No. 10




State financing of civic associations

  • Maris Puurmann

    Chief specialist of Ministry of Social Affairs local government and regional administration department, University of Tartu master's program

Discussion on topics related to civic society, developing civic society and creating an environment favorable to civic initiative has in the last few years focused on the need for intersector cooperation and the forms of cooperation.

One of the most important topics in treating cooperation between the public and third sectors is the state budget financing of association activity – the possibility of allocating resources and the various choices in organizing financing. In the first half of 2004, as a continuation of a 2001 study, the Interior Ministry consolidated figures on aid allocated to civic associations by government institutions. Individual financing decisions were scrutinized as were procedural rules used to organize financing. The consolidated data showed that very many setups are used by public sector organizations in funding civic associations, which makes financing opaque. Lack of articulation in terminology and basic principles and the mechanisms for evaluating the efficacy of funding were also highlighted as problems. This article describes the nature of state funding of civic associations, models used in practice, and, based on the problems that were disclosed in the course of writing the overview, provides a rationale for putting funding schemes in better order.

Full article in Estonian