First-round winners of competition for social NGOs

The winners of the first stage of the Ministry of
Economic Development and Tradeā€™s Competition for Socially Oriented
Non-Commercial Organisations are announced

The commission responsible
for running the competition granting
Federal Budget subsidy to Socially Oriented Non-Commercial
Organisations has put in place an initial rating procedure for applications.
The results of the first round: First Place: ā€˜The Centre for Civil Analysis and
Independent Researchā€™ (GRANI) (82.1 points); Second Place- Regional charitable
social organisation ā€˜Centre for Curative Pedagogicsā€™  (80 points); Third Place- Cross-regional
charitable fund ā€˜Siberian Centre for the Support of Social Initiativesā€™ (79.1
points). 104 organisations, each of which was awarded no fewer than 50 points,
have progressed to the second round of the competition.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade announced
the

competition in April. 514 organisations applied (96 of which were excluded for
application errors.) The two-step system of the competition is an innovation.
In previous years, applicants submitted full programme details for perusal,
whilst now they only have to offer a project outline. 

 

ā€˜The
reasoning behind the two-step system is that an organisationā€™s project outline may
raise questions with the experts regarding the level of experienced or staffing
capacity. In such a case, there is no point in the organisation progressing
further with the full applicationā€™, clarified the social information
representativeā€™s deputy, Ilya Chukalin. He remarked that due to the
introduction of the new selection process, it is difficult to compare the
calibre of this yearā€™s participants from those of previous years ā€˜There has not
been a significant change in the quality of applicationsā€™, one expert remarked.

 

According
to Chukalin, the project outlines are graded on five criteria: 1. Experience
Working within the Russian Federation, 2. Achievement of a Positive Result, 3.
Staffing Capacity of the Organisation, 4.Programme Funding, 5. Evaluation of Results
vis-?-vis Expenses, and the organisationā€™s efficiency. ā€˜As concerns the final
criterion, very many Non-Commercial Organisations received low ratings, because
they had included expenses in the programmeā€™s accounts that were in no way
connected with itā€™, concluded Chukalin.

 

From the
point of view of the competitionā€™s Acting Secretary, Vyacheslav Gudalin, the
main reason why many organisations did not progress to the second round was due
to inattentive reading of the competitionā€™s terms and conditions. ā€˜This is a
competition for Non-Commercial Organisations which assist the development of
other
Socially Oriented Non-Commercial
Organisations. A large percentage of the projects were centred on the
development of the organisations themselves or their target audience. These are
also very good causes, but they do not fall within the scope of the
competition,ā€™ Gudalin emphasised. According to one expert, who personally
inspected 30% of the applications (around 150 project outlines.) ā€˜To a great
extent, the project outlines with a social aim predominated. These included the
assistance of orphaned children. A large chunk of applicants were resource
centres – both multifaceted ones and those focussed on a specific area of
competency (e.g legal assistance, accountancy, tax),ā€™ he explained in an
interview with the Agency for Social Information.

 

As was indicated by members of the Competition
Commission, the successful applications from the first round of the competition
must diligently prepare their financial accounts. ā€˜The majority of applicantsā€™
accounts were poorly prepared: there were no calculations and the figures were
sometimes plucked out of the airā€¦ everything should be calculated meticulously
to the penny. This is especially important in respect of state funding,ā€™  said Chukalin. In such cases the Ministry of
Economic Development and Trade does not have the authority to correct the
accounts of applicants.

 

On 31
July a seminar will be held at the ministry to discuss the preparation of
programmes run by
Socially Oriented
Non-Commercial Organisations. At this event, the means of receiving
consultation on the presentation of accounts will be outlined. In addition to
this, the application judges will advise organisations to give details of the
resources they have available for the implementation of their projects, as
fully as possible, from the outset. ā€˜It is necessary to state immediately how
the Socially Oriented Non-Commercial Organisation will
receive the funding it will use to afford the maximum amount of resources. It
will be explained how such a programme may be started. This is so that it
becomes possible to find out what the programme is, how to cooperate with it,
and how to participate in seminars. In turn, this is so that all the analysis
which has been amassed as a result of the work will not be lost,ā€™ recommended
Chukalin. 

 

The final results of the competition will be
announced at the end of September/start of October. The full protocol of the
commission can be found on the Ministry
of Economic Development and Tradeā€™s website:

http://www.economy.gov.ru/minec/activity/sections/socorientnoncomorg/doc20130724_02

http://www.asi.org.ru/ASI3/rws_asi.nsf/va_WebPages/55A450FB4635DFBD44257BB3003F142FRus

 

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