The program as a whole aims to nurture social change in local communities by supporting community leaders as the drivers of such change. Thus, although communities are our end target, our approach is based on working with community leaders. Specifically, we will concentrate on developing their knowledge, skills and attitudes and giving them opportunities to reflect on their values and other aspects of personal development relevant to their work as community leaders. Networking among community leaders within the Central and Eastern European region will be another important component of the program. Finally, to strengthen the program’s impact on the community and facilitate transfer of experience and competences, we will invite another team member to take part in the final meeting. For the same purpose we also open the call to a small number of participants from Western European countries.

Vision

The vision of the program is a CEE region with resilient, viable, livable local communities, in which  residents are actively involved in community affairs.

Program aim

The overall program aim is to help strengthen local communities in the CEE region by supporting community leaders in their efforts to make tangible positive changes at the local level which make use of existing community assets.

Target group

The program will work with 22 leaders of local community-based initiatives from selected CEE countries. The leaders may be engaged in local initiatives or organizations or work with local public institutions such as libraries, galleries, etc., municipalities or social enterprises. We are looking for people who:
  • are able and motivated to take part in the entire program
  • have been engaged in local community work for at least 2 years
  • have high impact potential working for an explicitly formulated social change through their local community
  • are willing to take initiative and are ready to accept responsibility for their own professional and personal development
  • are highly motivated to make positive changes in their local communities on a long-term basis
  • are ready to involve another member of their team in the program
  • are able to communicate in English in both written and spoken form (at least B2 level).
  • are at least 27 years old
    Check out profiles and projects of Alumni and their testimonials.

Local communities

By local communities, we mean groups of people who share an interest in the quality of their community, feel connected to one another and live in a geographically defined area (e.g. village, town, city district, etc.).
The program is not designed to work with leaders of these types of communities: ad-hoc (e.g. festivals or gatherings), virtual (esp. online communities) and geographically dispersed (i.e., beyond the scope of a city). Ideally, we are looking for people who take a holistic approach to their community. These communities may be based on shared interests.

Objectives and basic components of ViabilityNet 3.0

The program’s specific objectives for community leaders’ focus on development of competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) while the objectives for communities are two-fold: some of them are more project-based and serve the development of the community, others are more learning-based and support the development of community leaders and team members invited to take part in the program. For a detailed overview of objectives, please see the ViabilityNet website.
There are three topic areas that we will work with during the ViabilityNet 3.0 program to achieve these goals:
  • What are local communities: Perception of community and identity, local resources, power, wider community context, sustainability
  • How to be a local community leader: leadership style, personal capacity and work-life balance, working with a team, values and attitudes
  • How to work with local communities: Participatory approaches, motivation, transfer of competences to team members, communication, negotiation with different stakeholders, impact assessment, project management
The program will be launched in August 2017 and finish in June 2018.

What will you gain from the program?

  • 4 meetings to help you focus on what it means to be a local leader and to provide you with the competences to do so
  • 4 site visits incorporated into the meetings to visit communities in the CEE region
  • Grant of 70,000 CZK (approximately 2,500 EUR) to support further development and practice within the program
  • Mentor for the duration of the program
  • Involvement and development of another team member
  • Opportunity to become involved in an alumni network after the program concludes – contacts within the CEE region and limited contacts within Western European countries for possible further cooperation
  • Opportunity to participate in Via Foundation’s annual Community Forum
  • On-line resources related to the program topics
Overall time required: 21 days for meetings (excluding travel days) + 5 days of individual learning at home  over the course of the program + variable number of days for implementation of your community project.

Meetings (4 x 5-6 days)

Participants will attend 4 international meetings designed to provide space for reflection and learning. The meetings will focus on key topics related to the role of a local community leader and to community development. Each meeting will include a site visit – i.e. visiting a local community that offers a specific approach and/or experience to learn from. In addition to the site visit, the meetings will include aspects of theory, reflection and skills training. We will base our work on the principles of non-formal education, also using different experiential exercises and the approach of learning by doing as well as sharing experiences among participants. Experts will also be invited to tackle specific topics relating to community work and to bring additional inspiration.
For the 4th meeting, in addition to the participants, a second member of each participant’s community team will be invited. There will be specific themes to discover during the meeting so both the community leaders already involved in the program and the first-time team members will be able to benefit and together strengthen the impact in their local community.
Check out timeline of the program.

Community project

Each participant will receive a grant (70,000 CZK – approx. 2,500 EUR) expendable on a project that corresponds with the vision of his/her community and ViabilityNet 3.0. For more information please see the Community Project Guidelines.
The grants are intended as additional resources for the testing and development of new approaches to strengthen the community’s capability to achieve positive social change. In addition, the project should facilitate the participant’s further professional development through practice and incorporate what participants learn in the program.

TECHNICAL PARAMETERS OF VIABILITYNET

Eligible countries

We will primarily seek participants from CEE countries, with the exception of Russia and Belarus.
To bring a greater variety of experiences into the group, we would also like to invite 2-3 participants from Western European countries. We are looking for participants from Western European countries, where:
  • There is no long-term institutional community support (by local, regional or national institutions)
  • Diverse actors can be involved in community affairs (individuals, informal groups, NGOs or public institutions)
Local community leaders are willing and motivated to share their experiences as well as learn from the experiences of others.

Affiliation with an organization

Participation in the program requires affiliation with a legal entity (such as a non-governmental non-for-profit organization, public institution, etc.) because grants within this program cannot be given to individuals. The organization must be able and willing to receive the community project grant on behalf of the participant and allow him or her to disburse the funding as required. Affiliation for the purposes of ViabilityNet does not mean that the participant must be an employee, member or an elected official of the organization. However, we do recommend that participants are well acquainted with how the organization works.
For a helpful overview of information that should be clarified with the organization in advance, see the Complete Financial Guidelines.

Financial arrangements

The program will cover participants’ accommodation costs, food costs and 80% of travel costs. All other costs (visa, insurance, etc.) are the sole responsibility of the participants.
There will be a participation fee of 200 EUR for the entire program.

Application and selection process

The deadline for submission of applications is March 31, 2017, 23:00 CET. The application materials must be sent by email to viabilitynet@nadacevia.cz.
The application materials must contain the following documents:
  • Application form (after filling in your contact details, you will receive a download link in your mailbox)
  • Short video presentation (you will receive details about the content of the video along with a link to the application form)
  • Declaration by the affiliate organization
  • Confirmation of the affiliate organization’s bank account (a bank-issued document proving ownership or a copy of the contract indicating the organization’s name and account details – including the IBAN)
  • Proof of registration of the affiliate organization with a national authority (a print-out from an online registry is sufficient)
The selection will consist of two rounds.
  1. The first round will be based on evaluation of the applications by a jury composed of Via Foundation staff and partnering organizations’ staff. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the second round. The results of the first round will be communicated by email on May 7, 2017.
  2. The second round will consist of Skype interviews. All shortlisted candidates will be invited for Skype interviews between May 21-28, 2017. The final results will be communicated by June 7, 2017. Candidates selected to participate in the program will then be asked to complete a more detailed project proposal and submit it by June 30, 2017 (see the Community Project Guidelines).
Selection criteria – elementary formal requirements
  • engaged in grassroots community work for at least 2 years
  • Clear commitment to take part in all ViabilityNet events in their full duration
  • Ability to bring another team member to one of the meetings
  • Agreement with an affiliate organization
  • Good level of English (B2)
  • Neither themselves nor another member of their organization have taken part in ViabilityNet Program before
  • Ability to take part in the full duration of the program
Further criteria for selection are based the quality of the application including the personal and community elements of it. The country of residence is not an elementary formal selection criterion.

Apply here

Program team

Monika Novosádová and Petra Nová are responsible for the program at Via Foundation. Please address any questions regarding the program directly to the program managers:
Monika Novosádová
monika.novosadova@nadacevia.cz
Phone: +420 604 612 817
Petra Nová
petra.nova@nadacevia.cz
Phone: +420 732 389 770
Skype: viabilitynet

OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FOR THE VIABILITYNET 3.0 PROGRAM