Young Civil Society Leadership Program

Anna Lindh Foundation

Relevent Country: Syria

As part of the EU-funded project Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality II, the Young Civil Society Leadership Program is launching a call to recruit 25 young Mediterranean leaders for the first among three cohorts to come.

The Program focuses on improving the skills of civil society leaders in policy making process, policy dialogue and advocacy through the selection and capacity building of Young Civil Society Leaders who show civil society leadership potential and with the ultimate goal of identifying, building the capacity and nurturing the establishment of a network of highly skilled and empowered youth leaders in the in the EU Southern Neighbourhood countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Syria).

The program encourages young people to propose micro-actions that leverage advanced technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance good governance and/or enrich the debate and contribute to strengthening the role of young leaders from civil society and their contribution to building good governance frameworks for advanced technologies use in the Southern Mediterranean.

Program Thematic Focus

  • Applicants are encouraged to think creatively and pursue objectives that promote the responsible use of AI in governance. Examples of such objectives include (but are not limited to):
  • Ensure transparent, ethical, and accountable use of advanced technologies including AI in government practices.
  • Empower civil society to use advanced technologies including AI in influencing and contributing to good governance effectively.
  • Enrich the debate and strengthen the role of young leaders from civil society in building responsible AI governance frameworks in the Euromed space.
  • Good governance includes several crucial aspects necessary for governments’ ethical and efficient operation. Applicants are encouraged to pay attention to the following key dimensions when designing your common action:
  • Transparency: This aspect concerns information transparency, availability, and comprehensibility. Transparent governance guarantees that decisions, procedures, and actions are visible and clear to the general public. This involves revealing pertinent information, providing access to data, and being responsible for decisions.
  • Accountability: Being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions, decisions, and being open to scrutiny. Good governance requires clear mechanisms to hold individuals and institutions accountable for their performance and use of resources.
  • Participation involves stakeholders, citizens, and affected parties in the decision-making process. This helps to promote inclusivity, diversity of perspectives, and a sense of ownership among those involved.
  • Rule of Law: To achieve good governance, it is essential to follow the law, which mandates that laws be implemented equally for everyone without bias or partiality. This principle guarantees impartiality, consistency, and reliability in governance.
  • To promote the responsible use of AI in governance and tackle relevant dimensions of good governance, applicants should propose a common action focusing on specific actions. These could include (but, again, not being limited to):
  • Data Analysis and Insights: Gather local evidence and analyse data to inform policy and advocacy efforts, promoting evidence-based decision-making for good governance.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Utilize advanced technologies including AI-driven methods to monitor government activities and results, holding public officials accountable, promoting transparency, and advocating for ethical decision-making.
  • Citizen Engagement and Feedback: Experiment with advanced technologies including AI to facilitate citizen engagement, collect feedback on government policies, and promote transparency while enhancing citizen participation in decision-making processes.
  • Policy Analysis and Impact Assessment: Use advanced technologies including AI to analyse proposed policies, predict their impact, and identify potential unintended consequences. Nurture public policy dialogue and advocacy efforts to prioritise good governance and public interest.

What are the Benefits?

  • A tailor-made youth empowerment program that will run over 12 months and include online and physical meetings.
  • Build and connect to a network and a community of young leaders from the Southern Mediterranean region.
  • Assistance to implement concrete actions or micro-projects.
  • Active participants will be recommended and supported to participate at high level policy dialogues within the Euro-Med space.
  • Most prominent participants will be invited with all expenses covered to attend the Anna Lindh Foundation Forum in 2025.

Program Phasing

The program will be implemented over 4 phases:

Skills Upgrading

  • This phase will be conducted online and will provide all participants knowledge and skills in thematic areas, civil society-related skills, and technology literacy. This phase will be conducted through online modules, which will be organized in capsules, each with a duration of approximately 3 hours. Each capsule will consist of:
  • A list of readings, links to online resources and other relevant documentation (which will be distributed to participants prior to the online session) to enhance participants’ understanding of the key concepts, challenges, and policy frameworks related to these topics.
  • One master class per topic, to be provided by a thematic expert (1.5 hours).
  • One session of exchange between the thematic expert and the participants to foster peer-topeer learning and discussion (1.5 hours).

Ideation (Idea Fair)

  • This phase will be conducted online to allow young leaders to continue finetuning their common actions ideas and will also aim at identifying potential synergies and duplication.
  • Community Building Bootcamp
  • This phase is a face-to-face gathering of three days that focuses on jointly formulating the actions and ideas, with the guidance of project team, mentors and experts. It will consist of:
  • Day 1: Final Development of Actions – Participants will work with their mentors to further develop their action plans, including work plans, calendars, and budgets. Mentors will provide guidance and support to ensure that the ideas are translated into actionable plans.
  • Day 2: Creation of Synergies among Actions – Participants will engage in discussions and workshops to identify and explore potential synergies among the different actions proposed by the participants. The aim is to align and coordinate the actions towards a common cause, and to identify opportunities for non-financial support among the actions. Mentors will facilitate these discussions and provide guidance on how to optimize synergies.
  • Day 3: Bonding among Participants – This day is dedicated to fostering a sense of community and building relationships among the participants. Activities may include team-building exercises, group discussions, and networking sessions. The goal is to promote collaboration, mutual understanding, and trust among the participants, which is essential for community building.

Common Action

  • One of the end results of the bootcamp is the finalisation of the development of an advocacy action involving all participants, which shall take place simultaneously in the participants’ home towns/regions. Therefore, this phase focuses on implementing common actions formulated during the bootcamp with the required support. This phase allows participants to take further the knowledge, skills, and ideas developed during the training and apply them and drive meaningful change. In this, the action initially proposed should be:
  • Toned and improved during the bootcamp (topic and activity types), building upon the ideas brought by the participants,
  • Organised within a specific timeframe (from 1 week to 1 month),
  • Given a common focus, a commonly agreed framework and a central operational coordination, while taking place through decentralized activities.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates submitting their application through this call must:

  • Be nationals of the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Syria.
  • Be between 18 and 35 years old.

They should meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must have good track record of civic engagement, advocacy and policy dialogue
  • Be actively engaged in their communities and having demonstrated to have an impact on the ground
  • Have an expertise and experience in facing AI challenges and opportunities in the Mediterranean
  • Be able to conceive a proposal for a common action to be discussed at the bootcamp
  • Being part of a formal or informal CSO is not mandatory, although it will be considered an advantage. Whenever an applicant is a member of a CSO, it must be stated clearly in the application.
  • The following profiles are invited to submit their candidature:
  • Activists or planners engaged in addressing governance and advanced technologies including AI challenges
  • Journalists investigating on or covering governance and/or advanced technologies related matters and challenges in the region
  • Businessmen and experts working in the advanced technologies including AI fields