On the International Day of Democracy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partners Global launched the Civil Society Resilience project, co-funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
This five-year, $9 million dollar USAID project will improve the civil society enabling environment, create space for civil society to participate in public policy processes, bring citizens and civil society together over common issues and foster dialogue between civil society and government. The project is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which has committed $3 million.
“Civil society cannot succeed alone. Rather, civil society, media, private sector and government must work together on initiatives that are important to the interests of the people,” said Brook Isham, USAID Mission Director to Serbia, at the presentation of the project.
Given that a vibrant civil society sector as an important part of any democratic society, the project will engage 25 local civil society actors across Serbia, five in each of Serbia’s five regions, that will serve as hubs to support a network of more than 300 CSOs, movements, activists and informal initiatives throughout Serbia.
Gordana Čomić, Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, spoke of the role the project plays in fostering a culture of dialogue in Serbia saying that, “When we ourselves, without the help of civil society or government bodies, do not want to sit down as humans to talk, then for the sake of the future of our society, we are grateful when people who work in civil society and are knowledgeable and skilled in dialogue and committed to their values, reach out to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue to partner with us on such issues.”
The Chief of Party of the Civil Society Resilience project Andrija Mijanović noted that, “During the coming five years, through collaboration of key players in democratic development processes – organisations, institutions and decision-makers, private initiatives, academia, and media, we aim to ensure the constant development of organisations and civil initiatives, while relying on regional and global examples of good practice and innovative and verified methodologies.”
“Civil society has an important role in mobilizing citizens, participating in policymaking and promoting democracy. Therefore, we look forward to strengthening our collaboration with civil society and the Government in order to improve the environment for civil society,” said Richard Kohli, the Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office
For more information about the Civil Society Resilience project or this event, please contact Vesna Stankovic at firstname.lastname@example.org or 063 384 263. For more information about USAID, please contact Mirjana Vuksa Zavišić at email@example.com or 065 3164530.