CSOs love to write and publish reports. And their donors love them doing it. Sometimes it seems all civil society work is based on this, designed to cater to this end product: the 30 page, 50 page, 80 page report with the activities, the achievements, and the lessons learned. But essentially, what are the chances your wonderful work as a CSO is reaching its intended audiences? Or are we only interested in preaching to the choir?
Ask the CSOs who never quite get the feedback they want. It’s not our fault, they will say. The people are just not interested. We are doing great work; it’s just that we can’t get somebody to care.
But is that really the truth? Is it true that people really don’t care, or are CSOs simply unaware of ways to produce easily to digest, marketable content, without losing a milligram of its gravity? This is exactly the question many experts in the field are asking these days. And this was the question we addressed when launching the Knowledge Innovation Fund, as the Peace it Together network in Cyprus.
And yet, that was over four months ago. What we have learned over the course of 29 submitted applications, 2 evaluation committee sessions, 12 shortlisted products, and 6 funded projects-to-be is that going from a “report-obsessed CSO” to “innovative thinker” is easy for no one. Not even us, unsure exactly what we are seeking until we actually see it.
The good news? Our winners are about to begin the implementation period, and we could not be any more excited to take the ride alongside them, with our own Knowledge and Innovation consultants and repositories. Among them projects as rich as digital electronic games, and interactive documentaries, we are thinking some of our civil society leaders in Cyprus may have just stumbled upon the freshest ways to communicate their knowledge and expertise.
As we move forward, watch the projects unfold with us. We will do our best to keep you updated.