Imagine discovering an online garden where authentic grassroot civic actors with their local victories are thriving. This is the online civic space that PACT and Ce-Re can create for the civic groups or organizations that are still active at a local level yet remain as civic oases of hope.
We aim for high visibility and connection for these civic oases in order to strengthen their force for lobbying, advocacy, exchange, networking and innovation.
During our devoted work to community development (PACT) and community organizing (Ce-Re) we have seen courageous active citizens act almost as pioneers of local change through volunteering and civic action.
But our experience has taught us that these local groups/organizations are fragile, they break easily over time and they often need constant support. We are often in touch and though both our support-organizations have created opportunities for our beneficiaries to meet, exchange stories and practices, network or partner-up, we see there is still a huge potential for connection between these civic oases.
We want to address this potential through this project and we want to start by connecting 50 civic oasis through our dedicated online civic space.
Our target group consists of civic groups, community organizations and individuals who are changing and shaping the social landscape in their locality through civic engagement. Along the years PACT has worked in 165 communities and has funded 159 community projects; we have built the capacity of over 60 community groups or local associations which will become part of our target group. Ce-Re has over 40 civic groups and grassroot organizations listed on their site most of which they have supported over time, they are part of our target group along with dozens of winners of the Public Participation Awards Ce-Re has been organising since 2009.
This is the key target group which will expand with the help of some of them who will become our partners in co-designing the online civic space.
In the short term, when accessing our online platform you could expect to discover 30 wonderful groups/organizations and the civic initiatives that make them local changemakers. In the mid term, we will see this number double and the platform welcoming new civic organizations and initiatives. In the long term, we would love to see this online civic space as a hub for connection and interaction for the groups and organizations it hosts.
During the first stage of our 1 year project, we will start co-designing and building the platform together with 10 civic groups/organizations that will become our partners. This implies having one offline meeting with this working group and several online working sessions until the 4th month of the project when a beta version of the platform will be ready.
In the second stage, together with our co-designing partners and other key stakeholders we will refine and finish our platform while expanding the number of showcased civic groups/organizations to at least 30.
In the final phase of our project we will have an official launch of the online platform and start working with ambassadors to expand it and better reach our goal for increased visibility and connection for Romanian civic oases. This phase will bring at least 20 new groups and organizations to the platform between months 8 and 12 of our project.
At the end of our project phase at least 50 civic groups and organizations will have gained a boost in visibility and their capacity for networking, lobbying and advocacy.
The actual result will be an expansion of civic space in times that we know these have been shrinking for civil societies worldwide. And because this space is hosted online we expect to reach a large audience of citizens that will discover the power of civic engagement through real local stories that inspire.
Last but not least these civic oases, as we called them, will have the chance to turn the challenge of isolation and low visibility into an opportunity for intersection and exchange, trust and inspiration and become thriving hubs for civic innovation.
Our online civic space is dedicated to local groups and organizations across the country that are improving the quality of life in their communities. This platform will be co-developed with them, for them. This digital space has a clear aim of amplifying and directing their voices to the larger public in order to inspire similar civic engagement around them.
Through becoming members of this civic space, the local groups and organizations that will join us will have to go through a process of self reflection and they will have the opportunity to strengthen their digital and communication skills. PACT and Ce-Re will offer training and support with the use of tools and guides for community development/organising, advocacy, communication and fundraising.
Both Ce-Re and PACT’s team members care deeply for, know and have worked with members of the civic groups and community organizations that represent the key target.
Oana Preda from Ce-Re and Manuel Andrei from PACT want to get involved in the co-design of the platform, contribute with the necessary resources for civic participation developed over the years and offer training and asistency on the topics of advocacy, community organizing/development and facilitation. Raluca Boisteanu from Ce-Re and Laura Oanca form PACT want to work with the local groups/organizations, to provide the support they need to join the platform and get involved in digital & communication skills training and the promotion of the project.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Technical development and content support of the online platform 7000 euro. Personnel costs for project management and constant support for the beneficiaries 18000 euro. Travel & accommodation 2000 euro. Communication and PR - video production, podcast production, launch event, social media ads - 3500 euro. Office expenses 1000 euro. Capacity building for members of civic groups/organizations - advocacy, community organizing/development, facilitation, communication and fundraising - 3500 euro.
We would love to get feedback on how you imagine an online civic space for local civic groups and organisations would look like. If you had the chance to build one what would you see as a must have, should have, could have in order to be successful.