Reforming civil society organisations in Moldova

Project completed
Women and men assembled in a room
People in three districts (Soroca, Causeni and Cahul) learn how to get access to information of public interest and ensure administrative transparency at local and district levels © SDC

The Engaging Citizens and Empowering Communities project aims to strengthen civil society organisations by enabling them to play a crucial role in promoting and safeguarding the rights and interests of vulnerable and marginalised people in Moldova.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Democratic participation and civil society
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.12.2015 - 31.12.2021
CHF  3’150’000

In Moldova, confidence in institutions is low, the perception of corruption high and poverty is only declining mainly thanks to remittances from abroad. Growing inequalities can be seen between the rich and the poor, the towns and rural areas and different population groups. People are affected by discrimination for various reasons (age, illness, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religion or language). Such people are excluded from Moldovan society at different levels. They face discrimination and violence and have limited access to health services, education and economic opportunities. Moreover, these minority groups are very poorly represented in public life and in decision-making bodies. Although Moldova has signed the majority of treaties concerning protection of human rights and the fight against discrimination, the United Nations and civil society have noted several serious failings.

Improving good governance...

Many civil society organisations exist in Moldova. They are often weak, however, and thus not included in the social dialogue. In addition, these organisations have difficulty cooperating and speaking with one voice. But there does exist a genuine willingness to participate more in policy development with the government.

By working together, civil society organisations and local authorities can influence public policy for greater inclusion and equality and also improve good governance practices. To do that, they need to do the following:

  • strengthen their advocacy and monitoring activities;

  • make themselves more representative and inclusive with respect to the vulnerable and minorities.

... to change the living conditions of many citizens

The Engaging Citizens and Empowering Communities project supported by the SDC targets 180 civil society organisations (national and local), 4 networks and 3 districts in particular. The goal is to create partnerships between several organisations sharing common concerns and problems. Strengthened and collaborative civil society organisations are more effective in influencing government policies. In particular, they target measures aimed at improving the living conditions of vulnerable people by reducing inequalities as regards access to:

  • social protection and health insurance;

  • education and labour market.