A survey of citizens’ views on civil society organizations and sustainable agriculture conducted by ORCA in 2016 in Serbia and Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania found that only half of citizens support civil society organizations. The situation is similar with financial support. The number of citizens who said they would financially support the work of an organization and of those who would not is equal. Citizens have little confidence in the usefulness and impact of civil society organizations. In the opinion of the majority of citizens, the impact of organizations on solving key problems in the field of sustainable agriculture is small. It is interesting that the role of civil society organizations is not well understood by citizens. As the main role of organizations citizens stated research and problem identification, promotion of international cooperation and education of agricultural producers, and rarely chose answers such as conducting public campaigns and supporting the Ministries in strategic planning and policy making.
Only 16% of organizations in the Western Balkans have been labeled as financially viable with annual budgets in excess of € 20,000 (ORCA, 2016).
ORCA conducted research on the capacity of civil society organizations primarily working in the fields of sustainable agriculture and nature conservation in 2016 in Serbia and Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. The survey showed that the prevalence of civil society organizations in the region is uneven. The largest concentration of civil society organizations is found in capitals and larger centers, while the civil sector in other areas of the country is less developed. Poor financial sustainability is a major problem for organizations. The survey found that about 58% of CSOs have annual budgets of less than € 5,000, while only 4% of CSOs have budgets over € 100,000 annually. The capacity of organizations for strategic planning and advocacy is also related to the budget. Organizations with an annual budget of less than 10,000 EUR (58% of organizations) often do not have clearly defined missions and programs, but are rather devoted to a wide range of topics. Few organizations (only 16%) have clearly defined strategic goals and well-developed programs, or capacities for public advocacy.