Regulation for public funding of NGOs officially approved
After numerous requests by the civil society and a conjoint work between public officials, civil society representatives and international experts that lasted for two years, a regulation on public funding for NGOs has been approved.
Regulation MF-No. 04/2017 on the Criteria, Standards and Procedures for Public Financing of NGOs, which was signed on June 13 2017 by the Minister of Finances, Mr Avdullah Hoti, provides a system of financial support for NGOs by Kosovo’s public funds.
The document marks an important step forward by setting rules for this type of support, in accordance with the principles of transparency, meritocracy and full compliance with the legislation in force.
The regulation stipulates that all central and local budgetary organizations, in compliance with its criteria and procedures, shall:
- Foresee financial support for NGOs in the institutions’ respective yearly budgets;
- Plan the types and areas of support as per the approved budgets;
- Announce open calls, based on clear criteria and standard application forms, along with detailed application instructions;
- Evaluate applications based on a standardised system and through Evaluation Committees, which should also include external experts;
- Inform all interested parties and the public about the evaluation results, beneficiary organisations, allocated amounts, the nature of supported projects etc.;
- Address eventual complaints;
- Sign contracts for each supported project or program;
- Monitor supported projects and programs, as well as gather and analyse respective reports;
- Compile annual reports on the financial support for NGOs with detailed information on the supported areas and amounts, beneficiaries, geographic and thematic distribution, implementation of criteria and procedures etc.
The regulation is complemented by a detailed implementation guideline, including templates and other necessary material for equal implementation throughout public institutions.
To the present day, public institutions have allocated considerable financing for NGOs, but without clear criteria, procedures or system. The Kosovar Foundation for Civil Society (KCSF), together with a number of other civil society organisations have in the recent years advocated for the creation of a functional system, while contributing directly in defining the funding model and drafting the regulation.
Regulating the area of financial support for NGOs is one of the important activities in the Government strategy for cooperation with the civil society 2013-2017.