Civic Europe Idea Challenge 2021 (en)

Idea Challenge
Source: Ovidiu Condurache

Civic Europe Idea Challenge offers funding worth up to 35,000 euros

for local civic involvement projects

MitOst and Sofia Platform, funded by Stiftung Mercator, have launched Civic Europe Idea Challenge, an incubator for civic programs, organizations and individuals with local initiatives in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. The program for which Ashoka is an official partner in Romania, wants to identify up to 20 local projects to be supported financially with grants of up to EUR 35,000. More details can be found on the program's website.

"We are very excited and happy to collaborate with Ashoka Romania and look forward to interesting ideas that want to strengthen civic involvement and social and political participation at the local level. We want to go beyond the "ordinary suspicions" of our networks, to explore more deeply the activity of locally rooted civil society organizations in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, because we believe that societal change begins at the local level. " said Lisa Gimbert, Civic Europe Program Manager.

“Small organizations and people concerned with the civic health of local communities need spaces where their projects can be heard, supported and networks of people to give them the impetus to build the foundations of active citizenship. We are glad that this year too Ashoka is the Civic Europe partner in Romania and we can be with applicants from all over the country! ” completed Ovidiu Condurache, Community Builder & Ashoka Fellows Scouter Ashoka Romania.

Last year's edition also had a winning idea from Romania, the Organizing for power project of the Resource Center for public participation being among the beneficiaries of financial support for implementation.

Civic Europe Idea Challenge 2021 has the following stages:

  • Registration of projects until April 26, 2021 (applications are completed only in English, and after uploading projects, they can be modified by the deadline)
  • Announcement of shortlisted projects in early July 2021
  • Conducting interviews and selecting winners between July and August 2021
  • Announcing the winners in September 2021
  • Implementation of the winning projects between October 2021 - November 2022

Projects addressed to local communities are eligible which:

  • Contribute to the strengthening of active citizenship: project ideas should strengthen civic involvement and social and political participation at the local level, ideally through civic education. Project ideas should encourage collective action to address local issues and improve the quality of community life. They should help community members to be heard and actively involved in the decision-making and implementation of communal projects or local policies that affect them.
  • Open dialogue: ideas that engage the community in dialogue around a relevant topic at the local level. The aim should be to bring together people who are not usually in contact and who bring to the table different or totally opposite perspectives on a topic.
  • It takes place in relevant regions: the initiatives are active in communities and regions without civic cohesion. Low civic cohesion is often a phenomenon observed outside large urban centers, in smaller cities and in rural areas and characterized by: few opportunities for social and political involvement, few opportunities for civic education and lack of knowledge of civil rights, duties and participation. politics, lack of trust, acceptance, solidarity and connection between groups and individuals in the community, lack of civic infrastructure, such as community centers, libraries, museums, public meeting spaces, civil society organizations, access to local policy-making processes
  • They pursue the long-term social impact: project ideas that have a positive long-term impact on community development. Projects that really want to understand the target group, the local social challenge, the stakeholders involved and seek to address complex solutions, to see the patterns and ways that underlie the influence of the system.

For organizations that are interested, Ashoka can help you:

  • Before you apply: we can help you validate if your idea is suitable for Civic Europe Idea Challenge and we can guide you how to fill in the online form,
  • Online session: in April we will organize a webinar to answer any questions related to the opportunity,
  • During the application period: we can provide support in improving your application uploaded to the platform.

More details are available at [email protected].