the extra services to be provided. The problem is here – international organizations hardly ever finance the services.”
It was a brainstorming where without any extra formality the information on initiatives and projects crucial for the development of the country was exchanged. Besides, the donors and NGOs had a chance to find the joint solutions to the problem-finding, as well as advocating and joint visions and strategies of dealing with citizens.
“Such meetings in ‘unconference’ mode are more than welcome. They were useful for us, donors as well as for NGOs. We do not usually have possibility to meet them so closely and this was a good format. To be more concrete, I learnt from facilitators that sometimes it is not enough for them to reject, but to give a detailed explanation what they expected to see in the presented project, which will help us to build better links,” Irina Lashkhi, East-West Management Institute’s G-PAC project Deputy Chief of Party told us.
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