Technical Assistance for
Civil Society Organisations

Enabling environment

Objective is to contribute to the establishment of processes in countries and the region needed for better interaction of CSOs with their stakeholders, for achieving greater impact and sustainability of CSOs initiatives.  

Types of Intervention: Processes supported by TACSO in countries and at the regional level - conceptualisation and facilitation of processes that are of utmost importance for CSO capacity building at the level of enabling environment.

The objective of this component is to contribute to shaping rules, norms, values and interventions influencing or defining institutional development concerning CSOs and some aspects of the overall development in the WBT. All of the events under this objective centre on strengthening CSO cooperation and dialogue among CSOs and decision-makers as well as other stakeholders such as the private sector and media. The events mainly cover, but are not limited to, policy influencing, strategic orientation and monitoring.

The common thinking that capacity building is always about developing individual or organisational skills through trainings should be avoided. The challenge may be that the capacities capabilities exist within the individuals and organisations. Often, individual constraints existing in the environment and external systems where organisations operate are preventing the organisation from utilising its capabilities and competencies.

Removing such constraints in the immediate environment of the organisation calls for the engagement of multiple stakeholders in different ways. The engagement of stakeholders can be accomplished through the sensitisation of external stakeholders using brief trainings or awareness-raising sessions on topics relevant to the CSOs, and often through the facilitation of processes and dialogues contributing to the desired changes at the enabling environment level.

In this approach, TACSO merges the conventional institutional/enabling environment with sectorial learning. If there is a desire to strengthen the enabling environment for CSOs, cooperation and dialogue between CSOs and decision-makers and between CSOs and other stakeholders, is important to create space for CSOs to actively and rightly interact with the external environment. This environment consists of immediate ‘sector mates’ as well as with other stakeholders who influence the environment in which CSOs operate.

At the same time, it is important to create learning opportunities and practices to contribute to development and results and to relate and achieve coherence. The institutional/enabling level is highly important for CSOs since it supports the coarsening of CSO initiatives, brings them on the higher social agendas, and enables CSOs to manage and to contribute to the changes related to the external affairs of CSO development, impact and sustainability.

For this learning level, TACSO is using conferences, workshops, roundtables, peer-to-peer discussions and overviews, study trips, monitoring activities and events and sometimes short-term expert interventions.

  • Freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, establishment of and participation in non-formal and/or registered organisations
  • Employment in CSOs
  • Volunteerism
  • Grassroots organisations and/or civic initiatives
  • Financial rules for CSO
  • Tax frame for CSOs
  • Public funding
  • Enabling individual and corporate philanthropy and CSO economic activities 
  • CSO and government cooperation