Organizational Development of Nicaraguan Civil Society Program

The Organizational Development of Nicaraguan Civil Society program promotes increased organizational capacity, stronger governance structure, operational efficiency and strategic visioning within selected civil society organizations in Nicaragua.

Using managerial process observation, training and technical assistance this program supports USAID Nicaragua’s objectives for increased institutional capacity in civil society to mobilize constituencies, participate in policy and decision-making and exercise oversight over public institutions.” It supports the U.S. foreign policy objective in Nicaragua of governing justly and democratically.

The program provides ongoing professional support within:

1. Governance and Leadership
2. Strategic planning
3. Management Structures and Practices
4. Marketing and Communications
5. Strategic realignment and collaboration.

The program, known as Institutional Strengthening Program (ISP), is working at full capacity with two groups of organizations, 20 of them are formal civil society organizations and 10 are emerging organizations, which have existed less than five years with an established structure and demonstrated leadership potential.

ISP considered sector, geographic and demographic diversity. The selected civil society organizations have a range of concentrations, including governance and democratic initiatives, income generation, humanitarian assistance, and education. While 80 percent of the partner organizations are headquartered in Managua, they coordinate activities in two-thirds of Nicaragua´s 17 regions. One-third of these organizations focus primarily on the citizen participation of underrepresented populations and addressing their needs.

To complement the planned training and technical assistance, ISP manages a grants program for selected organizations among both sets of partners. The grants serve to accelerate the implementation of the activities promoted by the ISP technical advisors.

ISP also offers a number of capacity building workshops covering organizational diagnosis, strategic planning, strengthening of boards of directors, leadership development, interagency partnerships, strategies for intersectorial collaboration, communication strategies, fundraising strategies, human resource management, legal framework analysis and volunteer recruitment and management.