Civic Chamber discusses ideas for promotion of third sector
The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation plans to use the expertise of members of the Scientific Advisory Board to develop a document that will be presented to the President at the final citizen activists ‘Community’ forum in November 2016.
The Scientific Advisory Board of the Civic Chamber discussed ideas for promoting socially-oriented non-profit organisations in the Russian Federation. This document should form a basis for planning measures for state support of non-profit organisations, says Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Lidia Mikheeva. “By stimulating the third sector, we propose not only to increase civic engagement, but also to have a positive socio-economic impact, including the provision of new jobs and quality social services,” she emphasised.
According to members of the Scientific Advisory Board, the project concept should emphasise the need to find ways to support existing resource centres which have proved to be effective. Artem Shadrin, Director of the Department of Social Development and Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, believes that the document should include proposals to remove existing imbalances as not all regions of the Russian Federation have an infrastructure developed enough to support NGOs. Shadrin also proposed that the project concept should include recommendations on how to provide incentives for legal entities to donate to NGOs.
According to one of the initiators and authors of the project concept, Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Elena Topoleva, members of the Scientific Advisory Board suggested adding provisions on self-regulation in terms of transparency and accountability in the non-profit sector, a section in the project concept on the relationship between citizens and the non-profit organisations representing their interests, suggested including proposals for the systematisation of the NGO foundation process, suggested the inclusion of proposals for the reorganisation of the processes used to motivate and encourage people in the field of volunteering, as well as suggesting the inclusion of a section on the role of NGOs in the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, in the draft project concept.
The main objective of the project concept is to activate the potential of socially-oriented NGOs towards the development of civil society, the solving of social problems and the establishment of the not-for-profit economy sector in the Russian Federation. The key priorities for the direction of the project concept are: supporting the institutionalisation of the activities of NGOs, increasing the economic stability of NGOs, widening the participation of natural and legal persons in NGO activities, promoting NGO assistance in the provision of the most important social functions and services, the development of cross-sectoral partnerships and the promotion of intra-sectoral communication and interaction, increasing public confidence in the activities of the non-profit sector and increasing the support given to the international activities of NGOs.
The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation plans to use the expert support of members of the Scientific Advisory Board to finalise the project concept.
The document will be submitted to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at the final citizen activists ‘Community’ forum in November 2016. The discussions within the framework of the ‘Community’ forums, which take place at civic platforms in ten federal districts of the Russian Federation, are currently prototypes for the implementation of separate components of the project concept. In the past the ‘Community’ forums have taken place in Omsk, Perm, Khabarovsk, and Yalta. The forum on 24 – 25 June will be held in Yekaterinburg.
AUTHOR: Georgiy Ivanushkin