EU Local Grants Programme for Civil Society Organizations: Lessons Learned and Recommendations

The ‘Citizens Empowerment in the Republic of Moldova’ Action, funded by the European Union and implemented by GIZ during 2019-2021, provided support to civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure citizen participation in decision-making processes at local and regional level, including in the governance of public investment projects.

The EU-funded Local Grants Programme implemented within the Action, aimed at empowering citizens by participating actively and constructively in local decision-making processes on sustainable (economic, social and environmental) development and infrastructure of public services in their communities by: engaging citizens in development processes, monitoring and evaluation of policies and decisions, design and provision of local public services; raising public awareness of issues related to the provision of public services, energy efficiency and the environment; encouraging citizens to subscribe and pay for quality public services.

For this action, GIZ concluded grant agreements with four regional CSOs (one per development region – North, Centre, South and ATU Gagauzia), identified based on a call for concepts. The tasks of these CSOs were to support in the implementation of the Local Grants Programme (LGP) within a two-year period. In addition, a grant agreement was concluded with a media CSO to support the Action through developing and delivering sector related awareness raising campaigns, training mass-media representatives in reporting about socio-economic and sustainable development topics, and sub-granting to local media CSOs and media outlets for the implementation of smaller scale information and awareness projects.

During the implementation of the Project, GIZ and its partner CSOs faced several challenges, but also encountered opportunities to successfully achieve its objectives. The document, available in Romanian and English, presents the Action context and areas of intervention, the approach taken and, most importantly, the key lessons learned with recommendations for other projects that envisage or have just initiated similar interventions to cooperate with CSOs and implement grants’ programmes.