A Synthesis Study of Financial Support Mechanisms Effectiveness for Advocacy-Focused CSOs

Starting in the summer of 2019, USAID/ENGAGE undertook research to further examine practical options for fostering the sustainability and resilience of civil society organizations engaged in advocacy and watchdog activities in Ukraine.

In her report, Dr. Kristie D. Steven focuses on the question: “What is the most appropriate mechanism(s) for financially supporting advocacy and watchdog CSOs in Ukraine beyond current USAID support and what are the key considerations toward designing such a strategy.”

The report begins with a description of civil society sustainability and resilience in civil society and what this means in terms of financial viability. The core section of the review looks at three major areas of donor encouraged and designed mechanisms to support civic society: tax designation mechanisms, domestic resource mobilization, and hybrid mechanisms (including legacy funds, endowments, and miscellaneous civil society funds).  The remainder of the report analyzes the current civil society environment in Ukraine and its funding environment before providing a series of concluding points.

There are several notable conclusions and themes that emerge from the report, providing a vision of Ukrainian CSOs’ needs for financial sustainability:

  • No one type of funding stands out as addressing the funding needs of advocacy-focused organizations; rather, they need a combination of funding sources and diversification strategies as a basis of resilience.
  • Although public funding and domestic resource mechanisms in Ukraine do not adequately cover the needs of CSOs, they can nevertheless serve as meaningful sources of funding for advocacy-focused organizations if enabling environments and other institutional conditions are present.
  • Within the context of Ukrainian civil society, funding sources should be diversified to spread the risk and connect with populations.

 

These and other conclusions are outlined in the report, which can be downloaded in the below link.

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