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Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Monitoring 2019

August 1, 2019

Presently, the culture of open discussion seems to be threatened in an increasing number of countries. In Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE's) democracies, recent political developments appear to jeopardize progresses made in the past. Against this background, this study aims at shedding light on the dynamics of CEE'scivil society and gives a brief overview of the status quo and recent developments that directly affect civil society. The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts. The inclusion of expert assessments on civil society aims at giving a voice primarily to practitioners. Therefore, the study included an online survey in each participating country, addressing CSO representatives operating in various fields of activity.

Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges and Opportunities

March 1, 2017

More than two decades have passed since nonprofit and third-sector researchers "discovered" Central and Eastern Europe as an area of scholarly interest. After the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain, scholars noted the emergence of new civil society actors and were curious to understand the role these actors would play in their societies. Since that time, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has experienced intensive periods of transformation, conflict and renewal. This study is guided by the intention to develop a better understanding of the current state of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, the diverse pathways of its development, and its possible future trajectories.

Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws: The Operating Environment for Foundations in Europe 2015

June 7, 2015

This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts.

Comparative Highlights of Foundation Laws: The Operating Environment for Foundations in Europe 2015 (Chinese Translation)

January 1, 2015

This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts. (Edition translated from English to Chinese)

The Operating Environment for Public-Benefit Foundations in the Western Balkans Region : A Project Supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund

November 1, 2014

That study explores the operating environment for public-benefit foundations in the Western Balkans region. Examining the legal and tax framework for foundations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, it draws on data provided by local foundation law experts in each of the countries surveyed and presents a comparative analysis.

Re/integration of Trafficked persons : Working with Trafficked Children and Youth

October 1, 2014

This paper was developed in the context of the Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme (TVRP), which funds NGO's in several countries of Southeastern Europe. It is the fifth of a series that aim to shed light on good practices in the area of re/integration as well as on important lessons learned.This paper addresses the issue of the re/integration of trafficked children and youth, drawing on the first hand experiences of service providers in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.Children and youth have become an increasing portion of persons being trafficked from and within the Balkan region. Some are exploited sexually, others are exploited for different forms of labour, including begging and street selling. This paper discusses each of the different services and types of support needed to meet the specific re/integration needs of trafficked children and youth in the light of international standards. It also looks into challenges facing service providers such as the identification of trafficked children, prosecution of perpetrators due to gaps in the criminal code as well as forster care.

Nations in Transit 2014

June 12, 2014

This is the the 18th edition of Freedom House's comprehensive report on post-communist democratic governance -- highlights recent setbacks to democracy across Eurasia and the Balkans, as well as in Central Europe. Russia served as the model and inspiration for policies that have led to an uninterrupted retreat from free institutions throughout Eurasia and in 2013 brought a new and alarming level of repression. In Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and several other countries, civil society responded with remarkable resistance to repressive governance. The year also featured improved elections and peaceful transfers of power in Kosovo, Albania, and Georgia.

Connected Women: How Mobile Can Support Women's Economic and Social Empowerment

March 1, 2014

This report explores how mobile services provided by Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation are enabling women to seize new opportunities and improve their lives. Accenture Sustainability Services were commissioned to conduct research on the services and to assess their potential social and economic impact if they were widely available across Vodafone's markets by 2020. It showcases the projects and the work of those involved and also poses the question -- what would the benefit to women and to society at large be if projects such as these were taken to scale and achieved an industrialscale of growth? This reflects the Foundation's commitment not solely to the development of pilots but rather the Trustees' ambition to see projects which lead to transformational change. In order to understand this more deeply, the Report looks at the benefits for women and society and providessome financial modelling for how the engagement of commercial players could achieve industrial, sustainable growth in these areas. Accenture has provided the modelling and, given the public benefit and understanding which the report seeks to generate, these are shared openly for all in the mobile industry to understand and share. It is the Trustees' hope that the collaboration with Oxford University and Accenture in the delivery of this Report will stimulate not only the expansion of existing charitable programmes but will also seed other philanthropic, social enterprise or commercial initiatives.

Effectiveness Review: Local Partnership for Rural Development in Albania

December 5, 2013

The 'Local Partnership for Rural Development' project formed part of the Oxfam GB Raising her Voice (RHV) portfolio, which aimed to support and strengthen women's roles in shaping policy and local governance. Operating through partners in three rural areas of Albania, the project was designed to address key aspects of governance by providing negotiation structures with national institutions through the introduction of Local Action Groups (LAGs) in order to ensure local development and investment decisions benefited poor women and men. This report documents the findings of a qualitative impact evaluation, finalised in April 2013, which used process tracing to assess the effectiveness of the project.

Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in: Albania

May 31, 2013

Albania signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) 2006 and it is also actively participating in the political and economic dialogue to present its application to become a member of the European Union. Pre-accession financial assistance is provided to Albania by the EU, focusing on Justice and Home Affairs, Public Administration Reform, Transport, Environment and Climate Change, Social Development, and Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition, Albania participates in the EU cross-border programmes and Albanian civil society received financial support from the EU in the fields of justice, protection of vulnerable groups (disadvantaged women, children and the elderly, and minority groups) and environmental protection.Roma communities are considered the most vulnerable minority group in Albania, facing widespread poverty, socio-economic marginalization and frequent discrimination, particularly regarding access to education, social protection, health, employment and adequate housing. Roma are not recognized publicly as a distinct minority and they have the status of an ethno-linguistic minority. Regardless the Albania Constitution addresses all the basic principles of human and minority rights. Albania is also part of the main international treaties concerning human and minority rights.Albania does not have a National Roma Integrated Strategy. However, several policy measures in favor of Roma Social Inclusion were undertaken by the Albanian Government. The National Strategy for the Improvement of Roma Living Conditions 2003-2013 was adopted in 2003 followed by the Decade Action Plan 2010-2015. The Roma Strategy addresses several broad fields such as education and training, cultural heritage and family, employment, poverty and social protection, health and housing, as well as public order, justice and civil administration. Nevertheless, its implementation was criticized for being slow, due to insufficient human and financial resources, inadequate institutional coordination at the national and local level, and deficiencies in the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.Through the present report, the Albanian civil society coalition established for this purpose, aimed to assess national policy developments, evaluate the local impact of flagship initiative that promote Roma integration, explain through case studies why and to what extent certain government measures have been successful or not, and formulate recommendations on how to improve the implementation of above strategic documents.

Mapping Digital Media: Albania

February 23, 2012

Examines trends in media consumption; digital media's effects on public and state broadcasters, journalism, and civic activism; and trends in digital technology, business, and regulation, including copyright and transparency issues. Makes recommendations.

Education Policy and Equal Education Opportunities

January 1, 2012

Education Policy and Equal Education Opportunities, published by the Open Society Education Support Program, examines the role of public education in addressing a wide variety of unequal educational opportunities found across the world. The publication brings together analyses from countries in Europe and Asia (Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Turkey, and United Kingdom) that examine the fundamental question of how public education policies are either mediating or reinforcing unequal education opportunities.Education Policy and Equal Education Opportunities focuses on key areas that are shaping the debates and issues of contemporary inclusive education policy:  educational equity; education politics, policy, and governance; financing educational services; and creating educational opportunities for marginalized groups such as the Roma. By presenting this set of papers, the publication aims to provide fresh insights about educational inclusion and how it can enhance equal education opportunity.