Encouraging democratic processes in Romania
Supporting grass-root initiatives across the country, the Romanian NGO fund is an important source of funding for the country's civil society sector. Close to 50 NGO projects are now receiving support, from initiatives to encourage democratic processes and promote civic dialogue, to protection of the environment and cultural heritage.
The Median Research Centre in Bucharest is one of the organisations receiving support from the Romanian NGO fund. According to the centre, public opinion polls and social science research point to a deep level of mistrust in political institutions and elected representatives in Romania. The centre believes there is a real lack of substantive media coverage of the political parties' conflicting stands on social and economic issues, creating disaffection from the political processes.
With support from the NGO fund, the Median Research Centre is now offering public access to information on party positions and individual candidates through the online Vote Advise Application. The website was already up and running during the European Parliament elections in June 2009, and will also provide easily accessible information on the various candidates during the run-up to the Romanian presidential election in the autumn of 2009.
Important source of funding
Launched in July 2008, the Romanian NGO was established to encourage civil society organisations' participation in the process of achieving a reduction of economic and social disparities in Romania. Through supporting NGO projects within five thematic areas; environment, cultural heritage, democracy, social inclusion, and children and youth, the fund provides a sought-after funding opportunity for Romanian NGOs.
"Looking at the high number of applicants from the first open call, it's obvious that we constitute an important source of funding for Romanian NGOs." said Simona Constantinescu, team leader for the NGO fund. More than 400 civil society organisations applied for project support during the fund's first open call for applications.
"We tried to accommodate our applicants as much as we could," continued Constantinescu. By making the application process as accessible as possible, and offering a helpline for applicants, the fund intermediary aimed to reach out to the whole spectrum of organisations. This spring, 46 organisations receiving grant support were able to start off their projects, 38 of which will be implemented in partnership with NGOs, public authorities and educational institutions.
National - NGO fund
Type & project assistance:
Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF)
Type of institution:
Non governmental organisation
Grant agreement date:
24 June 2008
The purpose of the Fund is to strengthen civil society in Romania by supporting sub-projects within the thematic areas protection of human rights, anti-discrimination and social inclusion, support to children and youth with specific problems, social services, environment as well as conservation of cultural heritage, with the overall objective of ensuring the participation of NGOs in the reduction of social and economic disparities within the EEA. Reference is made to the donor-approved Terms of Reference for the NGO fund in Romania of 20 December 2007, the Operator's bid of 29 February 2008, and the draft Agreement for implementation of the NGO fund in Romania between the FMO and the Operator of June 2008.
The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:
- fund management, including monitoring, financial control, re-granting, and publicity / information activities;
- re-granting of funds to sub-projects.
The Operator is the Civil Society Development Foundation (Fundatia Pentru Dezvoltarea Societatii Civile). Subject to national law, the Fund will be implemented in partnership with the Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation (Fundatia pentru Parteneriat) in respect of the environment, and the Carpathian Foundation – Romania (Fundatia Carpatica - FDEC România) in respect of conservation of cultural heritage.