Quarterly report on advocacy

8. Nov 2023

At the beginning of the third quarter, Maarja-Liisa joined our team, focusing on advocacy capacity assessment and NGO research. Maarja can be contacted at

August kicked off with an advocacy network meeting. We formulated expectations and discussed the topics we would address. Apart from the network meetings, we’re planning to organise thematic training sessions in the future. If you have not yet joined the network but would be interested to do so, please email

In August, we looked for solutions to the advocacy challenges faced by the third sector during the Summer school and a visit to the Norwegian Opinion Festival. We also met with Frivillighet Norge, a sister umbrella organisation to over 300 associations in Norway. We shared the challenges the civil society is facing in both countries and explored possible solutions. Some of these will be carried forward into the work of the network. Read more about Inna and Marcus’ visit to Norway here.

From the Ministry of Climate Change, we’ve asked for better engagement in an appeal to the Chancellor and in providing feedback on the draft law. If your organisation has not received the message, you can find it here. With the Chancellor of the Ministry of Climate Change, we would like to discuss in more detail the Ministry’s culture of engagement and their vision for the future, how they intend to build strategic partnerships with the non-governmental sector.

A number of drafts related to the use of structural funds are being prepared. We will ensure that the subsidies for the Ida-Viru region will definitely include the opportunity for the non-governmental sector to present applications, and we are also preparing an appeal to the Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology.

We met with the Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Ministerial Adviser of the Ministry of Social Affairs to discuss the state of the strategic partnership along with future perspectives. We are pleased to note that the Ministry shares the views of the third sector in principle and sees future cooperation primarily through strategic partnerships. However, it is our role to keep our finger on the pulse, so that this does not remain mere rhetoric, but finds real substance in the Ministry’s decrees. We will continue to work in this direction and will keep the organisations that come into contact with the Ministry of Social Affairs’ strategic partnership informed.

We have also invited the Chancellor of the Ministry of Justice, with whom we would like to discuss the opportunities for civil society in the legal area. Specifically, how associations could change their legal form from an NGO to a foundation if necessary, how to make the threshold for auditing foundations more affordable, how to develop awareness of legacy assets for donations, and what stage has been reached in the process of making earmarked donations to NGOs as an optional obligation.

In early September, an Open Government Partnership Summit was held in Estonia. On the opening day of the event, around 500 representatives of civil society from around the world gathered in Telliskivi, where face-to-face discussions shared lessons learned, both good and bad. Read a longer summary of the opening day here. In October, the network met to take stock of the Summit and discuss future plans.

In September, Marcus took part in the Voice and Vote Initiative seminar in Warsaw. There, he gave both a scientific and a practical overview of the experience of ACF countries in the use of People’s Assemblies in different municipalities and cities. Practice is moving in the direction of an increasing use of the People’s Assemblies format in Eastern and Central European countries.

The Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture is drafting a nationwide plan up to 2050, in the framework of which we participated in the brainstorming seminars. For more information on the national planning processes for Estonia 2050, click here.

If you have any thoughts on what could be done better, or not done at all, write to