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Improving sustainability of CSOs

ECNL supports sustainability of civil society in Moldova through enhancing local partners’ expertise and capacity to carry out legal reform and advocacy activities for enabling legal environment. We support ministries in developing laws and policies for civil society, facilitate efforts of local CSOs, provide mentorship for local lawyers and CSO experts.  In 2016 ECNL contributed to the work of three joint working groups – on developing a new law on noncommercial organisations; supporting local advocacy in introducing the concept of social entrepreneurship and the 2% designation mechanism. Last, but not least ECNL ensures that Moldovan stakeholders follow and are involved in regional debates on a wide range of issues of CSO enabling environment, such as participation in decision-making, freedom of expression, and others.
To read more about our expertise in enabling environment reform please click here.

Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society Program (MPSCS)

Moldova Partnership for Sustainable Civil Society Program is implemented by FHI 360 and ECNL with financial support of USAID in 2014-2018. The activities are a natural follow up on the emerging needs and recent engagement in Moldova, under the USAID supported Moldova Civil Society Strengthening Program (MCSSP) in 2009-2013.
Under MPSCS ECNL’s core activities support drafting and implementation of civil society legislation, empower local partners to carry on legal reform and advocacy activities, make available resources, information, and cutting-edge research, and promote the sharing of comparative expertise.
ECNL provides ongoing and comprehensive support in key areas:

  • technical assistance in developing, monitoring and reporting implementation of strategic cooperation documents between the Government and CSOs;
  • enhancing State Chancellery’s coordination function in implementing the CSO Strategy through sharing comparative materials and good practices on cooperation mechanisms and CSO legislation in Europe and providing expertise;
  • support to establishing mechanisms for longer term sustainability of CSOs through, for example, developing the 2% designation mechanism and supporting its implementation, promoting fundraising and philanthropy, comparative expertise in possible modalities of public financing (grants, social contracting of CSOs);
  • support to local experts on the issue of fiscal benefits for CSOs, e.g. benefits to enhance philanthropic giving;
  • support to strengthening mechanisms of cooperation with CSOs (e.g. revisions to Parliament’s Concept on Cooperation with CSOs, improving coordination on government’s implementation of CSO Strategy) and transparency in decision-making processes.

Moldova: A Roadmap to Civil Society Sustainability

In Moldova, the most serious problem facing CSOs is financial sustainability. According to the 2012 USAID CSO Sustainability Index, 92% of local CSOs are dependent on funding from external donors and lack access to government funds. CSOs that provide social services often struggle to access sustainable domestic funding resources in order to the ensure continuity of these services.

To support CSO-government cooperation and improve the financial sustainability of civil society, the ECNL assisted CSOs and state officials to elaborate a comprehensive strategy that outlines the government’s objectives for supporting civil society. ECNL supported local stakeholders in identifying the most important areas and most feasible mechanisms for improving the viability of the sector.

The strategy sets a roadmap for CSO policies to be harmonized with European best practices. Among other improvements, the strategy enables the reform of state funding mechanisms to make possible social service delivery by non-state actors, including CSOs. This important development will support the financial sustainability of Moldovan CSOs.
Story featured in ICNL’s Annual Report 2012-2013.