CERANEO is an association, established in 1995 to promote non-profit organizations with their clearly recognizable role in development of civil society in Croatia. During 2001 CERANEO developed a new strategic direction and now operates as a think tank organization in the social policy area with particular interest in civil society development in Croatia. It has big experience in preparing and organizing trainings and workshops about public sector and CSO partnerships, also had projects on welfare mix policy in Croatia.
CERANEO is dedicated to collecting, analyzing and researching problems in the social policy, promoting new initiatives and advocating more important role for civil society. For development of CERANEO as think tank key programme activities are: to analyze different draft of laws or policy programmes on public policies; to promote open, transparent and responsive policy making process; to organize debate (workshops, round tables, seminars, conferences, consultations) and to influence decision making process in the Parliament; to initiate changes of existing legislation and policies; to approach MPs with important information for on-going debates in the Parliament; to build a bridge between academics, researchers, decision-makers in government and practitioners; to publish results of our projects and write brief articles in major daily newspapers as well as weeklies. Since it was established CERANEO has been a key resource center for development of civil society in Croatia.
Since 2000 CERANEO has made significant progress towards achieving its mission. It has contributed to establishment both an appropriate legal framework for the non-profit organizations and has acted as the voice of the sector. CERANEO has developed projects of strategic importance for development of civil society with their main goal to help strengthening democratic processes and to activate inclusive policy change in Croatia. As factor of relevance, it should be noted that Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs specially invited CERANEO to analyze proposal of National Strategy for Creating a Stimulating Environment for Civil Society for years 2012-2016.
CERANEO is establishing partnership with credible organizations in country to serve as a regional partner for implementation of projects. Among them civil society organizations are: Centre for Initiatives in Social Policy, ODRAZ (both from Zagreb), Deša from Dubrovnik, Mi from Split, SMART from Rijeka, Volonterski centar Osijek. Among public authorities CERANEO has partnership with Ministry of Demography, family, youth and social policy, National Foundation for Civil Society Development, Office for Association, National Agency for Employment, City of Zagreb. CERANEO is a partner in diploma and postgraduate study programme on Social policy with Department for Social Work, Faculty of Law – University of Zagreb. Curriculums of these programmes have topic of civil society. Students from different levels are involved in our activities and it is a good way of mobilizing experts from a new generations. It is the best learning process and sustainable impact in promotion of innovative policy approaches and new measures.
Since its establishment CERANEO has developed projects of strategic importance for development of civil society in Croatia. These projects are: Database of 1200 organizations and bilingual Directory of 548 non-profit organizations with information about their activities, contacts and memberships (1997), publishing newsletter “Non-profit Sector” which was source of information about development of non-profit organizations and their work (1997-2000), organization of Croatian Forum of Non-profit/Non-governmental organizations (1997-2001), removal of 16 provisions of the Law on associations by the Constitutional Court (partnership with Croatian Legal Centre), action-oriented research: on cooperation of towns and civil society organizations, research and advocating the role of the non-profit sector in providing social services and welfare mix development, on activities of foundations in Croatia, emphasizing the amendments of the legal framework, action oriented research CIVICUS Index of Civil Society in Croatia, Action oriented research on teaching of civil society topics at Croatian universities; housing needs assessment in Croatia and housing allowance efficiency assessment in cooperation with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, organization of round tables, panels and conferences related to social reform issues, socio-economic development and the role of civil society, publishing research reports, books and articles which are now university literature and references for other researches, policy makers as in Croatia also in countries in the region.
CERANEO has already become recognizable as a leader in research and publicizing on civil society in general, and its role in welfare arrangements and social policy making in particular. Some research projects run by CERANEO were: CIVICUS Civil Society Index (comparative international research project; CERANEO has undertaken this research within all three waves – 2001, 2003-2005, 2008-2010), Welfare mix in Croatia (2007, 2010), Foundations in Croatia. In this respect, CERANEO has exerted a visible impact on changing the legislative environment for civil society, influencing the general discourse on civil society’s role in modern societies and in contribution to academization and research-building on these themes.
Currently CERANEO is involved as a national partner organization in creating report for Civil Society Organizations’ Sustainability Index for 2016. For this work we are subcontracted with Management Systems International.