Public control and effective governance

The general aim of the project was to develop an effective and functional partnership between the structures of the civil society and the municipal administrations through better transparency and accountability of the local administrations. In order to achieve its goals the project aimed at: improving the organizational structures at administrative level and improving the procedures for civil control over the municipal strategies for development. Some of the main activities of the project include: 1. analyses and evaluation of eight strategies for development in eight selected municipalities; 2. defining the role, which the civil society plays in the development and realization of the strategies by analyzing good practices in other countries in the EU; 3. educational seminars for the representatives of the civil society on how can they influence the strategies in order to increase the transparency and accountability of the process. 4. realization of a conference for the dissemination of the project results.

Social roots of the various types and forms for corruption practices in the higher education in Bulgaria (typological model of the most typical cases and strategies for counteraction)

The project aimed at providing analysis of the prerequisites and the conditions for corruption in the higher education, types of corruption in the universities and elaboration of a strategy for curbing corruption. The main project activities included qualitative studies – content and documentary analysis, expert assessments and evaluations.

European policies (2003-2005/2008-2010)

The project aimed at assessing the state of civil society in Bulgaria. It provided a Civil Society Index as an action-research initiative covering more than 60 countries with a view of creating knowledge base and an impetus for civil society initiatives. Bulgaria takes part in the global survey for the second time (first phase was implemented by Balkan Assist 2003-2005). The survey seeks the answers to key issues within the development of civil society in Bulgaria through quantitative and qualitative methods. The project implementation tools include: 1. set-up of a national implementation team; 2. set-up of a project Advisory Committees; 3. identifying key issues within the civil society in the national context; 4. mapping of secondary data on civil society in Bulgaria; 5. quantitative surveys; 6. regional focus groups; 7. public discussion on the main findings; 8. summing up the main findings and recommendations in analytical report and policy briefs; 9. drafting of specific recommendations targeting the main areas of concern.

Center for legal advice for victims of corruption

The creation of the Center for Advocacy and Legal Advice addressed the need to raise the public awareness of the challenges confronting the Bulgarian society in fighting corruption and to provoke public interest in the ways and mechanisms of fighting the phenomenon. The purpose of the Center was and still is to allow citizens to play an active role in fighting corruption by providing them with free legal assistance in their efforts to deal with corruption-related crimes by public institutions and civil servants. The Center also aims to raise the capacity and readiness of state institutions to work with citizens regarding corruption complaints.

Raising transparency through advocacy: challenges in fighting corruption

The basic goal of the project was to assist in raising the respectability of the Bulgarian democratic process and the transparency in the work of public institutions in three spheres: healthcare, the judiciary and public procurement. The implementation of the project took place in three main stages: In the first stage, the bulk of activities was concentrated on conducting a series of analyses and research identifying the basic deficits in the legislation and its application in the three spheres. The second stage focused on creating and maintaining a network of NGOs and media partners for the purpose of information exchange. In short, the results were: conducted surveys and analyses; established cooperation with NGOs and public institutions; two national round tables for information dissemination and exchange.

The civil society and the regional administration in the South-West region – a model for partnership

The project aimed to facilitate the mechanisms for partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local and regional administrations in the South-west region of Bulgaria. The main project goal was: better transparency, more accountability and control over the work of the administration. Some of the project activities included: 1. analyses, development of recommendations and educational seminars; 2. development and maintenance of an information web site; 3. activities for capacity building for monitoring the activities of the local and regional administration; 4. development of recommendations for improvement of the legal framework, strategic documents or public services provided by the targeted administrations; 5. activities for information and publicity.

Corruption monitoring system of Coalition 2000

Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) of Coalition 2000 was a system of empirical studies and analytical reports and represents one of the three main components of the activities of the anti-corruption initiative Coalition 2000, realized in the period 1998-2004. The main objective of CMS was to periodically present information, which would enable conclusions about the scope of corruption in the country, as well about the related public attitudes, assessments and expectations. The other functions of the CMS were to provide reliable feedback about the effectiveness of the anti-corruption initiatives of the Bulgarian society, as well as assessment of the effectiveness of the anti-corruption activities of Coalition 2000 itself.

Countering corruption at the municipal level – anti-corruption measures in the Pernik region municipalities

The project was realized in the course of Coalition 2000 and USAID Open Government Initiative Project: “Civil Society Against Corruption”” – Small Grants Program. The goal of the current project was the improvement of the interaction between administration, civil society and business at local and regional levels.”

Introduction of the methods for organizational excellence for raising the capacity of municipal governance

The project objective was the development and pilot check-up of an approach to introducing governance through organizational excellence (“Commitment to Excellence””) in the context of two Bulgarian municipalities. Its activities included: 1. establishing organization within the municipality for implementation of the project; 2. ensuring the active and informed participation in the training of all persons, related to the project implementation; 3. selection of a competent project manager and team members; 4. communication and, if needed, clarification of the ideas and concepts of Organizational Excellence among the organization’s employees; 5. self-evaluation, identification of strengths and fields to be improved, as well as the priority of individual tasks; 6. development, deployment and communication of an action plan; 7. commitment to the realization of constant improvements.”

Civil control over the work of court experts

The aim of the project was the elaboration of comprehensive analyses on the deficiencies in exercising control over the work of court experts. Another goal was the development, on the basis of the conducted analyses, of a set of ethical standards for the work of court experts as well as a model for their successful implementation within the practice of the courts. The implementation of the project included the elaboration of a legal analysis, aiming at identifying and investigating the gaps and loopholes in the Bulgarian legislation, regulating the work of court experts, as well as assessing the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms for control and liability of court experts. Furthermore, the project conducted a sociological survey, aiming at analyzing the tendencies in the existing public opinion, concerning the level of transparency in the work of court experts as well as the problems concerning their selection and control. Direct result of the implementation of the project was the elaboration and dissemination of the publication “Court Experts in Bulgaria – ethical standards and mechanisms for control over their activity”.

Reform of the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Bulgaria

The aim of the project was to increase the effectiveness of the institutional cooperation in the fight against corruption, to ease the transfer of know-how in the field as well as to increase the institutional capacity and authority of the National Prosecution Office. The outputs of the project are: 1. realization of several conferences and educational workshops for the National Prosecution Office experts with the participation of experts from the civil society sector as well as representatives of the prosecution offices of different EU countries; 2. realization of a sociological survey regarding the public perception over the work of the prosecution office as well as a training seminars for the PR department of the institution; 3. publications of the results and recommendations of the project.

Civic initiative – anti-corruption

The project was realized in the course of Coalition 2000 and USAID Open Government Initiative Project: “Civil Society Against Corruption”” – Small Grants Program. The current initiative aimed to provide mechanisms for monitoring and support to the public administrations in the region of Sliven in order to improve the transparency and accountability in the provision of administrative services within the municipalities in the region. The activities of the project were designed to provide greater civic control and involvement of the local structures of the civil society in the formulation and implementation of local economic and social policies.”

Local anti-corruption network project: Monitoring for transparency and good governance at local level

The project aimed to provide a tool for communication, information and knowledge sharing among the NGOs located in different Bulgarian municipalities in order to increase their monitoring and control capacity as a mechanisms for combating corruption practices. Within the framework of the project a survey of the anti-corruption initiatives of municipal councils, municipal administrations, civic organizations and local mass media was carried out.

Transparency and publicity in the work of the regional and local administrations – a guarantee for honest and good governance

The project aimed to identify and evaluate the possible methods and mechanisms for better transparency and accountability of the public administration. The project activities included: 1. research on the best practices in the field and publicity and dissemination of a guidance book; 2. analyses of the effectiveness of the working processes of targeted institutions and development of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. realization of a national conference with the participation of representatives from the public administration and the civil society sector; 4. development of an web site dedicated to the transparency of the administration.

Monitoring of the activity of Sofia city council and public register of the municipal property transactions

The project objectives are: Raising the level of transparency at Sofia Municipality and guaranteeing the public character of decision-making through development of a public register of the municipal property transactions and monitoring the activities, related to: economic policy and municipal property; municipal budget; urban planning, architecture and construction; ecology and land use.

Civil monitoring of the financing of the election campaign for the members of the European Parliament and the financing of the campaign for the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria

The main goals of the initiative were: 1. to promote the civil and political intolerance towards votes buying by focusing the public attention on problems emerging from this phenomenon; 2. to increase the transparency of the financing of the election campaign by promoting legislative changes in specific areas where deficiencies are identified; 3 to promote more effective civil society control over political financing through independent monitoring of the financing instruments of the election campaign.

Strengthening the public confidence in the judiciary by means of promoting an ethics code of the judicial administration officials

The project aimed at introducing mechanisms for internal control over the dissemination of corrupt practices and increasing the authority of the Judiciary. A content-analysis of the publications in the local press was made, focus-groups discussions were organized and civil reception-rooms were opened. The Project experts analyzed the national as well as the international legal system and recommended amendments in the Bulgarian legislation in tune with the international standards. As a final outcome a project for a Code of Conduct for the Judicial Administration Officials was developed and tested along with a training methodology for its popularization and practical introduction.