Belarusian civil society define future priorities

Before the third Belarus Future Search consultations, Pact is releasing a summary of results from the two previous Future Search events. Future Search is a 3-day participatory planning meeting that enables participants to collaborate in complex situations and come up with development priorities for their future. This facilitated event relies on mutual learning among stakeholders and serves as a catalyst for planning, voluntary action and follow-up.  

Pact started the tradition of Future Search in Belarus in 2006 when the first workshop was organized (русскоязычная версия отчета). Pact brought together a multi-sectoral group of 25 Belarusian civil society organization (CSO) leaders and representatives of international implementers to analyze the challenges of Belarusian civil society, to strategize about their collaborative efforts and plan for their success. As a result of the workshop, participants agreed that civil society’s priority was not to fight the existing political regime but facilitate positive social change in Belarus.  

In 2011, Pact initiated the second Future Search workshop (русскоязычная версия отчета) gathering together 35 representatives of Belarusian CSOs and international implementers. Two key priorities for the future of Belarusian civil society identified during the workshop are the need to promote mission-driven approaches among CSOs and increase their visibility among stakeholders, and the need for CSOs to build a stronger constituency base by promoting more effective service delivery based on increased outreach. 

The Future Search workshops not only allowed Belarusian civil society actors to openly strategize about a desired collective future, but helped Pact formulate core pillars of its civil society programming from 2006 until today. Pact is releasing these documents in order to engage with other stakeholders - local and international - who are eager to contribute to the development of Belarus’ civil society during a difficult political landscape, in country and regionally.

Pact’s goal in the 2015 Future Search is to generate a realistic vision of civil society in Belarus, outline development scenarios to follow, actions to undertake, and results to achieve in the period of 2017-2022, working toward a more sustainable sector and a better influential force serving the country’s development priorities and its citizens’ needs. More than 40 participants representing Belarusian CSOs and development aid organizations will gather on June 4-6, 2015 in Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss current trends and formulate concrete actions necessary to achieve their desired future and specific results.

Pact will release a report on the workshop shortly following the event.