- Strengthening the National NGO - Azerbaijan
- a condition of survival
Throughout the world, more and more, the national NGOs are taking the leadership roles
in identifying and taking positions on significant development policy issues, setting new
direction for their own organizations and joining in the formation of networks and
coalitions in support of joint action, advocacy and developments strategies on critical
local, national and international issues. Both government and internationals funding
agencies realize the need and potential o nations NGOs role to achieve more comprehensive
coverage of larger segments of under-served populations.
Although NGO movement in Azerbaijan has crossed its infancy, many of them lack
technical expertise and ideological base. There is nevertheless a growing interest of the
citizen from all walk of life to join in the movement. To mobilize local capabilities,
formulate local plans and implement national plans or translate governments policies
into operational services, an institutional framework at the grassroots level is
imperative. National NGOs effectiveness in establishing this framework and in the overall
development of socioeconomic status of its country is being recognized globally. It is
more than a academic relevance.
National NGOs role in Azerbaijan should not be limited to only an immediate relief and
welfare doer, it should begin to assume the role of long-term sustainable development
catalyst and an activist/educator for peoples movement aiming at establishing and
sustaining a civic society on a national basis.
Although the project "Strengthening the National NGOs"
- funded by UNDP and implemented by UNDESA in close collaboration with the Government of
Azerbaijan, has begun from September 1997, a "NGO Resource &
Training Center (NRTC)" has been established in Baku in June, 1998. In a very
short span of time, the NRTC has become very popular among the national and international
NGOs, the donor and the government departments. The NRTC is being fully and effectively
utilized by its clientele.
The project "Strengthening the National NGO" is budgeted until 30 March,
2000. It is envisaged that, at the end of this budget period, the NRTC will
be handed over to a trained, capable and independent National NGO Forum.
The NRTC provides a physical facility to the national NGOs
with an access to full-fledged Training/Conference Hall, Computer Center, Library,
Pigeon Holes etc. Skill development, capacity building, networking, publicity/advocacy and
promote mutual respect and trust between the NGOs, and between the NGOs and the
Government, are the other major roles that the project has been playing since its
The project begun with a familiarization trip to Bangladesh in
September, 1997, with a few relevant senior government and public officials to witness the
effective role that the national NGOs are playing there.
With a view to promote mutual respect and trust between the national NGOs and the
government departments, a 2 days national workshop on "NGO Development
- its potential to grow in Azerbaijan" was organized in March, 1998. The
workshop was attended by senior government, UN, donor and international NGO officials ;
guest speakers from New York University, a donor agency in Denmark and a national NGO in
Bangladesh and about 75 national NGOs from Azerbaijan.
From August, 1998, the NRTC has begun a "Management Development
Course" for the NRTC and national NGO staff. The objective is to develop the
skill and knowledge of the participants on strategic planning and on basic office,
program, information and fund management.
The NRTC produces a Bi-Monthly Bulletin to keep the national NGOs
abreast of what is happening among the national NGOs in Azerbaijan in particular and the
NGO world in general.
The projects performance is regularly reviewed by a team
represented by UNDP, Government of Azerbaijan and the NRTC staff.
Being convinced in the interest and dedication being shown by the national NGOs to grow
and develop, the project would now like to provide financial assistance to the interested
NGOs to undertake various kind of projects related to their field of interest and
expertise. They will obviously go through a rational selection procedure followed by
intensive training. It is quite safe to assume that by undertaking Needs
Based Activities, the skill and moral of the national NGOs will enhance to an
We would like to begin this Financial Assistance Program (FAP) from
the very beginning of the year 1999 and would like to continue it until March, 2000 under
the supervision of UNDP/UNDESA and the Government of Azerbaijan. We are hoping that, after
March 2000, the aforementioned NGO Forum under the supervision of its Board of Directors
and the donor agency, will continue to implement the FAP.
NRTC : 03 November, 1998 : 85, S.Askerova St. (7th floor)
Tel : 994-12-973430 and Tel/Fax : 994-12-973472