The relationship between donors and civil society organizations (CSOs) is usually associated with power, money and influence. But is this really so? And if so, is this really the only way or do other cases of donor that are flexible, open, quick to react on needs? We think that it is time to the test the stereotyped and generalized picture of donors and look closely at this many times troubled relationship.
The main focus of our policy work this year is in mapping donor strategies and practices in supporting civil society development in the Balkans in order to fuel the so-far experience with ideas and best practices for policy makers in times where funding civil society is rapidly shrinking , is neither a priority or in fashion. The research at the moment is focusing on the online survey, which together with the analysis of secondary data, interviews and the case studies etc. will be channeled into a policy paper that will be presented to stakeholders at a policy workshop in Brussels in November 2011.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
- Increase influence and ownership of donors’ strategies and coordination by local actors, esp. CSOs and public authorities;
- Increase aid and actor effectiveness;
- Strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation between stakeholders;
- Strengthen ability of CSOs in the Balkans for cross-border and cross-sectoral partnership.
The case studies will help us share best practices and give donors ideas on how to improve their support to civil society work. To do that, we need your help in sharing your experience in working with donors in supporting your work. These case studies should serve as an exchange of good practices in financing, in cooperation and in support from both CSO and donors side. The (non-exhaustive) topics that the case studies can cover are:
- Best / worst experience in funding
- Mechanisms/modes of good cooperation
- Ensuring a more enabling environment for CSOs: What can donors provide? What can other CSOs provide?
- Conflict of interest between donors in funding
- Overlap or lack of coordination between donor support
- Lack of coordination between donor headquarters and their local office
You can share your experience that will be published as an illustration of the findings of the study at ExecutiveOffice@balkancsd.net . There is no limitation to form and size of the case studies, but each study should focus on one topic only. The case studies should include concrete data, facts and should not be longer that 2-3 A4 pages. The deadline for submission of the studies in Friday, 19th August.