Our work

The Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) is a capacity development programme designed to support Ethiopia’s civil society and its contribution to the country’s national development, poverty reduction and advancement of good governance in line with the government’s policies and strategies. The programme targets hard-to-reach civil society organisations and citizens.

Our strategy is to invest in capacity development of individuals and organisations in Ethiopian civil society. Through capacity development and grant mechanisms, the programme aims to support and demonstrate the effectiveness, legitimacy and value of civil society in contributing to national development and poverty reduction.

Our approach

Our innovative programmes of support empower people and organisations that are often hardest to reach in society. Our grants encourage innovation and creativity in civil society organisations, to develop capacity, and foster collaboration among various stakeholders, including government.

Particular emphasis is placed on supporting gender equality, and on reducing violence against women in Ethiopia. To date, almost 30 per cent of the grants awarded have direct benefits for women, including strengthening their livelihoods, supporting girls to remain in school, and supporting the rights of women prisoners and their children.

The programme uses a robust framework to monitor, evaluate and learn from its results. It supports evidence-based learning and dialogue within and between civil society and its public and private stakeholders to show how women and men that are hardest to reach can benefit from and contribute to their own development.

Hard to reach

We define hard to reach as people and organisations affected by at least one of the following issues:

  • Geographic remoteness and under-resourced areas where services are limited and/or of low quality
  • Development gaps, such as mental ill health or drug or alcohol addiction
  • Marginalised status such as disability, gender, age, HIV/AIDS or ethnicity

To view our grants’ distribution across Ethiopia, please click here.

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