INTRAC has undertaken two major programmes of work on Cyprus

Cypriot Civil Society in Action Programme 2010-11

Funded by the European Commission, this research project examined how civil society in the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities worked to promote trust, cooperation and reconciliation across the island.

The research used three methods: contextual literature reviews, semi-structured interviews with civil society representatives, and case studies of individual organisations, projects or groups.

The project team, which was based out of a temporary INTRAC office on Cyprus, produced a huge number of resources in English, Greek and Turkish.

Key Resources:

Cypriot Civil Society Strengthening Programme 2007-08 

INTRAC and partners in Cyprus – The Management Centre and NGO Support Centre – carried out an 18-month programme of support for the development of civil society across Cyprus, which ran from January 2007 until July 2008. The programme was funded by UNDP-ACT in Cyprus, with support from USAID.

The programme involved open training for Cypriot CSOs, tailor-made technical assistance for CSOs across Cyprus, long-term capacity building support and dialoguing events for civil society and non-CSO actors. Trainers from INTRAC and the partner organisations delivered these activities in different locations around the island, encouraging exchange of knowledge, cooperation and networking across divides.

The consortium also supported the development of over 40 Cypriot civil society consultants, to equip them with the skills to provide technical assistance to the sector.

The programme concluded with an International Civil Society Forum and a CSO awards ceremony, which produced two key resources:

“Being a part of the capacity building development through this programme has taught us that we must learn how to keep our volunteers motivated. We are learning how to help them to become more willing to learn while volunteering. We will have the opportunity to train them and this will help them to acquire skills that are beneficial to them as well as our organisation” – Aysel Bodi, President of the Akova Women’s Association, reflects on her experience

Here is what one of the local consultants had to say:

“The project has been a true learning experience for consultants…at a personal level I believe that I was able to improve my consulting skills. This experience helped me to improve my interviewing and facilitation skills and increased my knowledge about organisational development and self assessment”

“The process encouraged a more in-depth understanding of the issues confronting CSOs and ways to tackle them…The relationships developed with the organisations are quite intimate and long term, which serve as catalysts for closer relationships between the CSOs and the Center (NGOSC)”