On 4 December 2014, an information day “Designing a Project for International Competitions: Theory and Practice” was organised in Babruisk. 11 local civil society organisations and initiatives participated in the event. Guests and members of the “Clearing House” programme team discussed key aspects of project management and obtained information about international assistance available for local projects.
The event brought together representatives of Babruisk City Executive Committee and members of public organisations working with disability rights, education, animal rights and in other areas. Participants looked into basic concepts behind project management and its possible applications in development of local initiatives. Anna Baranovskaya, a consultant for the Clearing House programme, and Maksim Podberezkin, the programme coordinator, introduced representatives of Babruisk civil society organisations and the local city executive committee to project application examples and existing opportunities to participate in international technical assistance contests.
Participants used case studies to examine how high-quality projects are designed and discussed ways for non-governmental organizations to get information about current requirements for project applications.
During the discussion, participants exchanged opinions on the prospects of implementing new initiatives and the need for training leaders of local communities. The Clearing House programme team also made a presentation on opportunities that can be used to get assistance with project proposals to meet the requirements of the European Commission and international funds. In 2014, more than 120 Belarusian organisations already received advice on project management within the framework of the Clearing House programme.
Every year, European Commission organises Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development, a call for project proposals. The programme's aim is to foster the development of a legal society in Belarus, one that would provide equal opportunities to everyone by strengthening the society’s capacity to promote governmental reforms and increase state responsibility, and by ensuring local authorities' support for improved governance and better public access to community services. Both non-governmental bodies and local authorities are invited to participate in the contest, and partnerships between the two in implementing the projects are strongly encouraged. Such "information days" encourage partnerships between local authorities and public organisations. The next call for project proposals within the programme will be announced as early as the end of 2014 – beginning of 2015.