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NGO's Image Dimensions
In August 2001 the Association for the Participatory Democracy "ADEPT" sent out questionnaires to the following target audience: local government; MPs; mass media; NGOs; political parties, mayors and trade unions. The questionnaires were aimed to:
The results are as follows:
- evaluate the relations between NGOs and above target audience;
- determine how NGO activities are perceived; what the target audience expects from NGOs; to what extend they are willing to cooperate with the NGOs.
|No ||Target audience ||Returned questionnaires (%)|
The following list groups the target audience according to the number of received questionnaires:
The above order is very illustrative of the interest or lack of such of the target audience in facing some of the major problems of the Moldovan society.
- Mass media;
- Local government;
- Political parties;
- Trade unions.
Local government have stressed the need to promote partnership among NGOs and public administration, referring in particular to permanent consultation, coordination of undertaken efforts in enforcing community policies. Mayors consider that NGOs' activity at the grassroots level contribute to an increased citizen participation in the decision making and ultimately contribute to a better socio-economic life in the communities. Though, they contradict themselves when claiming on the one hand that they won't work with an NGO not based in their community; and on the other accept to participate in joint projects administered from outside the community. Mayors consider that NGOs could help them allot by providing information and expertise in their fields of expertise and by consulting the community on the problems it is facing. Environment, maintaining order in the community and social assistance to vulnerable strata, are considered by the mayors to be a priority for NGOs and their efforts. Decision makers, including mayors, consider that it would be appropriate to establish within the local and central government special departments for liaison with NGOs. These departments will also train decision makers on partnership building.
Many representatives of mass media, local government, political parties claim that NGOs should mobilize citizens and promote their interests; partially or totally substitute the state in the areas where the it is inefficient; promote certain values and attitudes; take a standpoint as far the problems Republic of Moldova is facing are concerned. Mass media sees NGOs as a reliable source of information, on the contrary questions the quality of the studies, polls and publications developed by NGOs. Journalists are skeptical as far the civic NGOs' capacity to influence public opinion and in this respect recommend them to build a partnership with journalists in promoting public interests.
Local government views NGOs as pursuing their professional interests, open to dialog and cooperation with decision makers and despite what deputies believe not aiming to gain profits.
Representatives of the political parties consider that the functions of the civic NGOs overlap with those of the political parties, in the following areas: mobilizing citizens and encouraging civic participation, forming the public opinion and monitoring the government. Political parties would like NGOs to provide them some technical assistance, information and expertise in the fields of their expertise.
Many of the deputies who replied to ADEPT questionnaires, view differently activities conducted by NGOs. MPs consider that NGOs have an insignificant impact on the decision-making process. They also consider that there is a low level of cooperation between decision-makers and NGOs. Deputies would like NGOs to inform them on how the decisions they make affect different strata of the society. They would also like a special Department to be established within Parliament responsible for liaison with NGOs.
Both local government, political parties and deputies recommend NGOs to implement programs in the field of local public administration, human rights, education, mass media, minorities and social assistance.
According to the respondent NGOs it is necessary to produce publications covering their programs and activities, which would ultimately contribute to an increased transparency of the sector. As for a code of best practices, they consider it would lead to an increased efficiency of the sector, boost loyal competition and increase NGOs credibility with their partners. A dialog between NGOs and their partners should be fostered, which would ultimately enable them to better pursue their bylaws goals. NGOs opinions are split as far as advocacy and lobby, i.e. maturity of the NGOs to form coalitions and federations in order to promote their interests, involvement/non-involvement in politics.
In conclusion, the great majority of the respondents still see the non-governmental organizations in Moldova as very weak.