Strengthened Civic Engagement and Volunteerism for Enhanced Democratic Local Governance in Türkiye

Programme Details

Project Short Name : Civic Engagement Project

Beneficiary: Ministry of Interior – Union of Municipalities of Türkiye

Co-Beneficiary Institution :  Directorate General for Relations with Civil Society of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Türkiye (STİGM),

Implementing Organisation : UNDP Turkey

Lead Organisation : Directorate for EU Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Project Budget : 5,823,600.00 USD (EU Funded)

Project Implementation Period : 33 months (January 2023- September 2025)

Final Beneficiaries : Ministry of Interior – Union of Municipalities of Türkiye, Directorate General for Relations with Civil Society of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Türkiye (STİGM),  General Directorate of Civil Society Relations, development agencies, municipalities, local public administrations, non-governmental organizations and networks, think tanks, universities, professional organizations, private sector representatives, local population.

Implementation Area : Grant Component: Applications can be made to the announced call for proposals from all provinces. Participation & Capacity Building Components: Technical support activities will be implemented in 7 pilot provinces (Çanakkale, Elazığ, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Manisa, Mersin, Trabzon) previously determined by the beneficiary institutions.

Programme Scope

The Project on Strengthening Civic Engagement for Enhancing Democratic Local Governance in Türkiye (Civic Engagement Project) is financed by the EU within the framework of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance-II (IPA II) Funds and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The main beneficiary of the Project is the Union of Municipalities of Türkiye (UMT), and its co-beneficiary is the Ministry of Interior Directorate General for Relations with Civil Society (DGRSC). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs, as the leading institution of the IPA-II Civil Society Sector, carries out activities for effective implementation and monitoring of the project. The project will be implemented between January 2023 and September 2025. The total budget of the project is approximately 5.8 million USD, and 60% of the budget will be allocated to local projects to be implemented in partnership with civil society organizations (CSOs) and local administrations/public administrations through the Civic Engagement Small Grants Programme.

The Civic Engagement Project aims to strengthen civic engagement and volunteerism for democratic local governance in Türkiye. The Project aims to contribute to the participation of CSOs in decision-making mechanisms, to develop civil society-public cooperation based on trust and mutual understanding and to support the creation of a favourable and sustainable environment for volunteerism. In addition, it is planned to carry out a draft study that will form the basis of the legal framework on volunteerism in Türkiye by strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between CSOs and public institutions.

Components of the Project

Component 1: aims to develop civic engagement strategies and two-year action plans in each 7 pilot cities for CSO/local authorities’ partnership. To this end, a detailed analysis on the current level of civil society participation and needs analysis on the participatory mechanism will be conducted. This will be followed by the development of Civic Engagement Strategies and 2 Year-Action Plans for each province. Here, Civic engagement Task Forces chaired by the municipality and composed of local actors. This result also foresees technical visit and development of CoE toolkit which will provide guidance for implementation of the Civic Engagement Strategy and Action Plan.

Component 2: aims to improve institutional and individual capacities of local authorities and CSOs and partnership between them through training programmes and small grants programme. The grant programme is conceptualised as a capacity building exercise itself and is accompanied by strong technical and administrative assistance by the project team. Call for proposal will require applicants to include peer-to-peer learning activities among funded projects and the PT will support awarded projects organize small peer trainings or event. The trainings will include skills building and context specific approaches on civil engagement of specific groups of women, refugees, youth, elderlies and persons with disabilities. “Toolkit on the Implementation of CoE Guidelines on Civil Participation” will be also mainstreamed through the trainings/events.

Component 3: aims to develop proposals for legal framework for volunteerism in Türkiye. The efforts under this component will build on an assessment study on existing needs for improved volunteerism in including best practices in the selected EU countries. The component will provide the necessary environment for wide consultations, technical support and capacity building required for the development of a strong volunteerism framework.

Component 4:  aims to build institutional and individual capacities of the UMT, DGRCS and relevant stakeholders (such as line ministries, local authorities, and provincial organizations of the DGRCS) to support their capacities to interact with civil society organisations, to collect inputs from civil society and their capacity to stimulate civic participation.

As a result of the activities within the scope of the project, it is aimed to achieve the results listed below:

  1. To develop the civic engagement strategies in each 7 pilot cities and two-year action plans for CSO/local authorities’ partnership.
  2. To increase the capacities of relevant stakeholders to support civic participation through training programmes and small grants programme,
  3. To increase the capacity of CSOs and local authorities to facilitate participation in the decision-making processes,
  4. To draft a legal framework, including laws/decrees and administrative provisions for volunteerism.