How to make civil society organisations more successful - webinar

decentralized management

Why couldn't the Spanish conquer the Apache for 200 years after they did this to the Aztecs in days?

If you want to learn more about the two main types of management systems, how to take advantage of their strong facets and unlock the potential of your organisation by introducing other approaches, welcome to our upcoming two-day online training “How to make civil society organisations more successful”. It will take place twice within the month of February:

  • 12 and 19 February 2022, 10:30-13:30 EET

  • 16-17 February 2022, 18:00-20:30 EET

We will consider the decentralised governance systems of civil organisations as a way to achieve an actively functional and strong civil society. We will talk about and give examples of the less common type – a “starfish”, where organisations are able to recover and renew if part of them is “cut off”. And for its opposite – “spider” – organisations dependent on their leader, which, although with many “legs”, cease to exist when the head is removed.

The training will provide space for exercises, discussions, group work, sharing of experience, tasks for preparation before the second part. In order for you to be fully involved and to make the best possible connection to each other, albeit behind the screens, it is desirable to switch on with a camera and a microphone.

Who is this training for?

Representatives of civil society organisations, initiative groups, informal associations looking for a way to improve or change their organizational structure, their internal processes and working patterns, the approach to their members, like-minded people, target communities, collaborators.


  • What is decentralisation and what are its main features?

  • How to distinguish “starfish” from “spider”?

  • How to establish a “starfish” management system in our organisation?

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the Starfish model.

  • Boss or inspirer — the role of the person who acts as a “catalyst” in establishing a decentralised management system.

  • In search of the golden mean — a mixed type of management.


Ilian Iliev is an environmentalist, part of the team of the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, Varna. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of environmental protection, civic participation, campaign organisation, training and consulting of active citizens and NGOs. He participated in challenging the first successful eco-referendum in Bulgaria - against the construction of an incinerator in the town of Kaspichan, which took place in 2014.

Currently Ilian is part of the team of the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation (BEPF), which provides consultations and advice to civic groups on topics, such as civic participation, interaction with institutions, ecology and living environment.

Deadline for enrollment: 10 February 2022 via this form.

All enrolled participants will receive a link to join the webinar via Zoom. Participation is free of charge, but seats are limited. In case you sign up and are subsequently prevented from joining, please inform us in time to offer the place to enable others interested to participate.

A recording from the webinar will subsequently be available in the Resource section of BEPF’s website.


For questions: Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation,