The regulation of the financing of civic associations out of the national budget is predicated on an agreement regarding the standardisation of the process’ principles and practices. The given analysis offers an overview regarding the gridlocks and limitations of state financing in Estonia, and makes recommendations towards the regulation of state funding.
“Financing by the state ought to be prudent and economically sensible–funding should be provided not for any and all, but for these organisations that produce additional value for the state.” –Maiu Uus
The report shows that although the number of associations and the volume of funding has increased, an inequity in accessing the finances persists. Equally wide-spread is the project-based funding model, which obstructs the development of associations in regard to their central purpose. Operational and developmental grants are given out infrequently and in essence these amount to project-based support. On a more positive note, the allocation of funds from the European Union’s structural funds has increased transparency and been conducive to assessing resultant efficiency. Additionally, some ministries have started to pay more attention to strategic collaboration with the civic associations.
The authors of the analysis suggest the following for regulating the financing of civic associations:
- Specify concrete aims for the financing civic associations receive from the state.
- Define the content of transparent, accessible, and efficient financing that helps along in increasing the capability of associations while protecting the public interest.
- Differentiate between and define the sub-types of funding, its methods and sources.
- Develop objective criteria for allocating the funds according to the type of funding.
- Tie the decision making regarding the allocation of funds with the planning and implementation of national development schemes in order to increase the productivity of the associations.
- Develop a set of principles for the evaluation of the efficiency of financing civic associations out of the national budget.
- Improve the gathering, processing and accessibility of data regarding the financing of civic associations.
- Create supporting practices for the permanent instalment of the common funding practices.
Table: The breakdown of the type, source, and methods of financing.