The effects of state support on NGO sustainability in Azerbaijan
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Sustainable NGOs fill the gap left by national governments in society. They address social problems that the state cannot, foster dialogue and cooperation among citizens and of the citizens with the state, and boost bridging social capital necessary for social development. For achieving social mission, NGOs may enjoy either negligible or greater state support. In both cases, however, NGOs get affected by states that seek to reach their constituencies. In this sense, states shape sustainability of civil society organizations through legal environment and financial support. This thesis investigated the effects of state support on local NGOs in Azerbaijan. It hypothesized that local NGOs are prone to be less sustainable since the NGO laws are not enough favorable in this country. The study results supported the hypothesis but further clarified the condition. The research found out that among some other minor NGO operational impediments imposed by the state, the legal environment hinders broader diversification of sources of NGO income and makes state financial support be the main source in town. Therefore, the state financial support itself does not impede sustainability of local NGOs. Although 6 out of 8 studied local NGOs are in good standing, the current legal environment limits NGOs’ opportunity to ensure their greater financial sustainability in society. Such a condition leads to deterioration of sustainability of local NGOs in general.
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