About Us


We work to empower and support civil societies across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

We believe that civil society is the key driver of social change and progress across the region.

We want our support to help realise that change, by enabling civic groups to connect with their communities and improve people’s lives. Despite the difficult conditions, the resilience and creativity of activists and campaigners, who are working tirelessly to affect change in new and exciting ways, is inspiring and offers hope.


Where we work

We work in 12 nations across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Russia and the Caucasus.


 

Our Programmes

Innovation & Communication

We hold technology, innovation and communication workshops, seminars and networking events both in the region and in Prague for activists and professionals. Our programmes are designed to forge new partnerships between professionals and civil society, to give activists the tools and connections for a new era of activism, based on technology, innovation and creativity. Initiatives include hackathons, campaigning workshops, social media marketing schools, innovation retreats and art residencies.

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Learning & Exchange

We want to build a community of leading civic activists and help them re-strategise and plan for the future of the region. This involves bridging the gap between academia and activism in Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus to open a dialogue between campaigners, researchers, journalists and policymakers. We host study trips, seminars and summer schools for researchers, activists and policymakers of all levels to discuss developments and opportunities for reform across the region.

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Grants

We provide project grants to groups and initiatives across the region. We look for projects which embed elements of innovation, creative communication and community engagement, and support initiatives ranging from anti-corruption campaigns and human rights campaigns to film festivals, community centres and social entrepreneurship.

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How we work

Innovative & creative

We support visionary, state-of-the-art projects which embed civic innovation and search for tech-based solutions to social problems across the region.

Inclusive

We work with the broadest range of individuals, professionals, networks, or groups engaged in civic projects. This includes activists and campaigners, along with journalists, bloggers and lawyers, as well as creative professionals such as film-makers, artists, designers and IT experts. We also support social entrepreneurs and businesses with a civic purpose.

 Cross-sector

We want to create fluid communities of activists, professionals and academics to harness the diversity of the different groups working on civic initiatives. Our programmes help these groups to mix, share their knowledge, experience and advice and collaborate on new projects.

Flexible & fast

In a region which can be unpredictable, where challenges and opportunities develop quickly, we move quickly to respond to developments on the ground, and work with local partners to unlock assistance and support as fast as possible.


Job opportunities

Finance Assistant

An exciting opportunity to join our growing multi-national team and help with accounting, audit and administration.

Deadline: 26 May 2017


Key people

Rostislav is the Centre’s Executive Director. He has a decade of experience working in human rights across Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. He launched the Prague Civil Society Centre in 2014 while head of the East European programme at People in Need, where he also started programmes in Azerbaijan and the northern Caucasus. He was also one of founders the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

Gabriela is the Centre’s Deputy Director and head of the Grants Programme. She has worked in politics, civil society and journalism in the Czech Republic and EU for more than 20 years, including as human rights director for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Office of President Václav Havel.

Igor has led the Centre’s learning and exchange scheme, the Transitions Programme, since 2016. In a career working with activists, democracy advocates and academics across Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia, Igor spent 18 years with People in Need in a number of management positions. He founded One World, the world’s largest human rights film festival, and was its director for 10 years. Igor has also served as a board member at the Open Society Fund in Prague and on the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy.

Anthony joined the Centre in 2015 after eight years working in international accounting. He trained at PwC as an external auditor and financial institutions consultant, before moving to internal audit at the investment banking division of Komerční banka (Société Générale group) and outsourcing department at Mazars.

Filip is the Centre’s innovations adviser, designing programmes and workshops to help activists master new technologies and thinking to harness the power of civic innovation. Filip has worked on media and communications projects with groups including the United Nations, Internews and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting across Europe, China and Asia.

Key people

Rostislav Valvoda

Executive Director

Rostislav is the Centre’s Executive Director. He has a decade of experience working in human rights across Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. He launched the Prague Civil Society Centre in 2014 while head of the East European programme at People in Need, where he also started programmes in Azerbaijan and the northern Caucasus. He was also one of founders the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

Gabriela Svárovská

Deputy Director and Programme Director (Grants)

Gabriela is the Centre’s Deputy Director and head of the Grants Programme. She has worked in politics, civil society and journalism in the Czech Republic and EU for more than 20 years, including as human rights director for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the Office of President Václav Havel.

Igor Blaževič

Programme Director (Transitions)

Igor has led the Centre’s learning and exchange scheme, the Transitions Programme, since 2016. In a career working with activists, democracy advocates and academics across Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia, Igor spent 18 years with People in Need in a number of management positions. He founded One World, the world’s largest human rights film festival, and was its director for 10 years. Igor has also served as a board member at the Open Society Fund in Prague and on the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy.

Anthony Carn

Finance Director

Anthony joined the Centre in 2015 after eight years working in international accounting. He trained at PwC as an external auditor and financial institutions consultant, before moving to internal audit at the investment banking division of Komerční banka (Société Générale group) and outsourcing department at Mazars.

Filip Noubel

Innovations Adviser

Filip is the Centre’s innovations adviser, designing programmes and workshops to help activists master new technologies and thinking to harness the power of civic innovation. Filip has worked on media and communications projects with groups including the United Nations, Internews and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting across Europe, China and Asia.