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A government scheme that subsidised non-governmental organisation salaries in Slovenia has helped to create 69 permanent jobs in the sector. The programme aimed to support the sustainable development and professionalisation of Slovenian NGOs, creating new and lasting employment opportunities.
After a public tender process, Government grants were provided for 100 NGO jobs. The salaries and overhead costs were covered for 12 months, with NGOs funding continuation of the roles thereafter. Reporting three months down the line – 15 months into the programme, the results showed that over two thirds (69) of the co-funded jobs had been sustained.
Writing in the Swiss journal, Sustainability, Livija Rojc Štremfelj MSc – founder and president of the Slovenian fundraising association Združenje ZRNO, Associate Professor Jana Žnidaršič PhD and Assistant Professor Miha Marič PhD, assessed the effectiveness of the co-funding scheme in creating sustainable employment.
The researchers hailed the scheme a success, while highlighting the continued need to raise employment rates within the NGO sector, which stood at 0.82% in 2018 compared to an EU state average of 4.18%. Bearing in mind that the large majority (84.6%) of the retained jobs were filled by those who were previously employed within the sector, the research team emphasises that the challenge remains to boost the rate of NGO employment nationally.
Rojc Štremfelj says:
“While Slovenia lags behind its European counterparts in terms of NGO employment, the results of this study are extremely promising. They prove the suitability of the state’s first promotion of NGO employment in overhead professions, particularly when it comes to leadership roles.
“The majority of NGOs in the programme retained employees recruited for leadership positions and it is clear that state funding was crucial for these. Namely, the leaders play a key role in setting strategic goals and strategy implementation. Plus, they also play a challenging role in developing different monetary and non-monetary rewards and initiatives that boost the intrinsic motivation of employees.”
The Slovenian government’s development strategy to support NGOs and volunteering was brought in as part of the NGO Act in 2018 and have been widely welcomed by NGOs.