Public Perception about NGOs in Serbia
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Public Perception about NGOs in Serbia

on

  • 1,222 views

This is a web publication presenting data from the survey on public perception and attitudes towards the nongovernmental sector in Serbia, carried out in May 2009. The survey was commissioned by the ...

This is a web publication presenting data from the survey on public perception and attitudes towards the nongovernmental sector in Serbia, carried out in May 2009. The survey was commissioned by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and financially supported by the USAID.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,222
Views on SlideShare
1,222
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
26
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Public Perception about NGOs in Serbia Public Perception about NGOs in Serbia Presentation Transcript

    • Citizens’ Association for Democracy and Civic Education Simina 9a • 11 000 Belgrade • Tel/fax: +381 11 2625-942; 2623-980 • civin@gradjanske. org • www.gradjanske.orgPUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 This publication is made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the “Civil Society Advocacy Initiative” program, implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Communities. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily re ect the views of ISC, USAID or the United States Government.
    • Table of Contents1. Introduction .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................32. Methodology ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................4 ndings ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................54. Findings by areas ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................6 Priority issues ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................6 Participation ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Empowerment ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................19 Trust ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 28 Perception of NGOs ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 35 PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 2
    • 1. IntroductionThis is a web publication presenting data from the survey on public perception and attitudes towards the nongovernmental sector in Serbia,carried out in May 2009. The survey was commissioned by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and financially supported by the USAID.This survey is a part of the 5 year ISC project “Civil Society Advocacy Initiative” (CSAI), whose overall goal is for the citizens of Serbia to takeresponsibility for defining their future while building a more democratic and prosperous Serbia moving towards European integration. Byproviding grants, training, and technical assistance, CSAI works to: • Support civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate effectively for political, economic, and social issues that consolidate Serbia’s democratic transition; • Pursue the adoption of new laws and strategies, amendments to current laws, and monitor the implementation of key legislation critical to improving the lives of Serbia’s citizens; • Create conditions for citizen activism at the local level; • Provide high quality technical skills in advocacy, networking and consensus building; • Encourage cross-sector partnerships and involvement of key stakeholders in advocacy initiatives.ISC is implementing its CSAI Program in partnership with the following organizations: Civic Initiatives (CI), the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund(BCIF), the European Center for Non-Profit Law (ECNL) and Smart Kolektiv.To understand survey results in the Serbian context, it is worth reminding the readers of the key events that took place in the period from May2006 to May 2009: • May 2006 – Montenegro declared independence; • 28-29 October 2006 – a referendum on a proposed draft of the new Constitution; • 21 January 2007 – parliamentary elections (the Government was only formed in May); • 20 January 2008 – presidential elections; • 17 February 2008 – Kosovo’s declaration of independence; • 11 May 2008 – early parliamentary, provincial and local elections; • September 2008 – split in SRS and the formation of SNS; • October 2008 – the eruption of the economic crisis; • Early 2009 – conditions set by IMF, the rationalization of the public sector; • March 2009 – public discussion and the adoption of the Anti-Discrimination Law; • April 2009 – the eviction of the Roma settlement Belvil.The gathered data were analyzed by CI staff: Jelena Milovanovic, Ivana Gliksman, Radojka Pavlovic and Dubravka Velat. We would like to extendour gratitude to Aleksandra Vesic, Civic Initiatives Team TRI trainer and NGO sector expert, for her contribution to data analysis.Data are commented from the perspectives of NGO representatives. The publication is not an in-depth sociological study, and it does not attemptto give all the answers to the problems and issues observed in the survey. However, we believe that the information provide valuable insight forthose who are interested in the NGO sector in Serbia and who want to further explore ways of improving its image in the Serbian society.Web publications are prepared in both Serbian and English and can be downloaded from www.iscserbia.org and www.gradjanske.org. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 3
    • 2. 2. 2. Methodology Description of of Research Description ResearchThe main aim of this research was to determine the Serbian public’s general perception of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), levels of publicawareness and familiarity with NGOs, and public attitudes towards the role and work of this sector. A secondary aim of this research was to examinethe extent to which the perception, awareness, and attitudes of citizens toward the NGO sector have changed since the last such survey in 2006.All the data were gathered by a standardized questionnaire which included the following five main, interrelated topics: • Priority issues – Issues faced by the country or the local community that citizens are most concerned about; • Participation – Citizen participation in the life of their local community; • Empowerment – The feeling of the role / power they have to influence the life of their local community; • Trust in institutions – Trust in public institutions and nongovernmental organizations NGOs; • Perception of NGOs – Familiarity with, perception and attitudes about NGOs.The survey was carried out amongst a representative sample of the citizens of Serbia, aged 18+. The sample type and sampling stages (stratified,three-staged, random, representative sample) allowed the generalization of the given data concerning the targeted population with a definedmarginal error. The sample size was 1044 interviewees (the marginal error for 95% confidence interval for incidence of 50% is +/-3.03%).The interviews were carried out using the "face to face" method at respondents’ homes. The fieldwork was accomplished in the period between 24thApril and 5th May, 2009.The sample of people interviewed was stratified by the following categories: • Gender: male / female; • Age: 18 – 29, 30-44, 45-60, over 60; • Education: elementary or less, secondary, college or university; • Will vote for Parliament: DS, SNS, SRS, DSS, LDP, SPS, other, undecided / refuse to answer, wouldn’t vote; • Region: Belgrade, Central Serbia, Vojvodina; • Type of settlement: urban / rural.Most graphs provide comparative data, from the 2006 and 2009 surveys. In several instances where the examined data were not collected in 2006or where significant information was drawn from the 2009 survey, graphs provide data solely from the more recent survey.The narrative descriptions usually begin with a general analysis of the data from the 2009 survey, followed by a comparison with 2006 survey data.Further explanations go deeper into the analysis of the 2009 data, presenting only those data that show greater variations compared to the averagedata, and significant differences among research variables (i.e. by gender, age, education, region, type of settlements, political party affiliation – interms of for whom they would vote in the Parliamentary election. For the sake of simplicity, we call them by the name of the parties they would votefor, i.e. “DS voters” or “SPS voters”. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 4
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation of of data ndings Presentation dataThe collapse of US financial institutions in September 2008 caused a global domino effect. In 2009, the influence of the world economic crisison Serbia determined the dynamics of events on the political scene. Although a certain level of stability was achieved, the ruling coalition,led by the Democratic Party (DS), came under increased strain as the economic crisis generated more strikes and public protests, aswell as intra-coalition political disagreement. Unemployment and poverty increased, and there was a dramatic drop in the standardof living. The need to make further deep cuts in public sector expenses and employment in order to meet the IMF-agreed budget deficittargets heightened the risk of a popular backlash and social discontent. With this context in mind, it is not surprising that the main findingsrelated to public perceptions of and attitudes toward the NGO sector in Serbia in 2009 are generally not as positive as would be desired, butstill better than one could have expected.In terms of priority issues, and compared to 2006, more people perceive unemployment, general economy, corruption and crime as the topissues for the future of the country, while substantially fewer people mention the Kosovo issue among high-priority concerns.Citizen participation in Serbia is very weak - the great majority of the citizens (78%) do not belong to any of the groups or organizations,networks, associations. This number has even increased when compared to 2006 (71%). Citizens are mostly associated with trade or laborunions (6%), political groups or movements (5%), sports groups (3%) and cultural groups or associations (2%). This may indicate that theevery-day struggle to survive has decreased the will of citizens to unite their strength and face new challenges. Membership in some groupsrequires additional engagement in spare time, which people barely have under the sharpened conditions and increased competition in theprofessional sphere. Moreover, the authorities neither showed sufficient interest in, nor created favorable conditions for, citizens’engagement. It must also be pointed out that funding resources for most groups, apart from political parties, are significantly changed, andmany people have had difficulty coping with this.In comparison to 2006, respondents indicated less of a feeling of power to change things in their own lives and in their local communities.The sense of control over all and most decisions has dropped from 51% to 38%, while the feeling of having no control or over very fewdecisions has grown from 23% to 33%. Several factors influence citizens’ feeling of power to control their own lives and the community, andare primarily tied to the usual role assignment in the decision-making. It is evident that a feeling of control is stronger in more developed andaffluent communities, which offer more opportunities. This explains the feeling of self-confidence among Belgrade citizens – which is rathera result of an idea that there are possibilities they can choose from than of direct engagement in regaining control.Trust in institutions has decreased - with the exception of the church, and to an extent the police, public trust in institutions to work in thebest interest of society is extremely low. On the other hand, the situation with NGOs is not as negative as expected: actually, NGOs are trustedmore that the Serbian Parliament, Serbian Government, Serbian business community and political parties (which are at the bottom of the“trust list”). One can sense a general lack of trust towards institutions, and a strong feeling of estrangement of the state from the citizens anddisappointment that the state is viewed as more concerned with the interests of the political parties constituting it than with the publicinterest. It is interesting that, compared to other institutions, trust in NGOs is on the rise, which gives hope that the “time of crying” over thebetrayed expectations of the 5th October changes is at its end.The perception of NGOs is still not what we would prefer - the first associations with NGOs are somewhat more positive than negative and34% of responses imply that more people have positive or neutral associations when hear “NGO”, compared to 29% of associations which canbe described as negative. The information that a fifth of the citizens know nothing about NGOs and that the negative attitudes are incorrelation with the themes which attract the media’s attention is worrisome. These findings should encourage NGO activists to dedicatemore attention to the issue of informing the public about their work and results so that they may reach all the citizens in their communities. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 5
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentationareas – Priority issues Presentation of of of data Presentation data 4. Findings by dataFindings by areas unemployment (61%), which indicates a significant increase when compared to 2006 (53%). Related to unemployment is also the issue of low living standards,Priority issues indicated by 36% of the respondents, which is a bit less than it was 3 years ago,Graph 1: In your view, what are the 3 issues or problems that are of the greatest when it was 40%. The importance of economy almost doubled (16% in 2006importance for the future of the country? – all answers, spontaneous compared to 30% in 2009). One quarter of citizens (25%) saw corruption as a growing problem (18% in 2006) together with crime (17% in 2009 as compared to 10% in 2006). Substantially fewer people mentioned the Kosovo issue amongTOP 10 – SPONTANEOUSLY MENTIONED priorities (6% compared to 24% in 2006), with EU integration, already not highly prioritized in 2006, dropping to 6% (from 9%). 53% In 2009, unemployment was perceived as the issue of greatest importance for the Unemployment 61% country by more women (65%) than men (56%), and by young people (69%), persons with elementary and less education (67%), those that would vote for SPS Low standard of living (small 40% (75%), living outside of Belgrade (Central Serbia 67%, Vojvodina 66%) and in rural salaries, pensions...) 36% areas (64%). Among these people, the lowest percentages belong to persons from Belgrade (39%) and LDP voters (33%). The percentage of people who found the 16% issue of unemployment to be of utmost importance is much greater than the y Economy 30% official data on the unemployment rate. This can be explained by individuals’ 18% growing fears of job losses, and the lack of possibilities for new employment. The Corruption less frequent anxiety among Belgrade citizens and LDP voters can be explained by 25% the fact that Belgrade offers more opportunities for finding jobs, while LDP voters 10% are generally highly educated with more chances to adjust to the situation. They are Crime 17% not so much personally affected by unemployment, but are still aware that this is a great issue for the future of the society. Ruined economy (factories not 7% 8% The issue of the low standard of living is still in second place among priority issues working etc.) ki t ) for the future of society. However, in 2009, fewer people thought the same (40% in 3% 2006 2006, compared to 36% in 2009). This is related to general indicators of poverty, Internal politics, bad politics 7% which till the end of 2008 showed a downward trend. The percentage of the poor 2009 grew in the first quarter of 2008, but is still smaller than in 2006 (from 8.8% of the 9% poor in 2006 to 5.4% in 2007 and 7.4% in April 2009). If we compare statistical data Public health 6% stratified by regions, in the first half of 2009, the poverty rate was twice higher in 24% Central Serbia than in Belgrade and Vojvodina. The low standard of living is Problems in Kosovo, status of perceived to be of great importance mostly by women (40%) and less educated Kosovo, terrorism Kosovo terrorism... 6% persons (48%). On the other hand, college and university educated persons were 9% more concerned about the general economy (38%). The same issue was identified Joining EC by 37% of those that are most economically active (age 30-44). The almost 100% 6% increase in the anxiety of citizens about economy can be associated with their awareness of possible consequences of the economic crisis which appeared much earlier before crisis really affected the economy of Serbia. It is therefore expectedIn comparison to 2006, more people perceived unemployment, general economy, that people of working age and more educated people are more familiar with thecorruption and crime as the top issues for the future of the country, while situation and more able to make guesses, than those at the poverty level and thosesubstantially fewer people mentioned the Kosovo issue as a high-priority concern. near the end of their working life.In response to an open question about the three issues or problems that are of the An interesting variety of answers is visible with regard to corruption which seems togreatest importance for the future of Serbia, most people mentioned be recognized as an important issue mostly by young people (35%) and persons with secondary education (28%), which is understandable since they belong to a PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 6
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Priority issues Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings datagroup of active citizens who greatly suffer consequences without having any low standard of living (from 51 to 53% of population). This is not in accordance withmechanism to confront them. LDP voters (35%) and those living in Belgrade (32%) actual indicators, because when compared with the period before the crisis, thefar clearly recognize the problem of corruption because it is mostly widespread in poverty index rose more quickly in Belgrade and Central Serbia than in Vojvodina.administrative centers, where decisions related to greater profit are made. The least This indicates a fairly pessimistic view about a personal perspective.worried are the elderly (14%) and less educated people (18%) because big scandalsusually happen far from them and they do not have a feeling that they are directly Graph 2.1: What are the top 3 issues or problems about which you personally areaffected by them. The attitude of SRS voters (11%) and those living in Vojvodina most concerned these days? – all answers, spontaneous(15%) can be explained in a similar way because they mostly consist of a similar (Multiple answers; Base: Total target population)structure, i.e. elderly citizens, less educated persons and those living far fromdecision-making places. 59% Low standard of living (small salaries, pensions...) 52%There are strong political differences in relation to Kosovo and EU integrationissues. The Kosovo issue raises high concerns among SRS (16%) and DSS (14%) 38% Unemployment 45%voters. The decline in the interest in the Kosovo issue can be associated with the factthat the 2006 research overlapped with the dissolution of the State Union of Serbia 8%and Montenegro and the popular feeling that Kosovo was next. The hope that this Corruption 17%could be prevented was created during the referendum campaign, but three years 5%later, many citizens became aware of the reality and of the fact that the denial of Economy 14%Kosovo independence is only in the interest of political bodies. Only the voters of 21%nationalist parties still cherish hope. Public health 16%The interest of citizens in EU integration has also declined, because the process is 8%very slow and shows no visible effects, and therefore the feeling that the “promised Crime 9%land” is still far and does not depend on them is much spread. A sense of 5%disappointment is also evident, because in the 2008 parliamentary elections, many Retirements 7% 2006more citizens expressed the wish that the state accelerate its EU integration General crisis, insecurity, lack of 7%process. This issue is considered to be of great importance by LDP voters (19%) and 2009 perspective. 6%DS voters (10%) because LDP, having an opposition role, mostly advocates EUintegration, while DS gained power on this issue. Increase of prices 6%In 2009, at a personal level and in comparison to 2006, people were moreconcerned about unemployment (45%), corruption (17%) and the general Expansion of Mexican flu 5%economy (14%). A low standard of living was still at the top of personal concerns(52%), but there is a drop compared to 2006 (59%). It is also noteworthy that in 2009 Agriculture 5%fewer people (16%) were concerned about public health than in 2006 (21%). 6% Education, school policy 4%A low standard of living was perceived by 55% of women as the key concern, andalso by 58% of middle aged persons (45-60 years), and 60% of less educated 9%persons. This was expected because they belong to the groups that have fewer Social problems 4%chances in the period of crisis and are forced to accept poorly paid jobs. Similarreasons can be also associated with 63% of those that would vote for SRS, because Impact of global economic crisis 3% %they are mostly citizens belonging to largely socially excluded groups. Even thoughthe actual poverty rate is lower in 2009 than in 2006, the depth of poverty worsenedat the end of 2008, and the World Bank and IMF assessed that the budgetallocations in Serbia are the lowest in the region. People living in different Unemployment was viewed as the biggest personal concern mostly by younggeographic regions and types of settlement did not have much difference in their people (64%), persons with secondary level education (48%), DSS voters (61%),opinions about this question, and they were all almost equally worried about the those living in Central Serbia (55%) and in rural areas (51%). As expected, only 23% PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 7
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Priority issues Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataof elderly people expressed concern about unemployment, and a bit more, 27% of Graph 3: How important are the following issues for Serbia? – % answers “verypeople living in Belgrade shared the same concern. The public perceptions concur important”with the official statistical data. Since the data on the economic crisis werepublished in October 2008, a sharp deterioration in the labor market occurred. In 91%April 2009, there was an increase in the unemployment rate from 13.3% in the Unemployment 91% Same as 2006pre-crisis period to 16.6% in 2009. During the same period, from 2008 to 2009, there 91%was a decline in employment of almost 200,000 jobs. According to statistical Low standard of living 89%indicators, the crisis occurred in non-urban areas, particularly in Central Serbia, and 87% Povertyskilled workers and young people were the most severely affected. Women were 88%more struck by the crisis in its first phase, while men suffered more in the second. Human rights 73% 72% 84%Graph 2.2: What are the top 3 issues or problems about which you personally are Health care and health insurance 88%most concerned these days? – Spontaneous, all three answers 82% Economic development 87% 82% 64% Crime and personal security 86% 50% 81% Corruption 86% 18 29 17% 75% 13% Employees’ rights 79% More important then 2006 6% 73% Education 78% 48% 68% Improving conditions for people with 53% special needs 75% 60% 30 44 20% Environmental protection 72% 18% 61% 5% Unemployment Alcoholism and drug addiction 71% 61% 50% Reform of the legal system 67% 58% Low standard of living 58% AIDS and HIV 19% (small salaries, pensions...) 67% 45 60 55% 19% Problems of your local community 65% Corruption 8% 58% Reform of the political system 64% 23% 53% 47% Economy Status of refugees and returnees 61% 47% >60 10% Gender relations/equality 56% 7% Public health 70% Kosovo status 20% 59% important then 2006 56% Less Joining European Union 2006 49% 53%In 2009, the number of people who believed that corruption had influenced their Advance of democracy 2009 47%personal life jumped significantly (from 8% in 2006 to 17% in 2009). This wasexpected since other research has found that people believed that corruption is Global economic crises 69%mostly present in the health system (78%), and among political parties (76%), and it PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 8
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Priority issues Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings datais usually associated with election processes, which were frequent in the given Graph 4: How important are the following problems for your daily life and well-period. In comparing the percentages of people worried about corruption in being – % very importantdifferent regions, the greatest difference was found between people living inCentral Serbia (21%) and those living in Vojvodina (8%). These variations in attitudes 80% Low standard oflliving of ivingcan be explained by the fact that a feeling of being personally affected by 81%corruption is more present among the poor, and Central Serbia is thought to be the 74% Poverty 75%most underdeveloped region of the country. Same as 2006 72% Economic development 74%Citizens considered issues like unemployment, a low standard of living, poverty and 68%human rights to be equally important in 2009 as in 2006. Although assessed as Crime and p personal security y 70%equally important, data from previous graphs show that these issues are perceived 65%as “top” issues for both the future of the country and as personal concerns. When Employees’ rights 65%asked to rank issues in terms of importance, people gave highest marks first to 58% Problems of your local community 60%unemployment and then to crime and personal security, health care and health 63%insurance, low standard of living and poverty. At the same time, the situation has Corruption 66%worsened and a number of issues were recognized as even more important than in 79%2006. The biggest “jump” is visible among those issues that have been put on the Health care and health insurance 82%agenda by the Government and/or were advocated by the NGO sector 48% Environmental protection 57%(environment, conditions for persons with disabilities, alcoholism and drug More important then 2006 56%addiction, local community problems, gender issues). The importance of Kosovo’s Education 58%status dropped dramatically (from 70% in 2006 to 59% in 2009), together with a 45% Improving conditions for people withsignificant drop in relation to EU integration and the advance of democracy. special needs 51% 42%These data show that citizens’ concern is about real life problems and not theory Reform of the legal system 47%and politics. There are a very few differences among respondents in relation to 38% Reform of the political system 41%specific issues. Only a few are worth mentioning. For example, among issuesmarked as important (4+5), the global economic crisis is considered as less 37% Alcoholism and drug addiction 41%important by citizens from Belgrade (66%) than by people living in Central Serbia 35%(88%). The same issue is more significant for people living in rural areas (89%) than Gender relations/equality 2006 40%for people from urban areas (78%). Problems at the level of the local community are 35% AIDS and HIV 2009less significant to those living in urban areas (78%), than to those living in rural areas 38%(89%). The feelings and worries of citizens are in accordance with existing indicators 29% Status of refugees and returnees 37%showing that in the period of crisis, the poorly developed sink faster and deeper 80%than others, and that the state cannot spur their development without some Unemployment 73% Less important thenforeign assistance. The Kosovo issue has more importance among the older 62% Human rightspopulation (88%) than among those of 33-44 years of age (71%). As for the voters of 58%different parties, they showed that they are very familiar with their party politics, 43% 2006 Kosovo status K 39%and therefore 91% of DSS voters considered the Kosovo status to be an important 37%issue, while much less - 53% of LDP voters thought the same. Gender relations were Joining European Union 36%less important to those living in Vojvodina (70%) than to those living in Central 36%Serbia (81%), where the patriarchal cultural model is more developed. The Advance of democracy 34%advancement of democracy was seen as less important by those who would vote Global economic crises 53%for SNS (52% compared to 80% of DS and 79% of LDP voters). As expected, forpeople with college or university degrees perceive the advancement of democracy PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 9
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Priority issues Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataas more important (78%) than do people with elementary education (65%).. Joining their daily life than the young population (67%). An even greater difference isthe European Union is an issue that shows the greatest differences based on related to the issue of joining the European Union – 63% of young people and 39%political party affiliation: from 43% of DSS and 49% of SNS voters, to 83% DS and of the older generation consider this issue important, which was fully expected97% LDP voters. Citizens from Belgrade consider joining the EU as less important since this would open access to wanted opportunities for young people, and forces(55%) than citizens from other regions (72% Central Serbia). People belonging to the elderly to change. This issue also shows variations among voters of differentdifferent age groups are also divided on this issue and the young population (77%) parties, so 89% of LDP, 66% of DS, and 31% of SRS voters think that for their daily lifeconsiders it to be more important than the older population (58%). This is in and well-being it is important that Serbia join the European Union. In Central Serbiaaccordance with expectations, because younger people have greater capacities for 57% of citizens believe this issue is important, compared to 41% of Belgradechanges, and they see chances for themselves in an advanced and more democratic citizens.society. The global economic crisis concerned more than half of the citizens of Serbia, whichBy comparing data from 2006 and 2009, it can be seen that citizens deem problems is understandable since after a multi-year 5% growth of GDP per year, the firstlike a low standard of living, poverty, economic development, crime and personal impacts of the crisis appeared in late 2008, and in the first half of 2009, GDP declinedsecurity, employees’ rights and problems of their local community equally to 4%. The economic crisis is more important to SNS (83%) than to LDP (49%) voters.important for their daily life and well-being. Even though the poverty rate is lower It is also more important to Vojvodina (78%) than to Belgrade (55%) citizens, i.e. tothan in 2006, the crisis and insecure future do not allow any shift of people’s those who are in the most unfavorable social position and the farthest from theconcerns in some other social spheres. However, issues like environmental decision-making places.protection, the status of refugees and returnees, and improving conditions forpeople with disabilities are considered to be more important in 2009 than in 2006.We would need some more in-depth surveys to determine whether this increase isa result of the development of social consciousness, or it is due to people’s tendencyto give more favorable answers in the period of the promotion of social solidarity.This is particularly interesting when compared to the issue of human rights, whichis not considered as important as it used to be. In 2009, unemployment is marked asless important for the daily life and well-being of citizens than it was in 2006, whichdoes not coincide with the statistical indicators, since in the last year of the givenperiod, the unemployment rate increased from 14% in 2008 to 16.6 in 2009. Anexplanation might lie in the fact that citizens connect the term “employed” with along-term stable contract with an employer, and this practice is in decline.Simultaneously, due to the unfavorable tax policy, a grey labor market with someshort-term opportunities for earning money flourished, and therefore the status ofa formally employed is not so important any more. Human rights, the Kosovo status,EU accession, the advancement of democracy are also viewed as slightly lessimportant.Estimated as being the most important (4+5) issues for daily life and well-being in2009 are: health care and health insurance (95%), low standard of living (92%),crime and personal security (89%), economic development (89%) and poverty(88%). The least important (1+2) are joining the European Union (28%), AIDS andHIV (27%), alcoholism and drug addiction (23%) and the Kosovo status (22%).When it comes to the importance of different issues among different age groups, itcan be noted that young people (86%) deem education more important than theolder generation (61%). The elderly (45%) find gender relations less important for PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 10
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Participation Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataParticipation Among those who belong to some associations, we can note that men are mostlyGraph 5: Do you belong to any of these groups or organizations, networks, and members of political (7%) and sports (6%) groups, and then trade unions (5%), whileassociations? women are more often members, first of trade unions (6%) and much less of politi-Multiple answers; Base: Total target population cal (3%) and sports (1%) groups. Trade unions mostly gather people of working age (10 % - 9%), university graduates 8% (11%), small party voters (17%) and Belgrade citizens (11%). Among members of Trade or labor union 6% different political groups, there are mostly small party voters (27%), people with 5% university education (11%), and then SNS and DSS voters (8%). Young people Political group or movement 5% mostly belong to sports groups (6%) and then political groups (4%). 5% Sports group 3% The low rates of participation may indicate that the every-day struggle to survive 2% has caused a decrease in citizens’ will to unite their strength and face new Cultural group or association 2% challenges. Membership in some groups requires additional engagement in spare Professional association 2% time, which people barely have under the sharpened conditions and increased (doctors, teachers, veterans) 1% competition in the professional sphere. Moreover, the authorities neither showed 1% sufficient interest in nor created favorable conditions for citizens’ engagement. It Women’s group 1% must be pointed out that funding resources for most groups, apart from political 2% Business association/traders’ group 1% parties, have significantly changed, and many people have had difficulty coping with this. An explanation can also be sought in a values gap. On the one hand we 1% Neighborhood or village committee 1% have the older population with a collective conscience and a paternalistic approach 2% captured in their memories of “old times” and without progressive ideas. On the Education group (eg PTA or school committee) 1% other hand, we have younger generations with evident individualism and conform- Religious or spiritual group 3% 2006 ism, disappointed in constant delays of a better future. Finally, there must be some (church, mosque, informal religi 1% “material fatigue” among citizens, as well as the lack of their belief that their 1% 2009 personal engagement can bring any qualitative changes. If this is looked in the light Youth group 1% of the fact that the middle generation is weakened by almost 300,000 of those who, 1% during the repressive regime, were younger and more ambitious and went abroad, NGO or social service organization 1% then it becomes clear why citizens have difficulties in finding something that would 0% Parents group be worth their engagement. 1% 71% Each tenth citizen (11%) has taken some action to address a specific concern or None 78% problem in their community, which is even less than in 2006. As in 2006, the reasons for not taking any action vary, but most frequently – and somewhat more than in 2006 - citizens just do not believe that it would make a difference. Men were moreThe great majority of citizens (78%) do not belong to any group, organization, active (15%) than women (7%), persons from 45 to 60 years old (14%) more activenetwork or association. This number has increased since 2006 (71%). Citizens mostly than young people (6%), persons with higher education (18%) were more activeassociate with trade or labor unions (6%), political groups or movements (5%), than those with elementary education (7%). DSS voters (24%) and those notsports groups (3%) and cultural groups or associations (2%). belonging to the main political parties (22%) were among the more active citizens,More men (25%) than women (19%) are associated with different groups. Those and the least active were SRS voters (5%). It is apparent that those who have moreabove 30 years of age (23% - 24%), highly educated (35%), and non-leading political spare time (men and the elderly) and those who cannot impose their ideas throughparty voters (42%) belong to some groups, organizations or networks. It is worth the structure of power (DSS and undecided) more often decided in favor of socialmentioning that only 16% of young people and only 3% of LDP voters (next are SRS engagement. The highly educated have a more developed social awareness andvoters - 18%), belong to any type of organization. easier access to information, while SRS voters are traditionally loyal to their party and have no interest in giving up of their role of being faithful members. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 11
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Participation Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings data c (33%), persons with secondary education (30%), and SPS (46%) and DSS (45%)concern or problem in your community? voters. There are vast geographical differences, with more persons from CentralBase: Total target population Serbia (35%) and in rural areas (32%) not believing that they could make any difference than in Vojvodina (19%) and in urban areas (26%). These data illustrate a growing decline in people’s enthusiasm and an increased feeling of being only objects, and not subjects, of the society. It must be emphasized that women are more determined and systematical than men, and they are not so easily disappointed. Elderly citizens have a feeling of being socially excluded and have No more difficulties in adapting to changes, and it should also be remembered that 85% 89% Yes many of them are still engaged within their families as a secure and cheap support to younger members. As for the respondents of different political affiliations, the loss of hope is mostly present among the voters of those parties that had lost power (DSS) or that constantly need just a bit more to come to power (SRS). A common characteristic of other groups is that they are coming from poorly developed areas, 15% 11% where apathy is otherwise more evident. A lack of time as the reason for the lack of activism was most often mentioned by 2006 2009 persons aged 30-44 (28%) and highly educated persons (25%), i.e. those who belong to mostly engaged working groups. The highly educated accept more challenges just to keep their position, while others work a few jobs just to maintain c their existence. It is interesting that the lack of time as a reason for not taking anyconcern or problem in your community action is more common among those coming from Vojvodina (29%) than among those living in Belgrade and Central Serbia (17%). This is difficult to understand and requires a more in-depth analysis, particularly if we exclude the possibility that such 25% answers were given so that people would not feel bad. The lack of time was a less Do not believe that it would make a common reason for those older than 60 (7%) and SPS voters (8%), which are difference 29% categories that overlap to a great extent. 22% It is interesting that “do not know how” was most often stated by women (22%) and Do not have time 20% younger people (23%), and least often by SNS voters (8%). Women and young people are highly marginalized groups, with a high degree of social exclusion, and 17% therefore it is expected that they have restricted access to information. At first sight, it is surprising that among SNS voters there are the least of those who “do not know Do not know how 19% how”, and if this is connected to the data that they more often than others answered 2006 that they “have no time” and that the total of these two answers given by the voters 19% of the leading parties are equal, then we can wonder how sincerely they answered Not interested 2009 19% and to what extent some of them avoided to say to not know something. It is not surprising that elderly people (24%) were less interested in problem solving, as were DS voters (23%), who do this through the position of authority, and thoseThe reason for not taking any action is primarily based on a belief that it would not living in Vojvodina (24%). More interested in problem solving were those betweenmake any difference (29%), or on a lack of time (20%) while 19% mentioned they do 30-44 years of age (15%), LDP (12%) and SPS (8%) voters.not know how and 19% were not interested. Men were more likely to believe thatthey could not make any difference (31%), then women (26%), the elderly over 60 PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 12
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Participation Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings data c concern or Petitions were signed mostly by SNS voters (85%), women (40%), less educatedproblem in your community? persons (58%) and persons from Belgrade (49%), and most rarely by DSS voters (10%). c concern or problem in It is worth mentioning that among those who attended some city council/publiccommunity in the past 12 months (11% of target population) events, young people were most represented (49%), while those between 30 and 44 years of age most rarely attended such meetings, only 4%. It can also be noted that men (23%) were more often present at such gatherings than women (8%). Moreover, 36% Signed a petition they were more frequently speakers at town meetings or public forums (7% 32% compared to 3%). People with higher education (11%) and those living in rural areas Attended a city council meeting public meeting, 15% (11%) were more often speakers at such meetings than middle aged people (45-60 hearing, or public discussion 18% years, 2%) and those living in urban areas (2%). Also, participation in information or 14% election campaigns was more common among highly educated people (31%), vs. Contacted a public official 14% only 3% of people with secondary education. When it comes to alerting the police 12% about some problem, SPS voters (24%) did so most frequently, unlike DS voters who Attended a demonstration or rally 13% rarely contacted the police (6%) and SNS, SRS, DSS and LDP voters who had never 12% done so. The greatest number of SPS voters (35%) also joined a group or organization Participated in an information or election 13% (NGO and other). Finally, data show that women were more active than men in two campaign 2006 types of activities: joining a group or NGO (4% compared to 3% of men) and initiating 4% Spoke at a town meeting or public forum 2009 or forming groups (4% compared to 1% of men). 6% 5% Citizens who are poorly represented in the ruling regime most frequently decide to Spoke at a city council meeting 5% participate by taking actions which do not require intense engagement, such as 6% petitions. The most passive is the middle generation with secondary education, who Alerted newspaper, radio, or TV about do not have time to “deal with politics”, and also evident is a traditional model that the p problem 5% says that this is a “men’s” job. The absence of young people is striking, and indicates 5% Alerted police about the problem that they are not interested in the traditional methods of participation. They more 4% often communicate and are quickly mobilized via contemporary social networks Joined a group or organization (NGO or 4% (Facebook, blogs, etc.), and therefore this must also be kept in mind. In the other) 3% male-dominated system of authority, it is expected that women more often seek 4% other ways to exert influence. Initiated or formed a group 2% Graph 8: In the past 12 months, have you worked with others in your village / t of the community? Base: Total target populationAs in the year 2006, most of the citizens took action by signing a petition (32%),followed by attending public events/meetings (18%), making contacts with publicofficials (14%), participating in public protests or rallies (13%) and in information orelection campaigns (13%). On the other hand, taking action by speaking at townmeetings or public events was quite rare (6%), as was speaking at city council No 81% 84%meetings (5%), alerting the media about a problem (4%), and alerting the policeabout a problem (4%). Only 3% of citizens joined a group or NGO and 2% initiated or Yesformed a group. 19% 16%In general, the percentage of those who were active is higher among men, those with45-60 years of age, with secondary education, those that were indecisive about their 2006 2009voting/refused to answer, people from Central Serbia and from urban areas. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 13
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Participation Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataOnly 16% of citizens stated that they worked with others in their communities to do (53%), more people between 30 and 44 years old (65%) than elderly persons (48%),something for the bene t of the community, which is again slightly less than in more people with higher education (secondary 66%, university 65%) than with2006. Out of those who were active, there were more men (20%) than women elementary (43%), more DSS voters (72%) more than any other including undecided(12%), more middle-aged persons (30-44, 19%) than young people (13%), and more (53%), more people from Belgrade (64%) than from Vojvodina (54%), and morewith higher education (22%) than with elementary (10%). DSS voters (25%) rural-dwelling (61%) than urban community citizens (57%).cooperated with others to do something for the bene t of their community, while There are no major di erences when money is concerned in comparison to dataSPS (7%) and LDP (9%) voters were least active. Activism was more common among related to time contribution. Only slightly more people living in rural areas (55%)people from Central Serbia (18%) and from rural areas (19%) than among people would give money to contribute to their communities than people living in urbanliving in Vojvodina (12%) and urban areas (13%). areas (53%).These survey ndings are not surprising, because more educated people have a These results once again illustrate that solidarity does not lie in a simple and directbetter developed social consciousness, while the set of values of the middle-aged dependence on how much people can o er. When it comes to time and di erencegeneration is primarily based on the collective spirit. DSS voters are often between men and women, we can sense the in uence of a patriarchal model thatconservative, and this implies ful lling commitments that are mainly related to their implies that “women should stay at home”, and this is con rmed by the fact thatfamilies and community. It is also signi cant to what extent the community is they are equally willing to give money. It is expected that citizens older than 60 havedeveloped, i.e. how necessary it is to improve poor conditions. more spare time than money, but they are also willing to give money, because they ts for are inclined to self-isolation. Persons with a lower level of education often belong tomany other people in your community, would you contribute to the project? socially excluded groups and have a feeling that they should receive and not give. ItBase: Total target population is expected that people in smaller communities are more compassionate than those in big cities; they are more often in a situation to solve problems by using their own Money: Time: resources. The fact that people from Belgrade are less willing to give money might be explained by a deeper distrust, because it is harder for them to see direct results 11% 6% 10% 6% when they give money than it is for people in smaller communities. 40% 35% 36% 34% Don t Dont know No 59% Yes 54% 54% 56% 2006 2009 2006 2009 On the other hand, as in 2006, more than half of the citizens, at least declaratively,would be ready to contribute money, and almost 60% would contribute time for thebene t of other people in their community, even if the project would not bene tthem directly.There are interesting di erences among citizens and their readiness to contributetime to community projects. In the category of those who are willing to contributetime for the bene t of their communities, there are more men (65%) than women PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 14
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Empowerment Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataEmpowermentGraph 10: How much control do citizens feel to have in their own lives and in their Graph 11: Do you feel that you have power to make important decisions thatlocal communities? change the course of your life? Control over all decisions 5% 26% 12% 11% 33% 19% 38% 51% 21% 26% Control over most decisions 22% Totally able to change 32% Mostly able to change Control over some decisions 36% 29% 34% Neither able nor unable 26% Mostly unable to change Control over very few 18% 19% 25% decisions Totally unable to change 13% 23% 33% 32% 38% 10% 15% No control 13% 13% 2006 2009 2006 2009In comparison to 2006, respondents indicated a diminished feeling of power to Graph 12: Do you believe that you have the ability to change things that you dochange things in their own lives and in their local communities. The sense of control not like in your local community?over all and most decisions has dropped from 51% to 38%, while a feeling of havingno control or having control over only very few decisions has grown from 23% to 3% 10% 2% 8% Totally able to change my33%. 7% 6% community 23% 22% Mostly able to change myThe feeling of having control over all and most decisions is more prevalent amongmen (44%) than among women (32%). Persons aged 30-44 (45%), with higher communityeducation (44%), DS and DSS voters (44%) and Belgrade citizens (42%) are among 31% 29% Neither able or unablethose who have more faith in their powers to control their lives and their local 69% 67%communities. There are no major di erences among other categories of population. Mostly unable to changeHowever, if speaking about having control over no or very few decisions, then it can 40% my community 36%be seen that persons over 60 years feel least powerful (45%), so do people withelementary education (45%), SRS voters (46%), those coming from Central Serbia Totally unable to change my community(40%). 2006 2009Several factors in uence citizens’ feeling of power to control their own lives and thecommunity, and are primarily tied to the usual role assignment in the The number of people reporting a feeling of being able to totally or mostly changedecision-making. Moreover, it is evident that a feeling of control is stronger in more the course of their lives dropped from 33% to 26%, while the number of peopledeveloped and a uent communities, which o er more opportunities. This explains feeling unable to change has risen from 32% to 38%. As expected, younger peoplethe feeling of self-con dence among Belgrade citizens – which is a result of an idea predominantly felt they were able to change things (39% of age 18-29 and 34% ofthat there are possibilities they can choose from, rather than of direct engagement age 30-44), as do those with higher education (34%), DS voters (32%), Belgradein regaining control. citizens and those from urban areas (28%). Greater di erences are among the increasing number of those who felt unable to change the course of their lives: 45% PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 15
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Empowerment Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataof women compared to 29% of men, 56% of the elderly, 53% of less educated, 66% In comparison to 2006, the feeling of the lack of power to in uence / change thingsof SPS and 60% of SRS voters, and people living in Central Serbia (40%) and from in their communities somewhat increased (from 41% to 46%), especially withrural areas (41%). regard to the ability to in uence community members to take action on important issues (from 56% to 64%), and in such cases people feel even more insecure. As in Concerning this question, the data do not di erent signi cantly compared to 2006. 2006, the great majority of people agreed that they could not either bring changesThere is a slight decrease in the number of persons who felt they were able to or in uence the laws that govern their communities. However, nothing haschange things in their local communities (from 10% to 8%), and a slight changed when it comes to the people’s opinion that they can in uence decisionsincrease among those who felt they were unable to change, from 67% to 69%. As that are made by the lawmakers in their communities.in 2006, more than 1/5 of citizens were not able to de ne whether they are able orunable to change their lives. This is a good indicator that shows that citizens are losing self-con dence and faith that they can bring about some changes in accordance with their interests. It mightAs expected, the elderly (80%) are more insecure in their abilities to bring some therefore be expected that a greater centralization of power can generate morechanges than young people (58%), people with elementary education (72%) are resistance among citizens, but obviously, a feeling of disappointment prevailed duemore insecure than university or college graduates (62%), and SPS voters (86%) are to modestly ful lled expectations after the old regime was overthrown.less con dent than LDP voters (60%). Graph 13.2: To what extent do you agree with the following statements (2009)Graph 13.1: To what extent do you agree with the following statements y I can influence the decisions that 84% 7%6% 11% 30% 45% I am not able to 2009 are made by the lawmakers in my 4% uence the laws community that govern my 4%5% 15% 27% 49% 72% community 2006 I know I can make a difference in my community 10% disagree I do not have the 5% 9% 17% 35% 33% (completely/ ability to change 2009 71% I can influence community mostly) things that I don`t members to take action on like about my 10% 5%9% 19% 32% 35% important ssues importantiissues community 2006 14% agree (mostly/ I do not have the ability to change 1% completely) uence 2009 64% 20% 11%3% things that I don’t like about my 68% the decisions that community are made by the 1% 13% lawmakers in my 2006 56% 26% 13% 4% Strongly gy I am not able to influence the community laws that govern my community 75% disagree 2% uence 2009 45% 26% 19% 8% Mostly community disagree The great majority of the citizens (75%) feel that they do not have any in uence on members to 1% decisions in their communities, or any ability to make di erence about things they Yes and No d take action on 2006 45% 28% 18% 8% important issues do not like in their communities (68%). 2% Mostly agree I know I can make 2009 46% 26% 18% 8% A feeling of inability to in uence laws that govern their community is stronger erence in my among women (76%) than among men (73%), and among people with primary community Strongly 2% agree education (79%) than with university education (68%). This feeling is also more 41% 27% 21% 9% 2006 present among the elderly (79%) than among youth (69%), among people in Central Serbia (78%) than in Vojvodina (70%) and Belgrade (73%), and nally it is more prevalent among people living in rural settlements (78%) than in urban (72%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 16
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Empowerment Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataIt is interesting that this feeling is much more prevalent among voters of the ruling Graph 14.1: Feeling driven to participate in community activities - To what extentparties, DS (81%) and SPS (83%), than among the voters of the opposition, DSS do you agree with the following statements?(68%) and LDP (69%). However, almost all respondents felt equally unable tochange things they do not like in their community.Those who have some positive feelings about their ability to change things they 25% 19% 34% 15% 6% I have the desire 2009dislike in their communities vary, so that greater in uence on community members to be active in myto take an action is felt by men (12%) rather than by women (7%), those with community 25% 20% 32% 17% 7%university level education (15%) than those with primary education (4%), citizens 2006who do not belong to major parties (21%) compared to the voters of the rulingparties – DS (9%) and SPS (6%), and people in urban settlements (14%) compared to 8% 14% 33% 29% 15% I do not feel 2009those in rural ones (6%). a personal responsibilityGreater self-con dence in terms of “I know I can make a di erence in my to participate in 7% 14% 27% 25% 26%community” is found, again, among men (13%) rather than among women (7%), community projects 2006among young persons (15%) rather than among those between 30 and 44 and the Strongly gyelderly (7%), among those with higher education (17%) rather than among those 6% 27% 26% 26% 14% disagreewith elementary (6%), “other” political party voters (18%) and LDP (15%) compared I feel driven to 2009to SNS (9%), DSS (8%) and SPS (7%) voters. It should also be noted that people living participate in community activities 7% Mostlyin Central Serbia (12%) and in rural areas (14%) are more self-con dent than those 23% 20% 33% 17% 2006 disagree gliving in Belgrade (7%), Vojvodina (7%) and urban areas (6%).The highest level of con dence in terms of ability to in uence decisions that are 13% I usually do not want 2009 13% 20% 27% 26% Yes andmade by the lawmakers in their communities is seen among men (6%), highly to get involved in Noeducated citizens (7%) and “other” political party voters (12%). making decisions 15% ect my 12% 25% 27% 21%The data sorted by gender, generation, education and type of settlement are community 2006 Mostlyexpected, since they keep repeating throughout the analysis and have already been agreecommented on. However, it is not easy to explain the exceptionally strong feeling of 6% 32% 22% 26% 14%inability of the voters of the leading parties, and it might have been caused by their 2009anger over the fact that decisions are being made far from them. I am motivated to Strongly be involved in my 7% agreeIn comparison to 2006, even fewer people feel driven to participate in community community 2006 30% 21% 29% 13%activities (from 24% in 2006 to 20% in 2009). Therefore, the feeling that people arenot driven to participate in community activities increased by 10% (from 43% in2006 to 53% in 2009). Just a bit more than one third of citizens (39%) feel a desire to participate in theMen (24%) more than women (15%), young people (24%) more than the older decision-making in their community. Among those who usually do not want topopulation (16%), people with secondary education (23%) more than those with participate, there are more women (46%) than men (32%), more elderly (48%) thanprimary (14%) and university education (19%), people in Central Serbia (23%) more other generations (37%), more persons with primary education (47%) than highlythan those in Belgrade (17%) and Vojvodina (15), and people in rural environments educated (33%), and more people in Vojvodina (48%) than in Belgrade (33%). The(28%) more than in urban (14%) feel motivated to be involved in their least interested in being involved in decision-making are those who would not votecommunities. With regard to people with di erent political ideologies, voters of (45%), and SPS (44%) and DS (42%) voters, compared to LDP and SRS (34%)some “other”, small political parties (35%), LDP (30%), SRS and DSS (29%) voters are supporters and those who would vote for some other small parties (20%).more motivated than SNS (17%) and SPS (14%) voters. Only two in ten of the respondents showed a positive attitude toward participation in the community. Di erences among the di erent variables are similar to those PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 17
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Empowerment Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings datarelated to previous sentences. Therefore, fewer women (17%) than men (23%), and In 2009, most citizens did not feel driven to participate in community activities, northe elderly (17%) less than young people (23%), feel driven to participate. they were motivated to be involved in their community, and just slightly more thanSubstantial variances are also obvious among people with di erent educational each fth citizen felt personal responsibility to participate in community projects.backgrounds, where half as many people with primary education (12%) as with Most commonly, reasons for not being active are the lack of feeling a personalsecondary (24%) feel the same. As for people with di erent political a liations, this responsibility to participate in community projects (44%) and the general lack offeeling is not so strong among those who would not vote (12%), SNS (12%) or SPS will to participate (39%). Only 21% of citizens have a desire to be active, while 44%(13%) voters, compared to DS (25%), SRS (27%) and "other" (38%) voters. It is also do not have that desire. A feeling of being driven to participate in communitymuch weaker among Belgrade and Vojvodina (16%) citizens than among those activities was stated by only 20% of citizens, while 53% stated the contrary. Finally,living in Central Serbia (24%). The situation is similar between those living in urban only 20% of citizens are motivated to be involved in the community, while more(16%) and rural (25%) settlements. than half (54%) do not feel motivated to be involved.Almost half of the citizens (44%) do not feel a personal responsibility to The lack of the feeling of a personal responsibility to participate in communityparticipate in community projects, and most of them belong to the older projects is more present among women (45%) than men (42%), and among thegeneration and live in Vojvodina (52%). It is interesting that a great number of the elderly (52%), those with lower level of education (49%), DS voters (52%), andvoters of big parties do not feel responsible - DS (52%) and SNS (50%), while this is persons coming from Vojvodina (52%) and from rural areas (48%). A similarless frequent among “other” (30%), LDP (34%) and DSS (35%) voters. distribution stated a lack of desire to get involved in making decision that will a ectThe desire to be active in the community is also weak and is felt by 21% of the the community, with women being signi cantly more unwilling (46%) than meninterviewed – a similar percentage to that of those who feel driven to participate. (32%). A greater desire, the feeling of being driven and motivated to be involved, isThe desire to be active is almost twice as present among men (27%) as among visible among men, younger persons, those with higher education, those comingwomen (15%), while among people belonging to di erent age groups, it is the from small parties, and those living in Central Serbia and in rural areas. Just as anstrongest among those between 30 and 44 years of age (23%). It also far weaker illustration, it can be seen that half as many less educated persons (12%) feel drivenamong SPS (13%) and LDP (14%) voters, compared to “other” (38%) and DS (28%) to participate compared to persons with secondary education (24%). The samevoters. Moreover, it is less frequent in Vojvodina (15%) than in Central Serbia (24%), proportion is seen in terms of the motivation among people living in urban andand also in urban environments (16%) than in rural (26%). rural areas, with 14% of the former and 28% of the latter feeling motivated to beGraph 14.2: Feeling driven to participate in community activities - To what extent involved. To put it the other way around – women, elderly, persons with lowerdo you agree with the following statements? y g g education, members of the leading political parties, those living in Belgrade and in Vojvodina, as well as the urban population – should be encouraged to be more active in their communities. 54% I am motivated to be involved in In terms of people with di erent political orientation, SPS voters feel the least my community 20% empowered. This can be connected to the structure in which the elderly and 53% women are the majority, but also because of a feeling of being rejected since they I feel driven to participate in had supported a regime which brought the country into con icts. It is interesting to community activities 20% see that the ndings for LDP voters are very similar, but it is to be expected that the 44% reasons for this are entirely di erent. Support for this party comes mostly from I have the desire to be active in my disagree 21% (completely/ youth, the educated, and people from urban environments, who feel community mostly) l ) disempowered due to their inability to exercise free choice. On the other hand, the I usually do not want to get 33% voters of the leading party, DS, want to participate, but their personal sense of involved in making decisions that 39% agree (mostly/ responsibility is very weak. An impression is gained that they transfer all will affect my community completely) responsibility to the party leaders who are in the structures of authority and who I do not feel a personal 22% make decisions somewhere far away from the citizens. responsibility to participate in 44% community projects PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 18
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation areas – Empowerment Presentation of of of data Presentationby data 4. Findings dataGraph 15: Feeling driven to participate in community activities - To what extentdo you agree with the following statements? Only 7.2% stated that it happened once, 8.8% petitioned less than 5 times and only 1.7% took part in such an initiative for more than 5 times. It is interesting to noteIn the past 12 months, how often have people in your community got together that among di erent parties’ voters, the highest number of SPS voters, even 94%, cials or political leaders for something ben- had never got together to jointly petition government o cials or political leaders ting the community? for something bene ting the community. There are no other signi cant di erences among citizens based on their characteristics. 1% 5% 2% 23% In terms of successfulness, it is interesting to notice the geographic di erences – 11% 27% 2% 9% 14% 7% initiatives of people living in Central Serbia were more successful (52%) than of Don’t know those living in Belgrade (38%), i.e. the percentage of unsuccessful petitions is 46% in Many times (>5) Belgrade and only 18% in Central Serbia. The same goes for rural areas – those initia- A few times (<5) tives were mostly successful in 61% of cases (compared to urban 33%), and mostly 73% 77% unsuccessful in 39% of the cases (compared to 65% in urban areas). Petitions of DSS Once voters (64%) were more successful than those of SPS voters (23%), while petitions of Never people with college or university education (61%) were more unsuccessful than those signed by people with secondary education (49%). The general impression is that citizens very rarely use this mechanism for exerting 2006 2009 pressure on the government. One can also conclude that the intensity of needs and the more direct connection to the problem prompt people to take some action,Were any of such petitions successful? which is the case in small and economically poorly developed communities. It would be di cult to claim that the citizens of the villages and Central Serbia are more socially conscious, skilled and persistent in their demands. Rather, this could 2% 1% be tied to the fact that in Belgrade, being an administrative center, there are more 26% often initiatives which demand bigger changes addressed to the highest state 41% Dont know authority and requiring more complex procedures. On the other hand, in smaller None were successful communities the demands are obviously of such a nature and level that the authori- 27% ties more easily nd ways to meet them. 25% Most were unsuccessful Most were successful A higher level of education and public awareness usually implies a better under- 35% 20% 46% Yes, all were successful standing of what could and should be achieved and arouses higher expectations, 33% 13% which all in uence the subjective feeling of whether an initiative succeeded or not. 11% 2006 2009The majority of the citizens (77%) stated that people in their communities had neverjointly petitioned government o cials or political leaders for something bene tingtheir community (even less than in 2006). However, in comparison to 2006, morepeople reported that petitions were successful (33% in 2006, and 46% in 2009). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 19
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentationby areas – Trust Presentation of of of data Presentation data 4. Findings dataTrust The police are also most trusted by the elderly (41%), persons with elementaryGraph 16: How much do you trust the following institutions to work in the best education (36%), DS voters (47%) and Vojvodina residents (41%). Again, the lowestinterest of society? trust is expressed by those who would not vote (22%). As expected, the media is mostly trusted by persons with university education 68% (25%) and trusted least by those with elementary and less education (12%). Political parties 6% Compared to other research variables, DS voters seem to have the most con dence 58% in the media (30%), labor unions (25%) and local government (23%). Serbian business community 7% Trust in NGOs decreases with increased age and the level of education. Young 68% Serbian legislature 9% people (18%) and persons with university educations (19%) displayed more trust 61% than the elderly (8%) and persons with elementary education (6%) in NGOs. Among Serbian government 12% political party voters, the greatest trust in NGOs is among LDP voters (27%), then 49% “other parties” voters (20%) while the least is among SNS voters (6%) and those who NGOs 13% would not vote (8%). 53% Local government g As expected, the highest trust in the Serbian Government was expressed by DS 14% mostly not + voters (24%), while the lowest trust (7%) is equally shared by persons with low levels 54% Labor unions 15% not at all of education, SRS voters, indecisive voters and those who would not vote (6%). A 38% similar but slightly lower level of trust is present in relation to the Serbian Media 18% legislature. The Serbian business community is most trusted by young people (14%) 31% and LDP voters (12%), and least trusted by those with a low level of education (4%). Police completely + As for political parties, LDP voters trust them the most (12%), and expectedly, those 32% mostly l 19% that would not vote trust them the least (2%). Church 50% Previous research has shown that in the post-con ict Serbian society there is a pronounced “identity crisis”, with the biggest confusion between religious and national identities. Thus, a high level of trust in the church can be connected morePublic trust in institutions (with the exception of the church, and to some extent the to the weakness of the state and to the church as a symbol of ethnic belonging,police) to work in the best interest of society is extremely low. rather than to the strength of the religious institution itself. Although the police areHalf of the citizens trust the church, with 19% stating they do not trust. The police is in second place when it comes to trust, the same number of citizens (one third)trusted by 32% and equally not trusted (31%) and these are the only two mistrust the police as symbolizing a strong hierarchy and authoritarianism, in partinstitutions in which public trust is higher than public mistrust. From this point on, due to the memories of the infamous role it had in the previous regime, and alsoit is clear that public trust in other institutions decreases, and there is a signi cant because of its incapability to deal with the growth of crime and corruption. Theincrease in mistrust. Only 18% of citizens trust the media, followed by 15% of those modest trust in the media shows that the citizens criticize its commercialization,who express con dence in trade unions and 14% in local governments. NGOs are bias and visible dependence on the centers of power. That almost half of voters ofsomewhere in the middle of this distribution, with 13% of citizens showing trust for, the leading party do not trust the media indirectly speaks of the objectivity ofand 49% not trusting, NGOs. These data are still better than those showing citizens’ media reporting in Serbia. It is worrying that only every tenth citizen of Serbia trustsattitude towards the Serbian Government, legislature and business community. the Government and the Parliament. One can sense a strong feeling ofPolitical parties are at the bottom of the “trust chain” with only 6% of citizens estrangement of the state from the citizens, and disappointment that it is moretrusting them and a huge majority of citizens (68%) not trusting them. concerned with the interests of the political parties it is consisted of than with the public interest. It is interesting that, compared to other institutions, trust in NGOs isThe church is most trusted by the elderly (60%), persons with elementary education on the rise, which gives hope that the “time of crying” over the betrayed(54%), persons coming from Belgrade (53%), DSS voters (67%) and persons coming expectations of the 5th October changes is at its end.from rural areas (54%). The lowest level of trust into the church is shown by peoplewho declared they would not vote in the parliamentary elections (38%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 20
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data – Trust Presentation of of data Presentation data areas 4. Findings byGraph 17: How much do you trust the following institutions to work in the best Graph 18: How responsible should each of the following institutions be for theinterest of society – % answers: “mostly + completely responsible” general welfare of society? 7% 8% NGOs mostly not + Serbian business community y 2006 65% 7% not at all 6% 9% 2009 Serbian business community 77% completely + Political parties 6% 5% mostly Church 81% 14% 6% NGOs 13% Labor unions 82% 17% 4% Media 83% Serbian legislature 9% 5% 19% Political parties p 86% Local government 14% 6% Local government 87% 21% 5% Serbian government 12% Police 90% 4% 21% g Serbian legislature 93% Labor unions 15% 4% Serbian government 93%In comparison to 2006, the public trust in institutions further decreased, especiallyin the case of the Serbian legislature and the Serbian Government. On the other hand, people continue to expect public institutions to takeCompared to 2006, there was a general decline in citizens’ trust of all institutions. responsibility for the general welfare of the society, with a vast majority attributingFor example, while in 2006, 21% of citizens trusted that labor unions work in the responsibility to the Serbian Government and legislature (93%). NGOs are at thebest interest of the society, in 2009, this trust decreased to 15%. The greatest end of the list, but still, the majority of the citizens (65%), think that NGOs should bedecrease of citizens’ trust can be seen in the case of the Government (of 9%) and responsible for the general welfare of society.legislature (of 8%). The next group consists of labor unions (of 6%) and local These expectations are equally distributed among a population of diverseself-government (of 5%). The 3% decrease can be seen in terms of the trust that characteristics. There are only a few exceptions. We can note that middle-agedpolitical parties work in the best interest of the society, and the 1% decrease in citizens (30-44 years) have greater expectations than the average, that secondaryregard to NGOs. The only group without any changes is the Serbian business school graduates expect more than people at other educational levels, that peoplecommunity. in villages expect more than those from urban areas, and that people from CentralThis brought some changes in the ranking of these institutions. Labor unions Serbia expect more in comparison to other regions. Answers to this questionremained at the top of the list, and the local self-government climbed from the third among people of di erent political a liations vary. The voters of the oppositionto the second place. The position of the Government moved down from the rst to DSS, coalition SPS and the voters of “other” parties have maximum expectationsthe fourth place, while political parties reached the bottom of the scale. When it (100%) that the Government and legislature should contribute to the generalcomes to NGOs, there are no signi cant changes because it decreased by 1% only, welfare of society. The voters of the ruling DS have slightly lower expectationsbut much more signi cant is that in the entire hierarchy, NGOs shifted from the fth (94%), SNS and SRS voters even lower expectations (92%), and LDP voters have theplace in 2006 to the third place in 2009, and came before the Government. lowest expectations (88%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 21
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentationby areas – Trust Presentation of of of data Presentation data 4. Findings dataAs for NGOs, although di erences are not signi cant in comparison with the (from 63% to 77% in 2009) and to NGOs (from 59% to 65% in 2009). The localaverage percentage, we can notice that persons with university education (71%) government is the only institution of which people have lower expectations (fromand LDP voters (72%) believe that NGOs should be responsible, while only 53% of 89% to 87% in 2009).SPS voters believe the same. Moreover, people living in rural areas (59%) have fewer The citizens are gradually losing hope that the state has a plan on how to get itselfexpectations of NGOs than people living in urban areas (69%). out of transition and establish an e cient and predictable society. They have aIt is evident that citizens from less developed areas and of a lower social class are realistic picture of the in uence of the parties’ interests on state politics, while lowerdirecting their expectations more towards state institutions. These are thecategories of society that struggle the most with the consequences of a confusing ective are the following institutions at solving problems in ourand slow economic reform, and who have a strong feeling that the state is country?responsible for taking care of them. It should not be overlooked that almost 75%Graph 19: How responsible should each of the following institutions be for the Political parties 3%general welfare of society; % answer “mostly + completely responsible”g y y p y p 69% Labor unions 4% 59% 2006 62% NGOs 65% Serbian business 2009 community 5% 63% Serbian business community 77% 73% Serbian legislature 6% 77% Labor unions 82% 53% NGOs 8% 82% Political parties 86% 67% 89% Serbian government g 8% Local government 87% 60% 91% Local government 9% Serbian legislature 93% 40% 91% Media 17% not effective (not at Serbian government 93% 37% all/mostly) Police 25%one-third of the 1.850.000 employed persons in Serbia works in the statef effective 23% (mostly/completely)administration. The lower the capacity for change is, the higher the expectations Church 37%that others should solve problems are.While in comparison to 2006 the public trust in institutions decreased, publicexpectations for the institutions to take responsibility for society welfare increased, expectations from the local self-government are a clear signal of the high level ofespecially in the cases of NGOs and the business community. centralization. Though slight, there is still a noticeable increase of expectations toward the business sector, which could imply that in the consciousness of someThe increase in citizens’ expectations from the institutions to take responsibility for citizens there is a division between the economy and the state.the society welfare is not large compared to 2006. In the cases of the Governmentand legislature it increased from 91% to 93%, and of political parties from 82% to A very small percentage of people nd institutions to be e ective in solving the86%. The greatest increase in expectations is related to the business community problems of the country. The best evaluated institutions are the church and the police, and the worst, labor unions (4%) and political parties (3%). Despite a fairly PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 22
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentationby areas – Trust Presentation of of of data Presentation data 4. Findings datalow percentage (8%), it must be noted that citizens think that the Government and ective are the following institutions at solving problems in ourNGOs are equally e ective in solving problems of the country. The greatest degree ective (mostly + completely)of dissatisfaction with e ciency is related to political parties (75%) and theGovernment (67%). 2006 7% 2009Men and women similarly assess the e ectiveness of the church in solvingproblems in the country. More elderly persons (44%) positively assess the Political parties 3%e ectiveness of church than do other age groups, and with the lowest assessments 10%from middle aged persons (32%). Most satis ed with the e ectiveness of the church Labor unions 4%are DSS voters (53%), followed by DS voters (44%) and then LDP voters (32%). Thereare also di erences related to di erent regions, and it can be noted that Belgrade 6%citizens (48%) more positively assess the e ectiveness of the church than persons Serbian business community 5%living in Vojvodina (30%). 13%The voters of DS (40%) have a better opinion of the e ectiveness of police than thevoters of SPS (34%), whose leader is the Minister of Police, while the least satis ed Serbian legislature 6%are LDP voters (13%). A greater number of people living in Vojvodina (33%) 11%positively assess the work of the police than a number of people living in Belgrade NGOs(20%). 8%As expected, the voters of the ruling coalition are most satis ed with the 14%e ectiveness of the Government. More speci cally, twice as many DS voters (16%) Serbian government 8%as the average, and only marginally fewer SPS voters (14%) share the same feeling. 13%The least satis ed respondents belong to the group of “undecided/refuse” voters Local government 9%(5%) and those who would not vote (3%).Twice as many young and middle-aged people between 30 and 45 years of age(each 11%) as elderly persons (5%) expressed a positive opinion of the e ciency ofNGOs, while 4.3 times more people with university educations (13%) than people the very bottom of the list are the political parties – only every 30th citizen has thewith elementary education (3%) gave positive assessments of the e ciency of impression that they work e ciently. It is important to emphasize that the citizensNGOs. When we observe data about perspectives of people with di erent political see the Government and the NGOs as equally e cient in solving the country’sa liations, the same number of DS, LDP, “other”, and undecided voters gave positive problems. If this data is compared with the previously analyzed expectations fromassessments (each 10%), unlike the expectedly small number of SNS voters (4%). these two institutions, then the position of the NGOs is even better.The e ectiveness of political parties is the worst assessed at only 3%. The only It is not di cult to understand such a level of citizens’ disappointment in theexception to the average is that twice as many voters of the ruling DS (6%) viewed institutions, only a year after their elections in 2008. It was another in the line ofpolitical parties as e ective. “fateful” elections in which the citizens gave their trust to the concept of EU integration, expecting that this would nally stimulate the process of reforms. TheIn comparison to 2006, fewer people perceive these institutions to be e ective impression of the citizens is that the representatives whom they have chosen andenough. whom they nance do not have a really clear intention of creating and leading aAlong with the overall opinion that a very small percentage of citizens assesses the policy in the interest of those who elected them. Policy is created somewhere out ofwork of these institutions as e cient (from 3% to 9%), the biggest “drop” is in the the citizens’ reach and it is more determined by the interparty relations than thenumber of those who think that the Parliament is working e ciently (from 13% common interest. If the e ects of the global economic crisis, which are quicklydown to 6%). Next in line is the Serbian Government (from 14% to 8%) and the trade degrading the arduously-achieved improvement are added to this, then a moreunion (from 10% to 4%), and then the local self-government (from 13% to 9%). At complete understanding of the citizens’ perspective may be achieved. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 23
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataPerception of NGOs The rst associations with NGOs are somewhat more positive than negative, and 34% rst comes to your mind when you hear “NGO”? of responses imply that more people have positive/neutral associations when theyspontaneous multiple answers p p % of most frequent associations q hear “NGO” compared to 29% of associations which can be described as negative. Among answers that can be determined as positive, the most frequently received is that NGOs are associated with humanitarian work and help for the endangered Positive / neutral associations 12% Humanitarian work, help for the endangered (12%). The response “They don’t belong to the Government” was the second in terms of frequency (9%), and it is interesting that when they were asked about their 34% of the citizens 9% They dont belong to the Government associations when they hear “Civil Society Organizations”, this answer was not 7% among verbalized ones. Therefore, it might be concluded that this answer is mostly Association of citizens, people with similar aims based on linguistic reasons and is not related to how much they are familiar with the They are trying to improve general 4% work of this sector. situation, address proble An answer that also kept appearing is that an NGO is an association of citizens with Organization which is not under the influence 3% of political p similar aims (7%). Moreover, there are some people who think that NGOs are trying to improve the general situation and address problems (4%). They are independent, they are not under 1% anyone s anyones influence The most frequent association among answers that can be marked as negative is 5% “Bad, I don’t like them…” (5%) without a more concrete explanation. Others, whose Bad, I dont like them... opinions are more concrete, say that NGOs are foreign mercenaries and spies (4% of 4% Foreign mercenaries, spies responses) and the equal percentage of responses shows that some people believe that NGOs are working against the interest of our people and the state, associate They are working against the interest of our 3% people and stat l d them with theft, robbery, money laundering and think NGOs are acting in their own 3% interest only (3% for each of these). Theft, robbery, money laundering Negative associations 29% of the citizens Then, 4% of responses illustrate that for some people Natasa Kandic is the rst 3% association with NGOs, while 8% show that people think of “nothing” when hear They are acting in their own interest only “NGO” plus 19% indicating that people simply “Don’t know”. Therefore, NGOs might Organizations, associations financed from 2% abroad consider directing their information activities to this group of citizens. Foreign organization, foreigners... 2% Data indicating opinions of supporters of di erent political parties show that the answer that NGOs are related to humanitarian work and help for the endangered 2% was often heard from LDP (23%), SPS (16%), DS (15%) and not so often from SRS Lies and deception (12%), DSS (10%) voters and most rarely from SNS (5%) supporters. Organization under the influence of political 1% parties When asked the same question, the young population mostly associated NGOs with They are not doing anything, they are not 1% humanitarian work (19%), then with the fact that NGOs do not belong to the solving problems Government (12%) and that they are associations of people with similar aims (8%). Mistrust, they are considered 1% The same order of associations is received from answers given by the middle aged unserious, insecure, unstable (30-44, 45-60), but not from the elderly. The older generation mostly thinks that 4% NGOs do not belong to the Government (7%) and are working against the interest Natasa Kandic of our people and the state (7%), then that they deal with humanitarian work (6%) 8% Nothing and that they are “bad” without any concrete explanation (5%). Dont know 19% Natasa Kandic comes rst to the minds of Belgrade citizens (13%) much more often than to those living in Central Serbia (2%) or Vojvodina (2%), and more to people living in urban (6%) than to people living in rural areas (2%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 24
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataMost answers that they think nothing or do not know were received from people rst comes to your mind when you hear “NGO”? – spontaneouswith elementary education (46%), persons older than 60 (43%), SPS voters (39%)and people living in rural areas (38%). These answers were not so frequent among 9%small party voters (15%), LDP (13%) and DSS (4%) voters. They dont belong to Government 9% Humanitarian work, help to the vulnerable 8%The public opinion on NGOs is most often based on the recognizable service 12% groupsprovisions and sources of funding, while the NGOs’ in uence on policy making and 7%their advocacy of citizens’ interests are barely sensed. The positive attitudes of Trying to improve general situation, solve problems 4%people are in uenced the most by the fact that someone is caring about their needs 7% %and that it is being done independently of political parties. These kinds of attitudes Independent, not under anyones influence 1%are found in those whom the NGOs most often mobilize for their activities (the 6% Association of citizens, people with similaryouth, the educated, from urban environments). Also, the part of the population aims 7%that is interested in faster changes and is unsatis ed with the work of the state Organization which is not under the influence 0%institutions expresses positive attitudes. of political parties 3%Negative attitudes are mostly tied to the sources of funding, which raises doubt as towhether there are good intentions, especially when this is tied to the individuals who 8%bring up the subjects concerning the con icts of the recent past. These attitudes are Mercenaries financed from abroad, spies 4%found mostly in the conservative faction, which more often tie their identity to 4% They are working against the interest of ournationality. They see the issue of facing the war crimes and confronting with the past people and stat 3%as treason, convinced that foreign forces that fund the NGOs are responsible for the 4%Balkan con icts. It is worth noting that among those who are often recipients of They are bad, I dont like them.. 5% 2006services, there is an impression that someone bene ted from their su ering. 4% Theft, plundering, money laundering 3%The information that a fth of the citizens know nothing about NGOs is worrisome, 2009 4%and so is the fact that negative attitudes are in correlation with the themes which Foreign organization, foreigners... 2%attract media attention. These ndings should encourage NGO activists to dedicate 3%more attention to the provision of information to the public about their work and Lies and cheating 2%results so that they may reach the elderly, the less educated and the citizens who 3% Mistrust, they are consideredlive in small communities. Also, what is interesting is that the voters of unserious, insecure, unstable 1%parliamentary parties know little of or ignore the initiatives and interventions of 2%NGOs concerning the adoption of laws. They do nothing, they dont solve problems 1% 2%The rst associations upon hearing “NGO” remain basically unchanged in They work only for their own interests 3%comparison to 2006 – there are somewhat more associations with humanitarian Political organization under the influence of 1%work (12% in 2009 compared to 8% in 2006) and somewhat fewer with “spies” (4% 1% political partiesin 2009 compared to 8% in 2006). It can be noted that positive associations are Organizations, associations financed fromalmost equally present in 2006 and 2009, while, generally speaking, we have much 2% abroadless negative association in 2009 (27%) than in 2006 (35%). However, in 2009 morepeople (26%) do not have any association when hear “NGO” than in 2006 (23%). 3%From the comparative data there can be seen a slight shift of the NGO image in the Nataša Kandi 4%public in a positive direction. There are fewer and fewer of those who see them as 23%mercenaries and spies who work against the interests of their people, and more of Don`t know 26%those who recognize them for the good things they do. It is obviously important tothe citizens that the NGOs have clearly established and de ned goals, and there is PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 25
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataalso a new category which puts an emphasis on the independence from political 29% of negative. It is obvious that the term “NGOs” still triggers negativeparties. What should be taken into consideration is the data that there are fewer associations. Most of responses (19%) received from people who know what a civilcitizens who see NGOs as an important factor in society that contributes to the society organization is show that they think that these organizations areimprovement of the general situation, as well as an increase in the number of associations of people with similar aims, then 11% that they are trying to improvecitizens who know nothing about NGOs. Although not worrying, there is still an the general situation, 3% that they are good and honest.increase in the number of those who have the impression that the NGOs work only A glimpse at these data sorted in di erent categories of respondents shows that thefor their own interests. young and respondents between 30 and 44 years of age think that civil society rst comes to your mind when you hear Civil Society organizations are associations of people with similar aims (24%), compared to onlyOrganizations? –spontaneous 13% of responses given by the elderly who share the same opinion. The same association is more present among people with secondary education (23%) than among those with university (15%) and elementary (13%) education, and more often it appears among DS and LDP (28%) voters than among SRS voters (16%) and Association of citizens, people with similar 19% those who are undecided in terms of declaring who they would vote for (13%). aims Persons with elementary education (64%), SNS voters (60%), undecided (60%), 11% They are trying to improve general situation older than 60 (57%) and people living in rural areas (56%) were least familiar with the work of CSOs, compared to just 26% of LDP voters. 3% Good, honest… A comparative analysis shows that the old term “NGO” is no longer tied to 1% humanitarian work, while the term “CSO” is tied to clear goals geared towards the Humanitarian work, help for the endangered common good, which can indirectly be interpreted as recognizing a clear plan of Mistrust, they are considered 2% action. This is in accordance with the evolution of the civil sector, which in the crisis unserious, insecure, unstable , , years was oriented more towards providing services, while in the past few years 2% towards advocating the citizens’ interests and encouraging the state to perform its They are acting in their own interest only duties more responsibly. It is evident that the citizens sense that change, and the Negative attitude (bad, I dont like them...) 2% data that there is a small number of the highly educated who recognize this is for some more thorough analysis. Another important association is tied to the new Organization under the influence of political 2% term, which has not been tied to NGOs, and that is “good and honest”, meaning that parties the people like it and that they recognize a di erent way of operating. 1% Theft, robbery, money laundering Theftrobbery money laundering Here too one can see that people with conservative attitudes, and those who are hard to reach with information, have negative opinions. The strategic redirecting of 1% Lies and deception CSOs towards public advocacy happened before the public services were ready to institutionalize the measures of care for citizens developed through the civil sector. 12% Nothing N thi Although the slow pace of the reforms is a direct cause for a turnaround, one should not forget that in that period some of the former service recipients faced a lack of 39% Dont know the usual services and direct aid.More than half of the citizens do not have any association with Civil SocietyOrganizations which shows that they are often much more familiar with the term“NGO”. The di erence, however, is with the overall picture: on hearing “Civil SocietyOrganizations”, the respondents had more positive (34%) than negative (10%)associations while associations on the term “NGOs” are 34% positive, compared to PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 26
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataGraph 25: Do you know what a non-governmental organization (also sometimes Graph 26: Can you name some NGOs? – Spontaneouscalled an NGO) is? Multiple answers; Base: those who know what a non-governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006). Most frequently named NGO ( ) q y (verbatim)) 6% Zene u crnom (Women in Black) 11% 46% 44% 5% No NVO za ljudska prava (Human Rights NGO) 10% 5% Yes 5% 54% 56% 12% CESID 5% 7% Helsinski odbor (Helsinki Board) 5% 2006 2009 NVO za ekologiju, zastita zivotne sredine 4%In 2009, somewhat more than half of the citizens stated knowledge of what an NGO 2% Crveni K (R d C C i Krst (Red Cross) ) 4%is. Compared to 2006, the percentage of these citizens rose by 2% only. 3%In terms of knowing what a non-governmental organization (NGO) is, there are Sigurna kuca (Safe House) 4%signi cant di erences among respondents depending on gender, age, educational 5% JAZAS 3%level, region and settlement. 4%A lower level of familiarity with the term is visible among women (48%), persons Soros 3%over 60 years of age (52%), persons with a lower level of education (elementary 2% 2006 Kolo srpskih sestara (The Circle of Serb sisters) 2%school and less, 34%), those who would vote for the Serbian Radical Party (60%), 6%those living outside of Belgrade (Central Serbia – 48% and Vojvodina – 48%) and CHF International 2% 2009predominantly in rural areas (54%). 1% Gradjanska inicijativa (Civic Initiative) 2%Better acquainted with the term “NGO” are college or university graduates (81%),then DSS (82%), LDP (78%) and voters of some small political parties (76%). 55% of USAID 2%the voters of the ruling DS demonstrated this awareness. More Belgrade citizens(75%) know what NGOs are. ORKA 2%When we take the data and compare 56% of citizens who know what NGOs are, with Udruzenje za zastitu zivotinja ( j j (Animals… 2%associations about NGOs, where 63% of those examined had some sort of attitude(34% positive and 29% negative), we can see that 6% of citizens have an attitude, 2%and yet they do not know what NGOs are. On the other hand, when it comes to 3%associations with CSOs, 44% of people had some sort of attitude, meaning that they Otpor (Resistance) 1%probably based it on at least a basic understanding of what they are. In the ght NVO za zastitu dece (Children Protection NGO) 1%against prejudices about the civil sector one should take care as to which term isused when communicating with citizens. Udruzenje za pomoc hendikepiranima (Helping… 1%There is a direct correlation between knowing what NGOs are with the level of 4% Odbor za ljudska prava (Human Rights Board) 1%education and greater access to information and visibility of work in Belgrade. It is 43%more di cult to nd a reason why the voters of the parties which were dominant in Dont know 35%the previous government (DSS) have more of this knowledge than the voters of thebiggest party which is now heading the Government (DS). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 27
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataCompared to 2006, among those who stated knowledge of what an NGO is, more Graph 27: Do you know any network/coalition of several NGOs?citizens were able to name at least some of them. Base: those who know what a non-governmental organization is (56% of target population)In the period between these two surveys (2006 and 2009), a few NGOs managed to 4%reach out to somewhat more people, and these are: Women in Black, the HumanRights NGO, NGO for ecology and environment protection, while some decreasedtheir reach, such as CESID, CHF International and Human Rights Board.Most frequently named by the respondents are Women in Black (11%), Human YesRights NGO (10%) and then the Humanitarian Law Fund, CESID and the Helsinki NoBoard (5% of responses for each of these). Women in Black is best known amongBelgrade citizens and SPS voters (22%), then among people with elementary 96%education (18%) and persons between 45 and 60 years of age (17%) and leastamong SRS voters (4%) and Vojvodina citizens (4%). The elderly (13%) are mostfamiliar with the Human Rights NGO, the same as SNS voters (19%). Only 3% ofresponses received from young people indicate this NGO which is much below theaverage, but they are trice more than other generations familiar with JAZAS. SRS Only 4% out of 56% of citizens who know what a NGO is (2% in total) stated to bevoters (12%) mostly named SOS, while Red Cross is best known among people aware of some NGO network. And this group of people consists of more womenliving in Central Serbia (7%). NGOs dealing with environmental issues are the most (6%) than men (3%), more young people (7%) than the middle aged (30-44, 2%),recognizable in Vojvodina (10%), whereas people living in rural areas are mostly more SRS (12%) and DSS (8%) voters than SNS supporters and “undecided/refused”familiar with CESID (8%). and those who would not vote (3% of each), of more people living in rural (7%) than in urban (3%) areas.At the top of the list of recognizable organizations there are mostly those that thecitizens see in a negative context, and which raise, in a provocative way, the still Those who are familiar with some NGO networks, mostly named UNESCO and CESIDunsolved issues of responsibility for war crimes, Srebrenica, Kosovo. The more these (13% for each), the Red Cross and the Helsinki Board (11% for each), and thenissues are important in daily politics, the more attention they receive from the Women’s Network (9%) and FENS (8%).media and right-oriented parties and they draw more of the citizens’ attention. The answers to this question show that the public does not have a clear picture ofThese organizations obviously do not attract the attention of young people. what NGO networks are, how they operate and what they are for. The exceptions areUnderstandably, the best known organization for them is JAZAS, as the citizens of those who have had the opportunity to experience the e ects and the e ectivenessrural areas know more about those dealing with the environment. of this form of operating. Considering the in uence that the networks can haveThe question arises as to which NGOs are identi ed under the term “human rights when placing pressure to reach goals, the entire civil sector should tackle thisNGO”, since a broad specter of organizations works in this area in various ways. It question in the future.should also be noted that shortly before this survey was being done in 2009, there Most of the citizens who know what an NGO is do not believe that NGOs in theirwas a broad and passionate debate concerning the adoption of the local community are interested in the opinions of the average citizens, and thisAnti-Discrimination Law, in which these organizations played an important role. It number has increased since 2006 (46% in 2009 compared to 39% in 2006).can also be noticed that numerous organizations which work on the developmentof democracy and local communities are not recognizable enough to the citizens. The glimpse at the data gathered in 2009 and sorted in di erent categories doesIt is expected that the visibility of organizations that deal with humanitarian work not show signi cant di erences in the attitudes of di erent groups, except for a few.will drop, as this form of work has decreased compared to the time marked by the In 2009, the middle aged (30-44, 16%) and university/college graduates (21%) wereconsequences of wars and a collapsed economical power of the state. What draws more convinced that NGOs in their local communities were interested in theattention is the information that citizens think of the Red Cross as an NGO. opinions of ordinary people than the elderly (6%) and persons with elementary education (6%). This opinion was also more present among SRS voters (20%) and people living in Central Serbia (17%) than among LDP voters (8%), people who would not vote (9%) and those living in Vojvodina (8%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 28
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataGraph 28: Are NGOs in your local community interested in the opinions of people Graph 29: Are NGOs in Serbia interested in the opinions of people like you?like you? Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006)Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) I don`t know, I am not informed I am not aware of any active NGOs in well enough about their activities 16% 15% my place of residence/ community 14% 11% Not at all I don`t know, I am not informed well 24% 27% 13% 16% enough about their activities 43% 48% Mostly no Not at all 19% 23% 26% 21% 39% 46% Yes and no Mostly no 25% 16% 22% 20% 19% Yes and no 13% 16% 14% 16% Mostly yes 15% 3% 2% 11% 14% 11% 13% Mostly yes Yes, absolutely 3% 2% 2006 2009 Yes, absolutely 2006 2009 Most of the citizens who know what an NGO is do not believe that NGOs in Serbia are interested in the opinions of the average citizens, and this mistrust hasT64% of SNS voters (even 18% above the average), 54% of SPS voters and 52% of somewhat increased since 2006 (48% in 2009 compared to 43% in 2006).people living in Vojvodina believed that NGOs are not interested in the opinions of These data sorted in di erent categories show that young people (21%) more oftenaverage people. believe that NGOs are interested in the opinion of ordinary citizens than the elderlyOne should be alarmed by the data that there is a decrease in the number of citizens (11%), whereas people living in Central Serbia (20%) think the same more oftenwho recognize that the local NGOs care about their opinion. This implies that the than people in Vojvodina (10%). The same attitude is also more present amongcommunication is insu cient, one-way and more aimed towards the promotion of small party voters (24%) and least among LDP and SPS (5% of each) voters.goals, ideas and planned activities, rather than used for needs assessments and On the other hand, SNS (59%) and small party voters (58%), those who would notevaluation after the realization of activities; it is also in correlation with the data vote (54%) and DS voters (41%) believed that NGOs are not interested in thefrom the survey “NGO Sector in Serbia in 2009”, which says that the direct contact opinions of average citizens.with citizens as a form of communication has decreased. It is encouraging that thecitizens of Central Serbia have a positive impression about this question as a large No big di erences can be noted between answers given by men and women andnumber of big programs for the development of the local community in also people living in rural and urban areas.partnership with local NGOs have been implemented there. Better, more Compared to the impression of the citizens about the respect of their opinions bycomprehensive and direct communication with citizens would likely contribute to local NGOs (13% positive), the perception of the entire civil sector of Serbia isbetter visibility of local NGOs, would reduce the impression created by the media somewhat better (16% positive), but far from satisfactory. The presence of largerand would bolster their reputation. The civil sector is at the core of participatory and more developed organizations probably contributes to this, as they havedemocracy and should promote it more through its own working methods. recognized the importance of two-way communication with citizens through many years of practice. A good example is the generation of youth that was massively involved (around 16.000 individuals) in an analysis of the circumstances and priorities for the creation of the proposal of the Youth Strategy. Consequently, the youth had a more positive attitude towards the respect of their opinion by NGOs at the national level than at the level of local communities. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 29
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by data uence on the life of our society? It seems contradictory that the citizens who have a generally bad impression aboutBase: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) NGOs give more positive opinions about the achieved in uence on the society. However, if it is kept in mind that this part of the population is the most dissatis ed DK with the state of the society and that someone should take responsibility for this, 4% then the connection is somewhat more logical. 3% 14% 7% 4% 15% Graph 31: Do you believe that NGOs/ CSOs can solve your and your family’s 11% They influence very much 11% problems? Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) 29% 29% They mostly have influence y y They neither have influence 2% Yes, absolutely 42% 37% nor do not have influence 17% 52% 49% They mostly do not have Mostly yes 10% 12% influence 21% Yes and no They do not have influence 2006 2009 at all 22% Mostly noSimilarly to in 2006, almost half of the population thinks that NGOs do not have 31% Not N ttatllallany in uence on the life of Serbian society, while only 15% believe that NGOshave in uence. I don`t know, I am not informed well 7%Among those who believe that NGOs do not have an in uence on circumstances in enough about their activitiesSerbian society there are most Vojvodina citizens (60%), DS (57%) and SPS (57%)voters, people living in rural areas (56%), persons with secondary education (54%), More than half of those who know what NGOs are think that NGOs/CSOs cannotyoung people (52%) and the middle aged (45-60, 52%). The same attitude is least solve their personal problems and problems of their families, while only 19% ofexpressed by SNS (32%), small party (36%) and SRS (38%) voters, Belgrade citizens them believe that they can do so (10% of total population).(40%), people with elementary (42%) and higher (41%) education.A contrary opinion, that NGOs have an in uence on Serbian society, is well above Attitudes of men and women, and people living in di erent settlementsthe average present among SNS voters (32%) and the elderly (24%), while it is least (urban/rural) do not di er much from the average. However, there are someexpressed by LDP (6%), SRS (8%) voters and the young population (8%). variations among categories based on age and the level of education. Not so surprising is that a greater number of the older (64%) than the young generationAlthough the progress is small, a positive trend can be observed in the increase in (42%) believe that NGOs cannot solve their and problems of their families. Also athe number of positive impressions (from 14% to 15%) and the decrease in the greater number of college/university graduates (56%) than people with primarynumber of negative ones (from 52% to 49%). It is interesting that those groups, who education (45%) do not think that NGOs can solve their personal problems.through previous questions, expressed more positive attitudes towards NGOs, givemore negative answers to this question compared to those who by and large see Mistrust is also widely spread among people who would not vote (69%), then DSSthem as enemies and traitors. The newer concept of one part of NGOs aimed at (61%) and SNS (58%) supporters and well below the average among SRS (44%), LDPpartnership, and not just the service provision and criticizing the state, is obviously (38%) voters and people who are undecided (42%).gaining more attention. 22% of people living in Central Serbia, 19% of Belgrade and 16% of Vojvodina PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 30
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by datacitizens said that NGOs can solve their problems. This trust in NGOs is also quite Graph 32: Would you say that the involvement of NGOs in solving problemsabove the average present among SRS voters (40%), much less among DS (23%) and within the following areas is rather useful or rather harmfulSNS (15%) voters and among only 6% of DSS supporters. Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% )Only every tenth citizen believes that NGOs can solve their personal problems and harmful (completely+mostly) useful (mostly+completely)the problems of their families. Although within most of the categories there are nobigger di erences, one can notice that this belief is more present among the youth, Solving problems of your 19%the less educated, those living in Central Serbia, SRS voters and those who abstain local community 30%from voting. The lack of belief is the strongest among the elderly, who are generally 24% Most usefuldistrustful and pessimistic, as well as among DSS voters, which is in accordance with Advance of democracy 35%their political orientation. The trust is greater among those who have been more 23%often recognized as the target group of NGOs. Reducing corruption 36%On average, the involvement of NGOs in solving problems is evaluated as more 22%useful than harmful. Joining European Union 39%The usefulness of the involvement of NGOs is mostly recognized for their activities 19%in the following elds: children’s rights (57%), domestic violence (57%), conditions Reducing poverty 40%for persons with disabilities and vulnerable groups (55%) and environmental 18% Finding solutions regardingprotection (54%). Assessed as the least useful are their activities related to EU legal status of refugees and… 43%integration (39%), reducing corruption (36%), the advance of democracy (35%) and 19%solving problems in local communities (30%). Employees’ rights 44%Most harmful is their involvement in the advance of democracy (24%), reducing 18%corruption (23%), EU accession (22%) and the protection of human rights (21%). Advance of education 44%The signi cance of the involvement of NGOs in protecting children’s rights is more 16%appreciated by the younger (64%) and people between 30 and 44 years of age Gender equality 45%(65%) than by those older than 45 (49%), also much more by SRS (68%), DS (67%) 17% Condition/perspectives ofand LDP (64%) voters than by SNS voters (34%). 45% the youthSRS voters (71%) much above the average recognize the usefulness of the activities 16%of NGOs in reducing domestic violence, compared to 39% of SNS voters. Arts and culture 46%The contribution of NGOs to improving conditions for people with disabilities and 21% Protection ofh uman rights of human 49%vulnerable groups is considered to be most useful by the middle aged (30-44, 64%),the young population (63%), LDP (64%) and small party voters (64%) and least by Protection of the 11%SNS supporters (36%). environment 54%The bene ts of activities in the eld of environmental protection undertaken by 13% Least useful Improving conditions forNGOs are found to be more useful by people living in Central Serbia (64%) and rural p p people with special needs p 55%areas (61%) than by those living in Belgrade (36%) and urban areas (50%). 13% Reducing family violence 57%The majority of young people (62%) and DS voters (62%) identify the involvementof NGOs as contributing to the protection of human rights. The same opinion is not 13% Protecting children’s rights 57%so widespread among the elderly (36%), DSS voters (28%) and people living inBelgrade (32%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 31
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataPeople living in di erent regions are most notably divided on the issue of NGOs’ Graph 33: Would you say that the involvement of NGOs in solving problemscontribution to gender equality (54% of people living in Central Serbia compared to within the following areas is rather useful or rather harmful - % answers “mostly31% of Belgrade citizens), youth position (54% of people in Central Serbia and completely useful”compared to 25% in Belgrade), the advance of education (55% in Central Serbia and Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006)24% in Belgrade), employees’ rights (52% in Central Serbia and 26% in Belgrade),poverty reduction (50% in Central Serbia, 22% in Belgrade), and on all the other Improving conditions for people with 64%issues as well. People living in Vojvodina most appreciate the involvement of NGOs special needs 55%in environmental (57%) and human rights protection (56%). 64%Around six in ten of young respondents highly value the involvement of NGOs in Protection of human rights 49%reducing domestic violence (63%), environmental protection (61%), the advance of 62%education and employees’ rights (59%). Not so many of them are satis ed with NGO Reducing family violence 57%activities related to solving the problems of local communities (39%). 60% Protecting children’s rights 57%The involvement of NGOs in solving problems related to social and environmental 55%issues is assessed as the most useful by more than 50% of the respondents, while as Protection of the environment 54%the least useful there was their involvement in reform processes (between 30 and 54%40%). It is to be further analyzed how much of this is caused by the general Condition/perspectives of the youth 45%resistance to reforms, and how much by the methods and e ciency of the NGOs 52%themselves; an additional cause might be the visibility of NGO activities which are Reducing poverty 40%tied to the reform processes: their very nature (lobbying, advocacy, communication 49%with institutions) makes them less visible to citizens. There is only a vague idea of Gender equality 45%what the answer is, based on the structure of those who have a positive or negative 48%attitude. Signi cantly more young people estimate that NGOs are exerting Reducing corruption 36%in uence on the questions concerning reforms, and especially concerning EU 47%accession and the improvement of democracy. On the other hand, the elderly Status Sttf f of refugeestand returnees d 43%dominate when it comes to giving a negative mark. Based on political a liation, DS 46%voters, the “other” and the undecided equally gave positive marks, twice as much Arts and culture 46%than the voters of SNS and DSS. There is 5 times more SNS voters and 3 times more 45%DSS voters than DS ones when it comes to expressing a negative attitude. Joining European Union 39%What is quite noticeable is a signi cantly smaller number of citizens of Belgrade 45%who gave a positive mark for the in uence of NGOs in the areas tied to service Advance of education 44%provision, while it is twice as high when it is tied to improving democracy, joining 44%the EU, the protection of rights, ght against corruption. This could be caused by Employees’ rights 44%the fact that a fth of Serbia’s population lives in Belgrade, and in this narrow space 43%there is a large concentration of citizens to whom the NGOs provide services. And Advance of democracy 35% 2006since Belgrade is the most expensive city, then it can be better understood why a 36% Solving problems of your local community 2009large number of organizations direct their activities outside of Belgrade, mostly to 30%Central Serbia. This can also be connected to the visibility of activities – the reformactivities are more visible in Belgrade due to the presence of the centralgovernment, while the NGOs cannot provide everyone with services because of the In comparison to 2006, less people evaluated the involvement of NGOs as useful inlarge number of people, and even when they do, it is less noticeable than in smaller most of the areas, and especially in the protection of human rights (from 64% incommunities. 2006 to 49% in 2009), poverty reduction (from 52% to 40%), reducing corruption (from 48% in 2006 to 36% in 2009), improving conditions for persons with PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 32
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by datadisabilities and vulnerable groups (from 64% in 2006 to 55% in 2009) and youth The NGO activities and the behavior of their leaders have had the most e ect on theissues (from 54% in 2006 to 45% in 2009). Nothing changed in people’s attitudes opinion on NGOs of the people who know what an NGO is – quite similar to 2006.towards the involvement of NGOs in solving problems related to arts and culture Small changes that can be noted show that more people do not have any opinionand employees’ rights. about NGOs, and that a bit more people think that the activities of NGOs have the most e ect on their opinion of NGOs, and a bit less believe that their programs, i.e.The citizens clearly feel the consequences of the changes of unfavorable trends areas of work form their opinion about NGOs.which accumulated in the NGO sector and society up to 2009. On the one hand,there is a decrease in the number of NGOs, due to more and more unfavorable The activities of NGOs are more relevant for shaping attitudes towards them amongworking conditions, such as more di culties with raising funds, the lack of an DS (44%) and SNS (34%) voters, young people (34%) the middle aged (30-44, 33%)a rmative policy and operating within an unclear legal framework. On the other and not so relevant among SRS (15%) voters, people with elementary educationhand, because of the collapse of the economy, slow reform processes and the rst (20%), respondents who would not vote (22%) and the elderly (24%).e ects of the world economic crisis, there has been a sudden increase in the needs The elderly (31%), SRS (35%) and DSS (34%) voters and people who would not voteof the citizens. At the same time, a process of weakening capacities in the NGO (30%) think that the behavior of NGO leaders has had the most e ect on theirsector was underway, because some educated and experienced activists went into opinion of NGOs. The role of NGO leaders is not so great among young peopleinternational organizations or state institutions. (14%), people with elementary education (11%), DS (12%) and LDP (14%) voters. ect on your opinion of NGOs?Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) For people living in Belgrade (29%) both activities and behavior of NGO leaders are equally important. More visible exceptions from the average indicate that 30% of people with 28% elementary education do not have any opinion on NGOs, while 19% of them and Their activities 30% 21% of SPS voters think that the nancial sources of NGOs have a great impact on their opinion and 23% of the middle aged (30-44) and 24% of SRS voters believe 21% that the programs of NGOs have he most e ect on their opinion about NGOs. The behavior of their leaders 21% Programs of NGOs are not so signi cant for the opinion of the middle aged (45-60, 13% 10%) and people who would not vote (10%). I don’t have an opinion about NGOs 18% It is expected that the opinions of citizens on NGOs are in uenced the most by what reaches them directly. Those who are more open for changes, or have more burning 18% Programs of NGO (the id – what they P f NGOs (th idea h tt h needs, base their opinions on activities and communication, i.e. for them it is stand for) 16% important what they get and in which way. The part of the population with a more 12% conservative approach, that values authorities and hierarchy, react more strongly to Their sources offi nancing of financing the conduct of NGO leaders, i.e. to the messages which they get through the media. 12% It is important to stress that there is an increase in the number of people who think 3% that long-term goals, that is, the desired changes, are important, but at the same Employees in NGOs 3% time there is also more of those who base their attitudes on the policy of the fund providers. 3% Something else 1% 2006 2% 2009 DK REF 1% PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 33
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataGraph 35: In your opinion, to what extent do the media cover the activities of editorial policy of most media, which usually report on the activities of a smallNGOs? number of well-known NGOs, mostly those which deal with provocative themesBase: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) of facing the past. More reporting on the small and everyday changes that NGOs achieve in the lives of common people would likely change the overall image. With the much commercialized media that have an underdeveloped sense of 9% 8% social responsibility, the NGOs themselves do not have many options as to how 18% 16% DK REF they can change this image. Too much Graph 36: How do you get informed about the activities of NGOs? 25% Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006) 32% As much as they should Not very much 71% 49% Watching television 71% 44% 38% Reading newspapers d 36% 11% I do not get informed, I am not interested 2006 2009 in NGOs 15% 19%In comparison to 2006, more people think that the media cover activities of NGO as By talking to family/friends/acquaintances 13%much as they should (25% in 2006 compared to 32% in 2009). At the same time, 4%fewer people assess media coverage of NGO activities as not very extensive. Over the Internet 7%In 2009, even 44% of the respondents believe that the media do not cover the 7%activities of NGOs very much, while 32% are of the opinion that NGO activities are Directly from employees in NGOs 4%covered as much as they should and 16% think that there are too much NGOactivities in the media. 2006 Brochures 2%That the activities of NGOs are “not very much” covered is mostly believed by LDP 2009(59%) and DS (52%) voters and the middle aged (30-44, 51%), and well below the Leaflets 2%average by SNS voters (17%).The most satis ed with the media coverage of NGO activities are SPS (48%) and Billboards 1%small party voters (41%), the elderly (39%) and SNS (38%) voters. The same attitudeis not so prevailing among Belgrade citizens (23%) and people who would not vote 1%(23%), the middle aged (45-60, 25%) and people with elementary education (26%). Something else S thi l 2%SNS voters (39%) mostly believe that the media report too much on the activities of DK REF 5%NGOs. This opinion is not so spread among DS (8%), SRS (7%) and LDP (7%) votersand not at all present among SPS voters.While citizens who are oriented towards reforms would like for the media to Most of the people (71%) who know what an NGO is, get informed about theirdedicate more attention to the activities of NGOs, their numbers are dwindling. At activities by watching TV, as was the case in 2006. Not many things have changedthe same time there is an increase in the number of those who think that the since 2006, only that fewer people get informed about NGO activities by talking tomedia is dedicating to much attention to them and among those the most other people, more nd information on the Internet, more people are not interestednumerous are the groups that feel that NGOs are working against the national in NGOs, and fewer people get informed by reading newspapers.interests of the Serbian people. Some reasons for this situation are caused by the PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 34
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataTelevision as a source of information related to the activities of NGOs is Graph 37: Have you ever had any contact with NGOs? Are you currently in contactexceptionally valuable to SRS (86%) and small party voters (82%), people in Central with some NGO?Serbia (79%), people who graduated from college or university (78%), SPS voters(78%) and the elderly (77%), and not so valuable to LDP voters (58%) and people inVojvodina (60%). 75%Newspaper articles presenting the activities of NGOs are more read by men (38%) No, never 83%than women (33%), more by the elderly (41%) than all the other age groups (young– 31%, early middle aged – 35%, late middle aged – 36%), more by people with 3%higher education (46%) than by people with elementary (25%) or secondary Yes, I volunteered in NGO 4%education (35%), more by small party (50%) and SPS (48%) voters than by LDP 1%voters (27%) and people who would not vote (25%), and nally more by people in 2006 Yes, I was employed in NGO 1%Central Serbia (41%) than Vojvodina citizens (29%). 2009People in Vojvodina (21%), SNS voters (19%) and respondents who would not vote 4%(19%) are mostly uninterested in NGOs. Yes, I was beneficiary of the NGO services 3%Discussions with other people are a source of information mostly for SPS (24%) and 18%the least for “undecided” voters (6%). I know someone employed in NGO 10%No profound di erences can be noted in responses to this question received frompeople living in di erent types of settlement (urban/rural).It is obvious that the dominant majority forms their attitudes about NGOs according Most of the citizens, even more than in 2006, reported that they had not had anyto the information they receive through television, and the least through brochures contact with nongovernmental organizations (83% in 2009 compared to 75% inand lea ets. As the NGOs do not have a lot of in uence on the editorial policy of TV 2006). Moreover, almost half of those who had some contact with NGOs have notnetworks, the citizens’ attitudes depend mostly on what and how the most watched maintained that contact any more.TV network presents, rather than what the NGOS actually do and promote. If this Among those who had some contact with NGOs there are most of those whoinformation is combined with the usual practice of NGOs to most often use know someone employed in an NGO (10%), then those who volunteered in anbrochures and lea ets for communication with the public, then it is no surprise that NGO (4%), those who were bene ciaries (3%) and nally those who werethe people are not informed in the right way. employed in an NGO (1%).If the other channels of information are compared, the press, internet and direct The great majority of the elderly (90%), people with elementary education (91%) andcommunication between citizens and NGO activists, the most direct correlation is SNS voters (92%) have never had any contact with NGOs. This was not such a frequentwith the level of education. People with a lower level of education use only the case with people with university education (77%), DS voters (75%), LDP (77%), andpress as a source of information, and an insigni cantly small number of people small party voters (73%).stated to have direct communication with NGO activists. For a good understandingof this information it is important to emphasize that half of Serbia’s population has Among 4% of people who volunteered in an NGO, there are more men (6%) thanonly a primary school diploma, and that they have a lot of prejudices against NGOs. women (2%), more young people (7%) and people between 30 and 44 years of ageA more thorough analysis is required to identify the causes of such bad (6%) than older than 45 (2%), there are also LDP (13%), DS (8%) and small party voterscommunication, and how much the NGOs are trying to reach this population. Apart (12%), but none of the respondents who declared that they would vote for SNS, SRS,from this, it is important to draw attention to the data which shows that the Internet DSS and SPS have ever volunteered in an NGO.is not so much used for nding information, especially when it comes to youth. People with higher education (17%), SPS (18%) and DS (15%) voters, the middle aged (30-44, 14%) more than other groups of people have had contacts with employed in the nongovernmental sector. PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 35
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataWhen people who reported having had some contact with NGOs (9% of target living in Central Serbia (37%) would more gladly consider this option than thosepopulation) were asked if they remained in contact with the nongovernmental sector, living in Vojvodina (26%) and Belgrade (24%). The most indecisive are Belgradealmost half of them said: “No”. This group mostly consists of the elderly (59%), people citizens (17%) and those who also do not know who they would vote for (14%).with primary education (64%), LDP voters (65%) and people who would not vote (75%). Graph 38: Would you consider becoming included in activities of an NGO thatAmong 14% of those who still volunteer in the nongovernmental sector, there are advocates a change you support? Base: those who are not included in activities of NGO, including those who do not know what NGO is, aftermore men (19%) than women (7%), more young people (16%) than the elderly (9%), they were informed on what the NGO ismore Vojvodina (18%) than Belgrade (8%) citizens, more people living in rural (22%)than in urban areas, there are also SPS (22%), small party voters (25%), undecided(19%) and DS (17%) voters and none of SNS, SRS, DSS, LDP and respondents who Dont knowwould not vote. 17% 10% NoMany of them, 36%, were in touch with persons employed in NGOs, and in thisgroup we have most SPS (78%) and SRS (60%) voters and least people who would 48% 59% Yesnot vote (17%), LDP voters (21%) and people with elementary education (22%).Among 5% of those surveyed who are bene ciaries of the NGO services, there are 36% 31%38% of SRS voters, 11% of Vojvodina citizens and 10% of women and the middleaged (30-44) and no one of people with elementary education, people between 45and 60 years of age, SNS, DSS and SPS voters. 2006 2009The fact that less than a fth of citizens has ever been in contact with an NGO onceagain draws attention to the need for the NGOs to make more e orts to get closerto new people, and not to shut themselves into circles of familiar ones. The NGOs are becoming less and less attractive. They are most interesting to young,information that there is a decrease in the number of those who were bene ciaries pro-democratic-oriented people with a medium level of education and this is inor know someone from NGOs, also contributes to this. Women are more often in places where the work of NGOs is more present and visible, such as Central Serbia.contact with NGOs, 10 times more often as recipients than men. It is noticeable that This interest is in direct correlation with activism and the capacity for change, butmen are seldom recipients, and far more often volunteers. The gathered data is not also with the need for employment.completely in sync with the actual gender structure of the recipients and the erent opinions about NGOs in Serbia. Which of thevolunteers, so a conclusion can be drawn that the perception of citizens is following two is closer to yours?signi cantly in uenced by a feeling of pride. It is also unusual that among the menwho call themselves volunteers there are mostly people of the working age. It is Dont knowpossible that this information is also a consequence of the many years of the 7% 8%unclear legal framework through which the term volunteer is de ned. 14% 14%The majority of the citizens would not consider becoming included in the activities Do not agree with either of the twoof an NGO. In comparison to 2006, the number of people with this attitude has 43% 37%increased by 11%. Although they receive donations fromThe middle aged (40%) and young people (38%) are more willing to become international community, NGOs serveincluded in the activities of an NGO that implements a change they support, more the interests of Serbian people 36% 41%than people between 45 and 60 years (31%) and older than 60 (19%). This kind of NGOs are paid by international agenciesopenness is also more present among people with secondary (36%) than among to propagate their interests in Serbiapeople with university (31%) or elementary education (22%). And when we observedata showing attitudes of people with di erent political a liations, we can note 2006 2009that there are more LDP (46%), DS (40%) and the least of SNS (18%) voters. People PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 36
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataIn comparison to 2006, the opinion that NGO propagate the interests of the It is quite alarming that almost 80% of those who know what an NGO is were notinternational community in Serbia has increased by 5% and logically enough, fewer able to name any NGO campaign which had positively in uenced the lives ofpeople think that NGOs serve the interests of Serbian people. people.That NGOs are paid by international agencies to propagate their interests in Serbia However, even though not so many respondents were able to name some NGOis widely believed by the elderly (55%), SNS (60%), DSS (57%), SRS (51%) voters and campaigns that have brought some positive changes in the lives of Serbian citizens,Belgrade citizens (50%). This opinion is not shared by many DS voters (20%) and it is still important to identify which campaigns certain groups of people identi edmiddle aged persons (30-44, 27%). as the most important. For men (3%) and women (5%), people living in rural (3%) and urban (4%) areas, the middle aged (45-60, 7%) and the elderly (3%), people withOn the other hand, that NGOs are nanced by international agencies but elementary (7%) and secondary education (3%), DS voters (7%) and persons whonevertheless serve the interests of Serbian people is believed by more than half of would not vote (6%) and Belgrade citizens (11%) the Safe House campaign is thethe respondents belonging to the 30-44 age group (53%), DS (58%) and LDP (53%) one they are most familiar with and nd the most signi cant. Most young peoplesupporters. The same opinion is more present among people living in Central Serbia (4%) mentioned JAZAS campaign, while the middle aged (30-44, 4%) identi ed the(45%) than among Belgrade (30%) and Vojvodina (31%) citizens. campaign for refuges. University graduates (4%) equally identi ed the Safe House It is important to stress that NGOs, unlike many others, raise funding from abroad, and the environmental protection campaigns, while SNS voters (6%) are most and use it on their home ground, while also contributing to the increased familiar with the Mercy Corps campaign. SRS supporters (12%) well above the involvement of other structures with which they cooperate. For the right-wing average respect SOS phone for women and children victims of violence, people political option, who in the public mostly criticizes unemployment and weak who would vote for LDP (11%) appreciate the ght for human rights, while SPS economy, these are obviously not important arguments. supporters (12%) are mostly familiar with the campaign for refugees. DSS voters uenced the (4%) equally named the Safe House campaign, donations for road constructionslives of the citizens of Serbia and the aid to schools. Out of the numerous campaigns launched by NGOs with the goal of changing Safe House campaign 4% awareness or raising the sensitivity of citizens towards certain issues, only a small 2% number have left lasting impressions. People better respond to campaigns that Campaign for refugees 1% evoke sympathy, that require them to give or do something for someone else. Environment protection campaign JAZAS campaigns 1% Fight for human rights 1% Lets clean Serbia 1% Humanitarian help, food, medications... 1% Helping the invalids 1% Campaign MERCY CORPS 1% Fight against corruption 1% SOS phone for women and children victims of… 1% Women protection 1% Children protection from violence 1% Donations for roads building 1% The aid to schools 1% AIDS 1% Other answers 5% No 79% PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 37
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by dataGraph 41: To what extent do the following words and attributes describe NGOs in modern. The same attitude is also present, but not as much, among peopleour country? between 45 and 60 years of age (38%), SPS supporters (37%), “undecided” (35%) andBase: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% of target population) Vojvodina citizens (32%). More people living in urban areas (47%) than those living in rural areas (38%) are of the opinion that NGOs are modern. On the other hand, feeling that NGOs are outdated is more present among SPS voters (24%) and 42% Personal benefit Vojvodina citizens (26%), and the least among the middle aged (30-44, 5%). 23% 41% Twice as many respondents (43% vs. 18%) believe that NGOs are foreign rather than Important 28% domestic organizations. Among persons belonging to di erent age groups 41% believing that NGOs are foreign, there are mostly the elderly (49%) and people older Needed 31% than 45 and younger than 60 (48%), and then the middle aged (30-44, 38%) and 37% young people (35%). More striking variations can be seen among people with Have a future 22% di erent political a liations. The majority of SNS (67%), SRS (62%), small party 37% (55%) and DSS (52%) voters connect NGOs with foreign institutions; while not so Unreliable 25% many LDP (22%) and DS (31%) voters think the same. The opposite opinion, that 36% NGOs are domestic, is most present among LDP (25%), DSS (23%) and small party Old 22% (23%) voters, and well below the average among SPS supporters (only 2%). 35% Attitudes of men and women, people living in di erent regions or types of Professional 26% settlement do not vary much from the average. 33% completely+mostly More than four in ten (42%) of the respondents thought that personal bene t is the Complicated 20% this attribute main reason for the work of NGOs. The opposite, that common bene t is their main 32% aim, is thought by 23% of people. More men (46%) than women (38%) and more Helping 32% people in Belgrade and Vojvodina (47%) than those living in Central Serbia (36%) 28% Completely+mostly think that NGOs work for personal bene t. The same stance is more often taken by Unsuccessful 26% opposite attribute the elderly (56%) than all the other age groups (young – 37%, in early middle age – 26% 33%, in late middle age – 43%), and also more often by college or university Fast 29% graduates (44%) than people with elementary education (39%). Among voters of 27% di erent political parties, we can note that only 20% of DS and 29% of SPS voters, Trust 33% and even 65% of DSS and 62% of SNS supporters share the same opinion. The 20% opposite, that NGOs work for common bene ts, is thought mostly by small party Close 36% (41%) and DS (37%) voters and well below the average by LDP voters (5%). 18% Domestic Those who agree that NGOs are important outnumber those who think the 43% opposite (41% vs. 28%). The importance of NGOs is recognized by a greater number 14% of the middle aged (30-44, 52%) and young population (49%), than by the elderly Obsolete 44% (29%) and people in late middle age (33%). More than half of the SPS (53%) and DS (50%) voters think the same, and not so many DSS supporters (34%) and people who would not vote (33%). The signi cance of NGOs is equally appreciated byMixed feelings were expressed in the choice of attributes which best describe NGOs people with secondary and university education (43%) and less by persons within Serbia. elementary education (32%). On the other hand, men (32%) more often thanMost people (44%) think that NGOs are modern, while a third as many think the women (23%) think that NGOs are unimportant. This is also more often thought byopposite, that they are obsolete. More than a half of the middle aged (30-44, 50%), people living in Vojvodina (38%) than people living in other regions (Belgrade –SNS (56%) and SRS (56%) voters and Belgrade citizens (51%) think that NGOs are 26%, Central Serbia – 24%). PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 38
    • 3. 3. 3. Presentation of data Presentation ofareas – Perception of NGOs 4.Presentation of data Findings by data Graph 42: To what extent do the following words and attributes describe NGOs inWhen it comes to the necessity of NGOs, more people believe that NGOs are our country? - MEANSneeded (41%), contrary to 31% of those who think they are unneeded. More women Base: those who know what a non- governmental organization is (56% in 2009, and 54% in 2006)(45%) than men (37%) think that NGOs are needed. The same attitude is morepresent among persons with secondary education (44%) than among those with 3%university (39%) and primary education (32%). On the other hand, the elderly (53%) Slow 3%signi cantly more than all the other age groups consider NGOs to be unimportant.Almost three times less young persons (18%) and a bit more of the middle aged 3% Important p 3%(30-44, 20%) think the same. Among supporters of di erent political parties,around ve in ten of SRS (53%), SNS (51%) and DSS (51%) voters believe that NGOs 4%are unnecessary. This is not such a frequent attitude among LDP (12%), SPS (16%) Obsolete 4%and DS (20%) voters. 3% Professional 3%Having to decide whether NGOs are reliable or unreliable, more citizens describedNGOs as unreliable than as reliable (37% vs. 25%). Mistrust in the reliability of NGOs 3%is substantially more present among the elderly (53%) and people in the late middle Domestic 4%age (42%) than among people between 30 and 44 (24%) and youth (28%). The same 3%doubt is also well above the average present among DSS (60%) and SNS (52%) Complicated 3%voters and not so frequent among DS (17%) and SPS (20%) supporters. Moreover,people living in Belgrade (43%) more than those living in Vojvodina (37%) and 3%Central Serbia (32%) think the same. On the other hand, the data illustrating the Unsuccessful 3%number of people with di erent political a liations who think the opposite (that 2006 3%NGOs are reliable) indicate that there are more SPS (44%), SRS (40%) and DS (38%) Needed 3% 2009voters than all the others, particularly LDP voters (only 9%). 3%Basically, the picture of NGOs described by the selected attributes has remained Personal benefit 3%substantially unchanged since 2006. 3% Close 3% 3% Have a future 3% 3% Old 3% 3% Unreliable 3% 3% Helping 3% 3% Trust 3% PUBLIC PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS NGO SECTOR IN SERBIA in 2009 39