The legal framework that regulates state support for institutional development of CSOs, project support and co-financing of EU funded projects did not change in 2019. For this monitoring exercise the following are the sources of funding from public institutions identified for FY 2019 as reflected at table 1:
- Agency for the Support of Civil Society (ASCS)
It is the main institution at the national level that provides financial support to CSOs. The mandate of ACSC is to support the institutional development of civil society in the country, provide funding to sector initiatives in line with its strategy designed through a consultative process with the sector, and provide co-funding for EU funded projects.
For FY 2019 the budget of ASCS in grants for CSOs was approx. 100 million ALL (approx. 793,000 EUR). Compared with the previous year, there is a slight decrease of funding allocated to the sector by 8,000,000 ALL (approx. 63,500 EUR). According to the response of the ASCS to the FoI request sent, in the 2019 call for proposals 161 CSOs applied, out of which 45 CSOs were awarded a grant, while according to the information on ASCS website there are 52 CSOs awarded on this call for proposals. The call did not set a minimum or maximum amount of grant size, but judging for the list of awardees the minimum grant size has been 700.000 ALL (approx. 5,500 EUR), while the maximum 3,000,000 ALL (approx. 24,000 EUR). In 2019, the Agency did not provide any institutional development grants or co-financing for EU funded projects.
- Ministry of Culture
Another source of public funds for CSOs is the Ministry of Culture, which annually launches one call for proposals inviting individuals and CSOs to submit project proposals in the areas of art, culture and cultural heritage. According to the information received by the Ministry, the total budget distributed through the call for proposals for the FY 2019 was 27,486,212 ALL (approx. 220,000 EUR).
In total 91 CSOs applied, out of which 63 CSOs were awarded. The minimum grant size has been 200,000 ALL (approx. 1,500 EUR), while the maximum 1,000,000 ALL (approx. 8,000 EUR).
- The National Lottery Fund
0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment
The National Lottery Fund launched one call for proposals in 2019. Based on the data available 8 project proposals are awarded, among which 6 proposals from CSOs. There is no information on the amount of financial support given and focus of the projects funded.
- The Agency for Administration of Sequestered and Confiscated Assets (AASCA)
As stipulated in the Law 39/ 2019 “For Administration of Sequestered and Confiscated Assets” the Agency for Administration of Sequestered and Confiscated Assets is allowed to create a special fund approved by the Ministry of Finance and Economy to distribute and allocate it to entities and CSOs. In 2019, the Agency planned a total fund of 95 million ALL (approx. 754,000 EUR) to support civil society organizations. The fund is expected to be launched in the next year.
In 2019, in the frame of collaboration with Partners Albania for the implementation of “C.A.U.S.E – Confiscated Assets used for Social Experimentations”, an innovative initiative funded by EU, two other confiscated assets from the organised crime (adding to the first one in 2018) were given to CSOs for the establishment of social enterprises through a usufruct contract with the (AASCA) for a period of at least 5 years.
In regards to public funding at the local level, The Programme for Local Democracy in Western Balkans (ReLOaD) is a funding scheme supporting CSOs at local level. It targets 12 municipalities of Albania through a grant of 1,130,952 EUR, from which 80% is the contribution of the Programme and 20% the contribution from municipalities in a three years’ period. So far, three public calls for proposals have been launched targeting local CSOs, especially grassroots organizations aiming to strengthen the capacities of small and inexperienced organizations working in the 12 municipalities. The call addressed priorities defined by Local Self-Government Units. According to the available information, 69 projects proposals were awarded in both calls for proposals, respectively 30 CSOs at the first call for proposal and 39 CSOs for the second call for proposal.
As shown from Figure 5, consistent with the previous years, only a limited number of CSOs (based on the survey with 152 CSOs) have benefited any financial and/or non-financial support from central or local government institutions in 2019.
Only 21 CSOs out of 152 surveyed (13% of surveyed CSOs) have received funds from central government institutions, and only 14 of them (9% of the surveyed CSOs) have benefited from local government funds. 22% of the surveyed CSOs have benefited from non-financial support.
Public funding is limited for the support of CSOs. Based on CSOs experience, 67% of them do strongly disagree (21%) and disagree (42%) that public funding responds to CSOs needs.