Funds for Non-governmental Organisations
Strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development
Human Rights Monitoring Institute
04 October 2012
PA10 - Funds for non-governmental organisations
Why is the programme needed?
Although Lithuania regained independence more than 20 years ago, the country still has a weak and fragmented civil society. According to the 2011 USAID Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Sustainability Index, the financial viability of CSOs in Lithuania has decreased, mainly due to the non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs’) limited skills to generate income or fundraise, and as a result of a decrease in all funding sources traditionally available to CSOs. In addition, the 2010 survey by Eurobarometer showed that there were considerable gaps in the citizens’ awareness of their rights.
What will the programme achieve?
In light of these current issues in Lithuania, there is a need to strengthen the Lithuanian civil society sector by protecting human rights, empowering vulnerable groups and enhancing sustainable development. Key concerns for the NGO programme in Lithuania are to strengthen democracy, good governance and human rights, to empower vulnerable groups as well as to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. These are considered critical areas where NGOs can play a specific role and foster positive change in Lithuania.
The programme also addresses horizontal concerns such as hate speech, extremism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, tolerance/multicultural societies, Roma, sexual harassment, domestic violence, including gender based violence, and trafficking in persons.
The programme will seek cooperation and synergies with a number of other relevant EEA and Norway Grants programmes in Lithuania (Children and Youth at Risk; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; Judicial Capacity‐building and Cooperation; Correctional Services, including Non‐custodial Sanctions).
How will it be achieved?
The programme supports small and large projects within the following four focus areas:
• Democracy and good governance;
• Human rights;
• Vulnerable groups;
• Protection of the environment and climate change.
The support for democracy and good governance aims at enhancing participatory democracy and active citizenship as well as promoting access to information and transparency. Under the human rights area the key issues are promotion and protection of civil and political rights and freedoms and combating discrimination. Through human rights activities, cooperation with civil society in Belarus shall be developed. Support to vulnerable groups is provided through strengthening NGOs representing vulnerable groups, and it can also include provision of welfare and basic services. Environmental issues are supported through strengthening of environmental NGOs, their networks, and advocacy efforts.
Support is provided through two annual calls for project proposals.
How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
Funding for bilateral activities shall increase cooperation between NGOs in Lithuania and the donor countries, improve knowledge and mutual understanding and the sharing of results. The bilateral funds are used to support the search for partners for donor partnership projects, knowledge transfer, networking and exchange between project promoters and entities in the donor states.
What are the partnership opportunities?
The programme is expected to achieve at least 15 project partnership agreements with Donor Country entities. The fund operator will work with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee to facilitate building bilateral contacts.
Who can apply for funding under this programme?
Eligible applicants are NGOs that are established in Lithuania and fall within the following definition: “A non-profit voluntary organisation established as a legal entity, having a non-commercial purpose, independent of local, regional and central government, public entities, political parties and commercial organisations. Religious institutions and political parties are not considered NGOs.”