NGOs Favor Change in Europe, Says USAID

Non-governmental organizations across Central and Eastern Europe as well as Eurasia kept acting as major agents of change in their societies, according to a newly released index by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The 12th edition of the NGO Sustainability Index indicates that NGOs were still promoting change in Europe and Eurasia despite the challenges they kept facing.

Difficulties in registering as NGOs as well as in recruiting volunteers were among the main obstacles encountered by European and Eurasian organizations in 2008. Access to favorable tax treatment was also among NGOs' major concerns.

Differences between countries based on their level of development were also identified by the annual USAID publication, although they did not translate into major operational gaps for local organizations.

"While gaps persist between the more developed NGO sectors of Central and Eastern Europe versus those of Eurasia, NGOs in more developed countries were not immune from organizational and funding problems, and NGOs in even the most repressive countries managed to make their voices heard," according to the report, which was released Aug. 19.

Susumu Yamashita, USAID acting assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia, said the index was going to be a useful analytical tool for development organizations and professionals worldwide.

"USAID is pleased to provide this information to our partners and all development practitioners, in the interest of sharing regional and country trends on the strength and effectiveness of civil society," he said.

About the author

  • Tiziana Cauli

    Tiziana has contributed to Devex News since mid-2008, focusing mainly on Africa as well as the European donor landscape, especially those in Brussels, Rome and Barcelona. Tiziana has worked as a journalist for Reuters and the Associated Press in Johannesburg and at Reuters in Milan and Paris. She is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.