Raport Roczny 2023

Streszczenie raportu rocznego za 2023 r. złożonego przez Operatora Programu do Biura Mechanizmów Finansowych w Brukseli:

The year 2023 presented significant challenges for Polish society and civil society organizations. High inflation led to a drastic reduction in household resources, worsening economic inequality and further polarizing the already divided society. The war in Ukraine and the influx of thousands of refugees put an additional strain on the Polish economy and welfare system. Many organisations continued to provide assistance to refugees and migrants, often with little or no support from the central government. With national elections approaching, political tensions increased and the rule of law crisis deepened, threatening the freeze of EU funds.     

Against this backdrop in the run-up to the parliamentary elections on October 15, 2023, there was an unprecedented mobilization of civil society and widespread collaboration within the third sector. Human rights and watchdog organizations played a leading role in the pre-election period. They developed proposals aimed at restoring democracy and the rule of law in Poland. They also organized campaigns to increase voter turnout and engaged in election monitoring efforts.  

Outcome 1: Of 195 projects funded in this outcome, 156 (i.e. 80% of the total) were completed by the end of 2023. Educational and awareness-raising activities remain the most popular method of involving citizens in PPs’ projects, reaching around a quarter (83,000 people, 8 times more than planned in Outcome 1.1) of all participants engaged in the projects.  65 PPs reported using different methods of  civic participation in various policy-making processes with the authorities – both at local and national level (output 1.3). Of all reported projects, 7 focused on promoting dialogue across divides  (a priority in this Outcome) by using different techniques to discuss difficult or sensitive issues such as Covid-19, refugee policy, racial differences, or Polish-German relations. In 2023, as a part of the predefined project (Participation Practitioners’ Yard – PaPaYa) the Shipyard Foundation organised four events attended by 480 participants, including three Regional Participation Practitioners’ Forum (Szczecin, Przemyśl, Kraków) and the tenth Participation Practitioners’ Forum in Bydgoszcz.  

Outcome 2: Of 115 projects funded in this outcome, 110 (i.e. 95% of the total) were completed by the end of 2023. 64,605 people were involved in the activities conducted by 114 organisations (projects’ leaders) ran in cooperation with 44 partners. 47 organisations (7 more than planned) provided legal or psychological support to 8,568 (planned 3,500) people from vulnerable groups and those experiencing violence and discrimination, 74 social campaigns were implemented (planned 30), reaching more than 30,000,000 people (planned 3,000,000). In the pre-election period a number of civil society organisations conducted monitoring activities, usually accompanied by advocacy and information activities. In total, 142 organisations (planned 20) carried out 39 monitoring initiatives (planned 10) in cooperation with 326 other entities (local authorities, public institutions or companies).     

Outcome 3: Of the 127 projects funded under this outcome, 118 projects (93% of the total) were completed by the end of 2023.  To date, 6 408 people from vulnerable groups (planned 2 000) have been reached by empowerment measures and 1,523 people working with vulnerable groups (planned 1,000) have been trained in the use of new/improved methods to address their needs.  Activities related to this outcome are often used to adapt mainstream services to the needs of minority groups. Professionals from different fields (teachers, educators, psychologists, doctors, etc.) are unfamiliar with the specific needs of people from these groups, which makes them vulnerable to discriminatory treatment and hinders their access to legally guaranteed services.     

Outcome 4: Of 69 projects funded in this outcome, 7  were completed by the end of 2023, 13 are at various stages of the closing process, the rest is still. Project implementation time in sectoral projects is the longest. That’s why only 30 % of them are close to completion. By the end of 2023, about 1,600 (planned 425)  CSOs and informal groups benefited from the services and products offered in sectoral projects.   

In 2023, all 23 organisations that received organisational grants to strengthen the institutional base of their work submitted interim reports. The reports were discussed with the grantees during monitoring meetings. Results-based accountability worked well for these experienced organisations, outputs and results were achieved at the intended level and carefully documented. In the Media for Democracy call organised under this outcome, 8 grants were awarded to projects aimed at strengthening the capacity and improving inter-editorial cooperation of local and community media.  All these projects are at the end of their implementation and their results are not at risk.   

In a pre-defined project, Mobile Academy for NGOs – Mango, implemented by FAOO, 23 full-day residential workshops were organised in 8 locations outside major cities and in peripheral regions. The trainings were attended by 311 people from CSOs. A web-based self-assessment tool for institutional development was presented during a training for CSO managers (59 participants).  By the end of the year, the self-assessment tool was used by 400 organisations  

Bilateral outcome: Already in 2022, all targeted indicators for bilateral and regional cooperation were achieved and even exceeded. In 2023, a total of 20 events/initiatives were organised or co-organised with other Fund Operators in the framework of bilateral and regional cooperation: 7 bilateral and 13 regional, including online meetings. They were attended by more than 400 people.  In the framework of bilateral cooperation, we organised 4 study visits: one to Iceland on youth civic engagement (7 representatives from 7 PPs), one to Liechtenstein on women’s rights (5 representatives from 5 PPs) and two to Norway – on Dialogue Across Divides (6 representatives from 6 PPs) and on fundraising (6 representatives from 6 PPs).    

Visibility of the Programme and the Donors was ensured at both programme and project level. The ACF logo, with an indication of the source of funding, has been used by the FO and the PPs on all information and promotional materials. 13,600 people follow the programme’s Facebook profile. According to the results of the media monitoring, there were more than 9000 mentions of the Programme and projects in the press and online portals in 2023 (excluding radio and TV).   

The overall risk of the Programme remains at the level 2, same as in the previous year. A new risk is related to the high inflation and the shrinking supply of audit services (due to various legislative changes), which leads to an increase in the programme management costs. costs.    

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