Today, we concluded the Regional Workshop of WBF-EU Tacso, a three day event focusing in building capacities, partnerships and sustainability of the Civil Society Organisations in the Western Balkans Region.
Dafina Beqiri, WBF Senior Program Manager, opened the discussion by emphasizing the importance of donors allocating more funds to enhance partnerships. She underscored the value of workshops like this for all participants.
Jelena Pajovic van Reenen, EU TACSO expert, was asked to elaborate on specific insights regarding how to ensure funds are dedicated to activities that aim to increase cooperation.
“To build a successful partnership, you need trustworthy partners who understand their roles. From what we heard yesterday, there is a need to insist on sustainability within existing grant calls. Organizations should describe how they will continue their activities after the funding ends, emphasizing investment in long-term impact”, she responded.
Ms Beqiri then turned to Andreja Tonc, expressing gratitude for her technical session. Andreja highlighted the importance of involving project partners from the beginning to the end for a full Project Cycle Management (PCM).
She also stressed the significance of partners participating in training sessions organized by different donors to collectively increase capacities.
Regarding small-budget projects, Andreja mentioned that initiatives are sometimes overlooked, and stakeholders may not take them seriously due to limited funds. Dafina asked for practical implementation examples and effective tools or programs for building skills.
“We have a component for capacity building in addition to people to people events. You can expect an open call next year for the submission of ppl events. Subscribe to our webpage for updates on accessible online activities, events, and training”, added.
Ms Tonc emphasized the importance of stakeholder involvement throughout the PCM, encouraging a thorough analysis of stakeholders at the project’s beginning and continuous assessment of their importance.
Natasha Nazari, again from EU TACSO underlined: “We have guidelines aligned with EU standards for civil society. Now, we are in the process of evaluating indicators of Civil Society Organisations in the Region. CSOs have the chance to contribute, and I invite everyone to share in focus group consultations to strengthen our collective impact.”
Fjordi Bisha, our WBF-EU Joint Action Manager, concluded the panel by underscoring: “Partnership was a keyword of this workshop, with community support, elevating knowledge, and bringing together diversity as key pillars. Community support, not only for CSOs but also for WBF, is crucial for sustainability. Bringing together diversity, both in partnerships and ideas, enhances regional cooperation. Elevating knowledge has a reciprocal effect, enabling organizations to better understand their communities and plan for the future.”
In summary, the conference highlighted the need for sustainable practices, thorough stakeholder analysis, and ongoing collaboration to achieve long-term impact in the region.