Upbringing grassroots NGOs

 

At NGO Ecoclub we believe that presence of active grassroots CSOs (Civil Society Organizatoin) is vital for sustainable development. Therefore, in 2015 we established consortia of CSOs to implement a program aimed to support local CSOs actin in energy efficiency sector in many places of Ukraine and 3 other countries. 10 CSOs participated in mentoring program, have completed 3 trainings and the online course (http://cleenet.org/index.php/en/online-courses) . We selected them among 62 applications on competitive basis. For 2016, we further reduced amount of those receiving financial support to six. We find the results achieved by CLEEN network in Ukraine in 2016 inspiring:

·         79 events organized and attracted 4727 female and 4869 male participants. The events vary from street actions, festivals and exhibition to seminars and meetings of working groups established in local authorities but for sure all participants learned how to improve their living environment through energy efficiency.

·         18 educational and awareness publications were produced including: 1600 copies of posters, 9000 copies of booklets, 200 copies of book, 1000 copies of questionnaire, and 100 DVD optical discs.

·         Personal consultations were provided to 1074 females and 1557 males and 80 different organizations (NGO and governmental) were consulted by CLEEN network.

·         1,8 million people are considered to be reached through media.

Idea of CLEEN project come into being from history of Ecoclub’s development. We received constant support from Heinrich Boell foundation for several years that allowed us to build up capacity and acquire skills necessary for independent activity. Many of Ukrainian CSOs live from one grant funding to another and apply to any grant competition around, without having a clear focus. They cannot develop their own mission, vision and theory of change because they must put so many efforts in fundraising. CLEEN support program provided space for CSOs to decide what they want to do in area of energy efficiency and brought some financial stability.

According to the results of internal survey for local partners that we carried out at the end of 2016 and also to our observations all of local CSOs showing significant growth after CLEEN program. It is manifested as diversification of funding sources, recognition of them as stakeholders by local authorities, more people employed, and recognition of them as experts by other CSOs.

The factors we consider vital for success of CLEEN were:

·         Comprehensive training program for CSOs.

·         Continuous financial support for application of skills and knowledge obtained at trainings.

·         Constant mentorship and sincere communication with partners.

·         Shared responsibility rather than top-down management of the program.

For more information please contact CLEEN project coordinator in Ukraine Illia Yeremenko, illia@ecoclubrivne.org 

— The author, Illiya Yeremenko is an Energy Efficiency Coordinator at NGO 'Eco Club'. He is an Alumni of Life Academy’s Efficient Energy Use and Planning Program.

Date: 
05 Oct, 2017 to 31 Dec, 2017