Civil Society Support Programme was a capacity development programme designed to support Ethiopian civil societies and contribute to the country’s national development, poverty reduction and advancement of good governance, in line with the government policies. CSSP focused on supporting hard-to-reach people, communities and organisations to ensure Ethiopia’s development is inclusive of all citizens, allowing civil society organisations to evolve in difficult and challenging circumstances.
Financed by a multi-donor pool which was led by Irish Aid and managed by the British Council, the €38 million programme had four key work streams delivered from 2011-2017: capacity development, providing grants, building relationships for learning and monitoring of results.
Since 2011, CSSP provided 821 grants to 518 CSOs across all states and city administrations of the country benefitting over 3.2 million people and hard to reach communities directly through Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in provision of loans, seed capital for income generation, training, information and awareness, basic services, and open dialogue.
Here, it is worth mentioning that, 160 out of 821 CSSP’s grants were awarded to Civil Service Organisations whose primary focus was on women and/or girls. These and other grants awarded to CSOs directly targeted and benefitted women and/or girls by strengthening their livelihoods, supporting girls to remain in school, and supporting the rights of incarcerated women prisoners.
One such intervention was SASA! which means NOW in Kiswahili and which signifies its four different phases; Start, Awareness, Support, and Action. SASA! is a community mobilisation approach developed in Uganda by the organisation, Raising Voices. This approach was applied by CSSP in bringing about gender equity in partnership with 4 local Women associations in Ethiopia - particularly in Tigray, Oromiya, and Addis Ababa. SASA! has shown promising results.
The closing event of CSSP I was held in the British Council office on 26 July 2017 and wasattended , amongst others, by government delegates, the donor community, civil society organisations, beneficiaries and other invited guests.