How do the ratings for the development of non-profit sectors work in the regions?

What does the new Region-CSO ratings model consist of and how can regions improve their positions?


On 18 February, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation reviewed the methodology used for rating the third sector in the Region CSO 2021 report, which was prepared by the Public Chamber together with the RAEX-Analytics agency.

The results were presented as part of the final forum of the Civic Chamber Community in Moscow on 2 November  last year.

The main question being addressed was “How developed is the non-profit sector in the regions, how large is the potential for development and how effectively is this potential being realised?”

“After the launch of the pilot rating model a year ago, we carefully fine-tuned the methodology, and made some serious changes. From here on we don’t expect any more large inconsistencies in rating positions owing to incorrect assessments,” says Chairman of the Commission for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector and Support for Social CSOs, Elena Topoleva.

After the public presentation of the results, experts held consultations for several regions that were interested in a more detailed analysis of the rating model and indicators. These requests still exist and consultations will continue, specifies Topoleva.

In March, a printed version of the ratings report will be sent to all regional public chambers and departments.

According to the results, an open database will also be published. Any organisation will be able to compare their performance with other CSOs in their region, as well as on a federal scale, adds Dmitry Grishankov, CEO of the RAEX-Analytics rating agency.

What data is the rating report based on?

To prepare the ratings, an extensive array of information was collected from various ministries and departments from a variety of open sources including data from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Economic Development, Rosstat, the Agency for Social Information and SPARK-Interfax amongst others.

A survey of 1881 experts, conducted by the Public Chamber using members of regional chambers and local specialists, was also used.

What has changed in 2021 from the initial pilot rating model?

Criticisms and suggestions from over 30 regions were taken into account after the pilot rating. Since, the number of criteria has been increased to include 60 indicators.

The number of rating factors has also been increased from 9 to 10. A new factor, The Importance of Resource Centres, has also been introduced. As a result, the new rating model takes into account more than 150 initial values, which work to ‘re-check’ and correct one another due to the different weighting assigned to each.

Why did the position of some regions change so much in the new rating?

This was down to two factors. The first is due to the successful efforts of the regions to develop their non-profit sectors. The second is due to changes in methodology: standardising, clarification of certain factors and the addition of new indicators.

What does the new model consist of?

The regions were assessed according to the following 10 factors:

  • The economic importance of the non-profit sector in the region – the number of CSOs and the total revenue of these CSOs are taken into account;
  • The sustainability of the nonprofit sector in the region– the share of active CSOs, the average age of the CSOs, the number of new CSOs;
  • The activity of CSOs – the participation of the CSOs in the Presidential Grants Fund, the number of those who received grants;
  • The support for CSOs by the regional authorities – the support for CSOs provided by regional authorities, the total number of CSOs that are receiving support;
  • The online accessibility of information for CSOs – how easy is it for any one CSO to find out about receiving support;
  • The media activity of the non-profit sector in the region – the number of publications about CSOs in the ASI and other federal and regional media;
  • The results of an expert survey on the development of the non-profit sector – an assessment by independent experts of the interaction between CSOs, government, media and business in the region;
  • The social significance of the sector in the region – the number of CSO employees in the region, the logistics of tax deductions for charities, the volume of social services in the region, the number of CSOs in the register of social service providers;
  • The significance of the regional public chambers for CSOs – the social and political activity of the regional public chamber;
  • The significance of CSO support resource centres – the number of centres, total funds of resource centres.

How to improve one’s rating?

Moscow, the Volgoda Region, the Republic of Tartarstan, the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous area and the Chelyabinsk region are currently in first place in the ratings.

Each region will receive detailed remarks, along with the results of the ratings. They will also receive a detailed explanation of their positions and the criteria they have been based on. They will be presented with recommendations for changes that can be made to improve their position in the ratings.

“Improving one’s position in the rating is tangible and is entirely dependent on the organisations and authorities themselves. Ratings are not related to the amount of funding or the scale of the sector in the region. A breakthrough improvement in the ratings is always associated with the successful collaboration of the non-profit sector, the local administration and the Public Chamber,” Dmitry Grishankov assures.



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