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Tales of Roma Women's Resistance: Roma womens organizing in southeastern Europe

July 5, 2022

This collection of stories explores the diverse realities of Roma women, girls and LGBTQI+ people, as well as the realities of activists who advocate for change on the frontlines in the Southeast Europe region. Building on 19 semi-structured interviews with activists conducted between 2018 and 2022, this research also examines the intersectional nature of the challenges that Roma girls, women and LGBTQI+ youth face in their specific contexts, through the prism of activists who have been tailoring their approaches to address and advocate for these issues.

Ending Street Homelessness in Vanguard Cities Across the Globe: An International Comparative Study

April 5, 2022

Street homelessness is one of the most extreme, and visible, manifestations of profound injustice on the planet, but often struggles to achieve priority attention at international level. The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH's) A Place to Call Home initiative, launched in 2017, represented a concerted effort to support cities across the globe to eradicate street homelessness. A first cohort of 13 'Vanguard Cities' committed to a specific target on ending or reducing street homelessness by December 2020. Our independent evaluation of this initiative found that:Two Vanguard Cities – Glasgow and Sydney – fully met their self-defined target reductions for end 2020. In addition, Greater Manchester, while it did not meet its exceptionally ambitious goal of 'ending all rough sleeping', recorded an impressive 52% reduction against baseline.Overall, there was evidence of reductions in targeted aspects of street homelessness in over half of the Vanguard Cities. In most of the remaining cities data limitations, sometimes as a result of COVID, meant that it was not possible to determine trends. In only one Vanguard City – Edmonton – was there an evidenced increase in street homelessness over baseline levels.Key enablers of progress in reducing street homelessness included the presence of a lead coordinating agency, and coordinated entry to homelessness services, alongside investment in specialized and evidence-based interventions, such as assertive street outreach services, individual case management and Housing First.Key barriers to progress included heavy reliance on undignified and sometimes unsafe communal shelters, a preoccupation with meeting immediate physiological needs, and sometimes perceived spiritual needs, rather than structural and system change, and a lack of emphasis on prevention. Aggressive enforcement interventions by police and city authorities, and documentary and identification barriers, were also counter-productive to attempts to reduce street homelessness.A key contextual variable between the Vanguard Cities was political will, with success in driving down street homelessness associated with high-level political commitments. An absolute lack of funds was a major challenge in all of the Global South cities, but also in resource-poor settings in the Global North. Almost all Vanguard Cities cited pressures on the affordable housing stock as a key barrier to progress, but local lettings and other policies could make a real difference.The impact of the COVID-19 crisis differed markedly across the Vanguard Cities, with people at risk of street homelessness most effectively protected in the UK and Australian cities. Responses were less inclusive and ambitious in the North American and Global South cities, with more continued use of 'shared air' shelters, albeit that in some of these contexts the pandemic prompted better coordination of local efforts to address street homelessness.IGH involvement was viewed as instrumental in enhancing the local profile, momentum and level of ambition attached to reducing street homelessness in the Vanguard Cities. IGH's added value to future cohorts of cities could be maximised via a focus on more tailored forms of support specific to the needs of each city, and also to different types of stakeholders, particularly frontline workers.

Impact of Covid-19 and Zagreb Earthquake on CSOs in Contemporary Culture and Arts

January 1, 2021

The Kultura Nova Foundation joined the efforts of many European and international organisations, institutions and supranational bodies in collecting data on the vulnerability and resilience of culture, and in May 2020 it initiated longitudinal research on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Zagreb earthquake of March 22, 2020 on civil society organisations working in contemporary culture and arts. The key motivation for this research, apart from the obvious need to empirically identify the effects of the global crisis and the earthquake on the culture and arts sector, is the need to study these effects from different perspectives.

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.

Do it Together : Practices and Tendencies of Participatory Governance in Culture in the Republic of Croatia

May 24, 2018

This book builds on the results of a two-year project "Approaches to Participatory Governance of Cultural Institutions", which Kultura Nova Foundation implemented with the support of UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), and is published in Croatian and English.Based on various collections of data, conducted analyses and gained insights, this book intends to serve stakeholders involved in practices of participatory governance in culture as well as those who recognise the values of sustainable and good participatory governance of cultural resources and hence create new initiatives. It also aims to serve in further improving the institutional and legislative framework for the development of participatory governance in culture in the Republic of Croatia.Besides the wide theoretical coverage and analysis of concepts such as cultural participation, decentralisation, local cultural planning and development and participatory governance in culture, it includes seven case studies comprising seven different models of participatory governance of socio-cultural centres that are being developed in different parts of Croatia.

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 (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 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)

Mid-term Evaluation of NGO Programmes Under EEA Grants 2009-2014

December 1, 2014

The EEA Financial Mechanism (2009-2014) have committed € 160,4 million to support seventeen NGO Programmes in sixteen countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain. The overall objective of the EEA Grants NGO Programmes is strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development in each of the beneficiary countries. As of 30 of June 2014, 957 projects in total of € 53,793,561 have been supported mainly in the fields of democracy, citizen participation, human rights, social justice and empowerment, sustainable development and provision of basic welfare services. The mid-term evaluation of the NGO Programmes funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism (2009- 2014) is an independent formative evaluation. Its objective was two-fold: 1) to assess the progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes, and 2) to inform policies for the next financial period. The main purpose of this evaluation was to provide an expert independent mid-term assessment of the contribution of the EEA Grants 2009-2014 to the NGO sectors in the beneficiary states operating NGO Programmes. The evaluation was of dual nature: (1) of a formative evaluation to identify progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes and (2) of a forward oriented strategic review to inform policies for the next financial period.

Deinstitutionalization in Croatia

July 1, 2014

The Croatian government is undertaking a five-year plan to move people with intellectual and physical disabilities from confinement in two long-stay institutions, to supported housing within their communities.This paper examines a 17-year investment by the Mental Health Initiative of the Open Society Public Health Program to make these reforms possible. It reviews the development of civil society engagement, past organizational failures, changes in international law and political pressure, the roots of government partnership, and future challenges and opportunities.  

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.

Mapping Digital Media: Croatia

August 27, 2012

The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.Croatia is well ahead of the curve. Experimental broadcasting via digital signals began in 2002 and the last analog television signals were switched off in September 2011. The country has the highest free-to-air digital terrestrial coverage in Europe, exceeding 99 percent of national territory, and it is the main television platform for the majority of the population.Television remains the dominant medium for both information and entertainment. However, the internet is the most trusted medium for news and information. Radio has experienced a marginal decline in listenership, but print media have been hit hardest by the globaleconomic downturn and audience migration online.In the final analysis, this report finds that policy has been responsive to digitization and that the process has done much to democratize and pluralize Croatian media. It has not yet, however, neutralized the power of dominant media organizations, or indeed the influence wielded by political elites and advertisers. There is also evidence that in response to digitization, journalism across sectors has become increasingly tabloid and oriented towards soft news, and there are uncertainties as regards the sustainability of public interest media.

Parent’s Participation in the Social Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

February 1, 2012

Young children with disabilities frequently face stigmatization; they are more prone to exclusion, abandonment and institutionalisation—often leaving their developmental needs unmet. Equally, the parents of children with disabilities can face isolation and poverty as they attempt to negotiate adequate services for their children to enable them to reach their potential.Segregated special education kindergartens and schools, although often focussed on meeting children's needs, can in fact exacerbate children's isolation in society. The Early Childhood Program at Open Society Foundations strongly advocates for inclusive access to education and children's services as outlined in the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Recognising parents as experts on the barriers to full inclusion that their children face, the Early Childhood Program believes that family involvement is paramount in promoting inclusive practices. This report on the attitudes and actions of parents of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, researched by the Open University with support from the Open Society Foundations, highlights the importance of parent's organisations as a resource and support network for children and parents alike. It also emphasises the potential of parents groups to become powerful advocates for inclusive education.