Alongside 185 representatives of civil society, Anja Bosilkova-Antovska, BCSDN’s Information and Communication Officer, was representing BCSDN at the Civica Mobilitas networking meeting, taking place on 24-25 October in Ohrid, and the thematic forum following the meeting. The event gathered 186 of the Civica Mobilitas grantees with the aim to exchange knowledge and experiences, discuss the challenges they are facing and identify effective ways to overcome them.
The focus of the networking meeting was placed on recognizing the changes that CSOs are making in society, as well as their presentation i.e. the way that these changes are communicated with the wider public. During the first day of the programme, Simon Forester, international Civica Mobilitas expert, facilitated the plenary session “Tapestry of change” where the participants, in smaller groups, presented activities that have led to positive changes enthused in their target groups and visualized their successful examples through a creative joint drawing. The second day, Mike Zuijderduijn, executive director of MDF Training & Consultancy, presented international practices in monitoring and evaluation of CSOs and the role of M&E in successful communication of CSOs’ achievements. Working through the principles of the Theory of change, participants were sharing their experiences and most notable achievements by identifying the conditions or outcomes that had to be in place for the desired goals to occur, thus mapping the road to a social change in Macedonia.
On 26 October, the Civica Mobilitas thematic forum was organized on the topic of “Cooperation between the Government and civil society”. Panelists on the forum were Branimir Jovanovikj, Sanela Shkrielj and Trajan Dimkovski, who until recently were civil society activists and are now employed in the Macedonia Government. Together with the CSO representatives they discussed the recent phenomena of increased engagement of civil society activists in the state institutions, the potentials stemming from these ‘transfers’, as well as the challenges and opportunities for developing a more systematic, fundamental cooperation between the civil society and government sector.
Through the action grant by Civica Mobilitas, awarded in May 2017, BCSDN is implementing the project “Protecting Civic Space: Duties and Participants”. The project aims to promote mechanisms for monitoring and improvement of the environment in which CSOs operate, and to increase the understanding of CSOs for European standards and trends for CSOs’ accountability and transparency, through sharing good practices and mechanisms.