Development of the CSOs’ Institutional and Organisational Capacity

“Enable CSOs to take part in the democratic processes…”

The main purpose of TACSO 3 project is to strengthen the organisational and operational capacities as well as individual competencies of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), independent media and regional networks in order to enable them to take part in the democratic and EU integration processes, and policy dialogue in the Western Balkans and Turkey.


  • Carry out a thorough assessment of CSOs’ organisational, operational and sectorial capacity;
  • Develop a comprehensive programme of CSOs organisational and operational capacity building, with a focus on sharing of experiences and lessons learned among different contexts;
  • Organise regular strategic and organizational development activities to boost CSOs capacities;
  • Improve organisational capacity of Regional Networks and CSF regional funded projects;
  • Develop CSOs’ abilities to provide technical thematic input to sectoral policies;
  • Enhance CSOs’ capacities in the area of gender mainstreaming; and
  • Provide ad-hoc support to CSOs through the web-based help-desk facility

MAIN ASPECTS: EU TACSO 3 applies developmental approach in its intervention to strengthen civil society. There are two main aspects that are distinctive in this approach:

I. Development involves active engagement of civil society that takes responsibility for its own growth on the contrary to external actors who come and transfer technical skills from top down. CSOs have been consulted on their needs and the Capacity Development (CD) Programme is shared and discussed with them. Transfer of know-how considers interactive methods, will be done in such a manner that CSOs will be able to co-design the work, and it will be based on adult learning principles, i.e. based on their own experience and that of their peers. Motivation for growth will be taken into account when selecting beneficiaries and CSOs are held accountable for effectiveness of CD Programme in their own organisations and communities;

II. Development foresees a long-term approach rather than short-term or on-off capacity building interventions. The approach is based on life-long learning, so EU TACSO 3 tends to rather set the bases, inspire and equip CSOs with key know-how for greater impact, which can further be built upon by CSOs themselves and other stakeholders in future. Long-term approach is also integrated through transfer of know-how to CD providers among CSOs so that knowledge will be further shared and will stay with civil society.

10 PROGRAMME PACKAGES: EU TACSO 3 Capacity Development (CD) and People to People Programme (P2P) consists of 10 Programme packages, each focusing on specific capacity development needs, areas and methods, targeting certain CSO beneficiaries. These include: On-demand support, Peer to peer exchange, Transfer of innovative approaches, Focused training, Strategic mentoring, Fundamental knowledge, Community resilience, Diversified funding, Communications and visibility and Networking. The Programme is grounded in the findings of a thorough needs assessment which has been conducted at the end of 2019 (“Assessment on the State of the Enabling Environment and Capacities of Civil Society against the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement region, 2014-2020, for the period 2018-2019”). Additionally, the effects of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and the way it influences the work and the role of civil society has been taken into account when planning capacity development activities, within the EU TACSO 3 Programme.

COVID-19 MITIGATION PLAN: EU TACSO 3 has prepared a specific mitigation plan to support CSOs in the COVID-19 situation and which has been integrated into the CD and P2P Programme. Types of activities included are: training and provision of online tools, focused training and meet-ups to learn about, exchange and discuss the emergency and crisis response, including service provision to vulnerable groups. These have been planned in line with the observation that the key challenges CSOs face in this situation are: unprepared switching to the on-line work mode, lack of skills and resources to deliver direct assistance to people in need and the risk of an increased violation of fundamental rights.