BCSDN strategic approach to monitor the environment in which civil society is functioning is to consolidate the existing research and knowledge in a consistent and applicative matrix defining the basic of a so called Civil society Acquis and benchmarks/indicators of success, which should be used as shadow monitoring for CSOs, EU and as a self-assessment tool for Governments.
For this purpose BCSDN with members and experts, including the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL), have developed the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development (CSDev) – a tool for measuring the health of the legal, regulatory, and financial environment in which civil society organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey operate.
Using the Matrix, BCSDN members, on an annual basis, are monitoring the enabling environment for CSDev, and more specifically these three areas: Basic Legal Guarantees of Freedoms; Framework for CSOs’ Financial Viability and Sustainability; Government – CSO Relationship. This monitoring exercise is used for (country-specific) advocacy activities aiming to provide consistent and continuous pressure to national Governments in the development and implementation of appropriate legislation in the area of CSDev. All national reports are compiled in a regional one aimed at international stakeholders and advocacy.
Recognizing the value of and parallels with the Monitoring Matrix, DG Enlargement/NEAR has been using BCSDN’s reports as a means of verifications for the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries - an important strategic document of the European Commission to which development BCSDN has also contributed.
In 2019, the Monitoring Matrix is supported by Regional Civil Society Hub, funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) and Sida.
[This activity is in accordance with Priority 1 (To facilitate a common understanding of the enabling environment for civil society development among key actors and recognition of a common framework and tools (MM), Priority 2 To promote and recognize civil society as a competent, democratic partner in the EU accession process) and Priority 3 (To support the development of models and sources for CS access and effective use of (financial) resources.] from BCSDN Strategic Outlook 2017- 2020.]
What to expect
- Revision of Monitoring Matrix methodology on data gathering and instruments developing a guide for unifying interpretations
- Development of a new Monitoring Matrix online platform
- Regular monitoring activities such as the Civicus Monitor and the USAID Civil Society Index
- Regional report 2020 preparation (based on monitoring reports of members and updates)
On 15 March in Belgrade, the Serbian Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, in the…