Civil Society Organizations Unite Across Central Asia and CIS

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 04, 2013 Almaty, Kazakhstan - Civil society groups across Central Asia and the CIS gathered at KIMEP University in Almaty to exchange ideas for strengthening their organizations’ ability to respond to public needs. Over 150 representatives of NGOs, local governments, media, and donors shared best practices for access to information, financial sustainability and cooperation with Parliament and Government. Master classes and training workshops focused on planning, monitoring and evaluation, crowd-funding technologies, development of network organizations. Special sessions included the laws and regulations that govern the activity of civil society organizations and enable them to contribute to the development of government policy.

This event was sponsored by the USAID Development through Regional Cooperation project. "The need for regional civil society cooperation stems from the fact that, while some issues are strictly local, other socio-economic problems, trends and phenomena are, by their very nature, cross-border and international," said David Hoffman, Regional Democracy and Governance Director, USAID Central Asia regional mission. “By improving their legal knowledge, civil society organizations strengthen their capacity to achieve their objectives and deliver social services to the population,” shared Elizabeth Warner, Program Director at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

Conference sub-themes included Environment and Sustainable Development, Gender Equality and Strengthening the Role of Women, and the Promotion of Rights and Support for People with Disabilities. An Internet-based information portal and listserv for organizations to share information and resources was presented by the sponsoring organization ARGO. The third annual Insights Into Regional Development book will be published to promote civil society organizations’ stories, experiences, best practices, and lessons learned.