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Training of trainers: Raising Democratic Awareness, 2011

 

Association for International Affairs

The Association for International Affairs has organised a series of trainings for local trainers on the Czech transformation experience. The project focused on raising democratic awareness in Egypt. The aim of the project was to provide training for Egyptian trainers participating in civil society activities. AMO sought to share the Czech and eastern European transformation experience with Egyptian activists and civil workers. The trainings provides theoretical background about the transformation processes in the Czech Republic and tried to apply the lessons learned on the Egyptian environment. AMO has organised a series of 13 seminars in 8 middle-sized cities for 210 trainers and civil society activists in the Nile Delta area.

AMO re-opened contacts with local partner organizations in Egypt in September and October and prepared all materials for the seminars. A team of Czech experts was invited to participate in the project. In the preparation phase, Czech experts and AMO analysts discussed the content of the seminars including issues related to the expertise of the individual speakers. AMO established new contacts with local NGOs in particular cities and prepared the logistical support for the seminars at the beginning of November.

From 13 November to 13 December, AMO implemented the project with the Czech experts. The trainings took place in Ismailiya, Port Said, Damanhour, Mansoura, Mahalla, Kafr Zayat, Alexandria a Aswan. The trainings focused on the Czech transformation period form the historical perspective, dealt with institutional, political and economic reform in the Czech Republic and discussed the issues of dealing with the past as well as lessons learned from the experience. The second part debated the general concepts of democracy – pluralism, the role of opposition, elections, and obstacles to democracy. Discussions with participants comparing the Czech and Egyptian transformation experience closed each session.

The project has built a broad network of contacts for AMO, both in geographical and qualitative sense. AMO will utilize the network as well as extensive information about the civil society scene and transformation period it has gained from Egyptian participants for future projects. A targeted selection of participants from among activists involved in publc awareness programmes has significantly contributed to the success of the project and its sustainability.

Experience from the project in Egypt has been summarized in an AMO Briefing paper by Zora Hesová. It has been published on AMO website (www.amo.cz) titled Sharing postcommunist transformation know-how: experience from North Africa.

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