“How does a law change?”

“How do I mobilize people?”

“Are advocacy actions funded?”

“Is advocacy for big organizations?”

On the other side are important allies, the Greek media that communicate advocacy actions and assist in the implementation of ideas.

But often suspicion and lack of communication is detected. The media are sceptical about the transparency of NGOs and the NGOs, for their part, do not trust the media and the validity of the information published.

“How can this distance between NGOs and the media be bridged?”

These and other crucial questions were answered at the event for the end of the project “Non-profits & Media Advocating for good!”, a project designed by HIGGS and its partners, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Open Knowledge Foundation of Greece, and the Initiative for Journalism in the field of investigative journalism, in order to bring together NGOs and media, to train and support them in designing advocacy actions and funded by the Active citizens fund. The event was welcomed by Ms Eleni Karakitsiou from the Bodossaki Foundation, as Active citizens fund Programme Manager, and Ms Maria Fola , from the Embassy of Norway in Athens, as EEA Grants Adviser.

The project “Non-profits & Media Advocating for Good!”, offered a structured framework of experiential training and cooperation for NGO and media representatives in 4 cities in Greece, Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Komotini. During the project 3 experiential seminars and consultancy meetings were completed in each city.

The accomplishment of the in person cycles was an extremely important experience for the participants, but also for us, the project team itself. We were able to connect with the organisations and the issues they brought from the “field”, we saw their work up close, we were able to listen to their relationship with the local community. We also met some very nice people and got in touch with the rhythms of everyday life and the specific characteristics of the NGO sector in each city. During the course, 52 representatives from NGOs gained skills on how to communicate effectively with the media, and meetings were held with 44 media to get to know better the work of the organisations and learn how to handle their information. In addition, participants were informed about available open data and gained important tools for planning advocacy actions.

With the completion of the project, we are pleased to have 5 very worthwhile advocacy actions under implementation, which highlight the quality of the partnerships that have emerged and the real results that these actions can bring to social problems in the country and a change in social perceptions more broadly.

The Competition Coordinator and Co-Founder of HIGGS, Mr. Sotirios Petropoulos, said: “We are very excited to have had the opportunity to implement such a multi-dimensional project and to leave a substantial legacy for Civil Society in terms of advocacy. The advocacy actions presented fill us with optimism and hope that very worthwhile and interesting initiatives are developing across the country. We would like to thank the Bodossaki Foundation, Solidarity Now and the Active citizens fund programme of the European Economic Area funding mechanism, known as EEA Grants, for giving these organisations the opportunity to advocate in order to bring about institutional changes that will maximise the positive social impact and contribute to the strengthening of democratic processes in our country.”

The project “Non-profits & Media advocating for good!” υλοποιείται στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος Active citizens fund, με φορέα υλοποίησης το HIGGS και εταίρους του, το Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης, το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδας και την ΑΜΚΕ Πρωτοβουλία για τη Δημοσιογραφία.

Το πρόγραμμα Active citizens fund, ύψους € 12εκ, χρηματοδοτείται από την Ισλανδία, το Λιχτενστάιν και τη Νορβηγία και είναι μέρος του χρηματοδοτικού μηχανισμού του Ευρωπαϊκού Οικονομικού Χώρου (ΕΟΧ) περιόδου 2014 – 2021 γνωστού ως EEA Grants. Το πρόγραμμα στοχεύει στην ενδυνάμωση και την ενίσχυση της βιωσιμότητας της κοινωνίας των πολιτών και στην ανάδειξη του ρόλου της στην προαγωγή των δημοκρατικών διαδικασιών, στην ενίσχυση της συμμετοχής των πολιτών στα κοινά και στην προάσπιση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων. Τη διαχείριση της επιχορήγησης του προγράμματος Active citizens fund για την Ελλάδα έχουν αναλάβει από κοινού το Ίδρυμα Μποδοσάκη και το SolidarityNow.