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How we work | Civic Europe

How we work

At times of growing uncertainties and constant change, complexity is the new normal. To deal with it, we believe that civic agents need skills for collaboration, co-creation, and horizontal learning to help them unlock the collective wisdom in their communities.

Hence, the Capacity Building program’s approach is two-fold:

  1. to enhance the civic knowledge, skills, and competences of individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve change in their communities and
  2. to support them in making the change themselves.

Core components

The individual counts:
We believe that every person can make a positive change if they are passionate about it. And we are ready to offer the needed resources for it, building on honesty and reliability from the first moment. Our guiding principles for acting are transparency, participation, openness, diversity-consciousness, and equality.
By being fully trusted from the beginning, our partners and participants are empowered to think differently, take actions, and to contribute to social change in their communities.

Many co-create:
We create participatory and inclusive processes where collaboration occurs on an eye-to-eye level and people can learn from each other. We acknowledge that everyone’s story matters and we respect the individual's needs, potentials, experiences, background, skills, and knowledge, which are the basis for the co-creation of meaningful actions.

For a long, long time:
We build networks, establish trustful partnerships, and nurture the long-term relationships with our participants, partners, trainers, and communities. These are safe spaces for us, in which we meet like-minded people who support each other in difficult times. Together we build on common experiences, routines, and perceptions to create new activities in an efficient way. From the fringes of the networks, new impulses flow in and are discussed.

With innovative tools:
We believe that organizations can benefit from taking an “ecosystemic approach” in planning their strategies to create a lasting and significant social change. The respective tools lead to an impact that changes the system, not just symptoms, such as the Tools for Citizens – a toolkit for collective action and organizational development.

Multi-level Capacity Building

From the beginning, the Capacity Building programs in Hungary, Poland, and Romania focused on locally rooted, young organizations and informal groups, fostering their capacities in civic engagement, community building, project and organizational development. The integrated project funding serves not only their learning-by-doing, but will also create change in their communities so that their beneficiaries gain new insights and competences as well (red and blue circles).

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Co-designing the three program lines together with the four cooperation partners, we opened up a third learning space for all of us to deepen the competencies in program design, co-creation, learning approaches, and for mutual exchange of experiences and methods. This learning space is organized in regular partner meetings and additional consulting sessions (green circle).

And finally, the new reality of COVID-19 made a switch from offline to online events necessary with all its positive and negative effects. It forced us to develop a fourth learning space for facilitators and coordinators to dive into the specifics of online facilitation and moderation handling new technologies, but also enabled additional trainings for working with the Tools for Citizens, a toolkit for collective action and organizational development, or for becoming a trainer and consultant for it. For this, we will provide two trainings with the freshly translated toolboxes in Polish and Romanian for the respective organizations and an international training in English for trainers working with the toolbox.

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