Advocacy and Strategic Planning 

IRIS Strategic Planning and Institutional Development (February - November 2014)


LogoThe main goal of the project was to support IRIS’s institutional development and its capacity to participate, on the basis of its experience and expertise, in the formulation of new civic strategies for organisation, participation and raising accountability in decision-making – strategies reflecting the powerful and profound transformative processes in society that are in play over the last year or so. The specific objectives were: 1) Delineate the main directions along which organised civil society in Bulgaria should develop in the next two to three years in the new political and social context; 2) Propose ways of enhancing collaboration between NGOs and business associations – clearly a deficit so far; 3) Adjust and optimise IRIS’s structure and planning of activities in view of the transformative processes in Bulgaria’s civil society.


The main activities were: 1) Situation analysis. Via internal discussions, meetings with peers and interviews with experts, IRIS drew an analytical sketch of the civil society and economic and regional development context in Bulgaria which could serve as a basis for strategic reformulation of priorities and actions at a later stage. This included a chronological assessment of events, SWOT analyses of the civil society capacities, societal moods in general, the political class, the role of business associations in the various forms of interaction, and regional development as an ailing problem in Bulgarian society at large, given the huge gap between the capital and the rest of the country. 2) Capacity self-assessment. Having acquired an informative snapshot of the civil society and development context via the analytical sketch, IRIS undertook a self-assessment process of its capacities. This process included identification of weaknesses, deficits, strengths and prerequisites for a successful transformation of the Institute’s organisational model, mission, goals and perspectives vis-à-vis the development of Bulgarian society. The self-assessment took the form of an intra-institutional review and a report to the IRIS Board. 3) Strategic positioning. The analytical sketch and the capacity self-assessment allowed IRIS to position itself strategically in the ongoing processes in Bulgarian discourse on civil engagement and regional development with a view to contributing to the formulation of new civic strategies for organisation, participation and raising accountability in decision-making. The strategic positioning was done via intense staff discussions and was presented in the form of a Strategic Positioning Brief, involving analysis and recommendations, to the Board.


The project is supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Strategic Planning and Advocacy: Instruments for a More Effective NGO Participation in Decision-making and Dialogue with Local A (November 2014 - January 2016)



The current project aims to contribute to more efficient citizen participation in this process and more broadly - to develop sustainable forms of dialogue between citizens and public officials.

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