Three research papers have been awarded through an open call to organizations working in the Balkan region, within the framework of the activities that the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) is conducting with support from and in partnership with the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE). In an era of shrinking civic space, pandemic, and post-pandemic challenges, CSOs need to build coalitions with other stakeholders to ensure broader support for what they aim to achieve and to promote civic space effectively. The shared benefits of open civic space – the rule of law, accountable governance, and civic freedoms – require collective responsibility from a wide range of stakeholders. Recognizing the ever-greater need to get broader stakeholders on board for achieving ambitious sustainable goals, CSOs need to better engage with other actors beyond their usual suspects, such as the business sector, trade unions, and informal groups, to work towards more accountable and effective development cooperation that is based on the respect of human rights and common objectives that bring positive changes in our communities.
Whitin the open call issued by the BCSDN, three research studies has been conducted by three organizations, from Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia.
The study “Exploring CSOs-businesses partnerships in the context of Albania” has been developed by the Albanian Center for Economic Research (ACER), providing an overview of the challenges and opportunities that the Albanian CSOs face while partnering with the private sector. Thirty Albanian CSOs were interviewed for the analysis, half of whom had previously formed partnerships with Albanian businesses. These fifteen CSOs have explored a range of relationship opportunities, from philanthropy—a more conventional kind of collaboration—to more strategic alliances.
The study “Corporate sustainability reporting as a mean for engaged private sector – Regulatory framework, corporate sustainability and reporting practices in North Macedonia” has been developed by the European Policy Institute Skopje, presenting, and comparing the sustainability reporting requirements in the EU and North Macedonia. The new Corporate Governance Code and ESG Reporting guidelines of the Macedonian Stock Exchange are the first steps that introduce environmental social and governance reporting standards in North Macedonia and effort to meet the EU’s and global best practices. The analysis shows that the CGC does not fully reflect the EU’s disclosure requirements. The scope of application has been altered to reflect the size of listed companies at MSE. The report surveys sustainability disclosure practices among Macedonian companies and presents three case studies.
The study ‘Who Cooperates Wins’ has been developed by the Trag Foundation, aiming to analyse of the best partnerships between the civil and the business sector from the perspective of a foundation that promotes the development of an open and civil society based on solidarity. The analytical strategy of this report was shaped by the available dataset, which was derived from practical work.