By NY Staff
In partnership with Responsive Governance Project (RGP), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Center of Business Administration (CBA) launched a program aimed to strengthen the institutional capabilities of the civil society organization (CSOs) in Yemen.
The program— intensive courses on strategic management, governance, project quality, assurance, financial and grants management, advocacy and implementation of advocacy campaigns– aims to enable those CSOs to meet the international standards so they can play a strategic role in developing the country.
It further aims to build the capacity of the CSOs in Yemen to effectively act as advocates for society.
The program targeted 30 CSOs that were selected on a competitive basis from various Yemeni provinces. However, only 7-9 CSOs will be qualified to be trained to meet the international standards and receive support from USAID and RGP.
After the selected CSOs pass their official assessments, they will be rewarded certificates qualifying them for grants from RGP. The remaining CSOs will be awarded certificates for their participation.
Over the five weeks program, the representatives of the 30 CSOs took courses in management, good governance, society, policy formulation, advocacy and outreach, financial management and financial sustainability. In short, they learned how a good CSO functions and runs affairs.
On Sunday, a ceremony was held at Movenpick Hotel in Sana’a to celebrate the initial graduation of the 30 CSOs’ representatives from the program.
Minister of Labor, Sana’a University Director, and USAID Mission Director, and Minister of Social Affairs attended the ceremony.
The Minister of Social Affairs noted that there are many CSOs in the country today but the large number is not indicative that these CSOs are effective.
“We need a strong CSOs that its ultimate aims is improving its nation and be an effective part in pushing forward the wheel of development in the country,” he added.
Robert Wilson, the USAID Mission Director, said that for the last five weeks representatives of 30 Yemeni CSOs listened attentively as instructors explained what a well-run civil society organization needs to do.
In address to the graduates, Wilson said, “You heard about policy and now you better understand how to use limited resources efficiently and the importance of being responsive to the needs of your community,” Wilson said.
He pointed out that an effective Yemeni society is key to democracy taking firm root in Yemen, saying the effectiveness of the CSOs will shape the future of a democratic state.
“Your task will not be easy. You will find resistance to change throughout society at all levels. Therefore, you must be diligent and persistent.” He cautioned.
Al-Mithaq Organization’s– which is based in Marib– representative Abdullah Saif told Natiaonl Yemen that they gained a lot from this intensive course as they learned how to function properly in a way that serves the community.
“If the CSOs work properly, they would help create a conductive environment in which freedoms and rights will be respected by all,” Saif said.
Nabil Ahmed al-Khadhar, the representative of Ibhaar for Childhood and Creativity Organization, said the program was good as participants “acquired new skills and knowledge.”
Ahmed Jameel, a participant, said, “The training was unique as it concentrated on the three pillars of the civil society organizations: accountants, and executive managers, and secretaries. These are the most important things.”
Recently, hundreds of CSOs were established but rarely were any active. The ones that are active seemed to only be in the single digits.
Many civil society organizations were established to benefit from the international community’s generous support for such organizations. Instead of playing an active role, they turned into being profitable projects.