The Civil Society Development Centre Association (STGM), founded by civil activists from various rights areas in 2004, is a unique initiative that ensures that civil society is among the leading actors for civil society development in Turkey. Since 2004, as the successor of the very first major civil society development programme for Turkey directly managed by the European Union (EU), STGM has been supporting the development, delivery and programming of EU support for civil society in Turkey. After thirteen years, STGM marked another milestone, with its new, key role as the TACSO Resource Centre (RC) in Turkey.
STGM has been a key stakeholder for TACSO in Turkey from the start and joint initiatives marked an exemplary cooperation of a CSO and a technical assistance team in TACSO’s first phase. By the end of 2014, STGM was selected as the RC in Turkey and started to implement the project with the TACSO Turkey Office directly. In partnership with the TACSO Turkey Office, STGM has developed and institutionalised key functions of TACSO for delivering the projects’ services for CSOs in Turkey.
STGM successfully launched the “CSO Help Desk” as a main entry point for support services for CSOs by June 2015, strengthening the scope of this function by including legal guidance services. By April 2017, STGM has responded to 380 inquiries from CSOs and developed reference materials in Turkish covering 10 main areas corresponding to clusters of inquiries (project development, fundraising, strategic planning, CSO management, legal issues, etc.).
STGM took the leading role for supporting CSOs’ visibility with its wide online audience, over 10,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter; over 5,000 mailing list recipients and its Web site has on average 27,150 unique visitors monthly. During the first months of 2017, STGM’s Web site remained as a main resource of information on civil society and monthly unique visitors increased to over 50.000.
STGM also structured its support for connecting CSOs to the EU with its RC role and actively took part in the delivery of CSO information and consultation events for the EU. Over 215 CSO representatives from all over Turkey attended 14 information and consultation events in the scope of the TACSO project.
STGM delivered formal capacity building events; provided ad-hoc support for CSOs; and direct technical assistance within TACSO in Turkey. Over 1,200 CSO representatives participated in 32 formal capacity building events organised in the scope of TACSO Turkey.
STGM actively assisted the TACSO Turkey Office in improving CSO’s policy dialogue in various areas in terms of organisation and facilitation of the events and supported visibility and communication of events by covering the information in RC channels. Including national P2P events, 13 policy dialogue events in the form of conferences, workshops, seminars, work visits brought together over 350 CSO representatives and other stakeholders.
CSOs in Turkey can access all support services within TACSO by STGM via the CSO Help Desk; can take part in EU information and consultation events; benefit from capacity building support by applying to open calls; and benefit from STGM’s online communication network for their efforts to reach beyond their usual community and specific target groups.