Uzbekistan Article

Supporting civil society by promoting women’s rights

Since June 1, 2018, ACTED Uzbekistan, supported by the British Embassy in Tashkent, is implementing its “Fostering the role of women CSOs in promoting good governance in Uzbekistan” project. In the frame of this action, ACTED supported the institutional and legal capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) which are women-led and serve primarily the interests of women/girls through tailored capacity-building activities.

Identifying civil society strength and weaknesses

Within the frame of the project, ACTED and its partners completed a comprehensive mapping and capacity assessment of 1,500 NGOs. The mapping highlighted a significant capacity gap in project cycle management and resource mobilization among a majority of NGOs. Despite being among the most active NGOs, women’s CSOs also ranked the lowest in terms of financial sustainability. Most women’s CSOs in Uzbekistan lack visibility and experience in public relations’ management. This limits their ability to engage with donor organizations and weakens their capacity to raise resources to expand their programs. Moreover, the new law of Uzbekistan on social entrepreneurship provides a unique opportunity for them to boost their revenues and increase their activities. However, most of them lack the knowledge and skills to take advantage of it.

Bringing sustainable support to civil society

In order to tackle these issues, ACTED  is looking to increase the financial sustainability of CSOs focused on women’s issues. By providing trainings on resource-mobilization, ACTED helps CSOs augment their legal awareness while promoting the concept of social enterprise recently introduced in the Uzbek law. By building institutional capacity and visibility, legal awareness and the capacity to engage in entrepreneurship activities, vulnerable organizations increase their attractiveness vis-à-vis local and international donors. They will also generate new revenues and diversify their sources of income.

It is imperative to foster the development of civil society in Uzbekistan and in particular to support women CSOs to allow them to take a more active role in governance processes and promote women’s rights.

Elena Mun, representative of the British Embassy in Tashkent

Supporting the promotion of women’s rights

Between September 17 and 28, 2018, ACTED organized two four-day capacity building trainings on project cycle management and resource mobilization. The trainings served 30 women’s CSOs in Tashkent and Fergana. Both events were preceded by regional workshops which provided an opportunity to introduce and discuss the legislative framework regulating CSOs actions in Uzbekistan, as well as international laws protecting women’s rights ratified by the country. During the first week, ACTED welcomed 15 CSOs from Bukhara and remote areas of Karakalpakstan, Khorezm and Surkhandarya in Tashkent. During the second week, 15 CSOs from Fergana, Namangan and Andijan gathered in Fergana city. Organizations from remote area were preferred as they are more vulnerable and less likely to beneficiate from capacity-building projects.

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