Call for Applications for AACSOD CSOs (Cycle 2 – 2024)



The Non-Governmental Organizations Initiative (NGOi) is an initiative of the American University of Beirut (AUB) that provides different bespoke services focused on development, institutional strengthening and capacity building to the NGO sector in the Middle East and North Africa Region.



The Arab Alliance for CSO Development (AACSOD – أقصد)  is a 5-year flagship program established by NGOi in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Asfari Foundation to provide services to civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Arab World. These services include tailored organizational development, capacity building, institutional strengthening, contextualization & Arabization, knowledge sharing, and organizational certification.

Each year, three countries from the Arab World will be selected for AACSOD implementation. In each of these three countries, five CSOs will be selected to engage in AACSOD’s organizational development program and ideally reach its organizational targets through performance improvement and strengthened internal capacities. The selected CSOs will be enrolled in an organizational development track/process through which, several performance improvement planning sessions, and monitoring and evaluation visits take place. The CSOs may also voluntarily select to undergo NGOi’s organizational certification with the aim to become AUB-certified NGOs/CSOs. The selected CSOs will also be provided exclusive access to training and capacity building opportunities.



AACSOD is launching its second cycle of institutional strengthening and capacity building through which 15 CSOs will be selected to benefit from the program’s services over a period of 12-18 months. In this cycle, small to medium-sized CSOs based and operating in Iraq, Kuwait, or Morocco are encouraged to apply to enroll in the AACSOD program starting January 2024. All the fees associated with the program’s services will be waived for the selected CSOs. A National Expert will be assigned to each selected CSO to support them throughout their development journey.

The selected CSOs will benefit from an array of bespoke services including but not limited to:

  1. Organizational Development and Institutional Strengthening: A standardized process of performance improvement planning based on a self-assessment conducted by a CSOs and validated by an expert, coupled with mentoring, coaching, and regular progress monitoring and evaluation.
  2. Training & Capacity Building: A set of contextualized courses on NGOs operational and strategic management that will be available in English & Arabic.
  3. Organizational Certification: A voluntary and non-governmental review process that assesses the governance and administrative structures as well as operational principles of the NGOs. The performance of the organization on the certification process is assessed using evidence-based criteria.



To be eligible to apply to the AACSOD program, you must:

  • Be a charity, not-for-profit, non-governmental or civil society organization
  • Be legally registered and operating in Iraq, Kuwait, or Morocco
  • Be serving communities residing in Iraq, Kuwait, or Morocco
  • Have completed at least 1 project or 2 years or more of operations in Iraq, Kuwait, or Morocco
  • Be able to invest time and commit team effort to implement performance improvement steps at the level of the organization
  • Have principles and values that are supportive of diversity, equity, inclusion, fairness, respect to human rights, and responsibility towards the community.
  • Be able to communicate in Arabic and/or English



To apply to the AACSOD program, please fill the application form below. As part of the application, you will be asked to submit a letter of intent, legal documents including notice of registration, bylaws, and articles of association, as well as one progress or final report of a project that your organization has implemented in Iraq, Kuwait, or Morocco.

Shortlisted CSOs will be contacted via e-mail by the NGOi team for an online or in-person meeting.

Selected CSOs should be ready to start their organizational development journey on January 1, 2024 – and are expected to attend a virtual or in-person training on the web-based platforms and systems that will be used as part of the program.


Deadline to Apply:

December 15, 2023 at 5:00 PM (Beirut time; GMT+2:00).

Review & Selection Process

A review and selection committee comprised of two external experts with experience in CSO development and two experts from the NGOi team who are familiar with the organizational development track of NGOi will blindly review the submitted applications and corresponding documents. All documents submitted as part of the application process will be blinded and any identifier that may reveal the identity of the organization will be omitted from the documents to prevent any scoring bias throughout the review process. Experts will score the application based on the outlined evaluation criteria and using a standardized scoring sheet. The ten CSOs with highest scores in each country will be shortlisted to undergo an interview after which a final score will be generated and the five CSOs with highest scores will be selected to enroll in the AACSOD program.

Please view the CSO Scoring Criteria here.


For more information about this call, you may reach the team by email to or by phone to +961 01-350 000 ext. 4952


Data Disclaimer:

NGOi may keep your CSO contact details for communication of other opportunities that may arise in the future.



No monetary funds will be granted to the selected CSOs by the NGOi at the American University of Beirut.


To Attend the AACSOD Orientation Event in Your Country

Call for Application has ended