Vision, Mission, History

DemNet's vision is a world based on the responsible and sustainable relationship of self-organised citizens and their communities respecting human dignity.

DemNet's mission is to facilitate and strengthen cooperation and self-organisation processes of community actors.

DemNet designs its operation and activities on base of its core values and approaches: transparency, innovation, creativity, locality, and the participatory approach.

DemNet has worked for achieving its mission through:

  • design and implement sustainable grant programmes
  • build capacities of civil society organisations and other community actors
  • promote sustainable financial and operational models
  • empower civil society organisations
  • support grassroots initiatives
  • raise awareness and run information campaigns
  • conduct public advocacy for the realisation of community value of human dignity, responsibility and sustainability.

DemNet has been providing "democracy support "since 1996 with a special focus on civil society development in Hungary and in countries of Western Balkans and Eastern Europe, also expanding its work to Arab Spring countries.

The aim of civil society programs are:

1) empowerment of CSOs and grassroots, community initiatives (special emphasis put on capacity building to develop advocacy skills);

2) improve sustainability of NGOs (developing skills for accessing different type of funding, transfer of techniques for resource diversification, introducing new and innovative operation forms, approaches like social enterprise or social innovation), and

3) foster civil society actors' social embededdness (e.g. partnership building between different sectors, transparent impact communication).

Demnet addresses these aims through

a) providing technical assistance for grant administration to national, European and U.S. donors and also distributes funds itself,

b) national and European advocacy and awareness raising (membership in European networks); and

c) individual projects.

Since DemNet Hungary's founding by USAid the organization has been involved in international development activities. Between 1996 and 2004 mainly study trips were organized to Hungary to showcase best practices of the Hungarian transition experience in different fields. Later individual development projects were designed to introduce the democratic transitional experiences in civil society development in the Neighbourhood.

Since 2004, the accession date for EU, DemNet Hungary has been extensively involved in influencing international development policies on Hungarian, V4 and EU levels. DemNet implements awareness raising projects in V4 cooperation.

DemNet is a founding and board member of HAND Association (www.hand.org.hu) uniting Hungarian NGDOs working on relief and development outside the EU. Through HAND membership, DemNet is present in the European CONCORD Network (www.concordeurope.org), representing HAND in two working groups: „Aid watch" and „Enlargement, Pre-accession and Neighbourhood Policy". DemNet delegates the vice-president for the Hungarian Donors Forum (www.donorsforum.hu) and several DemNet Hungary colleagues are members of Euclid Network (www.euclidnetwork.eu).

DemNet organized 3 own events during Hungary's EU-presidency period between January and June, 2011 addressing the following issues and their inter-linkages: reflection on „transition" experience focusing on civil society development, sustainability (including application of principles of good governance and accountability, impact measuring, alternative financial mechanisms, later fundraising) and Eastern Partnership. One of the main products of DemNet in this period is the Transition Manifesto of Civil Society.

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