Pl SER Active Civil society Ph2

ACT-2 improves citizens’ participation in decision making at the local and national level through and with the support of civil society organizations (CSOs). Selected mission-driven CSOs are supported to strengthen constituency, diversify funding and effectively engage in advocacy. They jointly advocate with complementary CSOs and informal groups to increase impact and legitimacy. CSOs initiate dialogue and collaboration with local authorities, private sector and media to achieve development results.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Partecipazione democratica e società civile
Organisazione per l’uguaglianza di genere
01.11.2023 - 31.10.2027
CHF  5’996’000
Contesto Civil society in Serbia continues to face challenges in playing its democratic role as pressure on civil society organizations (CSOs), independent media and activists is continuing. Despite a certain degree of increase in civic activism around environmental issues and their influence on some public decisions, citizen engagement is still low, with 20% citizens participating in local initiatives. However, an encouraging trend is the growing citizens’ trust in CSOs. Most small and medium-sized CSOs remain poorly capacitated, struggling to strengthen constituency and mobilise diverse funding sources. The Government strategy on civil society enabling environment was adopted in 2022 and the Civil Society Council to serve as its dialogue platform was established in 2023. Yet, there remains a strong need for an open government, creating an enabling environment on the ground; as well as a need to further strengthen the legitimacy of CSOs to play their advocacy, citizens’ engagement and watch-dog roles.
Obiettivi Citizens influence public policies and hold authorities to account by engaging in public dialogue, participatory decision making and advocacy processes at local and national level, through and with support of strengthened, constituency – based, missiondriven and mutually connected CSOs, informal groups and other stakeholders. 
Gruppi target

ACT 2 will work with three groups of civic actors:

a) “partner CSOs”- mission driven CSOs, willing to strengthen constituency, improve financial diversification and engage citizens in advocacy initiatives

b) “associated CSOs”, participating in the joint advocacy initiatives led by the partner CSOs and

c) informal groups/movements, capable to mobilize citizens, working in complementarity with the partner CSOs to increase impact. ACT will also foster collaboration with other actors including public institutions, businesses, academia and media. Around 60,000 people are expected to participate in and influence public local decision making. 

Effetti a medio termine Outcome 1: Partner CSOs and informal groups are effective in pursuing their mission and engaging in advocacy, gradually increase and strengthen their constituency, diversify funding sources and are responsive and accountable to citizens. Outcome 2: Partner CSOs closely work with other CSOs and informal groups on shared interests, jointly advocate for them and build constituencies with the aim to achieve greater legitimacy and policy impact. Outcome 3: Civil society actors initiate, co-create and make use of existing spaces for dialogue, partnership and collaboration with local authorities, private sector, media, academia, and other stakeholders for creating stronger alliances around shared interests

Risultati principali attesi:  

  • “Partner CSOs” improved their organizational development; their financial diversity/viability and constituency basis 
  • Informal groups enabled and empowered to more effectively engage with citizens on shared issues of concern 
  • “Partner CSOs” regularly exchange knowledge and experience, coordinate activities and create networks with “associated CSOs” and “informal groups” within thematic domains; Joint advocacy initiatives are established around shared missions co-created by CSOs, networks and informal groups 
  • Civil society and citizens engage with local authorities, private sector, media, and academia in an op

Risultati fasi precedenti:   CT supported around 200 CSOs throughout Serbia to undertake advocacy initiatives, engage citizens in public dialogue and in becoming stronger, accountable to their constituencies, and responsive organisations, knowing how to build coalitions. As a result of the project 164.994 persons, benefited from services and initiatives provided by supported CSOs (e.g. social services and policies influenced by CSOs improving social protection and gender equality). Around 195 CSO advocacy initiatives have been implemented in the area of gender equality, social protection, environment, health etc. Joint initiatives with 16 local governments (LGs) responded to issues of public concern. This resulted in the adoption/amendments of 34 policy documents at local level and 11 policy documents at the national level, while the adoption of another 13 policies is expected in the following months. The level of citizens’ participation in the overall decision making in the same 16 LGs where partnership projects between LGs and CSOs have been supported, has increased from 12% in 2021 to 16% in 2023. 

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione con l'Europa dell'Est
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Economia privata
Organizzazione svizzera senza scopo di lucro
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Settore privato straniero Sud/Est

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori ACT has a common denominator on citizen participation with the following SDC supported projects and will continue coordination and exchange with them: Civil society resilience strengthening project, SDGs for All, Municipal economic development, Local governance for people and nature and the support to the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM). 
Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    5’996’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    1’300’000 Progetto totale dalla prima fase Budget Svizzera CHF   5’950’000 Budget inclusi partner del progetto CHF   11’946’000