Civil Map

With our latest initiative we aim at strengthening civil society through broadening and growing nationwide civic networks and cooperation. Our goal is to map and meet those, primarily local organizations, groups and communities („newbies”) which so far have not been active outside their direct environs, have not participated in the broader „circulation”.

During our past works we often experienced that it is practically the same circle of organizations who „show up” and contribute in various programs and joint activities – but these form only a smaller proportion of the diverse and exciting Hungarian civil society as a whole. We believe that current „outsiders” would also profit from participation and networking – by learning from the experience, perspective and knowhow of others, they could become mutually stronger. This realization motivated us to become more proactive in finding and linking to those groups we had had no previous relations with. Thus, the Civil Map program will consists of the following steps:


  • on the basis of our existing contacts (mostly accumulated through our grant programs), we will seek out and address lessknown local organizations and groups in the countryside with questionnaires and interviews
  • using the “snowball” method (i.e. starting with known contacts, through their contacts and the contacts of their contacts find the groupings and “seeds” of organizations), we will move on to visit and meet further groups personally in factfinding and needs assessment missions
  • we will reveal and analyse the obstacles to and the difficulties of cooperation among civil society organizations
  • we will develop tools and methods to overcome these and make them available to openminded local organizations and communities
  • we will implement assistance programs (e.g. trainings)
  • with organizing and facilitation we will help hold regional, and – eventually – national gatherings, common efforts to find common issues and actions.

We hope that by all this we can help develop sustainable networks active on the long run with growing bases and membership, and thereby contribute to Hungarian civil society becoming more resilient, active and visible. The project should be practical and flexible – therefore its exact shape and progress will depend on the thoughts and feedback of the participants and the organizations mapped – we are open to your opinion, too!

Civil Map builds upon the earlier – grantmaking and training – programs of Ökotárs and we implement it together with other like-minded professional organizations, notably Autonomia Foundation, the Civil College and Carpathian Foundation-Hungary. The program is financially supported by the Embassy of Norway in Hungary, Civitates (a collaborative initiative of the Network of European Foundations) and the EU Europe for Citizens program.

Summary of the first phase of mapping is available here.

Further information: Bálint Komenczi,