Resource Center Foundation



 INTERSECTORAL(CROSS-SECTOR) PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME


I. Need for intersectoral partnership

Several major reasons necessitate the elaboration and implementation of an Intersectoral Partnership Programme (ISPP) at the Resource Center (RC):

The general situation and popular moods in the country. After years of arduous transition, there are signs that people are disillusioned, discontent and disappointed in their expectations that political and administrative changes at the top of the government pyramids would effectively resolve their concrete local problems. People are increasingly realizing that they themselves are the only mainstay and hope of changing their own lives. Partnerships offer support in this situation they foster trust in ones own capacities and strengthen belief in the possibility to seek and identify common goals and common solutions to common issues by pooling efforts and mobilizing the resources of all stakeholders and participants in partnerships.

By developing the ISPP, the RC is fulfilling its mission in a specific but very important aspect: the Center is meeting a distinct need in the Bulgarian NGO community by providing services and training for cross-sectoral partnership building and operation, propagating partnering as a universal method of work among people and organizations, mobilizing sectoral resources in the solution of concrete problems, multiplying the impact of the NGO community on society, etc.

The ISPP adds an important and modern dimension to the work of the RC. The effective and influential international and national NGOs are striving to develop partnerships and to promote partnering in their environment, and thereby aim to increase their impact on the different sectors in society by reaching out to different strata and social groups governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions, business structures, the media, the academic community, etc. They are even identifying new areas which they subject to theoretical research, and are exploring partnership as a specific scientific, academic and research sphere. If the ISPP gains momentum and is implemented properly, the RC will be recognized as an organization that applies the principles of and disseminates an avant-garde social technology applied by the international community not only in the NGO sector but also in the other sectors of society.

If the RCs ultimate goal is to build and promote civil/open society in Bulgaria by building up the NGO sector, the RC must develop, promote, cultivate and foster partnering, partner relations and partnership as a kind of ideology. Apart from a method and methodology, partnership is also a specific philosophy and worldview of citizens, which is in direct opposition to the worldview and ideologies of division and confrontation. Partnership is an ideology of civic integrity, of social cohesion, of understanding and cooperation among the social sectors, organizations, groups and individuals. Precisely to measure partnership, Bulgarias NGO and other sectors need information and services that will help them recognize the potential of this methodology/approach and philosophy/worldview for civil/open society.

Partnership is a methodology of mobilizing and integrating resources not only financial, but also material, technical, human, intellectual, know-how and other resources for the resolution of concrete community problems. Hence the development and implementation of the ISPP will be of benefit to the RC as a specific mechanism of winning new partners, fund-raising, identifying appropriate issues of interest to the different sectors and, respectively, settling them on the basis of an intersectoral partnership approach. In this respect the ISPP will be capable of providing services to the NGO sector and the RCs priority partners.

The partnership methodology and approach end in-sectoral isolation and build bridges between sectors by involving them in the settlement of common problems and pursuing a synergetic effect. That is why the ISPP and the RC respectively will come to personify the constant openness of the NGO sector to the other sectors, turning into a role model of how people could and should work on a partnership basis.

The partnership methodology and its competent application are particularly important for NGOs, since their mission is by definition - to serve as the basis for social cohesion and understanding, and as the link between all sectors in society. In fact, the successful NGO is an NGO that can and does win partners and resources to fulfill its mission, objectives and tasks.

By developing the ISPP, the RC has a better opportunity to study, analyze and understand the needs and environment not only of the NGO sector, but also of the other sectors. This will enable the RC to fine-tune its current priorities. The ISPP will help extend the outreach of RC services, consultancy, training, etc.

Mission, values, principles and goals

The ISPP mission is actually identical to the RC mission, but in a more concrete dimension. The raison detre of the ISPP is to facilitate the development of Bulgarias NGO sector by disseminating, propagating, cultivating and applying partnership as a methodology and philosophy of action, by training key figures in societys main sectors how to apply partnership in the solution of problems at the national and local level.

 

In general, the ISPPs goals are:

1. To facilitate the development of the Bulgarian NGO sector by pursuing and fulfilling its own mission;

2. To facilitate the RCs development in the various areas of the latters activities more specifically, by promoting and establishing relations with potential partner organizations at the international, national and local levels; by developing and implementing projects in the spirit of its own mission and the RCs broader vision; by ensuring the RCs extra-sectoral presence by providing expert advice and training for the government, business and other sectors in society.

3. To facilitate the development of partnership and implementation of joint projects between the NGO sector and government for the purpose of achieving public benefit results. To relieve the State from extrinsic social activities and responsibilities. To assist the State in spheres in which the NGO sector has proved its efficiency. To lobby the authorities for the establishment of an enabling legal and tax environment for the Third Sector.

 

ISPP guiding values:

Ø       Cooperation and, in particular, intersectoral cooperation, interaction and partnership among individuals, organizations and institutions, is a core value of the ISPP;

Ø       Respect for and acknowledgment of the value and self-value, dignity and interest of every individual, organization and sector with their specific culture, relations, internal organization, objectives and aspirations;

Ø       Openness and readiness to seek and identify meaningful common goals, and to tackle common issues irrespective of who has raised them;

Ø       Sharing experience from international and national internal practices demonstrating the strength and potential of partnership approaches;

Ø       People, personalities or individuals are the main and prime source of positive changes; all results depend on their style, relations and interactions.

 

ISPP principles:

The ISPP upholds and applies the main partnership principles, more specifically:

Ø       Openness and transparency of actions; preclusion of doubts about a discrepancy between declared intentions and practical actions;

Ø       Balance of interests, responsibilities and obligations, on the one hand, and acquisition of benefits, on the other;

Ø       Equality of all who are working for and contributing to the attainment of goals and fulfillment of tasks.

 

Problems resolved by the ISPP:

Ø       The state of the national economy does not encourage the development and activity of non-profit organizations.

Ø       It is absolutely imperative to find an effective mechanism of encouraging not-for-profit legal entities to pursue public benefit activities.

Ø       More than 90% of the funds of Bulgarias non-profit organizations come from foreign financial sources.

Ø       This means that should the latter withdraw, 90% of the activities of non-profit organizations would be terminated.

It is absolutely imperative to create an enabling legal and tax environment.

Ø       The undeveloped system of philanthropy in Bulgaria and pursuit of other forms of charitable activities by non-profit organizations necessitates the creation of more attractive conditions for donors in the country.

Ø       Establishing financial sustainability of non-profit organizations also requires preferential treatment of their economic activity and entitlement to recover input VAT charged.

With due consideration for these and other problems in the legislation on not-for-profit legal entities (NPLEs), the working groups established in 2000 have acquired permanent status under the Foundations ISPP this year.

 

 

For more information, please write us to info@ngorc.net