Young CS Leaders

The objective of the Young Civil Society Leaders program is to build an empowered community of future leaders by providing them with updated tools adapted to the real world and creating a space to concretely collaborate, co-act and build a community of practice, replicating the program’s outcomes in their own contexts and becoming the next generation of civil society leaders in the Mediterranean. The direct beneficiaries are the Young Civil Society Leadership (individuals, not necessarily representing any CSO in particular) participating in the program. The indirect beneficiary is the SN civil society at large, which will eventually benefit from the Young Civil Society Leadership involvement with them. 

The Young Civil Society Leadership component of the Civil Society Facility Southern Neighbourhood is building on the highly successful achievements of the previous phases of the Facility. This current phase will follow the same logic of the previous phases, with a call for applications, a training program, a community building bootcamp, and a rollout of common actions at the country level. In addition, this new phase seeks to enhance the program’s participatory and technological dimensions. The program will be more participatory by offering a space for exchanging ideas, formulating and pitching joint actions, and creating synergies among participants. Three calls will be launched, engaging a total of 25 young Civil Society Leaders from the MENA region throughout an overall period of three years.


  • Combination of on-the-job training and theory, ensuring that participants have a solid understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to become effective leaders in their own contexts. 
  • Using technology as medium to empower and amplify their voices and actions: Participants will be encouraged to use technology to develop and implement their projects, and to share their experiences and ideas with the wider community. 
  • Continuity, building a community of practice that will continue beyond the program’s duration, interlinking the three generations of leaders (outcomes of the three calls that will be launched) and with the program’s former editions. This will ensure that participants have ongoing access to resources and support, and can continue to collaborate and learn from each other. 
  • Participatory approach in the definition of priorities and topics: participants will be involved in the process of identifying the key issues being faced in their countries and developing solutions to address them. 
  • Involvement of alumni to the Structured Dialogue taking place within the CSFM, which will ensure that their voices are heard and that they are able to contribute to policy discussions at the national and regional levels. By involving alumni in this process, the program will help create a sustainable network of Young Civil Society Leadership who can continue to drive change in their own contexts. In this, a link will be made with the EU-CS Southern Neighbourhood Structured Dialogue, through the involvement of up to 10 of the most prominent Young Civil Society Leadership from each bootcamp into the annual CS Forum, presenting ideas on the whole Young Civil Society Leadership Program. 


1st set of dimensions: priority sectors for the Mediterranean EU-Civil Society Structured Dialogue process

  • Migration: This could include topics such as the protection of refugees and migrants’ rights, integration and inclusion policies, and the challenges and opportunities of migration for Mediterranean societies, treating migration as an opportunity and not as a threat. 
  • Good Governance: Topics in this area could cover issues such as transparency, accountability, access to information, rule of law, and fighting corruption. 
  • Economic Development: Topics in this area could focus on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, entrepreneurship, decent job creation, and the promotion of social and economic rights. 
  • Climate Change: This could include topics such as climate adaptation and resilience, climate change social impact (including awareness raising and participatory approaching in policy making), sustainable energy, sustainable transport, and sustainable land use. 

2nd set of dimensions: civil society-related skills

  • Collecting Local Evidence: Topics in this area could cover how to gather and use data to inform policy and advocacy, and how to ensure evidence-based decision-making. 
  • Public Policy Dialogue/Policy Making: This could include topics such as how to engage with policymakers and stakeholders to influence policy and how to build coalitions to support policy changes. 
  • Monitoring Public Administration Activity and Results: This could cover topics such as how to monitor government actions and assess their impact, and how to use this information to hold public officials accountable. 
  • Advocacy: This could cover topics such as how to develop and implement effective advocacy strategies, how to engage with the media, and how to mobilize public opinion to support policy changes. 
  • Watchdog Role: Topics in this area could include how to promote transparency and accountability, how to monitor human rights violations, and how to defend civil society space. 

3rd set of dimensions: civil society technological mainstreaming (technical literacy to be able to produce technological solution to real life-realities of CSOs) – some indicative examples

  • Technology for social change: This could include topics such as how to use technology to promote social innovation and to enhance the impact of civil society organizations. 
  • Digital security and privacy: This could cover topics such as how to protect personal data and how to ensure digital security when using online platforms for advocacy or activism. 
  • Social media and digital engagement: This could include topics such as how to use social media to mobilize public opinion and to influence policy, and how to build digital communities of supporters. 
  • Open data and transparency: This could cover topics such as how to use open data to monitor government activities and to promote transparency, and how to use technology to enhance citizen participation in decision-making. 

Read more about the program / Anna Lindh Foundation