Over sixty active nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from nine administrative regions of Kazakhstan attended Grant Competition workshops under the Civil Society Social Development Fund-2011 (CSF) organized by the World Bank Country Office. The goal of the workshops was to raise awareness about the grant program goals and selection criteria, and share tips on how to submit a successful application. Modern communication and internet technologies helped to connect NGO representatives throughout the country which is known for its vast territory.
On April 20, 2011, two seminar sessions were held. One included six regional centers by connecting the cities of Almaty, Astana, Aktobe, Kostanau, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Shymkent through a video-bridge. Another session piloted internet-connection of 3 regions and cities of Balkhash, Petropavl and Atyrau with the help of Adobe Connect technology. This technology allowed people from remote areas to attend the seminar through their home-computers and was highly commended by the participants and in particular those with disabilities.
The sessions were conducted by Irina Galimova, CSF Coordinator based in the World Bank Country Office in Astana. She explained that “this grant program supports activities intended to promote dialogue and dissemination of information, and enhance partnerships with key players in support of the development process. This year, the CSF will support projects focusing on engaging the population in the development processes. Priority will be given to projects implemented in rural areas. We will also pay special attention to projects aimed at building the capacity of civil society organizations to identify potential projects, leverage funding and manage projects effectively.”
The attendees of the seminar expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn about the CSF grant program and improve their fundraising skills. A special tribute was given to the Q&A session which answered not only the general questions about the CSF peculiarities but also specific questions related to projects that will be potentially proposed for the competition.
Kazakhstan CSF team conducts seminars for potential applicants every year during the application period. These seminars are on a sustainably high demand by the NGOs and bring tangible results by improving quality of CSF competition applications.
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This year, CSF funding for the grant program in Kazakhstan amounts to US$ 45,000. These funds will be available for nonprofit, nongovernmental, nonacademic organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Any public institution involved in development defined quite broadly, may apply for a grant. Usually individual grants do not exceed US$ 5,000. Applications are accepted by the World Bank Offices in Almaty and Astana till May 2, 2011.
From 1998 to 2010, the CSF supported 101 projects in Kazakhstan, providing total funding of US$ 433,000.