USAID CSO Sustainability Index 2015 Report: Focusing on South East Europe

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The 19th edition of the USAID CSO Sustainability Index Report, finds that the overall CSO sustainability in the Southern Tier (South East Europe) countries remained largely stagnant in 2015, with only one country –Macedonia- recording a change in overall sustainability as a result of the difficult political environment that restricts civic space. While not leading to a change in overall sustainability, Serbia, Croatia, and Kosovo each reported deterioration in at least two dimensions of sustainability. After steady improvements since 2011, the Serbia report notes decreases in legal environment, advocacy, service provision, and public image. In Croatia, the score for legal environment fell, largely due to the introduction of significant new financial management requirements, and organizational capacity deteriorated slightly as inherent weaknesses in the sector become more apparent. In Kosovo, CSOs began to be inspected for compliance with a law aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorism, negatively affecting the legal environment, while the government’s focus on broader political issues and the opposition’s boycott of the parliament caused widespread process delays, thereby limiting advocacy. Both Albania and Bulgaria showed improvements in at least two dimensions of sustainability, although these also did not result in a change in overall sustainability. In Bulgaria, CSOs reported improved organizational capacity, advocacy, and service provision, while the legal environment declined slightly as the registration procedure in the courts continued to deteriorate and judicial interpretation of the NGO Law became more restrictive. Albania noted improvements in both the legal environment and financial viability. The full 19th edition as well as analysis of all South East Europe countries situation are available here.
Source: USAID

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