UG Zasto ne (CA Why Not) on behalf of the Accountability, Technology and Institutional Openness Network in South-East Europe (ACTION SEE) hosted the 3rd International Fellowship/Internship Program this year. The participants were three media and CSO activists from Azerbaijan: Vusala Alibayova, Gunel Sardarli and Farid Hasanov.
Since 2015, our organization has been running an annual fellowship program which aims to improve the work of NGOs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). In 2017 we expanded this work to Azerbaijan. This project is a continuation of the work that we have been doing with Egyptian groups and groups from MENA countries in the previous years.
The internship for these activists provided the technical support their organizations can use in developing new platforms for strengthening the political accountability and transparency in Azerbaijan. The internship lasted for one month, and included work with the UG Zasto ne (CA Why not), presentations by other CSOs from BiH and participation in the annual POINT conference.
Participation at POINT conference has proven to be very useful and fruitful for the interns, as the conference offers both a great opportunity for the exchange of experiences and ideas, but also for getting information on the newest initiatives in the fields of accountability, transparency and technology in the region, Europe and the world.
During internship program, interns from Azerbejdzan visited numerous media and CSOs such as Al Jazeera Balkans, Center for investigative Journalism (CIN), Mediacenter, Coalition Pod lupom, CPU, where they had chance to meet their leaders and talk about concrete projects they are implementing.
This Fellowship program provided leaders of civil society organizations from Azerbaijan with an opportunity to learn and exchange experiences on the topics of using technology for democracy promotion, political process monitoring, budget monitoring, advocacy, fact-checking, new media, investigative journalism, media monitoring and similar.