Czech Republic

czechflagNGO Programme 2009-14

Total allocation: €131.8 million
Allocation to NGO Programme: €9.8 million
 
 
Czech civil society has been developing for twenty years. The number of registered non-governmental non-profit organizations (NGOs) increases every year. According to the statistical data there were approximately 115,000 NGOs in the Czech Republic in 2012; out of which 73,000 of NGOs were registered as civic associations. But only approximately 10% of NGOs were fully active, i.e. with employees or active volunteer leadership, issuing annual reports and implementing projects using public or private funds.
 
Current challenges of the non-profit sector:
  • Legal environment - A new Civil Code comes into force as of January 1, 2014 with fundamental consequences for the whole non-profit sector. Associations, foundations and endowment funds will be newly defined and public benefit organizations will gradually replace so-called institutions. At the same time, a status of public benefit for non-profit organizations is to be defined and subsequently linked to tax laws.
  • Funding - Czech NGOs are currently heavily dependent on aid from the state budget or budgets of regions and municipalities. In 2012 funds from public budgets intended for NGOs decreased. Other public funds come from EU structural funds, in particular from regional operational programmes. Financing from multiple sources would require reinforcing organizational capacity of NGOs, enhancing their professionalism and credibility, and employing experts in public relations, marketing and fundraising. However, there is a lack of funds intended specifically for NGO capacity building and reinforcement in the Czech Republic.
  • Mobilization role of Czech NGOs can be considered satisfactory mainly on local and regional levels where NGOs are actively engaged in the life of their community, protection of citizens' rights and education for active citizenship. On the national level, for various reasons NGO mobilization role is still inappropriately developed and lacking efficiency. Persisting problems include inability to achieve consensus within the sector, competition and rivalry over influence and financial resources, or lack of free capacity of NGOs to deal with issues present throughout the sector. For these reasons, the non-profit sector is still quite a weak player when it comes to lobbying for legislation changes or mobilization of citizens. There are broader coalitions of NGOs in the Czech Republic but they have only a limited number of members and thus do not represent the non-profit sector as a whole. The non-profit sector should focus more on developing their partnership with the public administration, businesses and other entities. Mobilization-related problems of NGOs require reinforcing of internal capacities of NGOs and support from experienced NGOs with sufficient expertise provided to local citizens' initiatives and grass-root organizations in all supported areas.
The principal aim of the proposed NGO Fund Programme is to promote development of civil society in the defined priority areas, to support bilateral cooperation between the Donor States and the Czech Republic, to build the capacities of non-governmental non-profit organizations, to cultivate their professionalization, to mitigate regional disparities in NGO activities in the Czech Republic, and to strengthen democracy, sustainable development and social justice. 

 

Priority areas of support:
 
 I. Human rights and key areas for support
a) Protection of human rights and multiculturalism
Key aims include protection of human rights, combating discrimination and racism, and strengthening multicultural environment.
Following key activities will be supported: providing legal counselling and representation in cases of violated rights and discrimination; promoting system changes or partial measures in areas with frequent violations of human rights; activities focused on connecting the majority and the minority in the society and their mutual understanding; awareness raising and cultural events promoting multicultural environment in communities.
b) Gender equality
Key aims include empowering women and increasing their participation in decision-making, and promoting preventive and follow-up services for women endangered by violence.
Following key activities will be supported: activities motivating to increase the women's share in decision-making and management positions; preventive and follow-up services associated with violence against women in all its forms; raising awareness and informing the general public about gender equality and about prevention of violence against women and tools of its resolution.
c) Strengthening civil society, democracy mechanisms and transparency
Key aims include supporting democracy, transparent public administration, combating corruption, supporting civic accountability, strengthening the role and influence of the non-profit sector in the society, and professionalization and capacity building of NGOs.
Following key activities will be supported: advocacy, watchdog and monitoring activities, anti-corruption measures; facilitating participation of citizens and participation of the public in decision-making, support to volunteering, activities raising awareness of civic skills and their reinvigorating; participation of NGOs in improving the legislation and fiscal environment for the non-profit sector, coalition building and networking, building partnership with public administration, corporate sector, cooperating with research and academic institutions, and with the media; and activities aiming to enhance professionalism, organizational management, multisource financing and planning, rising NGO transparency, educational and training activities.
 
II. Children and youth at risk
Principle aim is to ensure that physically or socially disadvantaged children can remain in the natural environment of their own family or foster family. Its long-term goal is to increase the share of family care at the expense of institutional care.
Following key activities will be supported: supporting and developing services for children with specific needs and direct social work in families in difficult life situations (field work, early care, timely intervention, personal assistance, mobilization and relief services for families with disadvantaged children); improving availability and capacity of field social services for children and families with specific needs (in regions, smaller towns and countryside); supporting family competencies for families with children with specific needs; introducing community services, enhancing cooperation with authorities for social and legal protection of children and with other entities, expanding foster families and professional foster care, networking and facilitating complex services, volunteer participation; creating and spreading a system of information about available services for various life situations, including free hotlines.
 
III. Social inclusion
Principal aim is to facilitate and develop processes increasing the number of Roma children integrated in the educational mainstream. Long-term effects of these measures should include enhancing the life starting position of Roma children and gradual desegregation of education for children from Roma communities.
Following key activities will be supported: supporting programmes focusing on developing skills and knowledge of Roma children and youth, improving their school results, language skills, developing their motivation and self-reliance, confidence and social skills; field work with children's families to prepare children for school; facilitating involvement of Roma children in leisure activities (in low-threshold clubs or community centres); building functional cooperation in the interest of children between NGOs, schools, teachers, and educational and psychological counselling centres, including development of methodologies to facilitate inclusive education.
 
IV. Environmental protection and climate change
Key aims include shaping responsible attitudes of the public towards the environment, supporting activities and engagement of the public in environmental protection, landscape conservation and biodiversity conservation, facilitating activities and informing the public of climate protection, and NGO participation in developing, reviewing and implementing national policies of sustainable development.
Following key activities will be supported: awareness-raising and educational events, campaigns and other tools aiming to raise the awareness of various target groups about sustainable development and environment protection; specific projects of biodiversity, nature and landscape conservation, in particular projects engaging the target groups in implementing appropriate measures and raising their awareness; facilitating new forms of non-state environment protection involving private owners and users of land; specific projects of climate protection and informing the target groups of this issue (adapting to climate change, energy savings in various fields – energy sector, buildings, transport, renewable resources, etc.); cooperation and experience sharing with organizations from the Donor States in all above-mentioned thematic areas; participation of NGOs in preparation, reviewing and implementing policies of public administration and legislation related to sustainable development, NGO capacity building, supporting coalitions and networks of NGOs in performing activities in the thematic areas of this priority and capacity building.
 
The NGO programme will have 2 open calls for proposals.
Project Duration: 12, 18 and 21 months
Grant size: from 12 097 EUR to 80 645 EUR
Potential beneficiaries in the Czech Republic: public benefit organizations, religious legal entities with the public benefit status, foundation and endowment funds, associations and institutes.
 
Bilateral cooperation
The Fund for Bilateral Relations aims to strengthen direct exchange of experience and know-how, sharing and transfer of experience and good practices between Czech NGOs and entities in the Donor States. The resources shall be used to find partners in the Donor States, to prepare and implement joint projects and to develop partnership cooperation in the supported areas.
Total allocation: 149 194 EUR
There are two forms of support:
  1. Micro Projects - the purpose is to find partners from the Donor States, to develop partnership and to prepare joint proposals within the Programme. Activities supported – travel cost enabling establishment of high-quality, functional and long-term cooperation dependent on the parties involved getting to know each other, and personal contact and efficient agreement on future cooperation.
  2. Support to bilateral cooperation within the NGO Fund projects such as: Activities supported - study and business trips as part of the partnership between Czech NGOs and organizations in the Donor States; short-term internship in Donor States' organizations or the other way round – transfer of good practice; workshops and seminars focusing on a specific topic in the Programme priority with a foreign partner's participation; networking of organizations – supporting mutual cooperation of NGOs receiving aid within the given priority – strengthening know-how in the given topic, joint resolution of a problem in the respective area.
 
Call for Proposals
1st call: January 2014
2nd call: October 2014
 
Programme operator
Na Václavce 1135/9
Prague 5
15000
Czech Republic
Contact Person: Alexandra McGehee
 
Nadace Partnerství (partner)
Údolní 33
Brno
60200
Czech Republic
Contact Person: Frantisek Brückner
 
Resources and more information
Website the Czech NGO Programme
Latest news on Czech Republic
Further information on the EEA Grants in Czech Republic