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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.

Economic Empowerment for Women Affected by Conflict

May 1, 2019

Since 1993, Women for Women International has served more than 479,000 marginalised women affected by conflict. Through our yearlong programme marginalised women are supported to: earn and save money; influence decisions; improve their well-being; and connect to networks for support. We see promising results in our monitoring and evaluation efforts.Based on our evidence and complemented by global studies, we highlight four key, interlinked components that are necessary for effectively supporting women's economic empowerment in conflict:1. Work with men to address discriminatory gender norms. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just "women's issues".2. Holistic and integrated programming. Women's needs and experiences in conflict are complex and interlinked. Solely economic interventions alone have not proven to yield long-term benefits.3. Build women's economic knowledge and skills. This is vital to supporting them to build agency and influence decisions, increase their income and increase their resilience to economic shocks.4. Informal and formal support networks. In the absence of government and financial services, networks are key to supporting women to access financial support, particularly for savings and income.In conclusion, this paper makes five recommendations for international governments and donors to effectively deliver on international commitments and support marginalised women's economic empowerment in conflict-affected contexts:1. Urgently increase funding for women's rights organisations.2. Support economic empowerment programmes that include men in their programme design.3. Target the most marginalised women.4. Support holistic and integrated programming.5. Listen to the needs of marginalised women and actively include them in the design, implementation and review of economic empowerment programmes.

Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Executive Summary

May 30, 2018

Financial sustainability remains a critical challenge for civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world. Although a variety of toolkits and research papers exist examining specific sustainability strategies, many CSOs continue to struggle to develop and maintain the resources they need to carry out their missions. This constraint limits organizational autonomy by inhibiting long-term planning and flexibility in designing and implementing activities. Financial sustainability is also a key piece of the puzzle to empower local organizations to take greater ownership of the development process, as a robust resource base provides the resilience needed for organizations to experiment with new models that reduce long-term donor dependence. This paper synthesizes the findings from the analyses of both funders and CSOs. This represents one part of the three-part FFS research series, and is best considered alongside the other two papers in the series to give a holistic perspective on CSO financial sustainability: Funder Approaches to CSO Sustainability, which includes a deep-dive analysis of the landscape of strategies used by funders interested in supporting sustainability, and Understanding Factors Driving CSO Financial Sustainability, which lays out the full findings from interviews with representatives from more than 30 CSOs.

Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Understanding the Drivers of CSO Financial Sustainability

May 4, 2018

Financial sustainability remains a critical challenge for Civil Society Organization (CSOs) around the world. Although a variety of toolkits and research papers exist examining specific sustainability strategies , many CSOs continue to struggle to develop and maintain the resources needed to carry out their missions. The Facilitating Financial Sustainability (FFS) activity was launched in 2017 to develop and test ways that different actors (including donors, policymakers, intermediary organizations, and CSOs themselves) can work together to improve the factors that drive financial sustainability for local organizations in different developing world contexts. This paper covers an analysis of the drivers of CSO sustainability based on interviews with CSO representatives. This represents one part of the three-part FFS research series, and is best considered alongside the other papers in the series to give a holistic perspective on CSO financial sustainability: "Funder Approaches to Facilitating CSO Financial Sustainability", which provides an overview of the funding landscape for financial sustainability in the six countries included in the study, and "Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Synthesis Report", which brings together the key findings from both other papers in the series.

Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Synthesis Report

May 4, 2018

Financial sustainability remains a critical challenge for Civil Society Organization (CSOs) around the world. Although a variety of toolkits and research papers exist examining specific sustainability strategies , many CSOs continue to struggle to develop and maintain the resources needed to carry out their missions. The Facilitating Financial Sustainability (FFS) activity was launched in 2017 to develop and test ways that different actors (including donors, policymakers, intermediary organizations, and CSOs themselves) can work together to improve the factors that drive financial sustainability for local organizations in different developing world contexts. This paper synthesizes the findings from the analyses of both funders and CSOs. This represents one part of the three-part FFS research series, and is best considered alongside the other papers in the series to give a holistic perspective on CSO financial sustainability: "Understanding the Drivers of CSO Financial Sustianabiltiy", which includes an analysis of specific factor combinations that support CSO sustainability in different contexts, and "Funder Approaches to Financial Sustainability", which provides an overview of the funding landscape for CSO financial sustainability int he six countries included in the study.

Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Funder Approaches

May 4, 2018

Financial sustainability remains a critical challenge for Civil Society Organization (CSOs) around the world. Although a variety of toolkits and research papers exist examining specific sustainability strategies , many CSOs continue to struggle to develop and maintain the resources needed to carry out their missions. The Facilitating Financial Sustainability (FFS) activity was launched in 2017 to develop and test ways that different actors (including donors, policymakers, intermediary organizations, and CSOs themselves) can work together to improve the factors that drive financial sustainability for local organizations in different developing world contexts. This paper covers an analysis of funder strategies to support CSO financial sustainability. This represents one part of the three-part FFS research series, and is best considered alongside the other papers in the series to give a holistic perspective on CSO financial sustainability: "Understanding the Drivers of CSO Financial Sustainability", which includes an analysis of specific factor combinations that support CSO sustainability in different contexts, and "Facilitating Financial Sustainability: Synthesis Report", which brings together the key findings from the other two papers in the series.

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.

Data Matters: Data-Driven Policy Research Projects from Central and Eastern Europe

July 15, 2014

Since 2010, the Open Society Think Tank Fund has supported projects that propose new uses of data for advocacy and target non-traditional stakeholders, to develop challenging and complementary information sets for broader application in the policy sphere, and to use data sets to challenge commonly accepted facts in a given policy field. The Fund assisted think tanks with bringing these data sources to light; enhancing their usefulness by expansion, maintenance, and use of this information; integrating such enhancements into their daily routines; and promoting a new culture of presenting policy research findings and thus reaching untapped audiences.The Data Matters presents highlights and successes of projects supported between 2010 and 2013, illustrating how data matters in the everyday lives of citizens of many countries. This portfolio is offered as inspiration for members of NGOs, think tanks, and advocacy organizations who are focusing on using data for informing discussion on policy cha