The Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia is sponsoring its first NGO Leadership Bootcamp, a training program for leaders of 20 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from countries that have recently undergone democratic transitions. In partnership with the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and the Slovak-based Pontis Foundation, the program aims to make civil society organizations more effective and durable. The bootcamp will take place in Bratislava, Slovakia, from October 20-23, 2015.

The NGO Leadership Bootcamp builds the managerial capacity of leaders of non-governmental civil society organizations so that citizens there can advance positive social and political change. The past 30 years have seen the collapse of regimes in Europe and Eurasia, and the attempt to democratize these societies. Civil society organizations are critical to building better and more responsive democratic institutions. Many NGOs are working across the region to advance and strengthen civil society. These organizations themselves need to be strengthened in order to maximize their effectiveness and ensure their sustainability.

Participants were chosen through an open and competitive application process. Selected leaders from Albania, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Ukraine will represent NGOs which focus on democracy, human rights, economic development, youth, and civil society.

NGO leaders will gain management tools and skills that will help them to successfully engage with the general public, government stakeholders, and international partners. The NGO Leadership Bootcamp will be taught by global faculty, and will focus on building strong and sustainable organizations. Sessions will focus on vision and strategy, financial management, resource mobilization, and proposal writing. Participants will receive a certificate after completing the program; the training is provided at no charge.

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