Stronger NGOs for education and active citizenship of the youth
civic sector development
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
Association of Polish Cities, Poznań, Poland
01-03-2021 - 28-02-2023
Project cost:
135 200,00 EUR
135 200,00 EUR
Types of activities:
Target groups:

1 What were the issues or challenges the project aimed to address?

The project is a response to research findings (e.g., the cyclical “Youth” survey), which show that young Poles have limited interest in public affairs and do not fully benefit from the mechanisms of democracy. One reason may be insufficient civic education in Polish schools. This gap in the system is sought to be filled by NGOs, whose activities are more effective if they are conducted in partnership with local governments.
The essence of the project was to strengthen the sector of NGOs working on youth civic education and activation by improving the quality of their substantive activities and strengthening their ability to enter into partnerships with local governments. The topic is important because democratic education is still a marginal part of the work of schools in Poland, but it is community organizations that take on the effort to promote it.

2 What did the project do?

Therefore, the project’s activities (publications or training forms) were aimed at both representatives of organizations and local government units under 100,000 residents. At the same time, the most important target group of the project are new or sparsely experienced NGOs that want to strengthen the civic activity of young people, but need theoretical and practical support to do so.

The quality of NGOs’ substantive activities was improved through the development of 6 manuals on methods of youth civic activism and the distribution of this knowledge at 2 conferences, 5 regional seminars, the mailing of materials to community organizations and a training cycle for 8 partnerships. In the meetings themselves, a total of more than 126 community organizations, 199 local government officials and 78 youth representatives participated. Based on the surveys, we know that the participants raised their competence in the project’s topics.

The materials developed are used to work with local civic organizations, during our events and nationwide events such as this year’s 10th Participation Practitioners Forum. We developed the method of JST-NGO partnerships by supporting 8 pilot partnerships that developed formats for cooperation on youth civic participation in specific communities. We worked to develop JST-NGO partnerships with local governments through advocacy that convinced JSTs that youth civic activism is important for local development, cost-effective and possible (through partnerships with NGOs). We commissioned 5 expert reports (including economic, demographic and legal) to gather arguments for TSU. We distributed advocacy content through the channels of the Association of Polish Cities (project partner), taking part in meetings of other associations of TSUs, publishing content in the magazine “Wspólnota” and on the ngo.pl portal.

3 What results did the project achieve and for whom?

The activities brought a huge change in the local government community in terms of understanding the necessity and importance of taking measures for civic participation of young people. There is greater interest in youth civic participation, which we see indirectly in the increasing willingness to establish youth councils of municipalities as well as interest in other participatory mechanisms. In addition, NGOs are perceived as the main substantive partner in this area, which can be seen, among other things, in the recently organized and planned activities of specific local governments.

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