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 Report - THIRD SECTOR NEWS (ISAR)

 Report date: 31.12.1999

ISAR/AZERBAIJAN:
INITIATIVE FOR SOCIAL ACTION AND RENEWAL IN EURASIA
THIRD SECTOR NEWS
INFORMATION BULLETIN
News and Information on Third Sector Development in Azerbaijan
JANUARY 2000
No 23

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:

NGO SECTOR DEVELOPMENT

LOCAL NGO ACTIVITIES

LOCAL NGO ARTICLES

REGIONAL NGOs

NGOs ABROAD

LOCAL NGOs APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE

ISARs NEWS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ISAR PROGRAMS

ISAR/Azerbaijan is pleased to announce the beginning of a Travel Grant Program for NGO representatives. Through this program, local NGO representatives working on social and environmental issues can receive support for travel to conferences, seminars and training in other CIS countries or Europe.

Applications for this program are due the second Wednesday of each month for travel that begins sometime during the next 3 calendar months.

The program officially begins in January 2000. The deadline for applications in January is 12 January 2000. For additional information please contact the ISAR/Azerbaijan Grant Program.

NGOs and the Mass Media: Its in the Presentation

The NGO sector is impacted by many different factors. This article will discuss two main problems, which this sector faces. First, the general publics distrust of the NGO sector, and second, NGOs lack of knowledge of how to publicize their activities and achievements.

Let's consider the first question - why NGOs are not trusted. There are several reasons for this: one of them, in my point of view, is the general lack of trust amongst people in Azerbaijan as a result of difficult socioeconomic conditions and a general feeling of hopelessness. The lack of trust of NGOs results from lack of information. This is partially the result of the NGOs themselves, some of whom prefer to keep information to themselves because they view other NGOs as competitors for grants. The NGOs do not always recognize the importance of advertising their activities and do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to present themselves to the mass media.

What type of information is the mass media looking for? What type of information makes people buy newspapers and magazines, and thus attracts advertisers, leading to revenue for the publisher? Often, it is sensational material. At the very least, it is interesting material.

How can you prepare information about your NGO so that it can compete for newspaper space and readers attention? You need to write your press releases so that they are interesting to the average readersomeone with little or no understanding of the third sector. The question is how. In brief, try to connect with your reader. Put the event you are describing into terms your reader can relate to. Describe how the issues your NGO deals with affect the daily lives of people in Azerbaijan. Make the story a human-interest story, not just a report of events. As practice has shown, organizations with strong publicity gain name recognition, and with that, trust from the donors, and as a consequence - resources for continuation of their activities.

Read newspapers carefully. Think about which stories you remember days or even weeks after reading them. Then think about the main features of these stories, about their emotional impact on you. Keep these features in mind when giving information to journalists. Think about their criteria for selection of information. With this in mind, your work publicizing the activities of your NGO will certainly become better.

Enver Safar-zade
ISAR/Azerbaijan

NGOs and the Mass Media: Explaining the NGO Sector to the Public

Recently, the Baku Press-Club began work on a documentary series about NGOs in Azerbaijan. We would like to explain why. It is nothing new to say that NGOs are the building blocks of civil society, which with various degrees of success work to build democracy in new independent countries. It is not surprising that the majority of international organizations and foundations give great attention to NGOs. However in Azerbaijan, as practically in all newly independent states, the development of NGOs is prevented not only by financial difficulties which, though a serious problem, are not the greatest restraint on NGO growth. Rather, the greatest restraint on NGO development is misunderstanding of the meaning, role and place of NGOs in society, the absence of information about their work. Because NGOs are independent organizations, the authorities view them as alternative groups, and frequently, as representing opposition to the state structure. Governments see the third sector not as an assistant and ally capable of helping to solve a number of the countrys most serious problems, which government can not cope with on its own, but as a competitor, which aspires to weaken the state control in certain spheres.

On the other hand, the task of creating a democratic and open society necessitates the acceptance, growth, and promotion of the third sector. Towards this end, it is necessary that local NGOs publicize information about their successful projects. While fewer NGOs are active in Azerbaijan than in Georgia and Armenia, and most of the NGOs here have been created in the past few years, NGOs in Azerbaijan have already accomplished significant work. Examples include the Free Consumers Union of Azerbaijan and some ecological organizations, which have managed to convince government bodies that NGOs can help solve problems facing the country. This is good start toward serious conversation about the role of NGOs.

The role of NGOs is also the topic of a new Baku Press-Club project. Through this project, nine short (10-15 minute) documentary films devoted to NGO activity in Azerbaijan will be produced. These films will be shown as part of the special programming of one of the citys private broadcasting companies and several regional broadcasting companies. A discussion of the documentaries including representatives of various NGOs, governmental organizations, various experts and journalists will be aired with the films.

The Eurasia Foundation and ISAR/Azerbaijan provide financial support and advice for these films. The films in this serial will cover the following spheres of NGO activity and were chosen in cooperation with the Eurasia Foundation and ISAR/Azerbaijan: children, refugees, mass media, professional associations, development of small business, development of a civil society and rule of law, environment, art and culture, and education and training.

The goal of the project is to explain the meaning, role and position of NGOs in society. The films will highlight some of societys most acute problems and the role that NGOs play in trying to solve these problems. In addition, this project will hopefully demonstrate opportunities for cooperation between the state and NGOs through displaying NGOs positive impact on a social level. The Space TV private broadcasting company, which will show the series in Baku, is a popular channel with about 3 million viewers. Other private broadcasting companies in cities including Ganja, Mingechevir, Guba and other regions of the Republic which will show these films have much smaller audiences, but will cover villages as well.

The creation of the first half cycle of films has been entrusted to two independent production-broadcasting companies - "215 KL" and "IGM". Through these companies, skilled and well-known directors in Azerbaijan have been involved in this project and work on the film scripts has already begun.

This article has been translated and adapted from the Press Clubs weekly electronic bulletin.

Prospects of third sector development in regions of Azerbaijan

In the United States, the third sector experienced a growth spurt during the great depression. In Western Europe, a similar growth spurt followed World War II. Today in Azerbaijan, the number of NGOs is continuously rising in both Baku and the regions. In the regions, a more acute economic situation and strong mistrust between people leads citizens to conclude that nobody is going to help them, and they often become apathetic.

During one of the ISAR training sessions in Barda, we met refugees. To us, it seemed that they expected to be helped by outsiders, that they had become passive. Once told that ISAR does not distribute humanitarian aid, many people became uninterested in our organization. But in both Barda and Khachmaz, we see that NGOs are developing. Primarily led by highly-educated citizens, these emerging NGOs can serve an example for others in the region, who could also become involved if they learned to understand the third sector. The time is ripe for the development of the third sector in the regions of Azerbaijan. In order to make it happen, people just need information about what the possibilities are.

Enver Safarzade
ISAR/Azerbaijan

LOCAL NGO ACTIVITY

Sinestetika A Path to the World of Beauty

There is much talk today about a better world to come in the new millenium, a world with more kindness, freedom, and beauty. But few people are taking action to make this new world a reality. Amongst those who are is the Azerbaijan Psychologists Association, which is working on the unusual project called Sinestetika together with the creative group Ich Nicht Ich. Ich Nicht Ich is a group which unites young artists, designers, musicians, craftsmen and scientists in realizing their creativity through a combination of perception and applications of the latest findings of psychological science.

The project does not yet have a precise time frame. Moreover, as the president of the Azerbaijan Psychologists Association Javad Efendi recognized, it is too early to tell what the exact results of the project will be. Speaking at a presentation of the project on January 9 in the Baku Press-Club, Efendi added that this does not mean that the projects goals and objectives are not defined.

As indicated by the name "Sinestetika" the prefix "sin" means unity and integration in Greek the project aims to encourage unity and integration in the way people perceive and learn about the worlds beauty. The main participants in the project are children, whose lives are just beginning, whose consciousness and aesthetic feelings are still in the process of being formed.

The project aims to teach the new generation how to live in the new century, in a world of conflicting values, to search for new ways of existence. "Together with kids", notes Efendi, "we will investigate the world and learn the reality around us. We will do things that a person who has not forgotten that life is constantly creative does". To help open the world of beauty to children, the Psychologists Association invites them to travel to the most beautiful places of Baku, to visit workshops of artists and to "travel" to their works, to conduct competitions, exhibitions and concerts to express individual world perception in music, painting and literature. The project also includes involving children in the preparation of the upcoming publishing of and encyclopedia of Azerbaijani childrens games.

Thus far, eighteen Baku schoolchildren from ages 8-11 have become involved in Sinistetika. For them, it is a process of learning and having fun. For the members of the Psychologists Association, it is serious work. Association members plan to carry out research based on the project and publish their findings in order to help others learn about the their experience and prepare other related educational projects.

Gulya Tagiyeva
ISAR/Azerbaijan

Seminars on the Rights of Female Heads of Households

Amongst the most vulnerable members of our society today are single women with families who either stay at home or work in the state sector, including doctors, teachers, and workers in cultural institutions. In the ISAR October 1999 bulletin, we first discussed this issue. Since October, the group of Defenders of Womens Rights has begun to conduct research on the situation of women in Baku, Lenkoran, Khachmaz and Barda, with the financial support from the Open Society Institute (OSI)/Azerbaijan. The goal of these studies is to evaluate the real situation of women in Azerbaijan and to gather data to be used in preparing proposals for programs aimed at overcoming female poverty in the country. The group plans to present their proposals to the Parliament of Azerbaijan.

The Defenders of Womens Rights has begun holding seminars for female heads of households in all of the locations where it works. The first of these seminars was held in Khachmaz on December 30, 1999. The seminar was devoted to the socioeconomic rights of these women and their economic situation. Representatives of the group Khachmaz Women Alone participated in the seminar. Twenty-two of the thirty women who attended the seminar were heads of households.

Similar seminars were conducted in January of this year in Baku and Lenkoran. Additionally, two seminars on the theme Achieving Adequate Rights for Women were organized in Baku in cooperation with local NGO representatives and researchers. These seminars were attended by representatives of the Department of Human Rights and Gender Research at the Academy of Science, the Institute for Political Pluralism, the Society of Assistance for Refugees and IDPs, and the Association of Free Teachers.

Sabina Masimova
ISAR/Azerbaijan

In Need of Moral Support

It is generally known that the development of society is dependent on the prosperity and education of women. Mothers have direct and dramatic influence on their childrens development and ability to adjust to the social environment. In Azerbaijan, as a result of a long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, economic instability, and increasing unemployment there is an ever-growing number of women headed households.

At times, daily problems can cause women to lose their self-confidence and harm their children. Psychologists can help women regain control over their lives. The aim of the Initiative Groups of Psychologists project Psychological Drama for You and Your Child supported by ISAR-Azerbaijan, was to assist single women in dealing with the problems they are facing. Discussions, lectures and consultations were held with single mothers and their children in small groups and on an individual basis. As a result of announcements in the papers and assistance from other NGOs, several groups of women and children were gathered.

Effective group work, consultations and usage of new methods of art therapy assisted the women in addressing their problems and working to find solutions. An example of the success of this project was the obvious improvement of interrelations between participant mothers and their children. The participants became more honest and sympathetic during the course of the project; they changed their relations with the people around them. Mothers and their children began to understand their relationships with people from another point of view. Another positive outcome of the project was the creation by two of the project participants of a support club for women.

According to the members of Initiative Group of Psychologists they will continue to implement this project in the future. Those interested in learning more about the Group of Psychologists and their work can contact the organization at: 94-76-57.

Yegana Jafarova
ISAR/Azerbaijan

LOCAL NGO ARTICLE

Environmental Law Center Invites Cooperation

The Environmental Law Center is a non-governmental, non-commercial organization created by a group of Azerbaijani lawyers. The Center has 18 members, including professional lawyers, philologists, experts on economy, ecological technologies and monitoring. The Center has established contacts with other environmental law centers, such as Environmental Law Center (USA), ABA/CELI, EMLA, Association Guta (Europe), EkoPravo-Kiev, EkoPravo-Lvov (Ukraine), ELC (Tbilisi) etc.

The main goals of the Center include: informing the public and NGOs about environmental legislation; uniting efforts of citizens, NGOs and initiative groups engaged in environmental issues for the protection of human rights, including freedom, equality and the right to live in a safe and healthy environment; access to information about the real situation regarding the environment; access to participation in decision-making; and, the realization of justice in environmental affairs.

Non-governmental organizations working on related issues are invited to cooperate with the Environmental Law Center. Interested parties should contact Samir Isayev, director of the center. Address: Sumgait, 16 Nizami str.; Tel: +264 2 26 14; Mob: +50 312 14 39; Fax: +264 2 26 18. E-mail: sum@sec.sumqait.az

REGIONAL NGOs

National Committee of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly in Ganja

The Azerbaijan National Committee of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (ANC HCA) was created in 1992. The Ganja branch of this organization was founded in March 1999. The establishment of the Ganja branch of the ANC HCA, coincided with the beginning of a project on womens leadership financed by the International Womens Institute. The project, entitled "Women Leadership and Political Knowledge Courses", is funded for one year.

The Ganja branch of ANC HCA has 150 members and 5 permanent working commissions. ANC HCA-Ganja provides services to Ganja residents in areas as diverse as law, public health, youth, and womens issues. In the commissions on youth and womens issues the weekly seminars and discussions are organized on various themes such as international experience in solving youth and women problems, gender issues, and municipal elections.

Members of ANC HCA-Ganja have taken part in ISARs monthly NGO meetings, participated in ISARs regional training program as well as a round table for NGOs and mass media representatives organized by ISAR. As a result of this experience, our members of have become more interested in learning about the third sector and about the experience of NGOs in countries where the sector is more developed.

ANC HCA-Ganja has been the likely impetus for new organizations in Ganja, such as the Female Center, established in October 1999, to address gender issues. Members and supporters of ANC HCA-Ganja hope for closer and more fruitful contacts with ISAR/Azerbaijan and other international organizations.

Akifa Aliyeva
Director of ANC HCA-Ganja

Sona Works to Support Ahyska Turk Women and Children

As many historians acknowledge, the real native land of Ahyska Turks, also called Meskhetian Turks, is Georgia. This ancient Oguz tribe, which lived in Georgia in the third century B.C., today experiences one of its most difficult periods in history. The first wave of Ahyska Turk refugees appeared in 1944. Ahyska turks were compelled to leave their houses and to wander through other parts of the former Soviet Union. Today, over 17,000 Meskhetian Turks live in Azerbaijan, especially in the Guba-Khachmaz region, waiting to return to Georgia. Among these 17,000, there are 8,000 refugees who arrived in Azerbaijan after the Fergana events of 1989.

The Vatan Society was created to unite and assist all Ahyska Turks in Azerbaijan. In 1999, with support from the Vatan Society, a new organization of women and children, called Sona, was created. Sona works with Ahyska Turks in the Guba-Khachmaz region. In the near future members of Society "Sona" plan to conduct a number of activities to study the level of income of Ahyska Turk women and children living in this region. Lack of housing or normal living conditions means that many families find themselves in difficult social situations. Many children are deprived of schooling and their parents work the land in difficult conditions and frequently are exposed to serious disease.

Under such strenuous living conditions, century old traditions, customs, and language are being forgotten. When children do not get cultural and aesthetic nourishment, both their moral and social development deteriorate. The protection of mothers and childrens rights is our responsibility. If we do not rescue them today, the future of our children will be threatened. We ask international organizations to support our organization, and to help us in reviving the cultural values and minds of the Ahyska Turks who are living in Guba-Khachmaz region today.

Khanzade Salimova
Chairman of Guba-Khachmaz branch
of Sona Society of Women and Children

NGO ABROAD

Lake Sasyk Ukraines Project of a Lifetime

The Vozrazhdeniya (Renaissance) environmental community organization in Odessa Oblast, Ukraine recently appealed to both the oblast government and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to return Lake Sasyk to its natural state as a sea estuary. Twenty years ago an unsuccessful attempt was made to make the Sasyk a fresh-water body. Just a short time before that, a decision had been made to build the Duna-Dneprotrovsk system, which was designed to meet the irrigation needs of the lower Dnieper and Crimea agricultural areas. In the Duna-Dniepropetrovsk system, Lake Sasyk acted as a reservoir to capture and hold the water from the Duna. However, according to hydrological data, the base of the estuary and surrounding land is composed of rock saturated with salt water.

The desalination of the estuary was largely unsuccessful. Recent research by independent Moldovan and Ukrainian experts under the auspices of Vozrazhdeniya showed that the natural surroundings in this area have become harmful for human inhabitation. All of the data collected was presented to the Parliament of Ukraine. The research was unanimous: it is necessary to restore the system where salt water flows between Lake Sasyk and the sea. In order to do this, the existing dam must be destroyed. Then nature itself will take care of rebuilding the ecosystem. Even with the lake removed from the system, irrigation requirements will still be met by the Dunai-Sasyk Canal.

Over the years, the lake has become polluted with toxins and heavy metals. Fish from the Sasyk have become inedible. The twenty-five thousand people living in the region have become hostages to this ecological disaster.

It will take quite a bit of time for nature to heal its wounds. But now there is hope that the lake can be returned to its status as a sea and even as a recreation area. However, no one in the world has yet succeeded in rehabilitating such a large body of water. In order to avoid the greatest mistakes, area residents need to look to environmental organizations in other countries for advice and, if at all possible, solicit proposals from around the world to find the organization, which is best suited to take on such a project.

The problem of Lake Sasyk remains unsolved and Vozrozheniyas task remains great. In fact, in a meeting of a government commission in Kiev, composed of representatives of local governments, an opinion was heard that there is really no problem with Lake Sasyk, that the only problem is with the population who just no longer know how to adapt to changing conditions.

For more information about Vozrazheniya and other ecological organizations in Ukraine, contact: Zelenoe Dosier: Phone/Fax in Kiev: (044) 477 3110; E-mail: dossier@gd.freenet.kiev.ua; supress@glasnet.ru, press@ecoline.ru.

Adapted and translated from Ekosvodka electronic bulletin, No.2(127) January, 2000 put out by TsKI Environmental Community Union.

LOCAL NGOs APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE

The Caucasus International Center on Ecological Tourism and Study of Local Lore and the Yashil Dalga NGO appeals to international organizations and companies to support their production of a children ecological radio program "Yashil Dalga". Chief of the Center: Elchin Orujev. Phone: 71-24-86. E-mail:cavcin@azdata.net

The Cicheyim Children's theatre at the Azerbaijan Children Union is looking for sponsors for the organization, preparation and demonstration of children's educational theater performances in Baku and the regions. Contact person: Kamalya Agayeva. Phone: (850) 323 76 51.

The Disabled Womens Society For Equal Rights is seeking technical support for its organization and its regional representatives. If you can provide assistance, please contact Makhluga Rahimova, 39-73-46.

ISARs NEWS and PROGRAMS

Information Program News

Sectoral Meetings of NGOs

Representatives from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Azerbaijan spoke at two of the NGO sectoral meetings, held in December at ISAR/Azerbaijan.

During the meeting for health NGOs, Nazim Agazade gave detailed information about UNICEFs health programs in Azerbaijan. Agazade highlighted ways in which NGOs can participate in such programs.

At the meeting of children NGOs, UNICEF representative Sevil Karimova talked about the basic rules of the UN Convention on the rights of the child, which Azerbaijan joined in 1994 and about UNICEFs programs toward reaching compliance with this convention. Karimova also gave a number of publications about this convention to ISARs NGO Resource Center Library. Karimova stated that she supports cooperation between the UN Children's Fund, state organizations and childrens NGO. From attending the Childrens NGO meeting last month, Karimova concluded that local NGOs have the necessary experience and potential to establish cooperation with UNICEF. The activities of local childrens NGOs deserve support and attention from international funds, as local childrens NGOs do a lot to improve the quality of life of Azerbaijans children.

Presentations by Yuriy Valuyev of Piligrim NGO and Tarlan Ramazanov of Mountain Sports Club NGO confirmed the role of local NGOs in improving the childhood of many of the countrys youngsters. Valuyev and Ramazanov discussed the projects of their NGOs and displayed photo and video-materials on mountain-sport competitions and ecological tourism, which had been organized recently in cooperation with a number of foreign companies and organizations, including ISAR/Azerbaijan.

Gulya Taghiyeva
ISAR/Azerbaijan

* * *

Since the December sectoral meeting, ISARs new consulting project has begun. Charmaine Bickley, a British national with several years of marketing experience for a non-profit organization in England, arrived in Baku in January to begin her work. After a competitive application and interview process, the NGOs Azerbaijan in the 21st Century and the Disabled Womens Society were selected for the pilot project. Ms. Bickley will spend several months working with these organizations on marketing, program development and fundraising issues.

* * *

A survey of local NGOs from the environmental, health and childrens sectors in both Baku and the regions revealed that local NGOs support the efforts of ISAR/Azerbaijans Information Program to strengthen communications between local sectoral organizations and to develop international cooperation. The NGOs surveyed noted that establishing contacts with government bodies, finding foreign partners, and working toward the establishment of a legislative and legal base for activities of NGOs are the most important issues they see for the coming year.

Information Session

Fourteen NGOs participated in the January Information Session. Coordinator of the East - East and Travel Grants Program of Open Society Institute (OSI)/Azerbaijan, Gulnura Mehdi spoke at the meeting. Mehdi informed session participants about the goals and objectives of the program and requirements for the grants (see December 1999 ISAR bulletin for more detail about this program).

Grant Program News

ISAR/Azerbaijan and Horizonti (Georgia) announced the results of the second cooperative grant round for Azerbaijani and Georgian NGOs to work on collaborative projects. In late December 1999, the joint Azeri and Georgian Board of Advisers selected three projects to receive funding. Partner organizations in Azerbaijan and Georgia will work on the following projects: ecological education of schoolchildren, creation of an ecological atlas, and plant conservation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Baku Press-Club has been begun to publish an electronic bulletin, highlighting NGO activities in the Caucasus region in fields as diverse as human rights, freedom of speech, laws and legislative initiatives, economic reform, environmental issues and sustainable development. The bulletin is prepared jointly by the Yeni Nesil Journalists Association of Azerbaijan, the Yerevan Press-Club, and the Tbilisi Press-Club.

The first two issues of the bulletin, as well as a variety of other NGO resources, are available in the ISAR/Azerbaijan NGO Resource Center.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Training

The ISAR/Azerbaijan Training Program announces the beginning of 2 new program components.

1) Advanced Level Training for local NGOs on the following 4 topics:

  • Project Management
  • Conflict Resolution in Organizations
  • Organizational Structural Development (leadership/group dynamics)
  • Advanced Level Fundraising

2) Organizational Development Consulting for mid-level organizations to assist these organizations in finding solutions to internal management problems and develop organizational capacity.

Applications for both advanced level training and organizational development consulting can be obtained from ISARs training team.

***

The ISAR/Azerbaijan Training Program offers computer courses for NGOs. Instruction is provided by the Computer Center of the Benevolence International Foundation. To learn more about the courses or to send a representative from your organization to learn the basic Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel skills, please contact the ISAR/Azerbaijan office for an application form.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a representative of a local Azerbaijani NGO
  • Application form should be filled by the head of the organization
  • Only one candidate from each organization

For an application form, please contact Lala Bayramova at ISAR/ Azerbaijan.

Seminar

The U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) and the Academy of Educational Development (AED) invite women leaders of non-governmental organizations and communities to attend the seminar: Conflict Resolution and Problems of Refugees and IDPs.

The goal of the seminar is to develop regional cooperation among womens NGOs of the Caucasus. The seminar attendees are expected to discuss issues pertaining to the establishment of the Caucasus Women Association, the role of women in conflict resolution and the problems of displaced persons (IDPs). The seminar will be held in Georgia from 21-25 February 2000.

Bulletin

Transitions Online is a monthly bulletin now available on the Internet. This bulletin reports on the political and social situation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. The on-line edition continues the traditions of Transitions magazine, which has received positive feedback from such well-known newspapers as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The International Herald Tribune. Transitions magazine has helped local journalists cover international news and has served as a reliable source of information on the developments and prospects in the region.

Transitions Online highlights issues of regional importance. The website will be expanded in the near future to include such topics as Week in Review and an Analytical Forum. These new sections will provide an analysis of information and indicators of political, economic and social development of regional countries.

Prepared and published in Prague, Transitions Online is intended to become a bridge between East and West. The publishers hope that it will serve as a unique source of information for all who would like to learn more about the region. The site address is: www.transitions-online.org. For comments, proposals and subscriptions, please contact: e-mail: transitions@ijt.cz.

ISAR PROGRAMS

ISAR/AZERBAIJAN OFFERS THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS:

Training program:

  • NGO Fundamental Management Training (What is an NGO, Effective Organizational Structure, Strategic Planning, Proposal Writing, Fundraising, and Public Relations).
  • Individual Consultations
  • Advanced Level Management Training (Advanced Level Fundraising, Project Management, Conflict Management in Organizations, and Structural Development for mid-level organizations).
  • Organizational Development Consulting (for mid-level organizations).

INFORMATION PROGRAM

  • NGO Resource Center - publications, reference materials on funding and educational opportunities for NGOs, access to 10 computers and e-mail. Distribution of foreign publications (periodicals) and information on third sector development in different countries.
  • Information Sessions for NGOs (held the first Friday of every month at 15.00).
  • Practical Consultations and Meetings between NGOs and the mass-media (held the fourth Friday of every month at 11.00).
  • Monthly Information Bulletin (articles, announcements and photographs are accepted until the 5th day of every month) This bulletin includes articles about NGO activity as well as information on scholarships, seminars, conferences and other information important for activities and development of NGOs.
  • Quarterly Local NGO Directory (published in Azeri and English languages).
  • Sectoral Meetings (children, health and environmental NGOs) focused on developing information exchange and cooperation between local NGOs.

GRANT PROGRAM

  • Small Grants - $2000-$4000 grants to social and environmental NGOs for project implementation.
  • Large Grants - $10,000 grants to social, environmental, human rights education and NGO sector development organizations for project implementation.
  • Travel Grants up to $2000 for local NGO representatives travel costs to conferences, seminars, trainings.
  • Individual consultations about the grant program to all interested individuals or groups.
  • Financial Training for all grant recipients.

REGIONAL PROGRAM

ISARs Regional Program brings the training, grant and information programs to the regions of Azerbaijan to support the activity of local NGOs, link NGO activity around the country as well as instigate the formation of new organizations. ISAR currently works in Hachmaz, Ganja, Mingechevir, and Sheki

The ISAR/Azerbaijan Resource-Center Has Copies of the Following Directories and Bulletins:

  • Funds On-Line - Through this Internet directory users can access the sites of more than 300 funders and other financial institutions providing support of more than 3.5 billion Euro to the countries of New Europe. The Internet address is: http://www.fundersonline.org.
  • Good Local News - This bulletin, which focuses on human rights protection, diplomacy, peaceful conflict resolution and environmental problems, looks to strengthen ties between the NGOs around the world by means of Internet and e-mail.
  • EKOSVODKA - This bulletin provides news of environmental NGOs in the former Soviet Union.
  • AsEkO-Inform - The bulletin will also provide free consultations on questions of environmental education.
  • Caucasian Nature Protection News - The bulletin publishes announcements; environmental NGO news from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia; international news; and information on upcoming events and publications related to environmental problems.

For Your Information

Organizations wishing to ask and receive answers to questions on legal aspects of NGO activities, i.e. preparation of legal documents, registration, tax regulation, legislative basis, conflict management within the organization, civil law, etc., may present their questions in writing to ISAR/Azerbaijan. Answers will be provided by professional lawyers from NGOs. The most useful answers will be published in the QUESTION-AND-ANSWER SESSION of the ISAR/Azerbaijan Information Bulletin. For further information please contact Elchin Sardarov.

All local and international NGOs and initiative groups are welcome to contribute articles, suggestions, responses, announcements, and pictures to ISAR/Azerbaijan for publication in Third Sector News. The material provided for the bulletin must in some way be related to NGO sector development in Azerbaijan. ISAR/Azerbaijan and the US Agency for International Development are not responsible for the content of information presented by local NGOs and the mass media. If material from this bulletin is reproduced, please cite the ISAR/Azerbaijan Information Bulletin.
Address: Baku, Jafar Jabbarly 24, apt. 2
Telephones: 95-25-57, 95-30-37; Fax: 94-30-84
E-mail: ngo@isar.baku.az

Bulletin Editor: Elchin Sardarov
Third Sector News is produced with generous support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)



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