The data were collected from interviews, questionnaires and published material from the main donors operating in Kosovo, BiH, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania. Information was gathered on the overall amounts of funding, the proportion of funding allocated to civil society development; specific initiatives and issue focus; and target recipients.
The list of donors was compiled based on information provided by EU/TACSO and from various existing databases. The categories of assistance types were selected based on current strategies and activities identified by international donors operating across the region. The definitions offered for each category (Table 1, below) were devised by the research team, based on the most inclusive interpretation of the activity as operationalised by donors, and reflected in the types of project underway across the Western Balkans.
Respondents were asked to provide information on the period 2010-11, but to forecast changes and to identify initiatives that had ceased or were about to end. Data was checked and cross-referenced with published information from websites and annual reports. Respondents were asked whether their organisation / foundation prioritised various themes and strategies, and to answer “yes” or “no”, or to state that a theme or focus was “cross-cutting” (CC), i.e. was an outcome of other assistance initiatives, or was an objective that ran through all strategies (e.g. gender mainstreaming, concern for the environment, youth etc.)
Drawing on Carothers’ conceptualisation of a political approach – assistance geared towards ensuring that democrats are securely in power and to consolidate their power vis-à-vis non-democrats, and to achieve this by directing aid towards key political institutions and processes, including advocacy-oriented civil society organisations (2009: 6-8) – the following priorities are classified as specifically characteristic of a “political” approach:
(i) institution building (including support for political elites and political parties);
(ii) capacity building and technical assistance for government and state agencies.
Drawing also on Carothers’ conceptualization of adevelopmental approach “look(ing) beyond an exclusively political definition of democracy to broader conceptions that incorporate socioeconomic concerns” (2009: 8), and based on the notion that support channelled through civil society rather than elites is essentially characteristic of a developmental approach to democracy promotion that sees change as “a slow, iterative process, measured in decades and marked by the gradual accumulation of small gains” (2009:8), the following priorities are classified as specifically “developmental” insofar as they focus either on longer-term socio-economic development, on local community development, or aspects of democratic consolidation:
(i) economic and private sector development;
(ii) assistance for local community organisations / CSOs and CSO networks
(iii) strengthening civil society – core funding, institution building (block grants rather than just project funding);
(v) minority rights and inter-ethnic co-operation;
(vi) infrastructure development;
(vii) youth and education and
(viii) service provision.
The columns shaded in some cases (Regional co-operation and development; media development and support; specific initiatives for Serb communities in north) are deemed to be potentially a mix of political, developmental and governance-oriented approaches insofar as they may involve support for elite institutions and/or civil society assistance, or focus on building the relationship between sectors across the region. Information relating to the specific activity being supported is included, where available, in footnotes.
Governance-oriented strategies include measures and initiatives designed specifically to build the partnership between sectors and to deliver a shift in hierarchies and the augmentation of the roles of non-state actors so as to increase their deliberative power and influence. In terms of categories for this research, governance objectives are deemed to include:
(i) training ministries to engage non-state and private actors; and
(ii) training civil society to engage state agencies.
Wherever possible donors were asked to elaborate on their initiatives in order to better identify the nature and focus of the provision and qualifying information is presented below the table in footnotes. Categorising initiatives is not straightforward: some funding initiatives are ambiguous in terms of what they seek to achieve, others are interpreted and understood differently by certain donors, or are not easily categorised. For example, technical assistance for civil society may involve advocacy training to enable elite-focused NGOs to lobby parliament (political), or result in building the basic capacities of enmeshed local networks and nascent organisations to facilitate social and economic development (developmental); the impact may also help support the interaction between CSOs and state ministries (governance-oriented). Again, it is only through qualitative interviews that such information is revealed and the exact focus iterated and the qualifying information, where appropriate and necessary, is provided as a footnote.
Respondents were specifically asked to elaborate on their organisation’s provision of support for civil society so as to identify whether this involved working with political parties (political), with citizen organisations (developmental), or directly with government / state agencies (governance-oriented). Similarly, more information was sought with regard to Regional co-operation initiatives insofar as it is acknowledged that these may involve government-to-government initiatives (more political), NGO to NGO co-operation and networking (developmental), or multi-level interaction around specific policies and initiatives (governance-oriented).
TABLE 1: Definition of funding categories
Environment Funding for environmental clean-up programmes; education and awareness campaigns; environmental organisations working on “green” projects Developmental focus Assistance for local community / CSOs / CSO networks Specific assistance made available for local (as opposed to national level) organisations and networks – training, project funding, facilitating co-operation etc. Developmental focus Capacity / technical assistance for civil society Training specifically for CSO / NGOs; network development at local or national level. Developmental focus Economic and private sector development (incl. rural development) Programmes designed to boost employment, engender entrepreneurialism and support trades, crafts and other economic sectors. Developmental focus Minority rights and inter-ethnic co-operation (including Roma) Support for NGOs/CSOs working with ethnic minority communities; support for advocacy; training and the facilitation of dialogue Developmental focus Youth and education (including funds for NGOs and training schemes) Programmes designed to engage young people in a range of activities from sport to political leadership. Developmental focus Service provision Direct provision of financial assistance for social and economic services such as credit facilities, health care, schools etc. Developmental focus Infrastructure (water, energy, transport) Direct provision, or finds channelled through intermediaries, for the development of physical infrastructure Developmental focus Strengthening civil society – core funding, institutions Assistance for theinstitutions of civil society, usually in the form of core funding for organisations (as oppose to short-term project grants); resources not targeted towards particular projects and money that can be used to build the organisation (salaries, rents, equipment) Developmental focus Training ministries to engage non-state actors (NSAs) Assistance specifically geared towards engaging government and state actors with NGOs / CSOs / private sector, and building relations between Governance Training civil NSAs to engage with ministries and state actors Assistance specifically geared towards engaging NGOs / CSOs / private sector with government, ministries, state agencies, and building relations between Governance Regional co-operation and development assistance Programmes and initiatives specifically to stimulate and support regional co-operation (all levels) Developmental / Political / Governance Media development and support Vocational and other training; monitoring and capacity building; advising governments and officials. But may also focus on civil society and involve training for NGOs to deliver change in content and production as core democratic institution. Political / Developmental Specific initiatives for Serb communities in north (Mitrovica and environs) Initiatives may include training for political elites, or (more typically) support for NGO/CSO networks. Developmental /Political Institution building (including support for political elites) Mentoring, training and support for political parties, governments (central and local), judges and law enforcement; some high-level non-governmental organisations (trade unions) Political focus Capacity / technical assistance for government Specific aid targeted towards ministries and officials at central and local level. Political focus
*Click on each country flag to go to the Donor Database of that country or to the available Donors’ Coordination Forums.
Folow this link to get an overveiw of what the Donor Databases and Donor Coordination Forums in the Balkans offer as information.
II. Government aid effectiveness
III. CSO development effectiveness
Tembo F., Wells A., with Sharma B., Mendizabal E. (2007), Multi-donor Support to Civil society and Engaging with ‘Non-traditional’ Civil Society A Light-touch Review of DFID’s Portfolio, Overseas Development Institute, London, UK
V. Official Development Assistance (ODA) Country Data