NGOs in the Czech Republic and Hungary have less contact with foreign NGOs than the CEE average, while their counterparts in Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia have more contact with NGOs from other countries.
Q38 to Q41: How would you evaluate your relationship with central and local authorities in your country?
NGOs reported that the best relationships exist between environmental groups and local governments. About one-third (31 percent) cooperate closely with local governments, while about one-fourth (23 percent) cooperate closely with local government agencies. Ten percent of NGOs cooperate closely with national government agencies, and only a few (4.4 percent) cooperate with national governments. Even though only a small minority of NGOs cooperate closely with national governments, some groups (5.7 percent) stated that they have conflicts with national governments, and even fewer (2.2 percent) with local government agencies. Overall, the data indicates that there is an inadequate amount of cooperation among NGOs and between NGOs and national governments; but it also indicates that the level of cooperation has the potential to grow.
NGOs in Albania, Estonia, Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia cooperate more often with national governments than NGOs in the Czech Republic and Latvia, and conflicts with national governments were more frequently mentioned by NGOs in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia.
Q42 to Q45: What do you think is critically important for more effective environmental work where your organization is active?
Most environmental NGOs believe that to complete their work more efficiently it is critically important to cooperate with other NGOs (54 percent) and government authorities (51 percent) within their respective countries. About one-third of NGOs (31 percent) think it is critically important to cooperate with Western organizations, and one-fourth (25 percent) think it is critically important to cooperate with NGOs from neighboring countries.
Better intranational cooperation is more important for NGOs in Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia. Cooperation with NGOs in neighboring countries is more important in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia, and less important in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. Improving relationships with Western NGOs is considered important for NGOs in Albania, the Baltics, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia and Romania, and not as important for NGOs in the Visegrad countries. In general, it seems that NGOs in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are more satisfied with the level of networking in and outside of the region than NGOs from other countries.
REC Local Offices enjoy much closer relationships with CEE NGOs than does REC Head Office. The lone exception is in the Czech Republic, where NGOs are significantly less aware of the local office than are their counterparts in other countries. This may be due to the fact that a large number of Czech NGOs (56 percent) have never received a REC publication, compared with the CEE average of 22 percent. Czech NGOs also reported that they have never participated in REC programs much more often (89 percent) than NGOs in other CEE countries; participation in REC programs is also below average in Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Close contact exists between the REC and many organizations in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia, which means many of these NGOs are regular participants in REC programs; still, a few NGOs in these countries (8.6 percent) have never heard or read about their respective local office, and about one-third (32 percent) have heard or read something about the REC but never used REC facilities or programs. Another one-third of NGOs (30 percent) have occasional contact with the Local Office, and the same number see it as a traditional partner in their work.
A significant correlation exists between the relationship of an NGO with the REC and its annual budgets. Those NGOs that have never heard of the REC are represented much more often in the category of organizations with annual budgets lower than USD 500. Those that have occasional contact with the REC generally have annual budgets between USD 500 and USD 10,000. NGOs that identify the REC as a traditional partner more often reported their budgets to be in the USD 5,000 to USD 50,000 range.
NGOs with a close relationship with the REC are also characterized by a higher level of success. NGOs that perceive themselves as unsuccessful often have never heard of the REC; NGOs with intermediate performance typically have occasional contact with the REC; and those NGOs that have received a REC earmarked or local grant more often label themselves as successful.
NGOs that have never heard of the REC typically do not cooperate with political bodies. On the contrary, NGOs that consider themselves to be traditional partners of the REC often cooperate closely with both local and national governments. (Note: Relationships between NGOs and national governments are often polarized. A significant proportion of NGOs cooperate closely with national governments, while many others are in conflict with them. There is very little middle ground.)
Q62 to Q65: Has your organization ever received a REC grant?
Almost one-fifth of CEE NGOs (18.7 percent) have received a REC Earmarked Grant at least once, and one-third (37 percent) have received a minimum of one REC Local Grant. A few NGOs have received a Danube Grant (6.4 percent) or a Pilot Grant (2.7 percent).
Q66: Have members of your organization ever taken part in the REC's Junior Fellowship Program or Senior Fellowship Program?
While many NGOs know about these programs, only 6.9 percent of all NGOs have ever participated in the REC Junior or Senior Fellowship Programs. This result suggests that these programs are in high demand, and that there is much potential for future development. (This data may be somewhat misleading because this question was worded incorrectly. In fact, the Senior Fellowship Program is not available to NGO members.)
Q67: Does your organization have any REC publications in its library or book collection?
About one-third of all CEE NGOs (27 percent) have a significant collection (over 10 items) of REC publications, and more than half (51 percent) have from 1 to 10 items on their bookshelves. Only one-fifth of NGOs (22 percent) do not have any REC publications.
Q68: Have you ever participated in other programs, arrangements, assemblies or meetings organized by the REC, or used the REC's facilities?
About two-thirds of NGOs (64 percent) have never participated in REC programs or activities, one-third (30 percent) have participated occasionally, and a few (6 percent) are regular participants. While these results show that not many NGOs currently participate with the REC on a regular basis, there is significant potential for further REC influence.
Q69 to Q76: The REC conducts a variety of programs. Which of the following would you be interested in undertaking in the near future (this year)?
Almost half of all NGOs (46 percent) are definitely planning to apply for a REC Local Grant, and slightly less than half are definitely planning to order REC publications (41 percent) or other information material (42 percent) from the REC. About one-third are definitely planning to apply for a REC Earmarked Grant (32 percent) or to take part in a public participation workshop (30 percent). About one-sixth of CEE NGOs are definitely planning to apply to the Junior Fellowship Program (16 percent) and the Senior Fellowship Program (13 percent).
Grant giving: Fifty-four different organizations were cited as very helpful in the area of grant giving. The organizations mentioned most frequently were the REC (587), EPCE (154), SOROS (90), PHARE (65), WWF (46) and MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (44).
Technical assistance: Forty-seven different organizations were listed as very helpful in the area of technical assistance. The organizations mentioned most frequently were the REC (260), EPCE (42), WWF (25) and MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (23).
Environmental campaigning: Forty-one different organizations were mentioned as very helpful in the area of environmental campaigning. The organizations mentioned most frequently include the REC (167), GreenPeace (103), EPCE (34), WWF (31), MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (26) and Friends of the Earth (17).
Information dissemination: Forty-six different organizations were cited as very helpful in the area of information dissemination. The organizations mentioned most frequently include the REC (354), GreenPeace (45), WWF (28), EPCE (12), SOROS (12), MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (11) and Friends of the Earth (10).
Training: Forty-two different organizations were mentioned at least once as very helpful in the area of training. The organizations mentioned most frequently include the REC (199), ETB (41), EPCE (38), MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (36) and PHARE (15).
Networking: Thirty-eight different organizations were listed as very helpful in the area of networking. The organizations mentioned most frequently include the REC (162), MilieuKontakt Oost-Europa (20), Institute for Sustainable Communities (9), EPCE (9) and WWF (8).