The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED) announces the establishment of a new initiative to strengthen civil society in new democracies by providing leadership training to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in partnership with U-M’s William Davidson Institute (WDI) and the Pontis Foundation. The NGO Leadership Bootcamp brings together the unique advantages of two University of Michigan units, both focused on strengthening democratic accountability and emerging markets, as well as the local insight of the Slovak-based NGO, Pontis Foundation, which works to support democratization and the development of civil society. 

The NGO Leadership Bootcamp is open to organizations in select countries where authoritarian regimes have collapsed. As recent events in Ukraine, Russia, or Tunisia have shown, there is an urgent need to strengthen civil society organizations so that they can advance positive social and political change.

The goal of the NGO Leadership Bootcamp is to make civil society organizations more effective and durable. NGO leaders will gain managerial capacity and the tools and skills that will help them to successfully engage with the general public, government stakeholders, and international partners. The program will focus on building strong and sustainable organizations and will include sessions on vision and strategy, financial management, resource mobilization, and proposal writing.

The program will be taught by global faculty and is open to 20 NGO leaders from Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Southeast Europe, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. The sessions will be held October 20-23, 2015 at the Pontis Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia. Participants will be selected through an open application process and will receive the training at no charge.