Strong governance is essential, to ensure HRHF and the Human Rights Houses continue to effectively serve the human rights cause and remain sustainable.
Funding Civil Society
Human Rights House Foundation launched the report “Funding Civil Society” in 2017, in response to more and more countries adopting restrictive and stigmatizing laws and practices that hinder access to foreign funding for civil society.
The report offers practical recommendations based on four principles: sustainability, flexibility, coordination and independence. These principles and recommendations are inspired by successes and experiences collected from various Human Rights Houses and their partner and member NGOs, and international donors that have successfully adapted their working methods. They are also based on HRHF’s years of experience working with international donors and acting as a donor to Human Rights Houses.
The aim is to provide international donors with the means to adapt their working methods, as well as to encourage them to strengthen partnerships with NGOs.
HRHF presented the recommendations of the report at consultations with the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission on 4 October 2017, as experts were gathering information during the early stages of the review. This contributed to a review of standards applying to funding of NGOs within Council of Europe member states, published in March 2019.
Read more about funding civil society.
Impact by year
Stronger governance 2018
Last year, 2018, marked the end of HRHF’s five-year strategy 2014-2018, and was subsequently a year for evaluation – of the House concept and HRHF’s advocacy, and of planning our future work. We achieved significant progress towards our goals during this period, and have used our experiences to plan the next strategic period. The year was one of both looking back and planning ahead.
Read more about how we strengthened our governance in 2018.
While 2017 was a year in which HRHF focused on reviewing its governance and organisational structures and evaluating its strategy, it was also a year in which the Houses remained active and sustainable. This itself is a success, with some of the Houses and their member organisations facing significant threats – from restrictions on foreign funding and freedom of association, to hate speech and intimidation, to detentions and arrests.
In this difficult climate, 15 of 16 Houses and their member NGOs continued activities, and of those with joint offices or meeting spaces, 100% successfully raised funds for their operation. Eight of the Houses employed joint strategies among their members, enabling them to cooperate strategically and effectively in their efforts to serve the human rights cause in their respective countries.
Read more about how we achieved stronger governance in 2017.
The Houses strengthened their governance and increased their sustainability in 2016, with all Houses successfully raising funds for offices costs. Human Rights House Yerevan, with HRHF support, completed the purchase of a premises for the House. HRHF also looked to expand to two new Houses and ultimately a more sustainable network.