Civil Society

EMPOWERHOUSE, with its focus on empowerment, centrally engages with Civil Society as the space and the organisations where citizens join hands to manifest and promote interests independent of the government or commercial interests. In many societies, civil society is where free thinking takes place and from where human rights, freedom of expression and a press freedom are promoted. In a number of countries where EMPOWERHOUSE has worked, community media are one of the few, if not the only channel of, for and by the civil society.

EMPOWERHOUSE works with Civil Society in the following ways:

  • Supporting civil society media channels such as citizen communication broadly speaking and community media more specifically,
  • Providing frameworks for effective community radio/media,
  • Supporting women’s CSO groups through strengthening organisationally, politically and economically, as well as in engaging with international networks,
  • Assisting CSOs with gender policies and a healthy gender balance,
  • Building capacity in and around community media – both online and on site,
  • Facilitating organisational development processes including ways of dealing with management and organisation, mobilising and engaging the community/ies desired, working effectively with voluntarism, sustainability including financial sustainability and fundraising.
  • Building capacity for CSOs to work effectively with strategic communication for development and change, advocacy and media,
  • Facilitating the transformation of tele-centres, community radios and (the combined:) community multimedia centres into local development dynamos including business development support.
  • EMPOWERHOUSE engages actively in civil society organisations as an informal and a formal adviser to community media networks and as a board member in the Community Media Forum Europe.

The EMPOWERHOUSE portfolio of experience with Civil Society includes the following:

Denmark Svanekegaarden – international cultural centre 2014: Prepared and facilitated a participatory analysis resulting in revision of the strategic plan with well presented strategic objectives and separate action plans for the next three years.
Ukraine GiZ 2014: Development and implementation of a workshop to strengthen and finalise the Ukraine EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency International) group’s communication strategy, plans and capacity
Ethiopia GiZ 2014: Planning, organisation and moderation of a five day Training of Trainers for CSOs from Yemen.
Zimbabwe Fojo Media Institute 2014: Planning, organisation and moderation of a five day advanced community radio management workshop for all community radio initiatives in Zimbabwe. Support FAMWZ (Federation of African Media Women, Zimbabwe) in proposal writing, LFA, etc.
Desk-based GiZ 2014: Development of a manual for CSOs in Yemen on Strategic Communication and Campaign Planning, Training of Trainers guide and tools
Ethiopia GiZ 2014: Planning, organisation and moderation of a 5 day Training of Trainers for CSOs from Yemen on strategic communication
Desk-based GiZ 2014: Development of a manual for CSOs in Yemen on Strategic Communication and Campaign Planning, Training of Trainers guide and tools
Lao PDR UNDP 2013/14: Review Lao PDRs civil society, community communication programme, carry out impact assessment of community radios and develop concept note for new phase
Yemen GiZ 2013: Development and implementation of a workshop with tailored materials, and coaching of Civil Society Organisations on Strategic Campaign and Communication Planning.
Zimbabwe Fojo Media Institute 2013: Development of a training course to match Fojo-partner level of insight into RBM & LFA, plan, manage and carry out course as trainer. Follow-up on revisions by mail.
Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana UNECA 2011: Transition of telecentres to innovation centres, Establishment and strengthening of stakeholder fora, assist in strategic planning in centres, training and coaching to facilitate effective transition process.
Denmark Svanekegaarden, international cultural centre 2010: Based on several months of participatory analysis, implemented workshops and other work to extract, formulate, present and revise a strategic plan for the next three years.
Denmark Svanekegaarden, international cultural centre 2010: Project management for cultural visit: Organisation, fundraising, liaison, and planning to have two Mozambican artists in Denmark in July to take part in music festival, training courses, record music, concerts, exhibit, etc.
Denmark International Media Support 2009: Assistance to IMS in elaboration of the conceptual framework, tools and routines for a strong and streamlined internal M&E system and tools. Facilitate M&E process.
Mozambique COWI-Austral, Mozambique 2009: Development of new district communication strategies for civil society participation and empowerment. Participation in annual review seminar.
Global, Pilot: Mozambique, Madagascar, Ghana, Lao PDR, Nepal CFSCConsortium and UNDP Oslo Governance Centre 2007 – 2009: Project management and in-country coordination, pilot testing ’Communication for Empowerment’ methodology; elaboration of national ’Information & Communication Audits’ in three African and two-three Asian countries.
Mozambique COWI (for DFID and Irish Aid) 2007 – 2012: Establishment and on-going quality assurance and reviews of Civil Society Governance fund Mozambique and publicity and outreach framework for Civil Society Support Mechanism (MASC).
Nordic Countries – desk-based NiZA 2006: Fundraising research with Nordic Donors: Research and strategic assessment of a potentially widened range of donors in NiZA’s existing partnerships
Mozambique FORCOM, Forum for community radio 2006: Institutional coaching and organizational support – on-going general advice and support, among others quality assurance support for Austrian funding.
Mozambique UNESCO 1998 – 2004: Chief Technical Adviser, Media Development Project in Mozambique (
  • Supported the development of the community radio sector in Mozambique
  • Initiated and facilitated the development of a community radio network
  • Facilitated the formation of women’s groups in individual community radio stations to strengthen women’s presence, and a national network
  • Organised 5 festivals for community radio and for women in community radio with exhibits, cultural shows, participation by government decision makers and all the – at that time – 50 community radios
  • Developed strategies, concepts and implementation methods for: * Community Radio – one by one and as a cooperating sector *  Strategies for strengthening the role of women in the media *  Sustainability and Partnership strategies for CSOs
Latvia County of Bornholm, Denmark 1997: Creation of Information Unit in ‘Adult Education and Information Centre’, Dobele County, Latvia. Assistance in identification of information needs, creation of information strategy. Training in communication planning and public information strategies, and public information and campaigns.