Capacity of youth non-governmental organizations and Initiative groups for cooperation in addressing common objectives

Andrei Yahorau, Alena Zuikova, Olga Lashkevich, Andrei Shutau, Sviatlana Antashkevich

The Centre for European Transformation, commissioned by the Office for European Expertise and Communication, in April-June 2015 was carried out a study to assess the interaction potential of Belarusan youth NGOs in the solution of common tasks.

This analysis aims to estimate the current state and opportunities for enhancing cooperation between Belarusan civil society youth organizations, as well as between these organizations and their environment. The main subject of the survey is the perceptions of joint actions and initiatives by the leaders and participants of youth sector organizations, i.e. how they see current and future cooperation.

Specific methods of data collection for this survey included:

  • Electronic questionnaire survey of randomly sampled youth organizations. The population included 327 youth organizations, organizations, which have youth as one of their target groups, and organizations periodically working with youth. One hundred and fifty questionnaires were mailed, the return ratio of fully completed questionnaires was 31 per cent.
  • In-depth semi-structured interviews with the sector's leaders and activists (the working experience in the sector is at least 3 years). Nineteen interviews were conducted.
  • One focus group interview, which included seven participants from among activists of youth organizations functioning in the city of Minsk or at the country level.
  • Recovery of the database of youth organizations using open information sources. Information about youth organizations was collected from various available sources. Out of the collected body of data — over 800 organizations — all sports, dance, gaming (schools, fighting federations and clubs, fitness clubs, dance clubs, etc.) organizations were Intentionally excluded, as most frequently they use the legal form of an NGO but do not conduct any activity beyond organizing training sessions. Besides, all children's organizations were excluded. As a result, the final list included 327 organizations, and these were considered the population.

Download document 

About authors:

Andrei Yahorau is the director of the Centre for European transformation (CET), Master of Political Science. He graduated from Belarusan State University, department of political science, and holds a master’s degree in political science. He has been working in the political research area since 2001. The focus of research interests: transformation of the former Soviet Union space, civil society, political transformations in Belarus and the Eastern Partnership region, European studies.

Alena Zuikova is an analyst of the Centre for European Transformation, Master of Political Science. MA in Political Science (European Affairs) at Institute of Political Studies of Lille, France (Sciences Po — Institut d'Études Politiques de Lille). The focus of research interests: European Neighbourhood Policy, Eastern Partnership, EU policies towards Belarus, EU development policy, civil society, CSOs' role in democratisation processes in Belarus.

Olga Lashkevich is a Master of Political Science. She graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, master's and post-graduate degree in “Political Science” of Belarusian State University. Political science teacher since 2004. The focus of research interests: social communication and communication technology, media dimensions and media analyst.

Andrei Shutau is an analyst and editor of the Center for European Transformation. He graduated from Belarusan State University, sociology department. He is a member of analytical group of the Humanitarian Techniques Agency. The focus of research interests: History of Sociology in Belarus; Structured Reasoning Work Methodology, Humanitarian Techniques; civil society, civil society role in transformation processes in Belarus and Eastern Partnership countries.

Sviatlana Antashkevich is the Executive Director of the Centre for European Transformation, Master of Social Work. She graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University and holds a master’s degree in social work.