Bridging the gaps

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society have developed the “EU Bridge” programme, with financial support from the European Union (EU). This programme aims to strengthen the capacities and capabilities of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, as well as other relevant stakeholders in the country, including local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and local authorities, to tackle the impact of humanitarian crises in Azerbaijan.

The capacity-building programme covers a wide range of topics with a particular focus on cash and voucher assistance, and mental health and psychosocial support. Other cross-cutting priorities are community engagement and accountability, protection, gender and inclusion, and result-based management. Programme activities aim to strengthen the institutional and operational capabilities of local communities and organisations in Azerbaijan, including the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, to bolster their participation in the reduction of vulnerabilities and support their efforts in terms of mitigating local vulnerabilities through improved service delivery.

Staff and volunteers from the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society receive a mental health and psychosocial support training. © IFRC

Between 2022 and 2023, two specific training modules and workshops were organised by the IFRC in collaboration with the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, addressed to the wider civil society sector in the country. By the end of the programme, IFRC aims to train more than 100 staff and volunteers from the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society including its branches, and at least 50 staff representing 10 other organisations. The objective is to strengthen the operational capacities of the organisations to work independently, effectively, and efficiently in the field of development and humanitarian assistance. The partners will reach out to 5,000 people with livelihood and recovery support as well as psychosocial support interventions and mine risk awareness sessions.

The training module prioritises mental health and psychosocial support, resource mobilisation, communications, human resources, planning monitoring and evaluation, community engagement and accountability, finance management development, logistics, disaster risk reduction and cash and voucher assistance.  The project hosts a digital platform targeting CSOs where they can access all details on the grant application and serves as a knowledge hub that provides CSOs with examples of necessary legal frameworks as well as training documents.

The capacity-building efforts are also aiming at allowing the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and other organisations to reaffirm the importance of cooperating together to support the recovery, access to cash and livelihoods of the communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the protracted conflict in the region. There is also a need to focus on longer-term resilience, supporting opportunities to empower people's socio-economic capacities. The programme offers financial support through specific grants targeting organisations that are interested in livelihoods and recovery, mental health and psychosocial support, and resource mobilisation initiatives.

Event on Community Empowerment and Development of Civil Society Organizations in Azerbaijan. © IFRC

After the launch of the call for proposals and the evaluation process, eligible organisations were selected to implement livelihood and recovery support and socio-economic empowerment, targeting people living with disabilities and internally displaced people, such as development and career counselling, or promotion of new income-generating activities. “I am grateful for the transformative impact of the EU Bridge programme on our community. Through the grants provided, we focus on strengthening our organizational capacities as well as the reintegration and vocational capacity of returnees and increasing employment opportunities for internally displaced people from Karabakh and East Zangezur regions. This initiative fosters a collaborative spirit, bringing together local CSOs, authorities, and stakeholders in a unified effort to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance the resilience of targeted people,” says Fuad Dargahli, Chairman - "Educated Society" Support to Modern Education Public Union.

This three-year project will contribute to bridging the gap between community needs and local capacities of the CSOs.

Basic information

Activity name

Bridging the gap between community needs and local capacities and capabilities of the civil society actors in Azerbaijan






The European Union, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and the CSO sector in Azerbaijan



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