Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.
NGO Fund Poland
The NGO Block Grant contributes to the strengthening of civic participation in Poland, in order to support the role of the civil society as an important factor of the social and economic cohesion in the country. Active and competent NGOs can facilitate and increase the engagement and participation of citizens and contribute to the social cohesion.
Strengthening civil society
- 500 project proposal analized
- Monitoring of 50 projects granted the assistance
- Regular reporting about the progress of the Grant implementation to the NCU/SDC
- General administration of the Fund and Control of the financial flow and the good use of financial contributions
- In total 336 projects implemented
- 310 projects were implemented in national and/or international partnership
- 13 projects had Swiss partners
- 5'580 initiatives with active participation of citizens were organized
- About 150’000 citizens actively participated in the activities in the framework of the projects
- Implementation of the projects contributed to an increase in organizational, financial and thematic capacities of the organizations
- National State Institute North
The Polish NGO sector counts about 73’000 entities of different legal forms (mainly associations and foundations). After a peak in the early 90ies, the sector lost steam and the number particularly of young organizations has decreased. One hypothesis for this change of dynamics is a decreasing engagement of citizens in civil activities. The scale and tempo of young organizations dropping out is worrying and can be understood as a symptom of difficult conditions in which new entities begin their activity. This situation confirms the opinion that in order to be able to play the expected important role in the public life and in fostering social and economic development particularly small and young organizations need additional institutional support in order to survive the first and the hardest years of their activity. The first calls of this program in 2011 showed an overwhelming interest on the side of the NGOs and resulted in a high number of interesting proposals of good quality. This encouraging response initiated a second phase.
The Block Grant will allow to enhance civic participation in Poland, therby strenthening the civil society in Poland as an important participant in improving the social and economic cohesion of the country. The Block Grant will also be an opportunity for small and local organisations which are often neglected.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Foreign state institution
Executing Agency: ECORYS Polska
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 15’725’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 15’725’000|
Phase 1 01.12.2009 - 31.03.2016 (Completed)
NGO Fund Poland
A total of 337 non-governmental organisations obtained funds from a support fund to promote and strengthen civil society's participation in the economic and social development of the country. All projects have been completed.
Educating teenagers about the role of civil society
Plays are produced in collaboration with young people in various high schools and then performed in other schools to make them aware and educate them about the role of civil society. This material is incorporated in a high school textbook on public life and democratic rights and obligations.
Strenghtening Civil Society
The Swiss enlargement contribution finances a support fund for non-governmental organisations (NGO fund) in all partner countries except Malta. The purpose of these funds is to promote and strengthen the participation of civil society in the socioeconomic development of the respective countries. The total contribution to all NGO funds amounts to around CHF 66 million.
In the new member states of the EU, civil society is significantly more developed than it was at the beginning of the 1990s, but it is not yet as well developed as in the older member states. NGOs suffer from various shortcomings: for example, they are poorly integrated in society and have a weak financial and institutional base.
A strong NGO sector is essential for civil society
The funds for non-governmental organisations in all new EU member states except Malta provide essential support for civil society in these countries. This will result in the strengthening of the NGO sector and civil society in the respective countries. In particular, it is often the poorer and socially disadvantaged sections of the population who benefit from a well-developed range of services provided by NGOs.
NGOs – indispensable players
By formulating concepts and taking action (in relation to vulnerable groups, minorities, the environment
and culture), civil society strengthens the democratisation process. It also helps make government agencies more efficient by ensuring that they take better account of the concerns of the population.
This applies both to specific action taken at a local level and to advocacy at the regional and national level. NGOs thus often deal with a wide variety of issues in daily life. The NGO funds will be used in particular to support social welfare and environmental projects. More than half the approved projects will come under one of these two headings. Switzerland will however also fund projects in other areas, for instance the increased involvement of citizens in political decision making processes and cooperation between NGOs and local government. In some countries, the NGO fund programmes have already been completed or are about to be completed.
Swiss organisations offer valuable experience
Involving Swiss partners in projects enables NGOs to benefit from Swiss expertise. Overall, just under 20% of the projects will be implemented with Swiss involvement. Swiss expertise and experience is extremely valuable on a number of fronts for NGOs in partner countries which are often working in a new environment and therefore lack experience. For instance, Swiss NGOs can help their partners cooperate with the government, encourage young volunteers, or even help with bookkeeping. Swiss know-how enables organisations in the partner countries to implement efficient and effective projects directly, while making optimum use of their financial and human resources.
Targeted support for civil society is also in Switzerland’s interest
Thanks to partnerships with organisations in the partner countries, Swiss organisations are also able
to extend their networks and expertise. The mechanisms of the NGO funds favour these partnerships. Moreover, Switzerland also benefits from the activities of NGOs, as many aspects such as economic exchange, migration and environmental protection are interrelated and are of international and even global relevance in some cases.
The NGO funds set up as part of the Swiss enlargement contribution
• co-finance some 700 projects totalling CHF 66 million
• strengthen the NGO sector in the respective countries and consequently support civil society
• have also resulted in the creation of partnerships between foreign and Swiss organisations for around 150 small NGO projects
• is enabling projects primarily addressing social welfare and environmental issues, as well as other problem areas, to be implemented.