Lower Mekong Civil Society Organizations gain further skills to promote grassroots equity

The USAID-funded Program Grassroots Equity and Enhanced Networks in Mekong (GREEN Mekong) organized the second Capacity Development Workshop for 20 organizations from five countries in the Lower Mekong region (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam). The three-day workshop began on 28 May and is part of the program’s goal to support and develop the capacities of the civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Mekong countries and Myanmar. These CSOs have been partners of the program since October 2013 when they participated in a training on effective engagement processes to improve equity among grassroots communities.

Participants discuss the meaning and significance of social equity in forest governance and management.

Beginning in February this year, GREEN Mekong organized a series of meetings with the CSOs to identify their capacity development needs. The CSOs identified three key areas for capacity development – developing an effective project proposal; developing a monitoring and evaluation plan; deciding on indicators that would consider key equity elements; and, improving communication skills so that they may more effectively share progress and lessons from their activities and successes.

The participants were trained on specific topics including the basics of developing a proposal and elements of an effective proposal for the GREEN Mekong Challenge Fund (a small grant that the program provides to selected CSOs to undertake activities to improve equity in their project area). The workshop also touched on the importance of a monitoring and evaluation plan that considers key equity dimensions as indicators. Another crucial workshop objective was to introduce the GREEN Mekong web portal, which is a communication platform the CSOs will use to discuss and share information on social equity, including the initiatives taken in their own project areas that help improve grassroots equity.

On the last day of the workshop, all workshop participants developed their own action plans, which outline key activities for the next six months. The action plans will also help the GREEN Mekong team provide timely support and backstopping for the CSOs when they submit proposals for the 2nd round of the GREEN Mekong Challenge Fund and begin using the GREEN Mekong web portal. 

Participants and GREEN Mekong team on the final day of the training.

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