“Opening the Doors of Policy-Making in the South Caucasus and Central Asia” launches with Istanbul training

June 10, 2011

News Source: PASOS Secretariat, Prague, Czech Republic

Azerbaijani program manager Farid Seyidov has a new project waiting for him at home.

“I would like to design … a training to teach my people what I learned here,” Seyidov said of training sessions he attended June 2-3 in Istanbul at the first event of Opening the Doors of Policy-Making in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. “Especially the business plan.”

The PASOS program, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund, seeks to empower civil society organizations and to enhance public participation in public policy development in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It aims to strengthen CSOs, foster regional networking, and promote sustained dialogue with policymakers.

In the video below, Seyidov and other participants reflect on their experiences at the event.

Seyidov works for the Azerbaijan Volunteers’ Public Union, a Baku-based NGO that works on a wide variety of issues, including environmental, charitable, human rights, and public-health projects. He was one of 23 participants in the the PASOS training in Istanbul. The project draws on PASOS’ experience of training think-tank personnel in transitional countries.

The event included training on research methodology, data management and strategy, think-tank administration, and how to create and implement a business plan for an NGO.

Participants, trainers, and organizers gather for a group photo at the Skills Development Training seminar, held in Istanbul, July 2-3.

The training was followed by two days of networking with representatives of established think-tanks and civil society NGOs from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including several members of the PASOS network.

“We wanted to bring together people from the region, knowing that they don’t necessarily get together every day and share their experiences from countries where research, as such, and particularly policy research might not be an easy thing to carry out,” said Linda Austere, a policy expert with the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, a Latvian think-tank and PASOS member. Austere helped plan and run the event.

More information about the Opening the Doors of Policy-Making in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, including a schedule of other events planned for the project, can be found here.

More photographs from the event (click to enlarge):

Roland Rich, Executive Director of the United Nations Democracy Fund, welcomes the participants.

Jeff Lovitt, director of the PASOS Secretariat, comments on think-tank trends.

Trainer Rainer Heufers (center) discusses a lesson plan in a small-group session.

Elena Klitsunova, of the Center for International and Regional Policy, leads a group in an interactive learning lesson.

Maria Golubeva presents a course on writing policy papers.

Three participants discuss strategy during a breakout session at the training.

Petr Pajas, PASOS program manager, introduces a speaker.

Program participants attend a networking conference after the training.


















A PASOS YouTube playlist here features interviews and coverage of presentations made at the event.

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