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 Program Resume - Strengthening the National NGO (UNDP/NRTC)

 Duration: 02.11.1998 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Local NGO development

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 government’s 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 people’s 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 inception.

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 project’s 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 appreciable level.

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



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