Partnership between public authority and civic initiative: factors that affect cooperation
A systematic overview of the Estonian public sector and citizen’s associations is lacking.
In the article we present a summary of the primary findings of the study entitled “Complementary relations between public authority and civic initiative”, based on analysis of data from a questionnaire-based survey organized in the framework of a study entitled “Roles and attitudes in the public service” and four case studies conducted in autumn 2006. On the basis of the findings it can be asserted that cooperation between civic associations and public servants in Estonia’s public sector is taking place, although right now less than half (44%) of the civil servants have experience with cooperation and only one-sixth of them are involved in regular ongoing cooperation. If the goal is to make cooperation more effective, a number of issues should receive further study. For example, regional differences are to be noted in the cooperation between civil servants and civic associations. Cross-referencing these more thoroughly with the socioeconomic, cultural and political special character of these counties may prove fruitful in identifying factors that hinder cooperation as well as the factors that promote it.