Civic Action Now in Cyprus
The Civic Action Now in Cyprus (CAN-CY), is a project implemented by Future Worlds Center and the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD). It aspires to improve inclusion and meaningful participation of youth in socio-political and economic life.
The project implementation consists of 7 phases:
- An online campaign will run on Pusula/Ππούσουλας for approximately 3 months inviting youth across the island to share their ideas on:
- How to overcome socio-political and economic obstacles inhibiting them from being active citizens (e.g., equal access to services, practising human rights, growth opportunities, economic challenges etc.)
- Interventions/actions (e.g. policies, regulations, reforms, etc.), which if adopted, could contribute towards addressing these obstacles.
- The top 50 most supported ideas on Pusula/Ππούσουλας will be transferred to Idea Prism App through which their authors will be supported to turn their ideas into S.M.A.R.T.er proposals (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Relevant, Time-bounded).
- The general public will be invited to evaluate ideas for Impact, Feasibility, and Probability of happening without intervention, by scoring ideas from 1-5 through Idea Prism. The scores will allow us to identify the top 25 proposals that are most promising to act upon.
- The authors of the top 25 proposals will be invited to participate in a face-to-face event based on a Structured Democratic Dialogue Process (SDDP) to structure their proposals into an Influence Map. The event will be broadcasted live on social media to allow the general public to ask questions or post comments.
- The project will integrate the results of phase 3 and 4 to produce an effective action-road-map. The action-road-map will be widely disseminated to generate public awareness and mobilize youth action. F2F and online meetings will be organized to discuss how to take concrete steps towards the implementation of the action-road-map and identify the relevant policy makers for its implementation.
- Mentorship and life-skills trainings will be delivered to support those interested in taking the lead to lobby towards implementation of the action-road-map.
- All contributors and the wider public will be invited to evaluate the Project’s activities. The survey results and project deliverables will be consolidated into a Policy Recommendation Report and disseminated to identified target groups.
The overall objective of CAN-CY is to improve inclusion and meaningful participation of youth (18-30 age group) in socio-political and economic life. It will contribute to the selected Outcome 2 of the Programme “Vulnerable groups empowered” based on the following Theory of Change: IF young people (18-30 age group) from all communities benefit from a transparent idea generating process through which they will have an open dialogue and critical consideration regarding societal obstacles inhibiting them from being active citizens; THEN disengagement from civic matters will be replaced by a substantiated vision of a transparent, functioning and trusting society in which young people are empowered to connect with each other and take action to achieve common goals and come up with an action-road-map that entails SMART (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Relevant, Time-bounded) call-to-actions for policy makers (e.g. policies, regulations, reforms, etc.) to enhance their civic participation; BECAUSE young people (CSOs, informal groups, volunteers) will become part of a collective decision-making process, through which they will convert their potential into social impact by taking steps towards implementation of the action-road-map agreed by all. Through online and offline activity outreach, at least 3,000 youth will be informed about the novel digital tools for inclusion (Output 2.2). At least 200 (possibly 1000+) young people island-wide, who will be sharing their ideas via Pusula/Ππούσουλας Platform and Idea Prism will be empowered (Outcome 2). The use of digital tools will ensure outreach to youth in underserved geographic areas across the island. The automatic translation functionality of the Pusula/Ππούσουλας Platform (in ENG, GR and TR) and the presence of SeeD’s networks in both communities will support bicommunal cooperation and foster intercultural dialogue, to interact with each other, providing actionable and scalable solutions. Echoing UNICEF recommendations on providing civic education opportunities for increasing youth participation, CAN-CY will also contribute to mandatory Outcome 3 “Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society (organisations and the sector)” by providing mentorship and life-skills trainings. Following successful generation of the action-road-map, CAN-CY will provide mentorship and life-skills trainings to at least 14 vulnerable young people from both communities (G/C and T/C) (Output 2.1) and representatives from at least 4 CSOs (ideally 10 CSOs in total with 5 CSOs from each community) and informal groups from both G/C and T/C communities (Output 3.1) who commit to advocate for achieving change through the roadmap’s implementation; thus networking and building partnerships between them (Output 3.2).
Outcome 2: Vulnerable groups empowered
Activity 2.1: Ideation
An online campaign will run on Pusula/Ππούσουλας for approximately 3 months inviting youth across the island to share their ideas on: • Societal obstacles inhibiting and/or preventing them from being active citizens, with special focus on inequalities (e.g. equal access to services, practising human rights, growth opportunities, economic challenges etc.) • Interventions/actions (e.g. policies, regulations, reforms, etc.) which if adopted, could contribute towards addressing these obstacles. The process will be widely promoted through the project’s first-wave communication campaign. During the Ideation, everyone will be invited to “support” (similar to Facebook’s ‘like’ functionality) ideas they like on Pusula/Ππούσουλας. While at it, the idea authors (i.e. ideators) will also be able to share their ideas on social media and ask their networks for ‘support’.
- Semi-structured CAN-CY dialogue with Lakatamia youth
- Semi-structured CAN-Cy dialogue with Nicosia youth
Activity 2.2: Idea Specification
At the end of the 3-month period, the 50 most supported ideas on Pusula/Ππούσουλας will be imported to the Idea Prism mobile App. To achieve this, the project team will develop an API (Application Program Interface), which will use the XML standard to enable communication between the two platforms. Since XML is a global communication standard, the API development will facilitate collaborations between the two platforms, but also between each respective platform and any other digital tool. Idea Prism’s additional functionalities will allow the authors of the 50 most supported ideas to provide additional clarifications and add a short video to pitch the significance of their ideas. While at it, the authors will be encouraged to identify the specific obstacle their idea aims to address, why they think this obstacle is important, how their idea will address the obstacle, what the proposed solution entails (i.e. who should be engaged, how much it costs, when it should be done, etc.). Overall, this will allow the authors to turn their ideas into actionable and S.M.A.R.T.er proposals (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Relevant, Time-bounded).
Activity 2.3: Public Evaluation
A second-wave communication campaign will invite the general public to evaluate proposals through Idea Prism for Impact, Feasibility, and Probability of happening without intervention by scoring ideas from 1-5. The evaluation will remain open for scoring for approximately 2 months. The scores will be used to conduct multivariate analysis (see footnote 3), which will allow us to identify the top-25 proposals that are most promising to act upon (e.g. if an idea has high feasibility and impact, but is less probable to happen without any external intervention than other ideas, then it should be chosen by us to act upon).
Activity 2.4: Structured Democratic Dialogue
The authors of the top-25 proposals will be invited to participate in a face-to-face (F2F) event based on a Structured Democratic Dialogue Process (SDDP ). This will empower and equip authors to structure their proposals into an Influence Map . This map reflects the collective agreement of all participants. The event will be broadcasted live on Facebook to allow the general public to ask questions or post comments. The invitation for the event will be disseminated through a third-wave communication campaign.
Activity 2.5: Action- Road-Map
The project will integrate the results of the SDDP with the previous multivariate analysis to produce an effective action-road-map.
Activity 2.6: Awareness-Raising Campaign
A fourth-wave communications campaign will generate public awareness on the action-road-map and sensitize the wider population regarding youth’s priorities. The action-road-map will be disseminated along with some informative text and/or short videos on mainstream and social media in order to mobilize youth actors in taking the lead towards its implementation. Outcome 3: Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society (organisations and the sector)
Activity 3.1: Call-to-action and Advocacy Campaign
A fifth-wave communications campaign will announce an open call for participants (CSOs, informal groups, or individuals who are interested in taking action and lobby for the implementation of the action-road-map) to mentorship and life-skills trainings.
Activity 3.2 Stakeholder Engagement
The project will organise and facilitate F2F and online meetings for youth-related CSOs, volunteers and interested individuals to come together and discuss how to take collective action towards the implementation of the action-road-map and identify the relevant policy makers (e.g. politicians, international bodies, public authorities, municipalities etc.) for its implementation. This participatory dialogue will enhance the capacity of civil society by contributing to the design of their joined efforts as a network.
Activity 3.3: Mentorship and Life-skills Trainings
SeeD will design and deliver a mentorship and life-skills training curriculum to support those interested in taking the lead to lobby towards implementation of the action-road-map. The mentorship and life skills trainings may focus on various areas such as Collaboration Skills (i.e. Contextual awareness and active listening; Collaborative planning and problem solving; Building and nurturing professional and community relationships) and Self-Management Skills (i.e. Values formation and goal orientation; Tolerating daily effort and frustration; Generating alternative strategies; Working under pressure and stress-management), among others.
Activity 3.4 Post-project evaluation and policy recommendations
All stakeholders who participated in project activities (e.g. the ideators, CSOs representatives, volunteers and mentorship and life-kills trainings participants, etc.) and the general public will be invited to participate in an online survey promoted through a sixth-wave of communications campaign (on Facebook and via email) to evaluate the Project’s activities. The project team will consolidate the survey results and project deliverables into policy recommendation package and disseminate to all project end- and intermediate beneficiaries.