About POMED’s Regional Civil Society Partnerships Program
POMED believes that in order for democracy to flourish in the Middle East, civil society organizations in the region must play an active role. To accomplish this, POMED partners with select policy-oriented organizations in the Middle East and North Africa to build capacity and strengthen their efficacy in effecting reform and change within their respective countries.
To view publications produced through POMED’s Civil Society Partnerships program, click here.
Why is this program important and how does it have an impact?
The culture of independent policy analysis and provision of policy recommendations to decision makers is lacking—if not non-existent—across the Middle East and North Africa. For decades, citizens across the Arab world have lived under authoritarian regimes, unable to meaningfully express their opinions and engage in decision making processes. Following the Arab uprisings, civil society throughout the Middle East and North Africa seized the opportunity to weigh in on the policymaking process. Despite this effort, CSOs in the region today still face many of the same challenges they endured prior to the uprisings, and they continue to require support to increase their impact and participation. We staunchly believe that strong and effective civil society with diverse and specialized abilities across various sectors is essential for the success of any democracy.
POMED’s model of capacity-building represents a unique approach. Rather than being exclusively devoted to building capacity in Arab CSOs, POMED’s mission as an organization is to perform the same type of think tank/advocacy work in Washington that it trains its partners to perform in the Arab world. In addition to offering training workshops to instruct its partners on producing policy publications and developing advocacy campaigns, POMED works closely with its partners throughout their projects, providing support and guidance as needed. This “hands-on” approach allows long-term relationships to facilitate gradual skill transfer from POMED to its partners and allows POMED’s efforts to have a lasting impact on partners, well after POMED is no longer formally involved. POMED’s consistent guidance and communication assures partners of its commitment to being a supportive, mentoring organization.
What specific role does POMED play in these projects?
POMED’s technical support varies depending on partners’ needs and requests but is generally carried out in two stages. First, POMED provides editorial assistance on partners’ policy publications to ensure that they present coherent, well-connected, and original ideas that contribute meaningfully to broader public debates and are supported by evidence-based, convincing arguments, which are presented clearly and succinctly. Perhaps most importantly, POMED’s feedback is intended to ensure that publications provide recommendations for policymakers that are concrete and actionable. In the second stage, POMED assists partners in developing coherent, carefully considered advocacy strategies to ensure that policy publications and recommendations are delivered to relevant policymakers and have a tangible impact.
Who are POMED’s current partners?
POMED is currently working on the following projects with regional partners:
- Public opinion polling analysis with the Applied Social Science Forum (ASSF)
- Good governance analysis with the Tunisian Governance Association (ATG)
- Policy writing mentorship and policy brief & roundtable series with the Jasmine Foundation for Research and Communication (JFRC)
- Joint parliamentary monitoring project of both the General National Congress (GNC) and the House of Representatives (HOR) with Bokra Youth Organization in Benghazi and the H2O Team in Tripoli
- Parliamentary staffers training program with Resonate! Yemen
- Advocacy campaign mentorship with the National Organization for Community Development (NODS)
How does POMED select its partners?
POMED takes into consideration a number of factors when identifying potential partners, including:
- The mission and intended activities of the organization
- The organization’s institutional development and potential for impact
- POMED’s own areas of expertise and ability to provide relevant mentorship to the potential partner.
Does POMED work with any other civil society organizations in the region besides its current partners?
Yes. POMED does collaborate with other organizations in the region to build a network of secondary partners. By providing resources, building civil society networks, and leading capacity building workshops, POMED is able to greatly benefit secondary partners.