4 Year 448 Projects

Evaluation of the EEA Grants NGO Programme in Hungary, 2012-2017

After four and a half years, the implementation of the second NGO Programme of the EEA Grants in Hungary (NGO Fund) ended in April 2017. During the last part of the programme period, a team of the operator consortium, composed of Ökotárs, Autonómia, DemNet and Carpathian Foundations carried out a comprehensive evaluation of the Progamme’s activities, results and impacts on the state of Hungarian civil society. The research applied questionnaires, document analysis, focus group and individual interviews to collect data.

Altogether 2767 civil society organizations (NGOs) submitted 3859 grant proposals to the Fund’s 3 main and several smaller calls. The evaluation examined the data of these proposals, and amongst them the 460 selected projects of the 407 project promoters (including the 430 successfully implemented ones), as well as the opinions of the applicants and experts formed about the domestic civil sector in Hungary.

The main conclusions of the study are:

  • The opinion of the applicants and project promoters of the NGO Fund about the civil sector in general has deteriorated.
  • The NGO Fund had a partial and indirect impact on the whole of civil society.
  • The characteristics of the organizations that had applied to and been supported by the NGO Fund quite precisely reflect – with some differences – the statistical picture of the Hungarian civil sector.
  • In their projects the project promoters achieved, and in most cases even over-performed, the (obligatory) indicators committed.
  • The applicants and project promoters of the NGO Fund make sharp distinction between the evaluation of their own organizations and the sector as a whole – they have a much better opinion about the former.
  • The applicants and the project promoters of the NGO Fund consider the thematic areas and priorities of the Programme (gender equality and the situation of women, youth and the Roma) as being more and more important to Hungary, however, they assess the balance of the past four years as negative.
  • The applicants and project promoters think that financing systems independent of the state and party politics, which focus on professional fields but are still flexible, i.e. react to real needs and give space to learning processes, are of outstanding importance.

The comprehensive research report may be downloaded from here. Its background materials and appendices – including statistical tables, case studies and interview transcripts – may be found here (in Hungarian only).

4 year 448 project publication - download