Organizational Development of Youth Organizations (ODYO) is a project implemented by the Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF) in partnership with CNVOS (Centre for information service, co-operation and development of NGOs Slovenia) and ENNA (European Network of National Civil Society), co-funded through the Erasmus + Program.
For this project, the partners aim to contribute to the sustainable development of youth organizations in Europe. As a long-term effect, the organizations will become more accountable to stakeholders (beneficiaries, donors, staff, members etc.) and will be better equipped to provide quality services for young people with fewer opportunities (disadvantaged young people facing one or more social, economic, geographic, educational, cultural, health and disability obstacles).
The project directly responds to the challenges and needs identified for organizations working with young people, namely: need for development of the organizations, especially due to the lack of governance practices within the organization, an unsustainable resource base, a lack of focus on strategic planning and on promoting an effective management. In this respect, the project addresses the need to provide youth organizations with opportunities to develop their professionalism in order to better act for the benefit of young people with fewer opportunities (and beyond). For this, it proposes a specific and personalized intervention to improve organizational development.
As a first step, the team working on the project collected data on the practices of organizations working with young people with fewer opportunities in Europe and identified their organizational development approaches. Based on this information, a European report on work in youth organizations was created. As a follow-up of the report, a toolkit for the organizational development of NGOs working with young people with fewer opportunities was developed.
To better implement the toolkit, the team developed a training curricula that will help organizations to evaluate the status quo and propose organizational changes. This will be done with the help of local consultants from Romania and Slovenia in 15 local workshops. The workshops will have the role of disseminating and applying the toolkit set among at least 150 representatives of youth organizations. Furthermore, they will benefit from specific consultancy on applying / implementing the toolkit within their organization. The toolkit as well as the curricula are available for any interested organization and are designed in such a manner in which they can be self-applied.
The Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF)
CSDF is a Romanian non-governmental organisation founded 1994, in Bucharest. CSDF is an “organisation for organisations”, aiming to develop the civil society organisations and empower citizens’ participation both at national and at international level. Since its establishment, CSDF was involved in the development of the Romanian non-profit sector and became one of the biggest, most active and important Romanian NGO. The services provided – the funding programmes, information, consultancy, training, advocacy and platforms created, complement and add value to each other, contributing to the civil society development.
An important area of intervention of CSDF is the training and capacity building expertise. In order to respond to the development needs of local NGOs, CSDF has created several training and consultancy services in fields such as: Organisational management, Project management, Structural funds Proposals writing, Training of Trainers, Financial management, Fund-raising etc.
Over the years, CSDF undertook actions towards the educational and youth sector, through:
- managing specific grant schemes towards organizations working with young people.
- introducing for the first time in Romania and is extensively working with the concepts of life skills development for children and youth and emerging needs of children and youth,
- engaging in advocacy issues related to the Youth Law in Romania and also through formulating opinions as a member of The Economic and Social Committee in regards to different Communications of the CE
- promoting the concept and practices of non-formal learning in Romania, by implementing specific projects on the topic and also introducing specific priorities inside the grant schemes managed.
Centre for information service, cooperation and development of NGOs (CNVOS)
CNVOS was established in 2001 and acts like a national umbrella network, joining together more than 900 small and large NGOs from various policy fields (environment, youth, human rights, social issues, equal opportunities, culture, regional development, development cooperation etc.). CNVOS mission is to ensure the sustainable development of the member organizations by providing a comprehensive, effective and professional support through information service, consultancy, education, research, policy making, advocacy, networking and promotion. CNVOS has extensive experience with promotion of civil dialogue on national and EU level as well as capacity building of CSOs. In has developed several training modules on networking, policy formulation, advocacy, civil dialogue and promotion of Active European Citizenship.
As a Slovene national umbrella network, CNVOS also cooperates with sister organisations from other countries. Furthermore, CNVOS works as a consultant with many international organisations and foreign Governments from the EU, Western Balkan and Black Sea Region on the area of civil society development, as well as development of democratic institutions.
As part of the organizational capacity programs, CNVOS works extensively with youth organizations that are members in the network, since most of them lack internal efficient procedures on organizational development. Also, CNVOS does research and data collection activities about the situation of NGOs in Slovenia on different fields of activities and promotional campaigns directed towards the sector (annual national NGO Fair, promotion of cooperation of NGOs and different sectors – public sector, business, media etc.).
ENNA – European Network of National Civil Society Associations
ENNA was founded in 2011 as an “umbrella of umbrellas’. It represents and advocates for cross-sectoral interests of non-governmental organisations in EU member states, but also non EU (Norway and Turkey), and champions the role of not-for-profit civil society action with decision makers and those with economic interests.
Currently, ENNA is implementing, as partner, EU funded projects and smaller projects developed in partnership with its members. At the same time, ENNA is involved in advocacy and networking activities with similar and complementary structures in Brussels, in order to bring the voice and needs of the third sector closer to the EU decision making process.
ENNA’s umbrella bodies, national platforms and resource centres come both from countries with a long standing tradition of civil society and cross-sectoral cooperation (e.g. UK and its English, Scottish and Welsh national councils for voluntary organisations) and from new Member States, where the modern history of the third sector and its integration started only 20 years ago. ENNA’s members support thousands of local, regional and national civil society organisations across the EU, which each and every day deliver important activities for the benefit of society. Altogether ENNA boasts a membership that works directly and indirectly with over 80,000 European civil society organisations.
Its overriding mission is to build the capacity and share the expertise of civil society by developing skills and best practice, undertaking comparative research and documenting innovation in support of the sector, as well as assisting in the development of new national associations in countries where none exist.
ENNA’s activities support the mission: advocating and exchanging information between national and European levels (by having a collective voice across Europe on issues where there is a shared interest; by acting as an information hub, building awareness, and facilitating dialogue that supports and enables civil society in each country to engage meaningfully with governments and Europe-wide institutions, etc.); building capacity and sharing expertise across civil society in each country, by valuing the participative involvement of members and the democratic and civic participation of citizens from local to EU level policy making.