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Capacity Enhancement Framework

The Capacity Enhancement Framework was set-up in 2013 as an innovative tool to encourage cooperation and collaboration with the EBRD’s civil society stakeholders, particularly: youth, disability and gender groups, the rural population, relevant local authorities, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and other stakeholders.

We know that civil society groups often operate under constraints, with limited resources and capacity, and that they are not always able to engage with the EBRD, our private sector clients or governments in an effective and sustainable manner. Our capacity enhancement initiative aims to bridge that gap.

The projects build capacity of local civil society organisations to serve as:

      i. Vehicles for awareness raising and stimulating new patterns of social behaviour

Tools: large-scale trainings and workshops for a wide range of civil society stakeholders to enhance technical knowledge and communication skills; small grants to enable trainees to reach out to the general population.

ii. ‘Centres of excellence’ for knowledge and skills transfer

Tools: tailor-made training and mentoring of individual not-for-profit organisations, including think tanks and business associations development of platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue, consultations and networking

iii. Social enterprises which use market mechanisms to deliver on their social missions

Tools: a combination of advice, institutional and financial support to enable not-for-profit civil society stakeholders to increase revenues and reinvest them into improving economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities (currently under consideration).

The Framework focuses on 4 main areas:

Sustainable Energy and Resources

In order to contribute to the Bank’s investment and policy dialogue efforts in delivering climate action and environmentally sound and sustainable transition, the Bank is building the capacity of local civil society organisations to promote residential energy efficiency, climate resilience, sustainable transport and other related issues in the context of the Bank’s Green Economic Transition approach (GET). GET aims to increase the volume of the Bank’s green financing to 40 per cent of EBRD annual business investment by 2020 by investing in energy, water and waste minimisation as well as in climate change adaptation.

Economic Inclusion

As part of the Bank’s efforts to promote economic inclusion and gender equality, the EBRD supports civil society stakeholders in promoting work-based learning initiatives, participatory resource management, social entrepreneurship and other aspects of transition and development. In such a way, we are increasing economic opportunities for youth and rural communities, while taking into account gender equality considerations.

Good Governance and Transparency

In the context of the Bank’s Investment Climate and Governance Initiative, we have worked on enhancing the capacity of CSOs for oversight and integrity standard setting, and for providing expert input into policy making in areas such as transparency, anti-corruption, improving the business climate and monitoring of public procurement. Also, we have strengthened the role of CSOs in promoting citizen participation and the facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogue, thereby helping civil society to contribute more effectively to good governance and transparency.


The EBRD recognises the important role of CSOs in addressing the COVID 19 response in terms of both emergency management, public oversight and reconstruction. The Bank has collaborated with civil society representatives in its countries of operations to identify specific areas where the EBRD can support resilience and capacity building of CSOs and affected communities during COVID 19. Supporting digital transformation of the civil society sector has been identified as the critical area.

Scale and Impact

Since mid-2013, 29 completed and active Capacity Enhancement Framework TC projects, totalling around EUR 7 million, have improved the skills of thousands of the EBRD’s civil society community through tailored training and mentoring in over 20 countries.