Annual report on Russian NGOs
Ministry of Economic Development presents annual report on NGOs
The report refers to state support for socially orientated NGOs, including the adoption of laws and regulations intended to support their activities, and summarises developments in the third sector in 2015.
The Ministry of Economic Development has unveiled its annual report on the activities and development of socially orientated NGOs. The report states that federal budget allocations to such NGOs increased to 7.2 billion roubles in 2015, up from 4.2 million in 2014. The number of socially orientated NGOs active in Russia has increased by 44,000 since 2011, and in 2015 stood at 140,000 organisations.
According to the Ministry, there are currently around 994,000 people employed by NGOs. In addition, the number of volunteers has grown from over 1,146,000 people in 2011 to more than 2,492,000 in 2015. The Ministry forecasts further growth in this area.
The Ministry also highlights the growing number of organisations receiving infrastructure support. The report states that this can be explained by the cumulative effect of the activities of NGO resource centres, which the Ministry of Economic Development supported from 2011 to 2015.
Furthermore, the report notes growth in the number of organisations with their own premises, as well as an increase in the total area of non-residential premises and buildings under NGO ownership. The Ministry believes that this is evidence of a recovery in financial stability for NGOs following the difficulties caused by the economic downturn.
In comparison with 2014, 2015 saw a particular increase in the number of NGOs involved in charitable activities and promoting volunteering in the field of physical education and sport. The number of organisations carrying out public service advertising grew by 23%. At the same time, the number of people receiving legal aid from NGOs fell by 38%, the number of violations detected by public watchdogs fell by 5% and the number of people receiving financial assistance by 11%.
The report states that comprehensive documents have recently been adopted aimed at expanding NGOs’ ability to provide public services using budget funds. These include measures for phased access to budgetary funds and a roadmap to support NGOs in providing social services. In addition, in 2016 a law on non-profit organisations as performers of community services was adopted.
‘These measures, which are mainly scheduled to be implemented in 2016-2017, aim to enable NGOs to provide social services using budgetary funds by improving existing normative-legal bases; increasing the potential and competence of NGOs as service providers; and coordinating the activities of all public authorities’, states the report.
The Ministry of Economic Development believes that the participation of NGOs in providing community services will result in more efficient use of public resources; active implementation of innovative social technologies; an individual approach and faster reactions; and the development of social infrastructure through additional funding from charitable foundations, donations and grants.
The report’s authors emphasise that these measures, once implemented, should facilitate interaction and enhance mutual trust between the state and NGOs in the provision of public services.
Author: Georgii Ivanushkin