New system for assessing Presidential Grants projects
This new evaluation system includes monitoring NGO accounts and expenses, as well as qualitative assessments of project content.
The Presidential Grants Foundation will scrutinise financial aspects of individual projects while Regional Public Chambers will be responsible for qualitative assessments, with members of the Federation’s Public Chamber, the media and bloggers also involved in project evaluation, says Izvestia. A protocol outlining planned interaction between Public Chambers, journalists and other interested organisations will be drawn up by the beginning of September.
“The vigilance of civil society will prevent offences from being committed in certain cases and, in others, help NGOs to achieve better results and correct any project errors in good time”, said Ilya Chukalin, Head of the Presidential Grants Foundation, as reported in Izvestia. He added that winners of Presidential Grants competitions are sometimes guilty of exaggerating the results of their projects. It will therefore be up to Regional Public Chambers to assess the real impact of project implementation.
Regional Public Chambers differ in terms of ability, which will make it necessary to involve experts and resource centres in some of them, says Elena Topoleva, Director of the Agency for Social Information. “I know members of some Public Chambers, e.g. in the Yaroslavl regio, the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous region and in Tyumen and Irkutsk, who will be able to monitor the effectiveness of project implementation as they have specialists and the resources for such work. However, some may find it difficult to find people with the necessary skills to undertake such assessments”, she added.
Some 6,581 applications have been submitted for State funding during 2017, almost twice the average figure for 2015 and 2016. For the first time, grants have been distributed by a single Presidential Grants administrator for the Development of Civil Society and a Coordinating Committee. One of the latter’s responsibilities is to form the joint experts’ council which assesses each project and selects the winners.