Key findings of the Online Poll: The impact of COVID-19 on Civil Society Organizations in the Western Balkans


Number of the total responses has been 42. Please note that Online Polls have advantages and disadvantages, therefore this poll does not intend to, nor can it replace other methods with high statistical confidence and margin of error. However, it has been valuable to get an indication, and encourage a public discourse on the impact of COVID on CSOs. The following is a quick summary of the key findings:

1) What are the MAIN EFFECTS of the pandemic in your organization?

It is very positive that of 42 responses none indicate their colleagues lost their lives as a result of COVID. It is worrying however that of the 42 responses (multiple answers, therefore % higher than 100): 

  • 13 responses (31%), indicated that their donors postponed their grants/funds.
  • 12 (29%), their colleagues have been receiving part of their salaries.
  • 8 (19%), their colleagues lost their job.    
  • 6 (14%), their organisations ran out of funds.
  • 6 (14%), their existing donors cut/cancelled their grants/funds.
  • 3 (7%), their colleagues have been infected. 
  • 3 (7%), their organisations collapsed.

2) Did you receive any ASSURANCES FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION (EMPLOYER) that your job, salary or contract will not be affected or terminated as a result of the impact that the pandemic is having in your organization? 42 responses (multiple answers), of which : 

  • 18 (43%) YES responses, of which 14 (33%) about their contract, followed by 13 (31%) to show solidarity, about their position and salary.
  • 11 (26%) NO responses, of which: 11 (26%) WOULD BE USEFUL to receive assurances by the employer that their contract won’t be terminated, AND 10 (24%) that they would receive their full-salary.

3) Did you receive any ASSURANCES from any of your EXISTING DONOR(s)?

42 responses (multiple answers), of which : 

  • 22 (52%) YES responses, of which 20 (48%) they will continue their projects/grants/funds.
  • 15 (36%) NO responses, of which 12 (29%) WOULD BE USEFUL IF EXISTING DONORS would reaffirm their commitment to continue working with them; and 11 (26%) to discuss the possibilities of IMPLEMENTING some project activities without putting themselves/colleagues AT RISK.

4) What are your organizations MOST PRESSING NEEDS CURRENTLY?

42 responses (multiple answers), of which:  

  • 34 (81%) - Financial support to keep their organisation going.
  • 25 (60%) - Non-financial support with organisational development. 

5) What can donors and governments do to AID CSOs during and after the pandemic?

42 responses (multiple answers), of which: 

  • 31 (74%) to provide funding opportunities for all CSOs in their countries. 


Who conducted this Poll and what was the purpose?

The Balkan Forum, in partnership with members of the Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights (, conducted this Online Poll from 25 May to 7 June 2020 targeting the CSOs in the six countries of WB region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. The purpose of this poll has been to understand how CSOs in the Western Balkans have been affected by the pandemic COVID-19, between March 2020 and 7 June

What will we do with the findings?

We will disseminate the findings among our networks in the region; use the findings to raise awareness among the donor community and government institutions; and conduct advocacy with government institutions, donors, diplomatic presence and EU institutions in the Western Balkans six and Brussels.

What can expect those who completed the questionnaire?

We believe that it is our role to let the public, donors, governments and other actors know how the CSOs in the Western Balkans have been affected by the pandemic, and advocate with relevant actors not to ignore this and include support for the civil society in their priorities.

The Poll has been anonymous.

Further detail about the Poll, the entire list of questions and the corresponding responses/results can be found below as downloadable pdf links below. In case you would be interested to have access to all of the responses, including individual ones, please contact The Balkan Forum at: