The role of third sector organizations in Croatia has been strengthened to some extent, at least as far as policy consultation in certain areas such as environmental protection, human rights, health, transparency and children and youth is concerned. However, the number of barriers to third sector development remains significant, outlined in TSI’s report on identifying external and internal barriers.
The TSI Croatia team formulated a number of significant recommendations to address challenges, elaborated in this latest TSI policy brief. Just to mention a few, it is necessary to adjust tax frame to needs of development of the third sector, especially taking into account their economic activity and the growth of social entrepreneurship. There also seems to be scope for a certain degree of arbitrariness on behalf of tax officials when making decisions on the nature of activities of non-profit organisations.
There is clear need for obtaining relevant skills in the sector such as management, leadership, and entrepreneurship that could be integrated in educational programmes, together with awareness-raising on nature and diversity of the third sector in general. The modernization of social policy seems to be a key issue in opening additional space for TSOs that should go along with the acknowledgement of good governance as a concept.
Bežovan, Matančević, Baturina also raise measuring impact as an important issue. As they argue, “making a clearer connection between outcomes of programs and projects with their concrete contribution would reduce ‘doubts’ and enhance trust in third sector organizations. Demonstrating contributions would increase legitimacy and development of the third sector resulting in changing public awareness.”