Develop civil society


Civil society and civil society organizations (CSOs) are important partners of the OSCE across the conflict cycle from prevention of conflicts and early warning, to long term peacebuilding and to the inclusion of women and marginalized groups. Collaboration with civil society is focused on CSOs, which share in the OSCE’s principles and commitments, and can positively affect the peaceful resolution of disputes (as opposed to CSOs who may act as proxies to conflict parties). Support for the civil society and assistance in the promotion of the rule of law, and other activities across all the OSCE dimensions, especially the human dimension.


OSCE Presence Office in Albania


The OSCE Presence Office in Albania held a series of Civil Society Forums across Albania to support public discussions on civil society’s challenges and its future through the participation of CSOs in Civil Society Forums.


Discussions built on good practices established during the extended meetings with CSOs, through which, the POiA reached out to CSOs and community activists at the local level centered on capacities and responsiveness of the civil society sector outside the capital.


Participants discussed the current state of civil society and general activism, challenges and obstacles, and shared their know-how on improving donor-CSO co-operation at the local and regional level. The series brought a clearer picture of the situation of Albanian CSOs at both the regional and national level. An audience of active and highly motivated civil society stakeholders shared their views on the CSOs’ capacities, opportunities, challenges and concerns with the OSCE. 


The Presence continuously seeks to take stock of concerns, capabilities and co-operation opportunities with CSOs across the country. In fulfilment of its overall commitment for a strong and proactive civil society in the country, the Presence seeks to promote and support an enabling environment for civil society development.


OSCE Project Office in Dushanbe


Through training courses, technical assistance and dialogue platforms, the POiD continued to build the capacity of government and civil society to create sustainable responsive mechanisms to prevent and to combat domestic violence civil society has indicated has increased globally during lockdowns associated with COVID-19.


Women’s Resource Centers, operated by the Office’s implementing partners throughout the country, provided free legal and psycho-social counselling to 6,465 women and 1,238 men to address domestic violence and support victims, empowered women through vocational training courses, and informed women and men about domestic violence and available support services. The Office continues to give this work priority and adapt assistance by online means despite COVID-19 restrictions. Wider public awareness on the domestic violence law and available services for victims was achieved during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The Office-organized sports festival, radio and television broadcasts and other events reached approximately 2.8 million people across Tajikistan. 


The Office supported dialogue platform meetings for the Inter-Agency Commission to Combat Violence in the Family and the MIA Subgroup on Gender Issues and Police, resulting in a more gender-sensitive approach to improving regulatory acts and police responses to domestic violence. To strengthen institutional response to domestic violence, the Office supported monitoring of implementation of the domestic violence law. Recommendations of the study are currently under consideration by key state actors. 


POiD also trained Deputy Heads of MIA Departments and five heads of Multidisciplinary Working Groups on Combatting Violence in the Family on best practices in domestic violence response and victim referral and support. 


Project Coordinator in Ukraine (PCU)

Representatives of local government, self-government bodies and civil society learn how to use dialogue for decision making to resolve conflict issues in their communities at a training organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine. Kyiv, 5 March 2020 (Photo@ Maxym Levin/OSCE)

Representatives of local government, self-government bodies and civil society learn how to use dialogue for decision making to resolve conflict issues in their communities at a training organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine. Kyiv, 5 March 2020 (Photo@ Maxym Levin/OSCE)

The National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service signed a memorandum with the PCU focused on making dialogue and practical instruments for cooperation between authorities and civil society a part of the new public service culture. The government used OSCE support in organizing dialogues to address reform challenges in the education of national minorities, decentralization, public administration and healthcare. To strengthen the community of local experts in dialogues, the PCU trained hundreds of civil servants and activists, some of whom received mentorship support in running dialogues to address a variety of conflicts in their communities. 


In promoting practical ways to enhance co-operation between the authorities and civil society, the PCU trained officials and staff from CSOs on public consultation mechanisms, management of state-funded projects and the provision of social services by civil society. An online course on state- funded projects was launched. 


OSCE Academy in Bishkek

Students at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (OSCE)

Students at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (OSCE)

The OSCE Academy in Bishkek was established in 2002, provides expert training and education in conflict prevention, management, resolution, post-conflict rehabilitation; human rights, media development, and in economics, governance and development. It offers two Master of Arts (MA) programmes, in politics and security and in economic governance and development, which are complemented by shorter, tailor-made courses for professionals. The Academy also supports the exchange of information and scientific co-operation among Central Asian academic institutions and their international partner organizations. In addition, the Academy undertakes demand-driven and practice-oriented research on relevant Central Asian topics aiming at local, national and regional security-building, and has developed a regional network of professionals and researchers.


Students at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (OSCE)