Subgrant: Capacity Development for CSOs

Subgrant title: Changing Practice, Changing Direction: Building civil society’s capacity to participate in the management of the Olifants River Catchment under climate change through networked social learning

This subgrant falls under USAID’s civil society support initiatives.

The purpose of the project is to develop the capacity of a core group of participants from selected environmentally focused civil society organisations  (CSOs) operative in the Olifants River Catchment. The project will provide skills and training for participants to become active within networks and participate in decision-making processes with the aim of building the collective capacity for climate change adaptation and addressing land use changes that reduce biodiversity and ecosystems services in the catchment.

The capacity development process is built around a semi-structured (approx.) 12 -month accredited course for (approx.) 18 individuals embedded within community-based institutions, which in turn, are active members of broader networks including the USAID: RESILIM-O CSO Indabas. The 18 participants will be selected from environmental CSOs active in the Olifants catchment. The Changing Practice Course is designed to enable CSOs to build on and enhance their local knowledge, strengthen their support networks and build collective action at various levels so that they are more aware of local land use changes that result in biodiversity losses as well as the impacts of climate change.

The course is structured using a reflexive ‘work together’ / ‘work away’ structure that allows for engagement in actual practice in-between course sessions. Throughout the participants will be supported to engage with the communities they work with, drawing on an understanding of how new knoweldge can be mediated and supported into use in contexts of practice. Participants will learn the skills of how to mediate knowledge in response to questions of practice; and how to engage in change oriented social learning for more sustainable resource management practices.

The participants will link their skills and capacity into their own organisations as well as the collective through the CSO Indabas programme.