Technical Expertise

Technical Expertise Areas


EF’s advocacy programs elevate public awareness about basic rights and community needs and amplify the voices of marginalized citizens and civil society groups. EF offers a range of training programs, including practical step-by-step guidance on building successful campaigns, persuasive messaging techniques, and advanced strategy building for issue-specific advocacy campaigns. EF supports diverse local actors—from emerging community activists to more established organizations—and supports small-scale community projects on environmental protection issues as well as high-profile social media campaigns on Internet freedom.

To learn more about EF’s advocacy programs, click here.

Capacity Building

EF supports the development of sustainable local institutions that are equipped to respond to community needs and advocate on behalf of their citizens. In 2007, EF created the Capacity Mapping Assessment (CMA) tool to support the localization of its field offices into five independent institutions in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Central Asia, and the South Caucasus. CMA provides a proven framework for tracking institutional growth by measuring progress in six areas critical to organizational success: governance, fundraising, program management, communications, human resources, and financial management. CMA employs a diagnostic approach to evaluate the current capacity of a particular organization in each area, allowing EF to create tailored sustainability plans and technical assistance. CMA is an evolving, dynamic tool that EF applies to a broad spectrum of institutions, including legal service providers in Central Asia, non-governmental organizations in Belarus, and community-based organizations in China.

To learn more about EF’s capacity building programs, click here.

Civil Society

EF equips citizens and organizations with skills and tools to effectively tackle pressing social challenges, from youth illiteracy to domestic violence. EF also empowers young people to grow into proactive, informed, and engaged citizens by encouraging self-awareness, critical reflection, and community action.  From building basic leadership skills through service to sharing best practices on child protection techniques, EF supports its partners and beneficiaries in creating and testing innovative and practical solutions in their communities.

To learn more about EF’s civil society programs, click here.

Economic Opportunity

EF promotes the active participation of individuals in building their economic futures and contributing to the productivity of their communities. From entrepreneurship to small business development, EF applies innovative tools and strategies to develop viable business models that are responsive to local market demands and in line with international best practices. EF’s training model for women entrepreneurs, for example, is unique in that it provides a holistic approach, from the business idea phase to start-up. The model blends practical business skills and leadership training with networking and mentoring activities to provide women with a safety net as they take risks and deal with the challenges and pitfalls of starting a new business.

To learn more about EF’s economic opportunity programs, click here.

Gender and Marginalized Groups

EF programming focused on gender and marginalized groups aims to bolster civil society organizations and civic leaders in building more inclusive and equitable societies. EF provides expertise and capacity building on gender, disability, and labor rights and trafficking in persons to organizations and individuals working throughout Eurasia and the Middle East. Moreover, EF maintains large in-country networks of organizations and individuals committed to working on these social issues, which form the backbone of EF’s gender and marginalized groups-focused programming. Relying on adaptable programming approaches such as online platforms allows EF to effectively support and connect right-based civil society actors in even the most restrictive environments.

To learn more about EF's gender and marginalized groups programs click here


EF governance programs aim to help people and governments strengthen institutions in the public sector to advance transparency and accountability and fight corruption. EF believes that effective governance is one of the ways to build peaceful and prosperous societies. EF engages individuals, organizations, and local governments to more effectively solve social problems and provide inclusive access to resources and services for citizens. 

To learn more about EF’s governance programs, click here.


EF media programming supports aspiring and seasoned journalists, media outlets and civil society in meeting the steep challenges facing the media sector in the places where EF works. Challenges of political interference and self-censorship, state-sponsored propaganda, disinformation campaigns, lack of resources and effective training are all issues that can negatively impact journalists and the communities they serve. EF provides essential tools and skill building opportunities in areas such as news writing, fact checking, and use of non-traditional media to enable journalists and organizations to navigate these challenges more effectively.  EF places an emphasis on working with youth in journalism and believes a vibrant independent media sector is one of the core indicators of a thriving, free society. 

To learn more about EF's media programs, click here.


EF utilizes technology as an essential tool in its work supporting civil society and civic engagement. For over a decade, EF has created and maintained online platforms to serve as e-learning hubs, knowledge repositories, and networking and community-building portals. These platforms have enabled EF to support civil society actors in gaining critical knowledge and skills and to maintain networks in challenging and often restrictive environments. EF programs also support the creation of technology tools to improve accountability in governance, for example, by facilitating citizen access to public procurement data and supporting the expansion of digital government services. EF's successful track record using technology to build trust as well as to simulate face-to-face training and coaching through online platforms, particularly in hard-to-reach communities and difficult operating environments, sets EF's technology integration in programming apart. 

To learn more about EF's use of technology in programming, click here

Youth and Leadership

Through fellowships, grants and exchanges, EF is actively growing a network of engaged, educated, and internationally-minded youth and entrepreneurs. EF empowers young people to grow into proactive, informed, and engaged citizens by encouraging self-awareness, critical reflection, and community action. At a critical time in global affairs, through our education programming, we are actively working to grow and expand relationships between American and Russian youth and social entrepreneurs.

To learn more about EF’s youth and leadership programs, click here.

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