By EDDIE MOSES
A K1.5 million grant facility for Non State Actors (NSAs) funded by the European Union was launched at the Crowne Plaza Hotel last week.
The launch commences the new 'call for proposals' from Community Based Organizations (CBOs) or small NGOs 'to strengthen the role of Civil Society in district and local level planning and decision making.
It falls in the framework of the EU funded program 'Support to Non State Actors' and its goal is to enhance the role of civil society in the development process and dialogue with government at all levels in PNG by strengthening the role of civil society in promoting the demand for and delivery of good governance and improved service delivery.
Funding of the successful proposals will be from between K20, 000 to K80, 000.
Joseph Klapat, Secretary of the Department for Community Development (DFCD), the implementing agency for the program explained at the launch that the main role of government is to promote, assist and facilitate the development of civil society which is the approach DFCD is taking with the program.
The EU's First Secretary for Governance, Economic and Trade, Roberto, said the involvement of local players in development strategies is more crucial than ever in the framework of the fight against poverty.
"Working with Civil Society players, especially those active at the local level, is one of the important ways to rise to this challenge. Civil Society organizations are important actors in the dynamics of democracy," he said.
CBOs and small NGOs from only two districts each from four selected provinces are eligible to access these grants. The four provinces and their respective districts are Milne Bay (Alotau and Esa' Ala Districts), Sandaun (Vanimo-Green and Aitape-Lumi Districts), East New Britain (Kokopo and Gazelle Districts) and West New Britain (Kandrian-Gloucester and Talasea Districts).
Representatives from DFCD explained that the main criterion for selection of the provinces and districts was the existence of proper planning practices in these provinces and districts. A second call for proposals from a further four districts under this program will be announced in June.