Friday, 19 July 2013

Are Croatian CSOs Fit for the Implementation of International Development Cooperation Projects?

With the financial support of TACSO office Croatia and logistic support of Centre for Peace Studies from Zagreb (TRIALOG Partner), the independent consultancy firm K-faktor has conducted the first research on needs assessment and capacities of CSOs from Croatia for the implementation of international development cooperation (DEVCO) projects.

Totally 84 NGOs participated in the research. The first preliminary results show that 30 % of CSOs are already implementing DEVCO projects and 37 % are planning to start with the implementation in the near future. 50% of those who are implementing the projects are working within the topic „Governance and Human Rights“, 30 % in the field of „Human Development“ and some projects were implemented in the field of “Food and natural Resources”, “Economy” and “Trade”. Geographically, most of the projects were implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. Only 3 projects were implemented in Turkey and one in Burma/Mijianmar, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia.

When CSOs where asked where they are planning to implement future projects, the geographical distribution was the same. Most of the focus is on former Yugoslavia states and Turkey. Still there are no enough capacities for work in other geographical regions. This is in discrepancy with the strategic plan of Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MfA) which apart from the Western Balkans wants to be present through development cooperation in the South Mediterranean, Syria and Afghanistan. The answers to the questions related to financial capacities of NGOs for the implementation of international projects show that 56% of CSOs have less than 25% of their total organization budget dedicated to international projects. This affirms that the majority of activities are still targeting national level. Only two organizations said that their „international budget“ is up to 60% of the overall organization budget.

The funding for DEVCO projects is coming mostly from the EU, some local authority sources and from the national foundation for development of civil society. No NGOs were supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MfA). The research has also shown that there is a huge interest for joining the national CSO platform (97% are interested to join the platform once it will be established) and as a priorities for rising internal capacities they expressed the need for more information on DEVCO, better contacts and needs assessment of the partners from the states where is a need for DEVCO projects and better knowledge on possibilities and more opportunities for funding (on EU and national level).

This research will be the baseline for future activities of the national CSO platform and will also influence the MfA to include more CSOs in the implementation of national development policies. Full results will be available by the end of July 2013.

Information provided by Gordan Bosanac, Centre for Peace Studies

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