lithuaniaflagActive Citizens Fund 2014-2021
Total allocation: €117,6 million
Allocation to NGO Programme: €9 million

More information on the fund in the 2014-2021 period to become available on an ongoing basis.

See the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 fact sheet for Lithuania.

NGO Programme 2009-2014
Total allocation: €84 million
Allocation to NGO Programme: €5.5 million
As in all young democracies, the Lithuanian NGO sector was founded on the funds from international donors, and despite political achievements and formal human rights mechanisms established there remains a lot to improve in building open society and strong NGO sector. Today Lithuanian NGO sector remains weak, fragmented and largely unexplored. Most NGOs are small/micro and are oriented towards service provision. Public policy NGOs focusing on core human rights areas are yet a rare commodity in Lithuania. Absence of clear definition of a non-governmental body and lack of eligible support mechanisms impede healthy development of the NGO sector, including partnerships with public and private sectors.
Absolute majority of NGOs might be considered as a micro-level organization. Most of NGOs are concentrated in the two biggest cities of Lithuania – Kaunas and Vilnius. Majority (up to 4/5) of NGOs perform in social and educational spheres. NGOs working in the area of democracy, human rights, transparency and other core civic issues are a rare commodity in Lithuania. Public policy NGOs are mostly an exception in Lithuania. Most of the NGOs act as service providers and lacking effective fundraising competencies often become dependent upon the scarce funds provided by governmental organisations, thus losing their independence and ability to engage in constructive dialogue on equal rights.
Seeing a dire need to ensure that civil society actors play critical role towards the actions of the government, taking the role of the watchdogs in order to make sure that the policy and decision making processes follow principles of respect for human rights, transparency and inclusiveness, the NGO Programme funds will contribute to changing the society as a whole and the NGO sector in particular.
Overall objective of the NGO programme for Lithuania: Strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.
Areas of support:
  1. Democracy and good governance support area will include promotion of democratic values, including enhancement of participatory democracy and active citizenship on the whole, as well as promotion of good governance, access to information and transparency.
  2. Human rights support area will include promotion and protection of civil and political rights and freedoms and combating discrimination on all grounds (ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, etc.).
  3. Vulnerable groups support area will include provision of welfare and basic services to vulnerable groups, where such services are not otherwise or not adequately provided by governmental institutions; also strengthening of membership-based NGOs representing these vulnerable groups. Under the framework of this Programme the target groups constituting vulnerable groups will be defined as children and youth at risk, people affected by HIV/AIDS, children with disabilities and/or mental disorders and their families and victims of trafficking and gender‐based violence and/or domestic violence
  4.  Protection of the environment and climate change.The amount allocated for this Programme will be distributed throughout the outcomes especially emphasizing strengthening of NGO capacity and increased involvement of NGOs in policy and decision-making processes. Particular attention will be drawn to country specific issues and concerns like addressing the issue of domestic and gender-based violence and support for networking and coalition building among others. Bilateral relations are seen as a priority and will be fostered at different levels.
Bilateral cooperation 
The Programme Operator of the NGO Fund will apply versatile measures to contribute to the strengthened bilateral relations between Lithuania and the EEA EFTA States Norway, Iceland & Liechtenstein in line with the expected outcomes: cooperation, joint results, and increased mutual knowledge and understanding between donor and beneficiary states as a function of the EEA and Norway Grants. The total amount allocated to bilateral fund is EUR 134.000. 
1) Seed money: The "seed money" facility will be open for applications on a continuous basis, starting with the announcement of the NGO Programme Launch, and until the last call for applications is closed. Among planned activities includes also NGO fairs and match-making seminars.The Programme Operator will also produce an online informational tool for facilitation of bilateral cooperation. 
2) Networking and exchange of experiences: In the scope of this measure activities will fall under two categories:
  • Extra Fund for activities for Project Promoters that fall beyond the scope of the Seed Money fund. Justified participation in workshops, seminars, conferences in Donor States, liaising with Donor States entities, receiving consultations, dissemination of joint results, etc.
  • Networking events organized by the Programme Operator for all Project Promoters. Sharing of experiences, including lessons learned, development/strengthened bilateral relations and mapping future joint initiatives would be the aim of these events. Results of the networking events will be posted on the NGO Programme website.  
Call for proposals 
1st call: March 2013
2nd call: March 2014
Programme operator
Human Rights Monitoring Institute
Didzioji 5, LT-01128 Vilnius, Lithuania
Dovile Sakaliene
Tel.: +370 5 2314 676/ +33 388 359 403
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resources and more information
Website of the Lithuanian NGO Programme
Latest news on Lithuania
For more detailed information on the support to Lithuania click here.