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Civic engagement
in the Civil Society in Macedonia

Civic Practices
Civicus Civil Society Index Civil Society Case Studies Theme: Civic Engagement Citizen Participation in the Civil Society in Macedonia


Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation.


Library Civil Society Civic Practices Publisher Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation For the publishers Sao Klekovski, First Executive Director of MCIC Aleksandar Kralovski, Executive Director of MCIC Editors Daniela Stojanova Gonce Jakovlevska Translation Elizabeta Bakovska Preparation Koma

ISBN 978-608-4617-37-2 Address of the Publisher: Macedonian Center for International Cooperation ul. Nikola Parapunov bb, PO BOX 55 1060 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia e-mail:

The opinions expressed here are the ones of the author and they do not reflect the views of the publisher or the donors for this report. Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation. All rights preserved; the reproduction, copying, transmission or translation of any part of this publication can be done solely under the following conditions: after a previous permission of the publishers, to be quoted in an analysis of the book, and under the conditions elaborated below. The copy right of this publication is protected, but the publication can be reproduced in any way without charges for educational purposes. Previous permission of the publisher is needed for copying for other conditions, for usage in other publications or for translation or adaptation.

CONTENTS contents




Citizen Participation in Political Nonpartisan Activities


Usage of Social Media by the Civil Society Organisations in the Republic of Macedonia


Civil Mobilising at the Social Networks: Analysis of the Social Media And Plotad Sloboda


Volunteering in Macedonia


Volunteers in Social and Humanitarian Organisations


Notes on the Authors

Dear readers, There have been almost eight years since the first issue of Civic Practices. The idea for this quarterly edition was to search for our local understanding of the civil society, usual concepts and practices that we own and which have been rooted in, thus also being effective, not only for the civil society, but also for the society in general. Through the eleven issues we have covered a number of topics, essential for the civil society, such as: civil education, transparency and accountability, lobbying and advocacy, volunteering, resource mobilisation, etc. Many things have changed in the meantime. The civil society has matured. Some would say that it spend too much time on itself, but those processes are unavoidable when maturing. We had to find out who we were, what we were, what our values were, what our capacities were. Not only how it appeared to us, but also to see ourselves through a tested methodology. Civicus Civil Society Index helped us in this. The first research, completed in 2006, gave us the first comprehensive overview of the civil society. This second research that MCIC completed at the beginning of this year, together with the civil society organisations, is in line with our efforts to plan and act based on proven information and facts. The new Civic Practices came as a result of Civicus Civil Society Index. They are a result of the effort to have an in-depth view of the civil society. This 12th issue of Civic Practices is dedicated to civil involvement. Eight authors in total researched five topics related to civil involvement. On the pages of this issue you could read about the participation of the citizens in the political non-partisan activities through current examples, such as the protests against the change of the constitutional name, the protests and petitions about Skopje 2014 project. The social media are a subject of interest in two of the case studies. How are they used by the civil society organisations, what messages are sent via them, is there an interaction? Mobilising the citizens via the social networks is elaborated through the example of Plotad Sloboda initiative. The last two case studies refer to volunteering: What is the current state of affairs in the development of volunteering, especially after the adoption of the Law on Volunteering? What is the general profile of the persons that volunteer in the social and humanitarian organisations? What are the main motives that encourage the people to be involved in volunteering activities? You have an excellent offer of texts in front of you. We believe that you will enjoy reading them and, moreover, we believe that they will help you in the current activities and the planning of your future activities. Have a pleasant reading, Gonce Jakovleska

The Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation (MCIC) has regularly researched the civil society and the context in which it operates. So far, MCIC has conducted a number of researches, i.e. analyses, surveys, case studies for certain issues of the areas of interest of the civil society such as: trust and other social values, social responsibility of the citizens, networking, legal regulations, civil society participation in policy creation, etc.


Within these researches, in order to promote advocacy base don facts, in 2004 MCIC started to conduct Civicus-Civil Society Index (CSI), an international research-action project that assesses the state of affairs in the civil society in some ten countries in the world. Internationally, CSI is coordinated by Civicus Citizen Participation World Alliance. The CSI methodology includes population surveys, civil society survey, interviews, case studies, literature analysis, focus groups, etc. A National Index Team (NIT) is responsible for implementation of the project in MCIC. MCIC first conducted CSI in the period of 20042006, and issued the report 15 Years of Transition - A Country Moving Towards Citizen Participation1.


In the period of 2009-2011, MCIC conducted CSI for the second time. This time MCIC repeated the successful effort of 2008, when the preparation ad publishing of 10 master papers was supported2 and renewed the issuing of Civic Practices3, thus enabling the preparation of the case studies for the needs of CSI to be made by young researchers of the civil society. In November 2010, it published a public call for preparation of case studies for the civil society in its five dimensions (defined by CSO): Civic Engagement; Level of Organisation; Practice of Values; Perception of Impact and Environment. The NIT selected 16 applications for case studies, which will be published in three issues of Civic Practices.

1 2 3

The report is available electronically at MCIC web page. The papers are available in electronic form at the web page of MCIC. In the period of 2003-2005 there were 11 issues of Civic Practices published. They are available electronically at the web page of MCIC.

Case studies are an in-depth and systematic analysis of specific issues important for the civil society. The authors of the case studies used a number of research methods: surveys, interviews, literature analysis, etc. The authors were given a detailed manual on the preparation of the case studies, prepared by Civicus and NIT.


The authors worked in cooperation with NIT, whose members also edited the texts, besides giving them directions. The NIT is made by: Sao Klekovski, Daniela Stojanova, Gonce Jakovlevska and Emina Nuredinoska.


In the Macedonian public and the expert circles there is no mutual understanding of the concept (definition) of the civil society. The definition of Civicus-Civil Society Index in Macedonia has been used (MCIC, 2009): Civil society is part of the social space outside family, state and market, which is made by individual and collective actions, organisations and institutions in order to achieve common interests. According to this definition the civil society covers associations and foundations, chambers of commerce, employer organisations, trade unions, political parties and religious communities. Civic involvement is the degree of social and political involvement of the citizens and it covers the formal and non-formal activities of the individuals in order to improve the common interests at various levels, from leisure to social and political interests. The social involvement concerns the activities of the citizens that include exchange within the public area in order to improve the common interests mainly of social or leisure nature4. The political involvement concerns the activities that the citizens use to improve the common interests of certain political nature and they often depend on the national context5. The citizen participation and involvement are one of the key components when defining the civil society by Civicus-Civil Society Index (CSI).


4 5

For example, participation in public kitchens, sport club or cultural CENTER management. For example, participation in protests of boycott, writing petitions, letters to the newspapers.



Dejan Mievski


Social responsibility of the citizens in a narrow sense in citizen responsibility or citizen participation. It is not a legal obligation, but an ethical one or an obligation based on conviction. It is measured via non-partisan political activities, voluntary activities in the community, participation in civil society organisations, agreement and justification of measures for environment protection and charitable contributions. The participation within the civil society has a number of aspects and it covers both social and political involvement. The social involvement or participation concerns those activities of the citizens that include exchange within the public area to promote common interests, mainly of social or recreational nature (example, participation in public kitchens, management of social clubs or cultural CENTERs). The political involvement or participation concerns those activities that the citizens use to promote common interests of certain political nature and they often depend on the national context (Klekovski S. et al, 2011). The defining factor of those activities is that they are directed to imposing influence on the policies and/or bringing forward a social change at a macro level. In this case study, the stress is on the citizen participation in non-partisan political activities, which concern activities such as writing letters to the newspapers, signing petitions or participation in protests, which are not organised by political parties. The case study gives specific current examples, such as the protests against the change of the constitutional name, the protests and petitions around Skopje 2014 protest, then it covers the student silence in the country or the poor trend of participation of the student/the young in this kind of civil activities, as well as the presence of the citizens in the media via writing letters to the editors.

From the analysis of the specific examples and figures of the research it can be concluded that there is a gradual increase of the non-partisan political initiatives and participation of the citizens, but not sufficiently. Some of the possible reasons for this condition are also indicated. Here, the research on the confidence in the institutions is stressed, first of all in the civil sector, as an important precondition for the participation of the citizens in the nonpartisan political actions. The main recommendation is that the civil sector in the country should work on convincing the citizens that it is free of party pressure and that it can impose itself as a significant player in the creation of the national policies. It can be achieved only with a big support of the numerous initiatives on the side of the citizens; according to the examples of the case study, they are not missing, but they are not massive enough to have an effect on the decision makers. In the case study, there were secondary data used: reports of the civil sector in the country, reports and data of public opinion research agencies, progress reports for Macedonian prepared by the European Commission, etc. In order to reach the picture of the activities in the citizens in the country, there were interviews conducted with civil society organisations and media representatives.

Participation of the citizens within the civil society is of great importance for the democratic society, i.e. for the degree of development of democracy in a society. Via this kind of civic activities one contributes to improvement of the quality in general in the society or more narrowly in the society. The participation covers a broader aspect, the social one (participation in public kitchens, sport club or cultural CENTER management) and the more narrow one, the political involvement, i.e. participation in different policies (participation in protests of boycott, writing petitions, letters to newspapers (Klekovski S. et al, 2011). This case study aspires to show the variable of movement of the numbers in the participation of the citizens in non-partisan political activities in the past 20 years of the independence of the Republic of Macedonia. Taking into consideration the research data, as well as the conversations with the direct participants in the civil sector, one can determine the tendency that in Macedonia there is an increase of the non-partisan political action, but the part of the citizens who actively participate in these activities of the civil society is still small. In the context of the thesis is also the survey of 2009 MCIC, according to which more than half of the citizens in Macedonia (51.9%) consider that the state is the most responsible for resolving the social needs. The results show high expectations to the state, lower expectations

from the citizens themselves and almost no expectations from the business sector. Therefore

the conclusion which supports the etatistic culture, as a remnant of the state socialist, i.e. small public support to establishing Macedonia as a liberal-democratic constitutional system (Klekovski S. et al, 2009). Thus, the expectations of the citizens are mainly outside the civil sector, instead of becoming more active and contributing to improvement of the policies which is a trend in the developed or otherwise known western democracies. Research still shows that the awareness of ones own civil responsibility and participation grows, although the expectations from the state still prevail. The gaps between the views on responsibility and real participation in the political nonpartisan activities are still big (62.8% and 25.3% respectively), the involvement in the civil society organisations (59.6% and 26.1%), and the involvement in charitable activity in the community (57.1% and 27.4%). There is big approximation (almost equal) only with the public spirit (92.1% and 90.8%), i.e. despite the little increase in the feeling of responsibility for respecting the laws (public spirit), there is big improvement in the specific fulfilment of part of those obligations (from 74.2% to 90.8%). Of course, both indicators are at a level of statements, which are probably quiet smaller in reality, but they have not been checked in MCIC research.


After the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, there is a continuous increase of the non-partisan political action, but also it has been noticeable in the course of the last years that although the number of initiatives has increased, there are less and less people that participate in these civil society actions. This case study should confirm this thesis via specific examples, but also to touch upon the reasons for loss of will with the citizens to act via this form of civil action. According to Civicus-Civil Society Index research (MCIC, 2006), the participation of the individual in the public has increased for several times today compared to the period prior to 1991 (within the previous system). The research example shows that 7.6% of the people surveyed had written letters to the newspapers (1.9% prior to 1991), 52% had signed petitions (compared to 8.6% prior to 1991), and 44.6% had participated once or more times at protests (compared to 14.2% prior to 1991). The number of protests has significantly increased in the last 15 years, most of them concerning social requests (bankruptcies, questionable privatizations, increase of salaries and pensions, buy-out of agricultural produce). In 2004 there was a referendum for the Law on Territorial Organisation of Macedonia, which was initiated with citizen support. The number of initiatives in the civil sector continued to increase since the initial boom of the democracy in independent Macedonia, but in the last year there are less people in their activities.

One of the main reasons is the low trust of the public in the institutions in general, especially in the civil society. For the citizens, the civil society organisations are nonpartisan, but abused by the parties (Klekovski S., 2006). The big concentration of the civil society organisations in the capital and the urban areas also has its share and the absence in the rural areas, where the awareness and the support for these activities are smaller. The latest survey of MCIC from 209 also shows increase of the participation in the nonpartisan political activities (protests, petitions, boycotts, etc.) of the citizens. Participation at a protest (rally) was reported by 40.4% of the citizens, while about one third (31.7%) of the citizens had signed some petition in the last five years. However, there is a relatively big potential (about 30%) for increased activism with the citizens (those who had not participated before, but they would participate). The potential for bigger participation of the citizens is relatively big (24.3% and 34.3%), while around one third of the population would not participate in protests and petitions at all. In the newly stated categories, boycott and citizen diary, the participation of the citizens is small (16.7%, i.e. 12.3% respectively), and the potential for participation is identical (28.4%) for both categories. Despite the positive figures and the increased number of activities, the examples below in this case study show that in the practice the massive numbers of participants in the nonpartisan political actions are missing, and they used to be bigger immediately after the independence of the state. In the last several years, in general, there were activities or protests of unsatisfied workers, bankruptcy workers, farmers, organised by the trade unions, raising their voice in certain periods. The interest in being active in non-partisan political actions is more and more lost in the general issues that concern all the citizens.


An example of decreasing the participation in a non-partisan political action (protest) is maybe the most important issue at the moment that concerns the progress of the state the denial of the constitutional name by the southern neighbour Greece. At the NATO Bucharest Summit in 2008, this dispute resulted with a blockade of Macedonia for entrance at the North Atlantic Alliance. The revolt with the citizens has been big (according to all surveys), but it did not cause any reactions in line with the prevailing opinion. The surveys show that the majority of Macedonians are against the change of the constitutional name for the sake of EU and NATO membership. Preserving the name is more important than the entrance of Macedonia o the European Union for 66.5% of the surveyed citizens in the survey ordered by the Secretariat for European Affairs. Only 26.2% of the 1,100

citizens surveyed considered entrance to EU more important. Similar results were shown by

the recent research of MCIC, where 60.2% of the people surveyed were against any change of the name. The World Macedonian Congress (WMC) is one of the biggest declared fighters in the battle for preserving the name, but massive support was missing at their latest protests, which used to be typical at the beginning of the independence of the state. WMC was established in 1990 as an international non-governmental organisation which should support the Macedonian issue. The organisation, among other things, has established the Movement of the Resistance against the change of the constitutional name of Macedonia, which initiates numerous activities since the problem was activated in 1990s until nowadays. The first blockades of the border crossings to Greece at Dojran, Bogorodica and Meditlija were organised on 16 April, 19 May and 21 June 1990, as well as the so-called All Macedonian protest at Macedonia square in Skopje on 12 July the same year. According to them, those were the most numerous, most spontaneous, non-partisan and general protests when several tens of thousands of citizens initiated the Macedonian issue before the world and pointed at the position and rights of the Macedonians in Greece. Immediately before the NATO summit, where Macedonian expected an invitation for Alliance membership, WMC organised again a March of Silence on 2 April 2008, from the Government to the Parliament in order to draw the attention of the world for the announced Greek injustice to the Macedonian people. After the Bucharest blockade, WMC organised four protests in front of the European Union Delegation in Skopje on 20 November, 27 November, 6 December and 7 December 2009, against the change of the constitutional name of Macedonia. The support was more than symbolic at all of these protests, including several hundreds of people. WMC says that with the establishment of the parliamentary democracy and party divisions of the society, the participation of the citizens at the protests, with some exceptions, has primarily been determined by the views of the party leaderships. According to them, the servility of the civil society organisations to political parties is evident, as well as certain party manipulation with the civil sector. Still, our collocutors from WMC think that these symbolic activities animate the local public, encourage the institutions of the government to respect the freely expressed will of the people and the citizens and alarm the international community to protect the rights and freedoms and the position of the Macedonian people

skOPjE 2014 PROjECT

Skopje 2014 project is one of the themes that have caused most attention in the public in the last two years. The project for arranging the CENTER for Skopje was not controversial only because of its size and the funds needed for its implementation, but also because of the

absence of public and expert debates on the planned architectural projects. Although the surveys showed that more than half of the citizens were against most of the constructions in the project, mass reaction was not present. The few initiatives of the civil sector were symbolic and quickly extinguished. According to Dnevnik daily survey, Skopje 2014 project was supported by 39% of the people surveyed, and 58% were against (Rating agency, March 2010). There was positive mood with more than 50% for three buildings only National Theatre (61%), Philharmonic building (55%) and the Constitutional Court building (52%). There is bigger division in the views of the ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians regarding the project. The results show that 49% of the ethnic Macedonians fully or mainly do not support this project, while the percentage of the ethnic Albanians who responded that they did not support it was almost double and it reached 86%, 82% of whom stated that they did not support it at all. The attempts for participation of the citizens and big part of the expert public in the project ideas via debates were belated, and several attempts to protest and petition were marginalised with counter-actions, and they did not receive the support of the citizens appropriate to the general mood in the surveys of the views of the expert public. The poor organisation and support of the citizens, the involvement of the political parties and the strong campaign of the government has marginalised these attempts of several nongovernmental organisations, such as Plotad Sloboda (Freedom Square), Wake Up and the informal group of students First Arch Brigade.

Plotad Sloboda
The first protest of Plotad Sloboda civil society organization against Skopje 2014 project was organised on 28 March 2009, attended by 500 people. There was a counter-protest organised at the same time at the same place, and there were clashes and violence against the protestors. It was these violence and party labelling scenarios that were the main reason that there were not more people at the protest, according to Plotad Sloboda. The next protest that was organised on 11 April 2009, there was bigger attendance (several thousand people) as a response to the violence at the first gathering; however, it was far from the critical mass to achieve the desired effect. According to Plotad Sloboda organisers, one of the reasons for the poor participation in the protests is that there is a political party behind the initiative. They think that the parties in power, lacking arguments against the non-partisan civic initiatives, regularly label them as partisan, i.e. opposition. The opposition parties, lacking their own ideas and initiatives, join these non-partisan ones and try to score with the voters and mobilise their own membership. In this context there were the mutual accusations of the two biggest parties in the

country. The ruling VMRO-DPMNE had a public view that Plotad Sloboda was a project of

the opposition SDSM and a quasi non-governmental organisation. SDSM had a reaction that the counter-protestors were organised by the government to prevent the citizens from expressing their opinion and dissatisfaction with the government project. Plotad Sloboda tried with several other initiatives to attract attention about Skopje 2014 project. The first on-line petition against the construction of an Orthodox church at the square was initiated at the end of January 2008 and it was signed by 2,683 persons. The second collecting of signatures was organised as part of the initiative to have a local referendum in the municipality of Centar. In a week they collected 1,000 signatures, but the municipality did not accept them because they had not been collected at the local office of the Ministry of Justice. Our collocutors from Plotad Sloboda state that there is a belief with the citizens in the country that in such political circumstances it is not possible to achieve changes by protests and non-partisan articulation of political views..

First Arch Brigade

One of the organisers of the protests against part of the buildings of Skopje 2014 project were a group of students at the Faculty of Architecture, called the First Arch Brigade. They define themselves as an informal group of some 30 students from the Faculty of Architecture and young architects, established in March 2009, in order to publicly express their view on the architectural and urban events in the capital. The main inspiration for the establishment of the group for these students were, according to them, the architectural mistakes that had already happened in Skopje, such as Vlajko flyover, China Wall, the Memorial House of Mother Theresa, the apartment buildings, so called cakes, as well as the non-transparent competitions and changes in the Detailed Urban Plan (DUP) for the Small Ring, handing construction permits for improper places, without opening public expert debates. Their first action was at the protest on 28 March 2009, against the illogically places lot planned for construction of a church. Around 200 people jointed this event, mostly students of the Faculty of Architecture, who also faced the counter-protest and the physical clash of the two groups. They were also the target of labelling, party and religious ones According to them too, the protests are not more massive because of pressure, such as counter-protests, lack of involvement of the police in protection of the protestors, fear with the citizens to lose their jobs...


The academic youth, as one of the leading forces in the biggest democracies in the world seem to have lost that role in the Macedonian society. If there were several massive actions at the beginning of 1990s (for example the protest against the introduction of a department in Albanian language at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University), there has been some silence with the students in the country for some time. In absence of an action with the Student Parliament as an official representative of the students and their rights and demands(the only project that they organised was in support of the government changes of the Law on Higher Education), several smaller associations of students occurred, trying to raise the student voice..

Student Index
Student Index is one of the civil society organisations whose orientation is protection of student rights; it has been functioning since 2009. They organised three protests in a year, but the attendance of the peaceful gatherings was symbolic. On 21 May 2009, they organised a protest for improvement of the general student standard, on 20 October a protest for free education and against the cancellation of the computer vouchers, and on 21 May 2010 a protest for free education and introduction of a new system of student organisation (by a plenum based on direct democracy). The second protest was the most massive, in October 2009 (700-800 people) and the last one had the smallest attendance; on 21 May 2010 there were only several dozens of students in support of it. The people from Student Index say that there are a number of reasons for the inactivity of the students in non-partisan political actions. They think that there is fear, mostly among the students from the province, although they are the ones that face the worst conditions (dormitories, for example), but they are the ones most silenced by the government and parties. On the other hand, they think that the students are not informed enough about their rights, and they do not know how to defend them. An important element for the silence of the students is the lack of trust and apathy that prevails in the country. Our collocutors think that the citizens till live according to the be quiet and endure principle. The assessment of the collocutors from Student Index is that the extreme divisions along party lines, which have penetrated every cell o the society additionally complicate the issues and instrumentalise the people.



Writing letters to the media is one of the possibilities for participation of the citizens in non-partisan political actions. The practice in Macedonia has shown that this way of expressing views, ideas and reactions is present in almost all media, first of all in the printed ones. Still, experience shows that this activity is not massive and it is more based on party battles than on the tradition for the citizens to react on certain topics that are important for them. The first daily in the country, Nova Makedonija (now privately owned), publishes half a page for letters of the citizens, as part of the two pages in the newspaper entitled comments and debates; this space increases when the newspaper is issued on more pages than the regular 32. The newspaper receives one to five letters from the citizens on daily basis. The number of letters drastically increases in some periods, i.e. before and after certain evens, such as elections. The number of letter increases when there are certain conflicts or harsher discussions in the public among the political parties. The editorial team of Nova Makedonija states that the contents of the letters that arrive to the newspaper mainly concerns political themes, and very rarely they concern daily topics that concern the lives of the citizens, such as communal, infrastructural issues... Apart from the classical form of letters, the newspaper also gives space for opinions of the citizens of various profiles, such as musicians, lawyers, psychologists The first private newspaper in the country, Dnevnik, established in 1996, also has an open page where there are several letters of the citizens published on daily basis. The daily average of letters received by the newspaper is two to five. The perception of the editorial board is that most of them are party initiated letters, often written by the party headquarters. This is seen by the identical vocabulary, font, political battles, and these letters are most often signed only with a name and surname, without other data of the citizens signed. According to this, the general impression with the editors is that there is no tradition with the readers to express their own opinions, themes, projects, except in rare cases when there is a personal problem involved. In the last years, more frequent ways of citizen reactions are via the on-line editions of the newspapers, which provide comments for every published text.

Court Case and Support Action for A1 Television

The biggest media action for mobilising the citizens happened at the beginning of this year, and it was initiated by A1 personnel. The journalists started an initiative for support of their medium themselves, after the court case started against its owner and managers. The employees in the television asked for support of the citizens after their account was blocked by a court decision, because of an alleged crime of the managers and television owner.

According to their data, they managed to collect 231,745 signatures of the citizens around the country in three weeks, 50,000 supporters of Facebook social network, and 3,608 telephone calls for support (data from 08.02.2011). The parties were also involved in this case. Assessing that this is a blow for the democracy and the whole court case for the alleged crime was in order to close A1 television, the opposition left the national parliament. The government reacted that this was not a fight against the medium, but the criminal work of certain companies, among which A1 television, which should not be identified with the freedom of the media. The European Union expressed their concern about the political interference in these court procedures, which endangered the freedom of the media in the country.


The variations and relatively poor participation in the non-partisan political actions in the country is also due to the generally low interest in voluntary activities in the communities which is small and there is no continuity in the volunteer activities. The research Social Responsibility of the Citizens (MCIC, 2009) showed that the citizens did not have habits and awareness to do something more (outside their families and personally for themselves) for the community and the compatriots. The involvement of the citizens in the civil society organisations is small (24% are members) and there is no significant change compared to previous research. The membership in the other forms of association in the civil society (churches and religious communities and trade unions) is similar, while the membership in the political parties is quiet higher and comes to 41.6%. The political parties mobilise more citizens compared to other forms of association. Two of each five citizens are members of some political party, although only one of them is active. There are more citizens that work as volunteers in the political parties compared to the civil society organisations, churches and religious organisations and trade unions. The few of them who have decided to contribute with voluntary work are mainly motivated by altruistic reasons (Klekovski S. et al, 2009). This situation is largely a result of the low trust that the citizens have in the institutions of the state. It varies from one institution to another, but in general it is low with all sectors (Klekovski S. et al, 2008). The citizens have big trust in the similar ones trust in the family (97.8%) and lower general trust (23.1%) and trust in the institutions. The citizens have the bigger trust in the churches and religious communities (65.6%), while there is division in the trust in the civil society organisations. A small minority of the citizens has confidence in the trade unions (20.1%) and the chambers of commerce (23.3%).

The research has shown that the general trust in the civil society organisations is 41.7%. Still, according to high 81.8% of the citizens, the civil society organisations are abused by the political parties and behind them there are political parties, although, according to the analysis of MCIC a small minority (25%) can illustrate it with an example of a civil society organisation which conceals a political party. According to the conclusion, it can indicate a stereotype for the connection between the political parties and the civil society organisations, which is not supported by specific arguments, although such a conclusion can be drawn from the research in this case study.



Despite the insufficient participation of the citizens in the civic activities, one can conclude that this civic activity has an increasing trend. So, the participation of the citizens in non-partisan political actions since the independence of the Republic of Macedonia has increased. This is shown by numerous researches and surveys. However, the growth and the increased participation of the citizens is mainly ad hoc, only in some circumstances, events (Macedonian-Greek name dispute, Skopje 2014 project, periods of election processes etc). Even in such circumstances there is no massive participation, which would be appropriate for the mood of the citizens expressed in the surveys. With the development of the civic sector, the awareness of the citizens about their role in the society as independent individuals, outside the government institutions, also increases. Still, the leftovers of the previous system, the abuse of the democratic rights by the new political leaders still hinder the progress of the free civic activities, which are guaranteed by a number of laws and the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia. This is one of the obstacles of the democratisation of the society, which both declaratively (view of the big majority of the citizens in the surveys and the big majority of political subjects in their programmes) and really (with the candidate status for European Union membership) aspires to coming closer to the European values and standards. The goal to include Macedonia in the EU should be a powerful driving force for further development of the civil society. Therefore, the first recommendation is that the civil society organisation should be among the carriers of the new values, such as participative democracy, involvement, equality, transparency and accountability. For this to be so, it is


necessary to increase the participation of the citizens in the civic sector. This can largely help pushing out the old values and the authoritarian rule, exclusion, corruption. On the other hand, this goes slow also due to the fact that really the political parties are the ones that have huge resources (membership, finances, logistics, institutions, etc) because of which the nonpartisan, independent initiatives can hardy find their way. The increase of the initiatives for non-partisan political action, as one of the significant elements in the real overview of the development of the civil sector, gives optimism, but the variations in the real participation of the citizens in these activities relativises the positive mark. So, the second recommendation is to continuously work on revealing the weaknesses of the civil society (because it can not impose its opinion on important events), as well as on the reasons why there is no big will to participate in non-partisan activities. The specific research in this case study shows part of the weaknesses of the civil society in the country, but does not reveal completely the reasons for losing of the ambition to participate in nonpartisan political activities with a good percentage of the citizens.


(2010) . , . . . (2006) . , (). ., ., ., . (2006) , . , (). ., ., ., . (2008) . , (). ., ., ., ., ., . (2009) . , ().





Darko Buldioski Boris Ristovski

This report contains summarised data from the research conducted to determine the degree of usage of the social media as tool for increasing the visibility via Internet by the civil society organisations in Macedonia. The focus is on the three most used tools at a global but also local level: Twitter, Facebook and You Tube. This research used quantitative methods with a deductive approach. Additionally, this report also includes a glossary that explains the terms necessary for an appropriate presentation and analysis of the results. In the end, there are specific results for each individual tool and there is a bibliography included to support the research and provide additional information. Out of the total 10,000 registered civil society organisations in Macedonia, only 67 have publicly stated the usage of social media on their web pages. More specifically, out of the 666 active accessible web pages registered under the domain, only 10% are active in the social media. As expected, the service that is most used by the CSOs is Facebook (84% of those that use them), then the micro blogging Twitter service (33% of those that use them) and You Tube (30% of those that use them).

Based on the obtained results, it can be concluded that the CSOs prefer to send one way messages on Twitter than to have a two-way communication. They also do not maintain a quality and continuous presence on Twitter and they are not very advanced in its usage. As for the usage of Facebook, a small majority use it as a social medium for distribution of contents and connecting to their fans. There is also a small majority that uses the tools for sharing contents from their web sites with their Facebook accounts. The data indicate that there is an interaction with the fans on the Facebook profiles of the civil society organisations in Facebook. The usage f You Tube by the civil society organisations is very limited. You Tube users are interested in the video clips uploaded by the civil society organisations.

We live in s time when the division to on-line and off-line world makes less and less sense. The new, so called Google generation has been functioning in a single world for a long time. The others are left with nothing else but to face the reality and accept that the Internet is part of everybodys lives. This directly or indirectly influences everybody and therefore it should be paid appropriate attention when it comes to its usage as promotion and communication in the name of the goals and activities of the civil society organisations. The latest statistical research shows that every second household in Macedonia has Internet, and as many as 80% of those use a broadband connection. This figure, supported by the number of users of the modern social phenomenon, Facebook, clearly indicates the potential that is behind the new Internet communication channels. The beginning of the new millennium marked the beginning of a new phase in Internet development. The world network has started to be shaped by its final beneficiaries. It means the beginning of the posting, the end of the dominant role of the power CENTERs that had riled the information for many years. The users have participated in the building and advancing of the tools with which can easily, faster ad more cheaply create contents. They started to create their own media and one after another express their views, actively work on changing their social environment. Macedonia was not immune to the new development wave of applications and services, which dominate the biggest global network. Popularly known as 2.0, the most recent Internet is based on principles which did not use to be typical for any medium: networking, community of users, contents creations, cooperation, common goal, social capital, two-way communication, sharing. All of these key features only show that the new media are actually not yet another channel for communication among the massive information senders, but they offered a big number of diverse channels that can be used to communicate one to one,

one too many, many to one and many to many, which means literally in all directions.

It is because of the complex possibilities that are given by the Internet as a communication tool for fulfilling the goals related to the existence of the civil sector, that one has to realise at the very beginning that this communication also has its characteristics. It has to be stressed and first of all realised that the Internet communication is not controlled, it is direct, individualised, adjusted, multidirectional, not systemically organised, it is accessible to everybody and always connects the people (with similar interests and activities). The number of tools that can be used by the civil society organisations is huge. Part of them meets their needs, and part of them do not, The biggest number of tools are free of charge, but it does not mean that there is no need to invest time and knowledge in their usage. The list of tools is long and it becomes longer every day. Still, there is a list that roughly shows the different services that have the 2.0 sign: Social Networking, Blogs, Microblogging, Video sharing, Photo Sharing, Wikis, Forums, Chats, Online gaming, Virtual Realities, Social Bookmarking, Podcasts. The goal of this research is to measure the degree of usage of the social media as tool for increasing the visibility via the Internet by the civil society organisations in Macedonia and determine the popularity and the level of inclusion in their usage. The report of this research gives data on which social media are used by the civil society organisations in Macedonia, to what extent and in which way. For the need of this research we have focused on the three most often used tools (services) at global, but also local level in Macedonia: Twitter (microblogging), Facebook (social networking) and You Tube (video sharing).


For the needs of this research we used quantitative methods with a deductive approach. The total population is made by all registered civil society organisations from Macedonia, and all civil society organisations which have registered a domain will be taken as a sample, placing Internet pages on it, with a visible usage of the social media. They will be analysed in-depth, with the ways and practices of usage of the social media. The instrument used for data collection will be analysis of the contents (Internet pages in this case). The analysis of the archive notes is made via nonreactive data collection) The social media accounts were analysed in the period of 10-16 January 2011. This document presents the results of the analysis used and the conclusions coming from it. The results are presented graphically, via graphs and tables, using absolute numbers and percentages.

Twitter is a microblogging service, i.e. publishing of posts up to 140 characters. The messages can be posted directly from a web browser, a client for instant message exchange, SMS, e-mail or any specially designed desktop or mobile phone application. Initially intended for an easier of faster communication, Twitter has proven to be quite a useful tool for fast information, and it has been accepted by many Internet users, but also big media names, Hollywood stars, companies and organisations. Twitter has introduced a new practice of connecting as a model in the world of Internet social networking services. The connection is asynchronic on Twitter. This means that one user can follow the posts of another user without the need of a mutual confirmation. In this way, communication becomes more intensive and many possibilities are open, first of all because of the transparency and dynamics in the communication. The service also offers options to lock the posts, but very few users internationally use this option. In our analysis we have not found any account with locked posts. In Macedonia, the total number of active Twitter users is more than 1,000, but according to the activities that can be followed on the local aggregator/directory, this is an exceptionally active and critical community of so-called early users of new technologies. Still, there is a noticeable success of some companies and civil society organisations that manage to communicate with their audience via this service.

According to MCIC research (Ristovski, B., 2011), there are 666 active web pages (by 1.12.2010), 67 of which (10.1 %) have posted usage of social media. Out of these 67, 22 (32.8%) have Twitter accounts. Out of them, 3 (13.6%) are accounts of political parties, 2 (9.1%) are accounts of international organisations outside Macedonia, 1 (4.5%) is a personal account, and the other 16 (72.7%) are channels of civil society organisations. It is these 16 Twitter accounts that are 2.4% of the total number of active web pages (666) that are analysed in this research.


33% 33%
have Twitter Twitter account Twitter do not have Twitter account

Twitter Twitter

67% 67%

but an additional interesting piece number , , of information is the of local Twitter users () society in () the local Twitter (account holders) who have selected contents related to the civil 140. / 140. / directory/aggregator This number is 52 members of the 683 registered so far, or . 52 . 52 7.6% percentages. Part of these users , the user accounts , 683, is of course, 7, 6 %. of the organisations 683, , 7, 6 %. , themselves which are , , the subject of analysis of this research. . .

1 1 Graph 1 Usage of Twitter by the organisations that use social media This research not analyse the that have been accounts followed by the does organisations,

8% 8%

civil society

92% 92% 2 2 Local Twitter accounts 2 registered in Graph the Civil Society category on 140. 140. The user account followed by the biggest number of other Twitter users is the account of

1. 1. //
. . 10 10 3 3 . . 359 359 568 568 139,7 139,7 127,8 127,8 2.235 2.235 2.045 2.045

e e the (@fmet a). Metamorphosis foundation (@fmeta). It is followed by 359 users,359 , (@fmet a). 359 , while an account that the biggest number of users is Tactics Association (@ACTMacedonia), the Creative follows (@ ACTMacedoni a) 568 . (@ ACTMacedoni a) 568 568 . which follows users. The Macedonian civil society organisations on average follow 140 official Twitter accounts,their accounts are followed by 128 while 140 139, 7) . (139.7) other users on their 140 ((139, 7) . , , 128 127, 8) . , , 128 ((127, 8) . (127.8) users on average. not followed by any user and there There is a Twitter account that is . . are no it. The follow users that next table gives the minimal and maximal values for these two , follower/foll thatng. parameters, not taking into consideration the wer/foll ow has , folloaccount owing. zero follower/following i


Table 1. Minimal and maximal values of followers/following Twitter accounts of the CSOs min. followers following 10 3 max. 359 568 average 139,7 127,8 2.235 2.045

Grouping the number of they follow and by which of accounts per number accounts that they are followed does not give big variations. Seven (44%) of the accounts are followed by . ( 44 %) 100 200 . 100 to 200users. The smallest number ones that are more 200 of accounts in the followed by than 200 users, , i.e. 44 (25 %). (25%).


0-100 0 - 100
100 - 200 100-200


200 +


Primarily because of a certain number of civil society organisations that basically have no active accounts, there is a dominant number of civil society organisations that follow less , 100 than 100 Twitter users on Twitter. .

Graph 3 How many users Twitter 3 follow the Twitter accounts of the CSOs on

0-100 100-200 200+



4 ()

26 2009 ., 13 2010 . , 2009 2010 . 2010 . .

. 200 44% , 4 (25 %).

3 25%

0-100 100-200 , 200+ 100 .


19% 3
0 - 100 0-100 , - 100 100 200 . 100-200 200 +



0-100 100-200 200+




4 How many users (CSOs) accounts on Twitter Graph 4 () follow the other Twitter

account was created on 26 March 2009, and the latest on The oldest 26 2009 ., 13 April 2010. 4 half year, an identical number of accounts created 13Divided by2010 . there are() , in 2009 and almost 26that not a single 2009 2009 2010 . in the first half of 2010. It is noticeable ., Twitter account was created by any 13 2010 . , 2010 2009 of However, no account Macedonian civil organisation in 2010 2010. was society . the second half . . Twitter the middle of 2006. average 2010 . The created prior to 2009, although was created in age . 2009 ., the Twitter accounts of 2006 . 2006 . of CSOs is 14 months. local 2009 ., 1414 . .
31,3% 6,3% 31,3%
2009 first half of 2009


second half of 2009 2009 first half of 2010

2009 2009


second half of 2010 2010


2010 2010

several basic data (description in( 160 characters Twitter offers possibilities for filling in 160 31,3% ) . and location) of the account holder. The analysis of the user accounts of the Macedonian civil

Year of creation of Twitter Graph 5 5 accounts on Twitter by the local CSOs

21 5

society organisations has shown that half of all accounts (8) filled in these data. Although filling in of these two types of data is independent, still the users who have filled in the data

them both, unlike the other half which has not filled in any. had ( 160 ) .

( 8) (, . 8) . , , . , .



have info and location do not have info and




6 Graph 6 How many of the Twitter accounts on Twitter have shared information and location There many ways to publish . main 6 are contents on Twitter, starting from the site,

, , , , t erfeed. via . w independent applications, browser additions, mobile applications and automatically tt ( Pages) , , , such as Twitterfeed. The Facebook page owners are enabled to automatically some services, , t w erfeed. . tt publish contents ( Pages) directly on Twitter via Facebook. 8 7 . 7
86 75 64 53 42 31 20 1 0 7

2 1 1 1

web facebook

1 twitterfeed tweetdeck twitterfeed tweetdeck

1 chromed bird chromed

1 echofon echofon

- . Tw itt 43 % ( 7) 7 7 er. com publishing contents Graph Most often used Interface for . 25 % ( society organisations 4) The Macedonian civil update % ( 4) original accounts via the . % mostly 25 their 12, 5% . Tw er. com 43 itt ( 7) (2) (7) of them as a primary platform fori tt erfeed, is 25 % ( 4) used by 43% t w publishing contents. . 25% % .with the Second with 37, 5 (4) is the automatic connection 25 % . of the account ( 4) official Facebook 12, 5% (2) page. When these 25% (4) are added 12.5% (2) of the users who publishtt erfeed, t w automatic twits via i 37,can be concluded that . 5 % 37.5% of the accounts are updated automatically. Twitterfeed, it

7 - bird






manually (10) (10) automatically (6)



Graph of 8 8 Way publishing contents on Twitter accounts The 16 Twitter The average 16 accounts analysed have published a total of 1,687 twits. 1. 687 . number of 105, maximum is 326 twits, and there that have only twits is 105.4. The4. 326 ,are accounts 3, 5 . published 3, i.e. 5 twits. 2.
. 3 . Table 2. Number of published twits 326 105,4 1.687

. , 3 , 3 326 105,4 1.687 17. The popularity of the accounts is seen from the number of lists where they are included. 5, 4 .
Out of the analysed accounts, 3 are 3. not included in any list, and the Metamorphosis Foundation account is included in 17. The average of analysed accounts is inclusion on 5.4 . . lists. 17 0 5,4 86 Table 3. Inclusion of Twitter accounts onlists min. max. total . average 3 . 0 17 5,4 86 3 10, 1%. , 16- 261 . The regular usage of this service and intensifying of the communication means increase (@ ACTMacedoni a) 35, followtheaccount of the civil (@fmet a) 3 % official society organisation. in the number of accounts that 33, 5 %. , (@fmeta) Therefore, we have compared the number of accounts that follow the accounts of the civil 90 3 . society organisations from three months ago and now. The data lead to a conclusion that 2235 2250 16 accounts that we analysed have a growth of 261 accounts that follow them. The biggest progress is with the Creative Tactics Association (@ACTMacedonia) with a 35.3% growth and the Metamorphosis Foundation (@fmeta) with a 33.5% growth. In absolute numbers, the 1974





the average growth in the last 3 months is 10.1%. In absolute numbers, this means that the


. 3 . 3 10, 1%. , 16- 261 . Metamorphosis 35, 3 % has had the biggest growth with (@fmet a) Foundation (@fmeta) 90 new accounts that (@ ACTMacedoni a) 33,started follow them in the, (@fmeta) 5 %. to last 3 months. 90 3 .
2250 2235



October December

9 - number Graph 9 Growth for the three months in the of new accounts following the
organisations The interaction, i.e. the direct communication is one of the most important characteristics 23

, that on average the minimal address one 2.6% of their twits or more other accounts. The . PSM account (@biznisinkubator) has the highest percentage twits() Foundation 2, 6 % of with direct 19.4%. One has to mention that 9 . do not have a single tweet with a direct address accounts (@bi zni si nkubat or) account. address to another Twitter - 19, 4 %. 9 .

in the usage of this service for social networking, The analysis of the CSO accounts has shown

44% 56%

have address direct

do not have direct address

10 How many of the Twitter accounts directly address users that follow them Graph 10 the Another indicator of interaction is the re-twitting other users. On average, 7.1% of the CSO


twits are re-twits. The association Konekt (@konekt_skopje) has maximum number of the re. 7, 1 % . twits - 66,7 %, (@konekt _skopj e) - 66, 7 %, has published only 3 twits and but it has to be stressed that this account can 3 . (@Advocacy_m k) , 29, 6% .



. 7, 1 % . not be considered relevant. The second organisation on this part (@konekt _skopj e) - 66, 7 %, of the list is the Advocacy which 3 their . CENTER (@Advocacy_mk) has 29.6% re-twits total number of twits. (@Advocacy_m k) , 29, 6% .

did not re-twit


11 How many- Graph 11 of the Twitter accounts re-tweet other users

. , , . - , . - .


Facebook is the biggest global social networking service. It is a service that connects people and offers possibilities for publishing of photographs and video materials, sharing links, creating events and many other activities. The contents can be published via the Internet service itself, via its mobile version and specialised desktop and mobile phone applications. Recently, Facebook has become the most visited Web destination world wide. The connection of the users is synchronous, which means that it is necessary for both users to confirm to establish a connection. The service was established in February 2004. In the beginning it was closed for students only, but later it stated its world domination and now it has around 600,000 million of users. Facebook offers special channels for communication for organisations, companies, musicians, etc. It is because of the number of users and the big number of options that make it especially interesting and useful by the organisations and companies around the world. Facebook is also the most visited web destination in Macedonia. Around 2/3 of the Internet users in Macedonia use this service, which means around 750,000 users. The most popular pages for brands and companies surpass the number of 90,000 fans, and the service itself is often a subject of discussion in the contents of the traditional media.

According to MCIC research (Ristovski, B., 2011), there are 666 active web pages (by 1.12.2010), 67 of which (10.1 %) have posted usage of social media. Out of these 67, 56 (83.6%) have Facebook activities. Out of them, 5 (8.9%) are accounts of political parties, 3 (5.4%) are accounts of international organisations outside Macedonia, and the other 48 (85.7%) are accounts of civil society organisations. It is these 48 Facebook accounts that are 7.2% of the total number of active web pages (666) that are analysed in this research.


( , ., 2011), 666 . org.m k - ( 1.12.2010 ), 67 ( 10, 1 %) ( , ., 2011), 666 . ), 67 ( 56 ( 83, . org.m k - ( 1.12.201067, 10, 1 %) 6 %) . , 5 ( 8,9 %) , 3 ( 5, 4 %) . , 56 ( 83, 6 %) 67, . 7 , . 3 ( 5, 4 %) 48 ( 85, %) 5 ( 8,9 %) , % 48 - 7, 2 , . or g.m k 48 ( 85, 7 (666). - %) . 48 - 7, 2 % . or g.m k - (666).


Facebook do not have a Facebook

account t Facebook Facebook

have a Facebook account

t Facebook


84% 12 the social media have a Graph 12 How many of the organisations that use Facebook account There are three types of usage of Facebook noted page, group and profile. The biggest 12 - ( page), ( gr oup) 27 (56.2%), then groups 11 (22.9%) and least profiles 10 number is Facebook pages - 27 ( 56, 25), 11 ( pr ofile).

(20.8%). One (22, 9 %) group and three profiles are closed, i.e. onea(member ( gr to, 10 ( 20, 8 %). to be page), has or a friend oup) pr ofile). - . (see their contents. 27 ( 56, 25), 11 (22, 9 %) 10 ( 20, 8 %). , .


23% 56%

(page) (group) (profile) (page) page



(group) group
profile (profile)

13 -

13 13 What kind of a Facebook account have Graph - they published

There are several ways to show the usage of Facebook from the original web sites of the organisations. There are three different ways of implementation noted: widget, button, and 25 text. The most commented is the button, at 36 (75%) web sites.


. : ( w dget) , ( butt on) (t ext). , 36 ( 75 %) i - .

. : ( w dget) , ( butt on) (t ext). , 36 ( 75 %) i 5% - .








Graph 14 In which way is the usage of social media announced on the original web sites

use this Li ke Li ke the organisations option for easy sharing . . . .


14 Facebook each user to button that can 14 offers the possibility for implement a like - - automatically share the contents on Facebook. There was an analysis made on how many of


use sharing button do not use sharing button


15 - button for Graph 15 How many of the original web sites have a sharing contents at Facebook Very Facebook account has a network of users that showed interest in its contents via

pressing Like, Join or Become a friend. For each account it can be checked how many L ke, Join Becom e a fri end. 15 i- such users are there. On .accounts have 1,020 users per average, the analysed account, the 1. 020 , of users are 5,002, and 5. 002,Facebook accounts have been biggest number the smallest 19. 46 19. 46analysed, with a total 47. 938 .is - been Facebook account closed, and it has not of 47,938 users. One - , L . Becom e a fri end. ke, Join i
included in this information.

4. . - . . 1. 020 , 5. 002, 19. 19 5.002 1.020 47.938 46 - 47. 938 . - , .

4. . - 39 (89 %) - 38
. . . 19 1.020 47.938 5.002

- . 39 (89 %) -

Table 4. Number of users of analysed Facebook accounts min. 19 max. 5.002 average 1.020 total 47.938

On each Facebook account there is an option to have the owner enter the basic information on the organisation. The analysis has shown that 39 (89%) of the Facebook accounts have this information.

have shared information do not share information

89% Graph How many of the Facebook accounts have shared general information about 16 16 - the organisation 16 - Besides the information on the organisation, there is an option to , also give contact . - ,

27 (61 %) , . the accounts. done by 27 (61%) of . - , 27 (61 %) .


information. Predominant are those that have shared their contact information, i.e. it was


have contact information do not have contact information

17 - - - Graph 17 on 17 -( How many of the Facebook accounts have shared contact information the , w - - all) - , organisation . .

( all) - 32 ( w 73 %) , , . . . 32 ( 73 %) .



17 - - -

(Facebook fans - photographs, videos and other information on, all) can share contents, , The w wall. The accounts have with the fans and there their . . been analysed if there is an interaction 32 ( 73 %) is the datum that 32 (73%) allow fans to upload contents. .

there is interaction there is no interaction


18 -18 - Is there interaction with the fans on accounts Graph - the Facebook on the language that can be entered on the Facebook There is no limitation the contents -. the most used language is 34 accounts. The analysis has shown that Macedonian 34 (77%) (77 %) 6 (14 %). and combined publishing in Macedonian and English 6 (14%).


2% 2%5% 27

77% 19 - In which language are the contents on the Facebook account Graph 19 - that are shared -

Facebook account has the possibility to share pictures, Each - , announce events and . develop discussions similar to the forums. The usage of these interaction tools has been . analysed. show %), has been the most used %), The finds 37 ( 84that picture sharing 22 ( 50 37 (84%), then 22 (50%), developing(34 %). announcing events while the last used is 15 discussions on a certain
theme 15 (34%).
100% 84% 80% 60%

50% 34%

40% 20% 0%

77% 19 - -

- , . . 37 ( 84 %), 22 ( 50 %), 15 (34 %).

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
events pictures discussions


50% 34%

Graph - How many of the Facebook accounts are used to announce events, post pictures 2020 - , and discussions

-, groups( closed) and they are Out of the analysed Facebook accounts, ten are open (one is ) by a . this has the smallest managed minimum of one administrator. In case, the group that , , 37 . number of administrators is two, and the one with most administrators is seven. The total of 10 -, (3, 7) 37 .administrators that manage 10 Facebook accounts on average is four (3.7) administrators
per group. 5. -
. 2 .

Table 5. Number of Facebook group administrators 7 3,7 37 min. max. 7 average 3,7 total 37

(You Tube)

. yOU TUbE , ( ) Introduction . , 15 . You Tube is the world largest and most popular for publishing video materials. The service
contents of this service is largely created by the users themselves, but it also has contents
28 shared by professional (commercial) production houses and companies. The service is free

of charge and allows publishing of video clips not longer than 15 minutes. Longer video materials can only be published by the users with a special approval. The service was created in 2005, and soon after it was bought by Google. Before the global domination of Facebook, this service was the second biggest Internet browser, behind Google itself. Today, world wide it is the most used platform for promotion of video materials. Within their activities, it is regularly used by a big number of civil society organisations, political parties and companies.

2005 , . (G oogl e). , , . visited destination on the . According to Alexa service data, You Tube is the third most , , Internet, but in Macedonia also. This service publishes more than 24 hours of material in a . minute. (A exa), l , , . Analysis . 24 (by 1.12.2010), 67 of which (10.1 %) have posted usage of social media. Out of these 67, ( , ., 2011), 666 20 (29.9%) have You Tube channels. Out of them, (15%) 10, 1 %) . org.m k - ( 1.12.2010 .), 3 67 (are channels of political parties, 3 (15%) are channels 67, - 20 ( 29,Macedonia, and the other 14 . of international organisations outside 9 %) - . , (15 %) (70%) are channels of local civil , ( 15 %) is society organisations. It these 14 You Tube channels that of the total , web pages (666) that are analysed in this ( 70 are 2.1% number of active %) . research 14 - 2, 1 % . or g.m k - (666).
According to MCIC research (Ristovski, B., 2011), there are 666 active web pages

have YouTube You Tube channel Tube channel YouTube do not have a You


Graph by the organisations that use social media 21 -21 Usage of You Tube 238 video clips are uploaded on 14 channels. On average, there are 17 video clips uploaded on the channels, three channels have uploaded one video per 14 238 . channel, and the channel with biggest , is 46 of uploaded videos. the 17 number of videos (19.3% the total number of , 46 (19, 3 % ).

6. -
. . 46max. 17

Table 6. Number of uploaded videos on the analysed You Tube channels min. 1 1 average 238 17 total 238

, . , .There is information 23. 789 uploaded on have been on how many times the videos , the channels 37 . watched. The data on the number of views of the video that is viewed the most are given for maximum number is 23,789 views, the minimal number is 37 views. every channel. The , while (subscri be) . ( 71%) - (subscri ber), 42 (29%) .



Each user that has a You Tube profile can subscribe to a channel and is automatically informed about each new uploaded video on that channel. Ten (71%) You Tube channels have at least one subscriber per channel, while four (29%) of the channels do not have any subscribers.

29% 29%
have subscribers do not have subscribers

71% 71%

22 - , the one that has subscribers is 17. Out of the analysed channels, the biggest number of 17 , . ( Subscri bers). there are subscribers per channel. 17 On average 3.3 3, 3 ( Subscri bers). . 3, 3 , Similar to there is, for networking . a possibility , on the other social media, with other users You Tube as well.%) they become friends. Two (14.3%) profiles ( Fri ends). 3. , ( 14, When two users connect, , have a (each, while . friend 14, 3 %) no friends. , ( Fri ends). the other profiles have

22 many of the You Tube Graph 22 How - channels have subscribers



have a friend do not have a friend


86% 23 - -

, - ( Channel). 6. 433 . Graph 23 How many of You Tube channels one friend 23 - - have at least 943 ( 14, 7 %), 21 ( 0,3 %). Each user, . least one video, obtains his own You - (The 460 if he uploads at , Tube channel. Channel).

6. 71. 113 . ( 238) . 45. 487 ( 64 %), 299 . . 39 (0, 05 %). 21 943 459,5 6.433

of . fourteen a total 6. 433 6. analysed channels have of 6,433 views their channels. The channel that the biggest number 14,is 943 (14.7%) 21210,3 %). On average 943 ( 7 %), and the least views is ( (0.3%). of views . has . 460 . per459,5 there are943 views 460 channel. 21 6.433


( 238) 71. 113 . 299 . 45. 487 ( 64 %), . . 39 (0, 05 %).

Table 6. Number of views of analysed You Tube channels min. 21 max. 943 average 459,5 total 6.433

The total number of uploaded videos (238) have been viewed 71,113 times. On average, the videos were reviewed 299 times each. The biggest number of views per video is 45,487 (64%) and the smallest number of views per video are 39 (0.05%). Table 7. Number of views of analysed videos on You Tube channels min. 39 max. 45.487 average 298,8 total 71.113

If one singles out the most viewed video from each channel, there are total of 31,212 views for 14 uploaded videos, which is 43.9% of the total number of views for all uploaded videos (71,113).

44% 56%

most viewed videos others

24 on a channel Graph 24 Ratio between the most viewed video and the other videos

was registered on 1 April 2008,the2008 registered channel was The oldest profile 1 while latest , 5 2010 . 2008 on 5 October 2010. In 2008 there were two (14.3%) profiles registered, and in 2009 seven ( 14, 3 %) , 2009 (50 %) , (50%) profiles, and in 2010 %) . 2010 (35, 7there were five (35.7%) profiles registered.
14% 36%


2008 (2)



44% 56%


1 2008 , 5 2010 . 2008 ( 14, 3 %) , 2009 (50 %) , 2010 (35, 7 %) .

14% 36%
2008 (2)


Graph of 25 25 Year registration of the analysed channels


CSOs prefer to send one-way messages on Twitter, than to have a two-way communication. The average ratio of accounts that follow and are followed by the local CSOs is within the expected Twitter activity. The distribution is more equal with the number of accounts that follow the CSO accounts. Unlike them, the number of CSOs that follow under 100 other accounts is significantly bigger than those with 100, 200 and more than 200. This indicates the poor activity and absence of will to hear the public and become part of the community. This conclusion is indicated by the percentage of twits where they address directly or indirectly another user account.

CSOs are not very advanced in using

The number of accounts that are most often updated by and which automatically upgrade from other sources (total of 80.5%) indicates that there is little attention to the accounts themselves. The advanced users most often use special applications to manage their accounts and rarely publish automatic contents (especially not directly from Facebook) because the way of communication and the formatting of the contents itself are different.

CSOs do not maintain quality and continuous presence on Twitter.

The average age of CSO Twitter accounts is 14 months. Very CSO has posted an average of 104.5 twits, which means that they publish a bit more than 7 twits per month. This number of twits makes it very hard, almost impossible to expect a quality and continuous presence on Twitter. Of course, such a low average is because of the accounts that are almost non-active, but even with the most active accounts, the average number of twits per month is not very big. This again indicates the lack of serious dedication or motivation of the CSOs. However, on the other side, it can mean that CSOs do not have sufficient activities and topics, but also an insufficient target group that can effectively be in the networking of the local Twitter area.

A small majority use Facebook as a social medium for distribution of contents and connection with their fans.
Only 7.2% (48) of the active web sites (666) use Facebook. On the other hand, out of 67 web sites that have stated they use social media, high 85% consider Facebook the most used type of a social medium. One should not neglect the fact that at this moment there are 750,000 users from Macedonia on the Facebook, which makes it a great place for

connecting and networking with the potential local public of the civil society organisations.

A small majority use tools to share contents from their original web sites to the Facebook account.
High 73% (32) of the organisations have not enabled their users (via tools such as likebutton) to share contents directly from the original web site of their Facebook profiles, i.e. the information is distributed only via administrators/creators of Facebook accounts. The most frequent way for 75% (36) of to publish for usage on Facebook is via a button, i.e. an image that directs to the Facebook account of the organisation..

There is an interaction with the fans on the Facebook accounts of the civil society organisations.
All civil society organisations (which were analysed) publish contents (most often in Macedonian 95%) as news on their account, 89% of the organisations have shared general information, and 61% have shared contact information as well. With a significant majority of 73% (32) there is an interaction with the users, i.e. they too are included in sharing information and participate by generating contents on the wall of the Facebook accounts.

You Tube
Usage of You Tube by the civil society organisations is very low. This is the third most visited site globally and in Macedonia, and still its usage is very small only 2.1% (14) of the civil society organisations that have an active web site have a You Tube channel. On average there are 17 video clips uploaded, which is a relatively small usage with respect to the fact that on average the You Tube channels have existed for around 2 years. The users of You Tube show interest in the video clips uploaded by the civil society organisations. High 71% (10) of the You Tube channels have their subscribers who decided to follow all the new uploads by the channel creators. In this way, there is networking with fans and their continuous information via video clips. Also, there is no video that does not have a single view (minimum of 37 views) and there are videos with more than 23,000 views.



Twittr ` Following accounts whose postings are followed by a Twitter user. ` Followers accounts that follow a Twitter user. ` Tweet short single post not longer than 140 characters. ` Reply tweet that directly addresses another Twitter account with the sign of @ user_name. ` ReTweet - RT direct or added re-posting of an already posted tweet from another account which contains the mark RT @user_name. ` List - group of Twitter accounts (mostly thematic) which can be created by each user for himself. They can be publicly accessible and locked.. Facebook ` Page, Group and Profile are types of user accounts that can be registered by an organisation. They have common features, but still the usage of these tools is for different purpose. These accounts have different privacy setting, i.e. their contents can be public or private ` Widget type of an addition (code) which is implemented in the original web sites via which there are contents and information posted from the Facebook account. ` Button on the original sites there is a button placed which is an image that once clicked on directs the user to the Facebook account.


` Like Facebook account option for giving feedback on the contents that is published by the organisations. By clicking the like button, one becomes fan of a Facebook account. ` Fan fans are Facebook users that have voluntarily chosen to become part of a certain account of an organisation. They automatically receive the new contents. ` Wall every Facebook account has a wall from where the contents that are posted are published. Here, the fans can comment on the existing contents or place new ones. Most of the interaction with the fans happens here, on the wall. You Tube ` You Tube channel for each registered user who has uploaded at least one video clip on the networks, there is a web page generated within You Tube where all the video clips of the user are shown. ` Subscriber is a registered user who has subscribed to a You Tube channel and receives a notification for each new uploaded video. ` Friend is a registered user who has connected in a network with another registered user.


. (2011) org. mk []. , (). : <> [ : 2011]. (2011) - []. , . : <> [ : 2011].



Marko Troanovski Mia Popovik

Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis Skopje

CIvIl MObIlIsINg aT ThE sOCIal NETWORks: aNalysIs OF ThE sOCIal MEDIa aND PlOTaD slObODa
The new social media and their communication capacities provide easy fulfilment of the key assumptions for successful civic joint action: interaction and involvement and development of an advocacy discourse. By reviewing the case related to Plotad Sloboda civic initiative, this study tries to research how the informal collective use the social media to communicate and mobilise and what the specific features of the contents that is communicated via these channels are. The study shows that the usage of social media in this informal civil initiative is largely spontaneous and non-strategic, with ad-hoc communication solutions. The initiative does not communicate with the stakeholders and potential supporters in a planned manner, an approach that decreases the scope and coverage of the mobilising activities (interaction and inclusion) and advocacy contents..

The new social media have largely overcome the many organizational and communication obstacles that the informal civil/collective actions faced. This situation creates a fertile ground for the increase of diverse types of civic engagement. The easily accessible communication technologies that are built on social networks provide easy fulfilment of the key assumptions for successful civil joining: interaction and involvement, as well development of an advocacy discourse. Reviewing the care related to the initiative/movement called Plotad Sloboda

(hereinafter: PS), we have tried to research these issues: a) how can the informal collectives use the social media for communication and mobilisation, and b) what are the specific features of the contents that is communicated via these channels. Researching this case is an attempt to contextualise the problem of media space decentralization from the world of traditional media to the world of new media based on the social networks. According to social capital theory given by Putnam (Putnam, 2000), rich and thick networks of the horizontal social association facilitate the creation of conditions for mutual trust, tolerance and active cooperation, thus providing social material for active democracy. Besides the horizontal associations among the people, the social capital also includes behaviour, norms and values that are shared by the members of an association, necessary for an active/politically involved civic culture. In the beginning of this decade, there was a concern with the scholarly community that the penetration and expansion of the new social media will contribute to impoverishment of the social capital in the human communication (Wellman 1999). The pessimists had the view that the new social media, as a mediator in the communication, weaken the privacy area: the people alienate from each other and decrease the personal contacts; the new forms of social interaction via the computer mediated communication dissolve the community and decrease the public gatherings. It weakens the civil awareness and negatively impacts the contribution to the public wellbeing and the dedication to public affairs. This drop was noted in the American society as early as the 1960es by Robert Putnam and he and those sharing his opinion did not significantly change their views half a century later (Putnam 1996, 2000). In this context, there was a big pessimism about the future of the participative political culture and civil activism in the modern democratic societies. Those who think that the civil engagement is decreasing were concerned that the new initiatives were unique, limited in time, too spontaneous, single topic and inwardly directed. Because of this, they had no capacity to develop democratic traditions and a coherent action in a longer term. Still, the new research questioned the validity of the approach and the instruments that were traditionally used to evaluate the social capital and civil engagement. It was concluded that the above mentioned negative trends do not necessarily imply social isolation and civic apathy. The criticism of the social capital (generated via the new media) single-handedly focuses on the traditional forms of political participation. This trend neglected the new methods and styles of civil participation and engagement (Bennett 1998; Eliasoph 1998; Gundelach 1984). The research showed that the younger generations prefer to participate in looser, less hierarchical, informal networks and different occasional mobilisation activities as a life style. The participation in informal local groups, political consumerism and involvement in advocacy networks and defending certain values, signing on-line petitions, forwarding e-mails etc. (Wuthnow 1998; Norris 2002).

The new social media are more direct and involving as opposed to the inflexibility of the traditional media limited by the standards of professional journalism and hierarchical and ownership structure. The social media are technological solutions that are used by the social networks to create contents. In this respect, the authorship and editing of the contents of these media largely, if nit crucially, is handled by the communities (networks) that exist or occur in these Internet sites. In this new space, filtering the information and creation of relatively coherent narratives on events, activities, people or organizations is left to communities of people instead to editorial boards that are limited in numbers. This enables a more direct role of the participants themselves in the creation of the media contents for themselves or their activities. However, at the same time, this possibility is open for the others as well. In this way, these services become communication platforms for the users themselves, full with contents that are layered above the social network(s) and the service. In this communication environment, there is the question if and how some informal civil action is possible in Macedonia? How successful can it be outside the standard organizational-hierarchical structure and how does it organise itself, mobilise resources, encourage an argumented discourse and has social influence?

This case study is based on two methodological approaches: a quality analysis of the interviews with citizens who are included in PSs activities in various ways, structural and contents analysis of the social media with respect to PS. When the people interviewed were selected, attention was paid that they are persons who had (individually or jointly) certain functions, such as: initiated the movement; made decisions on actions; channelled the communication to different target groups; were responsible for the production of contents; developed new communication channels, etc. The interviews were conducted based on a questionnaire with open questions, but there were questions and answers that occurred during the interviews themselves that were additionally included. The structural analysis researched the usage of the communication capacity of the social media, and the contents analysis researched the messages themselves and the discursive creation of identities and hierarchies. We have started from the theory that these identities and hierarchies of meaning, events, organizations, agents, etc are not given or predetermined, but they are constructed via language games that depend on the social context (Torfing, 2005).



Case Context
In the past years of the civil society in the Republic of Macedonia, various civic initiatives managed to be articulated via the public debate both in the traditional and the new media. Such an example was the collective action or initiative that started somewhere in the period of March/April 2009. The civil reaction expressed disagreement with certain political visions, decisions and actions of the current government. The activities of Plotad Sloboda were focused on social themes that highly polarised the views of the broader public. The starts of the movement can be found in the activities that opposed the anti-abortion campaign, via the construction of a religious facility in the CENTER of the city to Skopje 2014 project.6 The latter two cases were mostly the focus of this civil action. Because of the government intention to reconstruct a church facility on the central city square, which was demolished in the 1963 earthquake, a certain group of citizens opposed it with a view that it was an unsubstantiated project which is contradictory on several basis (economic, political, multiethnic, secular, etc). In the period that followed, the activities expanded to new, broadened contexts and arguments such as sexual discrimination, labour rights, etc. The forms and activities that were undertaken were initiated, organised and coordinated by several associations such as PS, First Arch Brigade (hereinafter FAB) and Singing Skopjans, etc. Their activities attracted significant media attention, managed to include the political parties and international institutions, as well as to achieve civic mobilization. Starting from here, what made this phenomenon interesting for research was exactly the introduction of freshness, authenticity and momentum in the development of the civic activism and participatory political culture in the Republic of Macedonia. The mentioned activities were largely initiated, logistically supported and communicated via the new social media such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and the blogs. This social constellation opened many questions that deal with the relation of the computer mediated communication and the civil activism. Therefore, this study will be focused on which communication goals and effects have been achieved via the social media in this case of informal initiatives; if the usage of these media was a result of a developed communication strategy or inevitably imposes itself as a result of the modern communication culture; how the social media have been used to mobilise supporters and activities; what kind of a public discourse came from this type of communication, i.e. to what extent it has fulfilled certain informative, educational or polemic standards.


The conclusion on the starts of the movement is drawn from the testimonies in the interviews with the participants.

Case Study
With the rapid penetration of the new communication technologies in the social communication the research of various forms of collective action moved from the field of the virtual where the people actively organised, mobilised, coordinated and discussed issues of public interest (Wellman, 1999, 2001; Fischer, 2001; Lin, 2001). The new media managed to directly touch and horizontally communicate with various social strata. By quickly and cheaply (time and money resources) creating networks of communication, the social media have the potential to expand the scope and reach of information and increase the participation in civic activities of the new socio-demographic groups on various grounds. The implications of this change redefine the traditional forms of civic activism and expand its borders. Therefore, the social media have many times so far proven as effective tools for democratisation of the authoritarian states, but also of states that have not consolidated the democratic institutions or whose civic activism is in its start (Courville and Piper, 2004; Jansen 2010). Several main features of the so-called 2.0 Network whose inseparable part the social media are, according to the father of the term Tim OReilly are its collective intelligence on the network, its collaborative nature and its abundant user experience (usage of more communication channels at the same time). It is these that generate the potential of the new social media as a tool for civil activism. The social media as a collective intelligence harvest the information and knowledge that are created in the process of free Internet exchange. In order to harvest the applicable knowledge it is necessary to fulfil some preconditions, such as decentralised environment, guaranteed pluralism and independence, as well as aggregation that will collect all the individual knowledge in collective one (Tim O` Reilly , 2005). Second, the network as a single and unique platform for communication via open standards enables collaboration, i.e. joint common action where more individuals or organizations collaborate to fulfil common goals. Here there are the sites with user generated content, such as Wikipedia, You Tube and the social networks such as Facebook. The possibility to simultaneously combine various communication channels and their contents enables creation and application of efficient communication strategies, necessary for successful activism. The participants can initiate profiles where they will publish and share information, place various multimedia content that can be commented, create special group of users and make contact lists, moderate discussions at the forums, etc. Moreover, the real time network concept enables broadcasting contents as they happen, for example broadcast live events or inform about them (for example, via Twitter) which provides for civil journalism which goes around the filters of traditional media. All of these features of the social media facilitate civil activism in its communication, organisation, mobilising and advocacy aspects.

PS activists, using these features of the social media covered a broad range of activities. There was an on-line petition initiated7, a group of the organisation was organised on the social network Facebook8, a You Tube profile was created9. These channels were used to organise events fundraising parties, protests that combined performances (Plotad Sloboda Procession, Cube March). Also, there were multimedia contents that were created (videos, pictures), links and other relevant contents and arguments to support the activities, and there were brochures and postcards made as well. The initiatives were also supported by field activities to collect materials for the public debate on the changes of the Detailed Urban Plan, as well as signatures for organising a referendum for construction of the church at the square. Still, until recently, PS activities did not have their official newsletter, such as a web page or a blog. It is an interesting situation where the participants, according to the interviews, have recognised the power of the social media, without building an infrastructure that would channel the communication from a central point. This, the official blog of Plotad Sloboda started to be made long after the completion of a big part of the activities that marked the work of the collective. In this respect, until the moment this text is written, this newsletter is a testimony of the past activities, and not an active factor in the information strategy of the collective for their possible future activities. Therefore, taking into consideration the multilayered nature of this phenomenon, this overview will be focused on the following aspects of this civic initiative: the usage of the communication channels of the social media to organise activities, mobilise supporters and advocate/promote contents (arguments, discussions, etc) to support the initiative. The process of organising is inherently collective, i.e. social. Additionally, a big number of studies that refer to individual measures for the views indicated that the usage of Internet can generate social capital (Mossberger et al., 2008, Shah, Kwak and Holbert, 2001). It means coordination in the activities and meanings among the individuals and therefore its essence is in two types of individual psychological experience: interaction and inclusion (Flanagin et al., 2006). From the interaction aspect, we can distinguish personal and impersonal interaction. The former exists when there is an expectation for another meeting between the communication participants, a desire and interest to maintain and promote the interpersonal relation in the direction of understanding and respect to the identity of the other. This interaction aims to approximate the communication actors at identity level (Chadwick, 2009). The latter, the impersonal interaction, takes place in the area of exchange of information on the goals, strategies, interests or logistics of a certain activity. Everything that is in the direction of fulfilment of the goals of the organization, and is not related to development and maintenance of a mutual relationship. Here, the other remains unknown despite the fact that he shares certain common features.
56 7 8 9 Accessed on [28.01.2011] Accessed on [28.01.2011] Accessed on [28.01.2011]

The usage of the social media for organisation, mobilisation and information of the stakeholders opens the question on what communication goals and effects have been achieved in this case, i.e. what level of interaction and inclusion was achieved. According to all interviewees, Facebook as a general platform has provided the visibility and initial networking of likeminded people (who did not know each other before). In itself, it speaks about the facilitation that the social media give in finding likeminded people which is the starting point of the mobilisation process. The Facebook group that PS established had an open character and it was made of 640 members.10 Its contents were not formally edited and additionally, as it was said in one of the interviews, one could not predict the feedback, and therefore the arguments that would be given and the communication strategies were not agreed upon. The communication model of impersonal interaction was not based on strategic and targeted connection of various and certain target groups (potential activists, pressure groups, foundations and other civil society organizations). Although the decision making process was not decentralised and diffuse, i.e. there were coordination meetings between the leading activists, there was still inner incoherency and undetermined procedures of decision making which reflected on the communication effect. In line with the above mentioned, if one looks at the Facebook structure, it can be concluded that its communication capacities were not fully used. In this context, in one of the interviews it was stressed that the point was not to control the information, but to have it reach as many people as possible. The communication scheme of information knots and trails of informing about the various activities, ideas and intentions itself was quite complicated because of the participation of fans and friends in the process of transfer of information. Because it is a Facebook group, and not a Facebook page, it could not use the possibility to clearly distinguish/filer the posts of the administrators from those of everybody else. Also, moderation often allowed for irrelevant posts on the wall which defocus (for example, a new Apple Ipod nano competition). Further on, the Facebook structure missed the information type of frequently asked questions, as well as group mails and/or e-mail contact. Although there is a built in possibility in the group to start and channel discussions, the part for this was empty at the moment this text was written. It is here that the advocacy function could have been realised via organising thematic discussions on the various aspects of the protest: its economic, political, architectural urban and secular aspects. On the other hand, information dissemination at Facebook and Twitter is followed by different sharing and re-twitting of primary and secondary information from parts of the social networks that the individual members of PS communicated with. In this respect, the information on these networks are not disseminated only by the persons A, B and C of the
10 The Facebook group is called Plostad Sloboda and it can be found at:!/group. php?gid=89017711971 Accessed on [28.01.2011] 57

collective, but the media knots in the information dissemination are also their friends from these services. The contribution of this communication mechanism is the social capital which each of these knots adds to the message. Thus, the lack of confidence that the information recipient had to the unknown information sender, or an indirect informer as the classical medium, is compensated with the relatively direct relations between the friends that are reached by the information. Taking this into consideration, the usage of the capacities of the social media was incomplete. In the interview with the participants it was determined that there was an understanding about the need to use a different style when communicating within the classical media. In that respect, the direct communication style of the social networks and the communication style in the classical media, causes different voices.11 Thus, the Facebook communication language often used the urban language, with the language codes of a smaller social group. As opposed to this, there were the public appearances in the traditional media where the messages were translated to a more general language in stylistic, but also semantic sense. These different voices come from the need to reach different types of public. Nevertheless, the possibility for different voices is not used by the organisation itself, in the area of the social media. Although the assumptions for this heterogeneous nature are built in the very fact that they were built on the social networks as media knots, the organisation did not diversify the communication styles to have an effect on the broader public on line. Still, the social networks, outside any clear communication strategy of PS, managed to demonstrate a heterogeneous representation of the events, once again stressing the inherent different voices of the social media as opposed to the coherent narratives present in the media reports in the traditional media. The second aspect of the collective action refers to the inclusion that can be institutional and entrepreneurial (with respect to self-initiative, self-engaged). With the former, the possibilities for inclusion are determined by the leadership of the organization and do not come from the horizontal communication and initiative of the members. The entrepreneurial inclusion means more a network like than a bureaucratic form of collective action, where the division of roles and organisational functions is flexible, and the possibilities for participation and mobilisation are determined by the members, and not the leadership (Fulk, 2001). From this aspect, when it comes to mobilisation and giving possibilities for involvement, the contents of the wall of the Facebook group directed, sometimes in a confusing manner, the undefined and unsegmented public. For example, the information part of the group of the organisation mistakenly identifies it as political, instead of advocacy organisation.
11 We have borrowed this term from heteroglossia a concept developed by the literary theorist Michail Bakhtin. His theory deals with researching the novel as a text that contains different languages and characters that flow out on the surface in the narration of the novel as independent voices. We think that when reading the communication through the social media as a text it is very important to pay attention to the existence or non-existence of different communication styles and voices.


On the other side, the You Tube profile of Plotad Sloboda does not have a single content of their activities and events, but it contains videos of the civic initiative (choir) called The Singing Skopjans. Moreover, the choir was initially named Plotad Sloboda and then it was renamed The Singing Skopjans. The description of the group read Group for staying in touch of the people from Plotad Sloboda, which is exclusive in itself and leaves aside the stakeholders although it practically gives them an access to write and add contents. Also, there was rarely a mutual communication between the moderators and the members, the supporters of those interested. According to the impression of one of the interviewees, the interpersonal communication face to face during the field activities (referendum, protests, etc) was more efficient. Some of the interviewees shared their impression that still there was an unplanned excluding relation to the interested citizens based on age and social background. One of the interviewees also stated that the selection of the arguments (songs) in case of the Singing Skopjans was mostly made by English songs of the non-mainstream genre (alternative scene), which is not understandable to a large target population. From the aspect of the sociodemographic profile of the participants in the organisation, according to the interviewees, the activities were supported by ethnically and religiously homogenous, politically engaged and self-aware young people, with high education and higher social standard. With those organisations or individuals who offered their affective support, as well as those whose area of action (practically and/or ideologically) was inappropriate (for example, ecology) there was a certain lack of interest. In other words, the demands for joining based on abstract activist intentions for better tomorrow or emotional civil enthusiasm, without clearly articulated views on a specific social issue were not taken into consideration. Despite these moments, the signing of the petition, the support of the non-members of Facebook and Twitter groups and the interest for a more active participation in the movement were significant. The inclusion was quantitatively increased when the traditional media started to cover the activities of the association as a result of the controversial protest against the construction of the religious facility on the square on 28 March 2009 when there was a physical attack by a counter-group of protestors. The scandal mobilised the civil sector, the international institutions (European Commission, OSCE and the Helsinki Committee), the political parties. Attracting the attention of the social actors, the collective action managed to influence the public, political and media agenda. Still, this effect is not due to the strategic communication via the social media, but to the scandalous nature of the protest, worth of media attention. The final dimension of the analysis refers to the discursive aspect of the communication mediated via the social media. Because the social media have a significant role in the actual equipping of the collective, the communication via these channels is an organic part of the

activity of Plotad Sloboda. The analysis of the contents of the communication is focused on debating within the social media. The activities of Plotad Sloboda are a comment of thee highly politically significant issues: abortion, religion and nation. According to VMRO-DPMNE, the pillars that the social being of the people in Macedonia is based on are: family, religion and nation (VMRO-DPMNE, 2007). With this purpose, in the last period, the government has undertaken a number of steps that deal with these issues in a number of policies. The result of these policies are the reopened anti-abortion sentiments12, the initiative to build a church on the square and the Skopje 2014 project, interpreted as a project to represent the history and the heritage of the nation. The individual activists that later became the core of Plotad Sloboda practically found themselves via their on-line activity protesting against the anti-abortion campaign.13 The main mobilising issue for PS was the building of a church on the Makedonija square. As mentioned above, these issues in Macedonia have a big political significance because they are related to the national identity. In this respect, the questioning and the criticism of PS of these policies, in the middle of their implementation puts the collective in an utterly heated debate both in the classical and new social media. In this way, the discussion between the two opposed camps very quickly turned to exclusive categories, such as: patriots-traitors, believers-infidels, ancient-Slavic, Macedonian-anti-Macedonian, etc. Instead of facing the arguments, the debate is lowered to ad hominem insults14 and battles that are burdened with hate speech. Thus, the often quoted call for a counter-protest of Janko Ilkovski, at his Jadi Burek blog,15 classifies the participants at the PC and FAB protest as a gathering of gay and atheists. In the general on-line debate on the occasion of this individual event, other analysts also insult them as junkies, Sorosoid prostitutes, neo-communists, [..] assholes, traitors ( et al., .). This practice is called an equivalence chain, and it is a discursive strategy with which certain groups are defined via other identities that often have no direct relevance for the case (Torfing, 2005). In this way, the opposition to the construction of the church on the square can, but it does not have anything to do with the religious affiliation of the individuals. However, the usage of the category atheism stresses the difference from the religious ethos which is the basis for the construction of the national identity in Macedonia. At the same time, the frequent reference to homosexuals, but in a derogatory form, serves to meet the same purpose. The homosexuals as a category in the nationalist discourse are a destabilisation of the heterosexual order


12 Semi-formally expressed via publicly expressed views of distinguished persons of the party in the media. Lately, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia also formally participated in such a campaign, called Choose Life. 13 The narratives of all interviewees stressed the Anti-Abortion campaign as a period of joining and galvanisation. The AntiAbortion campaign referred to is Abortion is a Murder, conducted by the NGO Revita. 14 Attack on the character and person of the collocutor rather than the argument. 15 Accessed on [28.01.2011]

which is the bases of the patriarchal national identity (Mole, 2010; Lambevski, 1999)16. Taking into consideration that, according to the research, the traditional view of the world in Macedonia is still present (Klekovski, 2009), one can easily understand the value of the category of a homosexual as a national enemy. This value of these two terms discursively moves the debate to excluding and hate speech because it replaces the need for argumentation with a labelling practice. Thus, the debate starts with marking the opponents placing them hierarchically as less valuable to decrease the value of the opponents side in the argument. In this way, the focus in the debate is on the danger for the nation and the identity instead of the actual issue that is supposedly debated. In a similar way, the frequently used category Sorosoid to mark the members of PS is a semantic sign for representatives of foreign mostly anti-state interests fed by the mythology of the inner enemy or traitor. In this sense, there are various hate groups, especially on Facebook, which personally or collectively target PS as an organisation that is an enemy to the state. Such an example is the Facebook group SINGING SKOPJANS an anti-state movement of atheists and homosexuals.17 This group in its very title suggests homosexuality and atheism and antistate, but in the context of the above mentioned, it serves to construct Singing Skopjans as the enemy of the state and their activities as hostile. In a similar way, the binary debate on the representation of the other is also seen in the construction of the fifth column in many places on the Internet, such as the post of the blogger Aleksandro, entitled The Church An Occasion for an Offensive of the Fifth Column of Soros!18 This discursive constriction of the meaning of PS, ironically, seems to be accepted by the members themselves. Such an act is not nave and most often it is used as an act of subversion in order to prevent the further repetition of the stereotypes. Such a case is seen in the following excerpt of an on-line discussion on Facebook:

16 On a broader theoretical framework see: Mosse, 1985. 17 Accessed on 28.01.2011 18 Accessed on 28.01.2011


In this case, two members of PS accept and confirm the categories that have been given them in a hostile manner. As it can be seen from the example, the continuation of the discussion was not prevented in this way. Taking the analysis outside the activities through the social media, it can be seen that the members of PS often use the language of the opponent to lead him to absurd. For example, PS activists added the graffiti with the face of Nikola Gruevski to an existing nationalist graffiti. In this way, they challenged VMRO-DPMNE to participate in the removal of the nationalist graffiti to dissociate the face of their president from controversial political views.19 However, this is not used only to prevent the debate of exclusion and ad hominem attacks, but also to spread the agenda of the organisation itself. From the political movement for an open space, it can be said that PS, especially the latest incarnation in Singing Skopjans largely deals with the themes that were given to them by labelling through the above mentioned categorisation. In this way, from a movement that started with the issues of an open city, via accepting the hostile construction of their image, they expand the agenda to a broader opposition to the identity policies of the government. Analysing, for example, the choice of songs of Singing Skopjans and the context that they given them, there are topic related to religion, European integration, sexual orientation, police violence, history. In this way, it can be said that PS agenda has been parallelly constructed by both sides: the initiative and political views of the members, but at the same time the way in which they have positively or negatively been represented by some external party
62 19 See: Accessed on 28.01.2011


It is difficult to draw a single conclusion on the ways in which Plotad Sloboda has used the social media. In general, the study shows that the usage of the social media in this informal civil initiative has largely been spontaneous and non-strategic, with ad-hoc communication solutions. The initiative does not communicate with the stakeholders and potential supporters in a planned way, an approach that decreases the scope and coverage of the mobilising activities (interaction and inclusion) and advocacy contents. Still, the communication process where the communication strategy and/or openness intertwine; the nature of technologies that are used; the social networks on which the communication is based, as well as the contents of the communication is utterly complex. PS behaved in a different way on different aspects of this process. 1. PS has had a different approach to the communication through the traditional and the social media. In this respect, they have used the social media representing themselves as a homogenous movement, via a single organization voice, but also as a collective of individuals that have their own unique voices. Thus, the diverse network of knots through the social media has shown the heterogeneous nature of the movement. The usage of the social networks built in the social media themselves has additionally strengthened this image, because many other external participants have joined the dissemination of the original information of the organisation, or the members of the collective adding their values to what they share. 2. On the other hand, the same heterogeneous nature has not been fully utilised. The answer to this can be found in the conclusion that PS had no intention to expand to an organisation/movement that can cover a broad spectre of social groups. Still, starting from the advocacy function of the civil activism, the heterogeneous nature could have been segmented in the different languages (separate discourses) that would communicate the same message to a broader group of individuals which would have achieved a better interaction and inclusion. This could have been achieved via selective channelling and categorisation of the different languages (discourses) via the social media. 3. From the contents aspect, the social media are still an area that reflects the political and communication culture of the off-line world. It is not something new, and the themes that PS deals with have unavoidably attracted an exclusive and

hate speech. The collective has dealt with this situation in a different way. On one hand, the members, at least on PS behalf managed not to fall in the trap to actively participate in the same or similar speech. At the same time, using the similar language successfully acts in destabilising such a speech. What PS has not managed to develop is an alternative discourse or discourses of the social media, which will not only be reactive to the other side.


Atton, C. (2006). Far-right media on the internet: culture, discourse and power. New Media & Society, 8(4), 573-587 Baum, M. A., & Groeling, T. (2008). New Media and the Polarization of American Political Discourse. Political Communication, 25(4), 345 - 365. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice (Reprinted.). Stanford Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press. Chadwick, A. (2009). Routledge handbook of Internet politics. London ;New York: Routledge. Courville, S. and Piper, N. (2004) Harnessing Hope through NGO Activism. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 592, Hope, Power and Governance, pp. 39-61 Doln, R., & Todol, J. (Eds.). (2008). Analysing identities in discourse. Amsterdam ;;Philadelphia: J. Benjamins Pub. Co. Fischer, C. (2001). Bowling alone: Whats the score? Paper presented to the American Sociological Association conference, Anaheim, August. Flanagin, A. , Stohl, C. and Bimber, B. , 2006-06-16 Modeling the Structure of Collective Action Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Dresden International Congress CENTER, Dresden, GermanyOnline <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2009-05-25 from Fulk, J. (2001). Global network organizations: emergence and future prospects. Human Relations, 54(1), 9199. Gal, S., & Kligman, G. (2000). The Politics of Gender After Socialism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Giddens, A. (1999). Runaway World: how globalisation is reshaping our lives. London: Profile Books Jansen, F. (2010). Digital activism in the Middle East: mapping issue networks in Egypt, Iran, Syria and Tunisia. Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 6(1), 37-52 Klekovski, S. (2009). Relation Towards Traditional/Secular Values. Skopje: MCMS. Retrieved from Lambevski, S. A. (1999). Suck My Nation - Masculinity, Ethnicity and the Politics of (Homo)sex. Sexualities, 2(4), 397-419.


Lillian, D. L. (2007). A thorn by any other name: sexist discourse as hate speech. Discourse Society, 18(6), 719-740. Lin, N. (2001). Social capital. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mole, R. (2010). Sexuality and Nationality: Homophobic Discourse and the National Threat in Contemporary Latvia. Working Paper, London. Retrieved from SexualityNationality.pdf Mosse, G. L. (1985). Nationalism and Sexuality. New York: Howard Fertig. Norris, P. (2001) Making Democracies Work: Social Capital and Civic Engagement in 47 Societies, Working Paper Series rwp01-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government OReilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0? Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from Purvis, T., & Hunt, A. (1993). Discourse, Ideology, Discourse, Ideology, Discourse, Ideology... The British Journal of Sociology, 44(3), 473-499. Putnam, R. (1996). The strange disappearance of civic America. The American Prospect, 24, 3448. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone. New York: Simon & Schuster. Sheleva, E. (2003). Border Cultures / Cultures at the Border. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 4, 123-139. Sey, A. & Castells, M. (2004). From media politics to networked politics: The internet and the political process. In: M. Castells (ed.), The Network Society: a cross-cultural perspective. London: Edward Elgar. Torfing, J. (2005). The Linguistic Turn: Foucault, Laclau, Mouffe and Zizek. In T. Janoski, R. R. Alford, A. M. Hicks, & M. A. Schwartz (Eds.), The handbook of political sociology : states, civil societies, and globalization. New York: Cambridge. Wellman, B. (1999). The network community. In B. Wellman (ed.), Networks in the global village (pp. 1-48). Boulder, CO: Westview. Wellman, B., Quan y Haase, A., Witte, J., and Hampton, K. (2001). Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 437-456 Yuval-Davis, N. (1997). Gender and Nation. London: Sage Publication. , ., , ., , ., & , . (..). : .



Mio Dokmanovik, PhD sanja gievska

This case study is an attempt to determine the current situation of the development of volunteering in Macedonia, especially after the adoption of the Law on Volunteering. As a result of this, the research analyses the effects of the adoption of the Law on Volunteering, first of all with respect to increasing the number of local and foreign volunteers, as well as the experience regarding the international volunteer programmes. In this respect, the authors discuss the development of the volunteering concept with a special stress on Macedonia. More specifically, the authors focus on the tradition of volunteering in the country, the current legal framework and the contemporary trends of the development of volunteering. In addition to this, there is a special stress on the empirical research that included the representatives of the civil society organisation, the young people, and the foreign volunteers in the country. Consequently to this, the case study included the results and conclusions of the surveys and the interviews with these three categories. Based on the survey conducted, the authors draw conclusions on the current situation with volunteering at the end of the case study, as well as the problems and challenges that the civil society organisations in Macedonia are facing..

The interest in volunteering has started to reappear in Macedonia in the last ten years. It seems that the apathy that existed in the transition period has been partially overcome and that the necessary preconditions for a more massive volunteering in the country have been created.

This process was undoubtedly influenced by the general development of the civil society in the country, but also the re-emerging interest, first of all with the young people, in volunteering in the community. Additionally, there have been a number of legal acts and bylaws adopted by the government bodies that enabled the creation of a necessary framework to regulate the volunteering in general, but also the rights and obligations of the volunteers. This case study is an attempt to determine the current state of affairs of volunteering in the country after the adoption of the Law on Volunteering. The research will analyse the effects of the adoption of the Law on Volunteering first of all with respect to increasing the number of local and foreign volunteers, as well as the experience regarding international volunteering programmes. Besides this, special attention will be paid to the current challenges for the development of volunteering, as well as the best practices in this area. The case study on volunteering in Macedonia and the research on it was primarily directed to the young people. This approach came from the current researches available at international level, which show that the adolescent phase is crucial for obtaining volunteering habits20. As a result of this, the main part of the empirical research was focused on the young people aged 18-28. Based on the research, there were conclusions formulated on the main trends in the development of volunteering in the country, as well as recommendations for improvement of the current situation and its promotion.

The methodology for the preparation of this case study was based on using primary and secondary sources relevant for the theme of the research, as well as a combination of a quantitative and qualitative approach. The initial phase of the research was directed to the analysis of the relevant documents related to the volunteering in the country, including the existing legal frame, manuals, statistical reports, articles and publications by local and foreign authors. The main part of the empirical research has covered three primary data sources: (1) interviews with the key stakeholders, (2) anonymous survey of a representative group of young people from Macedonia, and (3) anonymous survey of a representative group of foreign volunteers in Macedonia. The data of the three primary data sources were collected based on a structured questionnaire. In order to cover the specific issues for each group, there were three separate questionnaires prepared, one for each of the three groups. The interviews covered eight civil society organisations that work with volunteers, with diverse geographic coverage, size and area of work, as well as a high school as a good example of functioning of volunteering. Taking into consideration the fact that the surveys conducted via the phone or electronic mail have a smaller turnout, most of the interviews
68 20 Marta, E., Pozzi, M. Young People and Volunteerism: A Model of Sustained Volunteerism during the Transition to Adulthood. In: Journal of Adult Development. (2008). vol. 15, Issue 1, p 35.

were conducted face to face; the selected collocutors were managers of the civil society organisations or people in charge of volunteering programmes. In order to obtain more reliable results, an anonymous survey of a representative group of young people was conducted. The survey covered 350 young people from 27 towns and populated places in Macedonia, aged 18-25. The survey consisted of 9 short questions and it was conducted electronically (ready by using a survey service), as well as via distribution of surveys in a printed form. Besides this, eight foreign volunteers in Macedonia were surveyed, seven from the European Volunteering Service and one from the Peace Corps. The survey consisted of six questions, four of which were to be answered descriptively. The questionnaires that were used to collect the primary data sources are annexed to this case study. The bibliography used is given at the end of this text.


The research also analysed the experience of a number of countries in the world with respect to volunteering (the USA, Australia, Croatia, Armenia, etc). The experience of the analysed countries is different. There are examples where volunteering is successfully integrated both in the governmental and the non-governmental sector. In many countries in the world the potential of the volunteering and volunteers are used both by the nongovernmental organizations and the government bodies and local governments. In support of this, there is the statistical data that 80% of the persons hired in the fire-fighting protection in the USA were volunteers.21 As far as the contribution of the volunteers to the development of the local and national economy is concerned, quite indicative is the information of the Australian Statistical Bureau that the contribution of volunteers to the economy of Australia in 1997 was 25 billion dollars.22 Of course, there are also countries where volunteering is less developed, as well as countries with a visible absence of legal framework for this area. As far as defining volunteering is concerned, a number of definitions were analysed in the course of the research. In general, it has been accepted that the volunteering is a voluntary provision of services to categories that need it on long term basis without any financial compensation. In support of this, the National Volunteering CENTER in England defines volunteering as an unpaid activity that includes passing of time for the benefit of the environment or other individuals or groups different than the close relatives.23 In line with
21 Young, R.D., Volunteerism: Benefits, Incidence, Organizational Models, and Participation in the Public Sector. University of South Carolina, Institute for Public Service and Policy Research, p.3. 22 Ollis, T., Volunteers, Ideology and Practice, Towards a New Century of Volunteerism. In: Ethos P-6, 2001 Term 2, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p. 1, 23 Association of Voluntary Service Organizations. Legal Position of Volunteers in the United Kingdom, p.3. Available at:


this, Cnaan, Handy, and Wadsworth define the four key elements of volunteering, common for most of the definition: (1) voluntary character; (2) absence of financial compensation; (3) orientation to hep unknown people/beneficiaries, and (4) organised at a long term basis or in formal surrounding.24 Taking into consideration the comparative experience, there was an analysis of the main features and parameters related to the development of volunteering in Macedonia. The volunteering in the country is not a new phenomenon. It has been present in different shapes in a longer time period. We can conclude that there has been a long tradition of volunteering in the country, both formal and informal. The rots of volunteering can be found as early as the period when Macedonia was under the Ottoman Empire. The religious communities had a significant role in the stimulation of the volunteering. The development of the neighbourly relations in the smaller communities and the cooperation and solidarity within the craftsmen are part of the activities that we can consider a frontrunner of volunteering. This trend was also present in the country in the period between the two world wars. According to Ivanova, there are data on two humanitarian associations in Skopje in the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia: Tetovska jabuka and the Moslem charity association Shefket (Mercy). The members of these associations worked voluntarily and without any financial compensation offering their hep to various socially endangered groups.25 After the end of World War II there was a change in the development in volunteering. The building of Macedonia as a part of the Yugoslav socialist federation was marked by intensification of the development of the volunteering activities. In this period, especially in 1980es there were especially popular working actions, as well as the activities of a number of associations, such as the Red Cross, the Scout Association, etc. The beginning of the transition opened a new phase in the development of the volunteering in Macedonia. We can freely conclude that there have been significant changes in the country. The general perception of the public regarding the development of volunteering is that the coverage of the volunteers in the country is relatively small, the volunteering awareness has not been developed, especially with the young, there are more significant stimulations for attracting volunteers missing, the average involvement of the volunteers in the country on annual level is exceptionally low and most often it is one-day activities. This is shown by the following available statistical data. The survey regarding the trust and philanthropy in Macedonia conducted by MCIC in 2006 indicates that only 6.3% of the citizens in the country grant voluntary work. This percentage is a slight increase compared to 2001 when it was only 2% of the surveyed.26 At the same time, the Social Responsibility
24 Cnaan, R.A., Handy, F., & Wadsworth, M. (1996). Defining Who is a Volunteer: Conceptual and Empirical Considerations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 25(3), p 364383. 25 , . : . In: . , no.4, , p. 10. 26 . (2006). . , p. 57 - 64.


Report of MCIC for 2007 indicates that there is a tendency of significant decrease in the volunteering activities in the communities and they have been halved compared to 200327. In 2007 this percentage of the citizens in the country that grant voluntary work was decreased to 4%. On the other hand the Social Responsibility Report of 2009 indicates that less than third of the surveyed (27.4%) stated that they were involved as volunteers in community activities. The report concludes that the citizens show small interest in active involvement in volunteering activities in the community. The citizens are most often volunteering up to 10 hours per year, which shows that the volunteering activities were mostly single/one day activities, i.e. it can be concluded that there is no continuity in the volunteering activities and that the citizens do not have habits and awareness to do something more (outside the family and personally for themselves) for the community and their compatriots.28 As for the volunteering involvement in the civil sector, there is the conclusion that it dominates in the civil society organisations in the country. According to the MCIC Civil Society Self-Perception Report of 2010, as many as 88.5% of the civil society organisations surveyed are based on volunteer work. According to this report, as many as 35.7% of the organisations surveyed have between 10 and 50 volunteers.29 Besides this, the unemployment rate, which is very high (32%) is very important for the analysis of the development and coverage of the volunteering in the country. The high unemployment rate is a factor that can contribute to attracting the unemployed persons and involving them as volunteers. However, care should be taken that the employed are not a subject of abuse and they are involved in activities useful for the community which would help them develop skills and experience that would be helpful to them in looking for a job. The data of the State Statistical Office are also in support of this, since the percentage of unemployed in the 15-24 year category in the third trimester of 2010 is as much as 55%, which is a potential group for volunteer involvement. Parallelly to this, one can freely conclude that there is a growing interest in volunteering by foreign citizens in Macedonia, as well as Macedonian citizens abroad. In the country there are a number of programmes for volunteering and volunteering organisations, which provide voluntary engagement, both of local and foreign persons, according to Article 5 Paragraph 1 of the Law on Volunteering.

27 . (2007). . , p. 34. 28 . (2009). . , p. 29-30. 29 . (2010). . , p. 6 7.


Legal framework
In 2007 the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia adopted the Law on Volunteering30. The adoption of this law was the first step in regulating the status of the volunteers (local and foreign) in the country. Although the volunteering practice was present even before its adoption, it enabled the creation of a legal framework which more specifically regulated the conditions and ways of volunteer work, the rights and obligations of the volunteers and the organiser of the volunteering and other significant issues. According to Article 3 of this law, volunteering has been defined as voluntary provision of personal services, knowledge and skills and/or performing other activities for the benefit of other persons, bodies, organisations and other institutions, without compensation. The organisers of volunteer work can be: citizen associations and foundations, religious communities and religious groups, public institutions and government bodies. Parallelly to this, one should stress that the adoption of the law was a precondition for development of the interest for inclusion in international programmes for volunteers. Here it should be stressed that often there is no difference between practical work, trainee and voluntary internship and volunteering. In this direction, in accordance with the Law on Labour Relations, the internship is conducted by a person that starts to work for the first time on a job that is appropriate to the type and degree of his expert education in order to be trained for independent work31. On the other hand, the voluntary internship is related to certain activities where it is a condition for passing an expert exam or individual work, in accordance with a separate law.32 As a result of this, the Law on Volunteering makes a distinction between volunteering and trainee and voluntary internship, in accordance with the Law on Labour Relations (Article 3 Paragraph 3). Taking into consideration the need for an operationalisation of the regulations of the Law on Volunteering, three by-laws (rulebooks) were adopted in October 2007.33 With respect to the number of foreign volunteers involved in Macedonia, it is important to stress the adoption of the Rulebook on the way, procedure and records on issuing an agreement for volunteering of a foreigner in the Republic of Macedonia. Article 3 of this Rulebook defines a number of documents needed for issuing an agreement for volunteering of a foreigner in the country (request, agreement and volunteering programme, statement that the person has not been punished for an offence, a copy of the Central Register i.e. the court in charge record, and the height and way of covering the travel expenses and accommodation). On the other hand, the Rulebook does not set a timeframe for the body in charge to issue their agreement, which, as
30 31 32 33 72 . (. . 85/2007). ( ). (. . 16/2010), . 56. Ibid, . 61. , , , . (. . 128/07).

we will see below in the research, is a serious challenge in the work of the organisers of the volunteer work. Finally, in order to provide a long term frame for the development of volunteering, in September 2010, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Macedonia adopted a Strategy for Promotion and Development of Volunteering (2010-2015) and an implementation plan (Action Plan). The main aim of the Strategy is providing a permanent development, promotion and strengthening of volunteer work in the country. This document determines the subjects for implementation of the strategy, as well as the establishment of a National Council for Volunteering Development as a body with primary competence to promote and develop volunteering. Also, the strategy contains instruments and methods for increasing the level and awareness of volunteering, which should be used in the next five years.34

Conclusions from the interviews conducted with the civil society organisations
According to the responses of the representatives of the organisations that were interviewed, it can be concluded that the volunteers are an exceptionally significant resource. All the representatives stated that they regularly worked with volunteers, and their numbers were from 5 to 1,500 volunteers. The functioning of four out of the eight organisations covered was fully based on volunteers, i.e. they did not have any employees. Part of the organisations have a smaller number of persons with regular volunteer work that are involved in the work of the organisation on daily basis and a database with a bigger number of potential volunteers, who are active when there are events of various nature and other more massive activities. This is the case with a youth organisation which is active in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development. This organisation has 28 active volunteers that are active on daily basis and a database that has 280-300 members who are active when there are bigger projects and events organised. The nature of the voluntary work is quite diverse, starting from involvement in the preparation and implementation of various projects, organising workshops, holding courses, various actions, working in daily CENTERs and conducting administrative work and simpler work tasks. All the organisations interviewed agree in the opinion that the contribution of the volunteers for the organisation is exceptional and very important in the development and success of the organisation. With respect to the interest in volunteering and motivation of the volunteers, in general there is a small interest in volunteering of primarily short term character. Four out of the eight interviewed organisations stated that the interest and motivation with the volunteers are big at the beginning, but they quickly drop and they give
34 . (2010). (2010-2015) ( ). . 73

up in a short time. The reasons for this drop are the unclear goals and wrong expectations with the volunteers. Part of the organisations think that one of the motivating factors for the volunteering is the hope for employment if there is a chance for it, while quite a small number do it for altruistic reasons. The main reasons for the lack of interest in volunteering are the poor economic situation and unemployment, although, as one leader of a youth organisation from Bitola said it is precisely the unemployment that should be the stimulus for volunteering, then the lack of trust and bad perception of the civil society organisations, the apathy and low awareness level, lack of strategy for attracting volunteers and the insufficient promotion of volunteering. Also, one of the reasons indicated in the interviews is the educational system in the state, which does nor channel the young people that besides the formal education, the person is also built by informal education and that volunteering in an organisation can help them learn more easily and obtain additional skills that will better shape their personality in the future, as a representative of an organisation with a long term experience with volunteers said. The lack of interest, i.e. the very small interest in volunteering has been given as the main problem that the organisations face when searching for an involving volunteers. The financial aspect is also a significant factor. Many individuals refuse to work without compensation, and they consider volunteering a use of free work force, without seeing the benefits of volunteering. On the other hand, the organisations often do not have the means and conditions to manage the volunteers and a clear programme and activities that they would include them in. In this context, two organisations have especially stressed the approach and quality of the programme, as well as sustainability, i.e. maintaining the volunteers at a longer term in the organisation. It is very easy to gather a big number of volunteers, but the biggest problem is to maintain this number for a longer time said one of the collocutors. With respect to the changes and possible improvements that the Law on Volunteering brought, most of the organisations interviewed share the opinion that the adoption of the law was necessary in order to regulate the volunteering status. Still, the majority thinks that neither the organisations nor the people are sufficiently informed about the existence of this law and its regulations. Apart from this, the majority of the interviewed organisations think that the adoption of the law made certain procedures more complicated and they complain about the slowness of the government institutions. Here they especially stressed the problems and difficulties that the organisations face in the procedure for issuing an agreement for volunteering to a foreigner by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, as well as regulating their stay. The organisations think that the long and slow procedure acts in a demotovating way to the persons interested in volunteering which resulted in the fact that some foreigners gave up volunteering. In a big number of cases, the volunteers either do not obtain this agreement or obtain it before the end of their voluntary engagement, a number

of months after the documents stipulated by the law have been submitted. It is important to state that there is no legal deadline for the Ministry to respond to the request. A positive example for functioning of volunteer work is NOVA international high school in Skopje, where there has been a Community Service programme implemented from the establishment of the school until nowadays. Within this programme, each student in the school has to work at least 10 hours of voluntary work per year, being included in projects or initiatives if various types. Part of the goals of the Community Service programme is to improve the quality of learning with the students, influence the needs of the community by intercepting them by a direct service and strengthen the civil and social feelings with the students. In this programme, there are 230 students included annually. According to the statistics of the school, they are most often included in programmes for recycling and environment protection, organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Megjai, Skopje ZOO and the Day of the Tree initiative.35

35 As a recognition of its successful work, the school has obtained two awards this year; the first award Investing in the Community in the small and medium enterprise category as part of the project Corporate Social Responsibility of the Enterprises in the Republic of Macedonia, organised by the National Coordination Body for Corporate Social Responsibility (KTOOP), as well as a philanthropy award, i.e. as an institution that has given a special contribution to the creation of a positive environment for development of philanthropic practices in Macedonia, granted by the CENTER for Institutional Development (CIRA).



Within the research, there were 350 persons from 27 towns around the country interviewed. The results of the survey show that almost all people surveyed (98%) stated that they had heard of volunteering. Out of those, 39.83% stated that they had been volunteers in an organisation or institution, while 61.17% had never been volunteers. Here, one has to stress that according to the answers and comments obtained, there is an impression that part of them mix, i.e. put an equal sign between the terms volunteer and intern.

organisation, institution, etc? , .?

Have you ever been a volunteer in an


2. asked how developed the volunteering in Macedonia was, most of the people When , :
surveyed (73.64%) stated that volunteering is not very developed in Macedonia, 17.19% stated that it was quite developed, and 9.1% stated that it was not developed at all.

, 20, 29 % Asked about the length of their volunteering experience, 20.29% of the people who responded that they , volunteersprevious question stated that they had less had been 27, 54 % to the 1 3 , 1 than a month of 17 %) 3 while more than half (52,volunteering experience, 27.54% between 1-3 months, . 78, 88 % than of the people surveyed (52.17%) stated that they had volunteering experience longer 3 months. , . Out of the people no volunteering experience, 78.88% stated that they would like who had , to be volunteers, %) them would not want to be volunteers , ( 73, 64while the rest of in an organisation 17, 19 %, 9, 17 % . or institution.

Graph 1. Have you ever been a volunteer in an organisation, institution, etc?

, :


, 34, 1 % ,

(52, 17 %) 3 . 78, 88 % , . , ( 73, 64 %) , 17, 19 %, 9, 17 % .

2. , :
According to your opinion, volunteering in , Macedonia is: :

developed little
solidly developed not developed at all

Graph 2. According to youropinion, volunteering in Macedonia is: , Asked 34, 1 % , what is the biggest obstacle or problem when volunteering, the biggest number

11, think that it is the insufficient information 20 % or 34.1%28 % , on the possibilities for volunteering,
compensation. All of the above by 28.98% the people surveyed, while was stated of , 5.64% stated something else. Other reasons that are most frequently stated are the lack of . motivation and interest with the young people to ? 3. volunteer, the inappropriate understanding of the term volunteering and the lack of information on benefits that come from volunteering. What is the biggest obstacle or problem with ? volunteering?
lack of time absence of financial compensation lack of information about the volunteering possibilities all of the above otherl

. that it is lack of financial 11.28% think that it is the shortage of time, while 20% think 28, 98 % the , 5, 64 %. ,

Graph 3. What is the biggest obstacle or problem with volunteering? When was/had been a asked if they knew somebody from their closer environment who/ , 73, 35 % . volunteer, 73.35% stated yes. , Out of the total number of people surveyed, when asked if they had heard of programmes or , 42, 29 offered possibilities , Macedonian citizens abroad organizations that % for volunteering to57, 71 % . , 46, 86 % , 53, 14 % .


with expenses covered, 42.29% stated yes, while 57.71% had not heard of such programmes and organizations. Apart for this, 46.86% stated that they had met a foreign volunteer in Macedonia, while 53.14% gave a negative answer to this question.


In order to better understand the situation with volunteering in Macedonia, there were short anonymous surveys conducted on a representative group of foreign volunteers in Macedonia. The survey covered 8 foreign volunteers, 4 of whom work in organisations in Skopje, while 4 outside the capital. Out of the total number of people surveyed, seven have come to Macedonia as European Volunteer Service volunteers via the Youth in Action programme, while one is via the Peace Corps. All the seven persons who have come via the European volunteer service are here to volunteer for a period between 6 and 12 months, while the Peace Corps volunteer is here for a period longer than a year, with respect to the fact that the programme includes a minimum service of 2 years. When asked about their motivation to become volunteers in Macedonia, five out of the eight volunteers stated that they were attracted by the good project and activities in which the organization where they volunteered was included, then their interest in the Balkans and the desire to see a new country and culture from this region. The main advantages of volunteering in Macedonia, as stated by most of the people surveyed, were the beauty of the country, the hospitality of the local people and the food, as well as the good geographical situation, appropriate for travelling to many countries in the Balkans. The main shortcomings stated by the foreign volunteers in Macedonia, were the visa problems and the long procedure for obtaining a residence permit and volunteering from the bodies, corruption, language barriers and poor infrastructure. Asked about their opinion on the motivation of the young in Macedonia to be volunteers, four of the people surveyed stated that they did not see any motivation with the young people in Macedonia to volunteer. There is a shortage of positive examples and a very low awareness about the existence of the volunteer programmes such as the European Volunteer Service and the Peace Corps. The others think that there is partially some motivation with a certain group of young ambitious people and that they had met several good examples of youth volunteer organisations and individuals, but there are also such that do not use the existing volunteering opportunities.


As a recommendation on what can be done to attract a bigger number of volunteers, the surveyed foreign volunteers think that there is a need for more information and promotion of volunteering and the available volunteer programmes, not only in the organisations, but also in the schools. In this direction, it is necessary to introduce changes in the educational system, include testimonies of former volunteers and their experience and support the organisations that work with volunteers..



Based on the conducted survey, one can draw conclusions about the current situation with volunteering, problems and challenges that the civil society organisations in Macedonia face. Although there is a legal frame to regulate volunteering, the coverage of the volunteers in the country is still small. The unique assessment that there is an awareness missing about the nature and the advantages of volunteering is in support of this. Part of the legal regulations is an obstacle and a difficult circumstance to the volunteering work, especially when organising the volunteering work of foreigners. Also, there is an obvious lack of transparency and clear information on the legal regulations that should be followed by the volunteers and the organisers of the voluntary work. Apart from this, legislation can not be the only condition for development and promotion of volunteering. It is necessary to have programmes for informing, promotion and stimulation of volunteering, as well as encouragement of long term involvement. In this respect, the positive effect would be the development of national and regional networks of volunteers and granting annual state awards for most successful volunteers in order to increase the motivation for volunteering. It seems that the most important factor or further development of volunteering is the role of the government sector, as a promoter and encouraging force of volunteering, which can contribute via financial support of the organisations that work with volunteers. On their side, the organisations should have a clear programme of work with volunteers and specific projects and activities in which they could be actively involved. The recruited volunteers should be provided training and continuous coaching during their volunteer work, in order to stimulate the development of the individual skills of the volunteers..


Association of Voluntary Service Organizations. Legal Position of Volunteers in the United Kingdom, p.3. Available at: Cnaan, R.A., Handy, F., & Wadsworth, M. (1996). Defining Who is a Volunteer: Conceptual and Empirical Considerations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 25(3), p 364383. Marta, E., Pozzi, M. Young People and Volunteerism: A Model of Sustained Volunteerism during the Transition to Adulthood. In: Journal of Adult Development. (2008). vol. 15, Issue 1, p35. Ollis, T., Volunteers, Ideology and Practice, Towards a New Century of Volunteerism. In: Ethos P-6, 2001 Term 2, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p1, Young, R.D., Volunteerism: Benefits, Incidence, Organizational Models, and Participation in the Public Sector. University of South Carolina, Institute for Public Service and Policy Research, p.3. . (. . 85/2007). ( ). (. . 16/2010), . 56. , . : . : . , .4, , . 10. . (2010). (2010-2015) ( ). . . (2006). . , . 57-64. . (2007). . , . 34. . (2009). . , . 29-30. . (2010). . , . 67. , , , . (. . 128/07).

bojana jovanovska


By introducing the principle of pluralism in the framework of the social care and social work the need has arisen to study the characteristics and features of various actors who appear as carriers and implementers in the area of social work. Volunteers are more and more present among the alternative mechanisms for providing social services, being formally or informally involved in some of the organisations or institutions that work in the socialhumanitarian area. Therefore, in order to have strategic mobilising of volunteers, as well as develop and promote the volunteer work, there is the need to recognise the characteristics of the profile of volunteers that deal with social and humanitarian work. The issues that are covered by this case study, first of all via the research that was conducted for this purpose, has the goal to answer several questions related to volunteering, such as: What is the general profile of the persons that volunteer in the social and humanitarian organisations? What are the main motives that encourage the people to be involved in volunteer activities?

Volunteering has existed for centuries. Regardless whether it was called mephato in Botswana, minga in Ecuador, gotongroyong in Indonesia, o in Russia, kwitango in Rwanda, ubuntu in South Africa or shramadana in South Asia, volunteering is a universal human phenomenon which appears within all cultures, economic levels, ages, sexes, etc. (United Nations Volunteers 2005: 8). People in different societies have certain knowledge about volunteering based on local

customs and traditions, but the valuing of the volunteering contribution varies to a great

extent. At many levels there is no common understanding of volunteering role or common valuing of the contribution of volunteering in the society in general. Theoretically, the historical and practical bases of the volunteer work come from England, the USA and Canada. However, volunteer work has a very old history, because we find volunteer work as early as 500 years BC in China and Greece. It is considered that helping is as old as civilisation itself. In the Antiquity times it was an everyday practice. In ancient Greece and Rome there were certain buildings where assistance was available to all helpless persons. In old China there were shelters for the elderly, the children, the poor ( 1999: 64). In the XVII century groups of volunteers worked together to create humanitarian societies to provide assistance to the poor when their families were unable to provide it. In the XVIII and XIX centuries the efforts of the volunteers contribute to improvement of the transport, sanitation, communication, public security and education. Volunteers also promote better health care, womens rights, labour rights, etc. Volunteering is a product of its environment. What the volunteers do and who they are is a result of the customs and traditions, as well as public policies and legal background, When the public policies and legal frames facilitate the participation and reduce the potential barriers, the citizens are encouraged and inspired to volunteer for the development of the environment. Volunteering is founded in the principles of choice and free will, which indicates the fact that the ways and forms in which it will be fulfilled are different from each other to a large extent. Therefore, the efforts to accept and support volunteering should be based on clear understanding of the role of volunteering in the context of different cultures, social, religious and historical traditions and norms. According to Michael Sherr (Michael E. Sherr 2008: 10-13), volunteering can be defined as a choice to act to recognise a need, with a view for social responsibility and without caring about any financial profit. The choice to act has to overcome the basic obligations of a certain individual. . Van Til defines volunteering as every unforced and volunteer activity, directed to giving assistance to others and which is not primarily related to receiving financial contribution (according to 2002: 70). According to him, volunteer action is considered to be any individual or group activity, which is not primarily tied to biological imperatives, economic benefit or a power authority, but it is related to voluntary fulfilment of common interests. Volunteering is a complex phenomenon which is under the influence of a big number of individual and social factors. Paolicchi (Sherr 2008: 8) points out that volunteering is a complex construction that can not be defined via a single characteristic, such as free labour. He stresses the studies based on a single characteristic or activity twist the nature

of volunteering, because they are a search for universal and formal laws of behaviour. Volunteers are people of all ages and they are strongly motivated by psychological, cognitive and emotional reasons, under the influence of external factors, such as family and social networks, education, socio-economic status, religion or spiritual belief, politics and the degree to which their culture stresses the importance of social care and helping the others. According to Gidron ( 1999: 94), the strength of the volunteer activity comes from the fact that: ` Volunteers find new unconventional ways of working with the social welfare cases; ` Volunteers successfully animate the local community and they are more efficient in establishing relations with the other institutions; ` Volunteers work with clients in a more quality way; ` Volunteers influence the development of the social work and indirectly the democratic relations in the society. In the last years there has been a revolution of volunteer activities. Volunteering in the traditional sense still exists, but it has experienced certain transformation because of the increased awareness of the people, dissatisfaction with the government and private services, asking for new ways of assistance that can not be provided by the family. The volunteering studies made by Cramer ( 1999: 86) indicate that the social welfare users feel more secure in their contacts with the expert social services. He recommends an increased cooperation of the volunteering services with volunteers, because the volunteers act as a prolonged hand of the expert workers. There is a very frequent conclusion that there is a lack of mutual trust between the volunteers and professional workers. Donevska (1999: 95) classifies the individuals that volunteer in the non-governmental or government sector to: ` Volunteers in self-help groups; ` Activities of humanitarian institutions; ` Activists of religious humanitarian organisations; ` Volunteers within government institutions; ` Volunteers in non-governmental organisations. The Macedonian legislation, with the 2007 Law on Volunteering defines the volunteer as an individual who provides services, skills and knowledge for the benefit of other persons, organisations or institutions, on voluntary basis and without financial or other personal benefit. The volunteer activity concerns voluntary provision of personal services, skills and knowledge or providing other activities for the benefit or other persons, bodies, organisations

and other institutions, free of charge (Law on Volunteering, 2007).

In order to obtain an image about a certain general profile of the volunteers that are involved in the social and humanitarian organisations of the civil society, there was a research conducted that consisted of surveying the volunteers in the civil society organisations. The survey was conducted in the period of September to December 2010 in the civil society organisations that deal with social and humanitarian work at the level of the City of Skopje. A sample of 84 units was used for this research, all volunteers from 16 civil society organisations, i.e.: ` 42 volunteers from 8 civil society organisations from the Register of Associations in the area of social protection at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, and ` 42 volunteers from 8 civil society organisations that deal with social-humanitarian work. Surveying of the volunteers was conducted in a written anonymous way. The survey questionnaire consisted of ten questions that concerned the socio-demographic characteristics of the volunteers, as well as the motives for their involvement in the volunteer work.


Volunteers and Civil Society Organisations
Volunteering is the basic part of every modern society. By volunteering, the citizens can give a significant contribution to the social and economic development of the community, as well as expand the influence and capacity of the civil society organisations. At the same time, volunteers have the possibility to develop their own skills (Hadzi-Miceva 2007). The occurrence of civil society organisations in the course of the 1990es gave its contribution to the development of the volunteering in the country. The civil society organisations mainly organised various activities that were implemented only via volunteer work and involvement. Still, the history of true volunteering in Macedonia can be connected to SOS telephones for help of children and youth that started to work in 1993 and the SOS telephone against violence against the women and children open in 1994 ( 2004: 31). Lately, the trend of volunteering in Macedonia, whether it is the government or the nongovernment sector, is in the rise, partially under the influence of the world trends, but also due to the development of new perspectives of the volunteer activity. The National Strategy for Youth of the Republic of Macedonia, adopted in 2006 stresses that the development and strengthening of the civil society, volunteer and social associations are the necessary step in the promotion of a responsible citizenship and guarantee for the democracy.

In Macedonia, the volunteers are largely included in the non-governmental organisations, so it can be said that the non-governmental sector itself is largely based on volunteering. According to some estimates (Stojkovski according to 2006: 195), the nongovernmental sector in Macedonia was identified as unrecognisible and inefficient. The main reasons for this were the lack of practice of work with volunteers who want to offer their precious time for the needs of the organisations. At the same time, the activation of the nongovernmental sector was often followed by insufficient experience by the activisms. Although the situation has gradually improved, still there is the fact that the volunteers most often ad hoc get involved in the works that asks for special preparation and certain skills ( 2006: 194). The permanent personnel in the organisations are often unpaid. Most often these are small teams of enthusiasts or people who hope to access small money in this way. In the non-governmental sector in Macedonia, around 30% are organisations that have some common issues with the social work. Therefore, most of the volunteers are included in the activities related to the social area. Although, according to some research, 10% of the citizens work in the civil society organisations voluntarily ( 2009: 34), most of whom (13,9 %) are volunteers in social and humanitarian organisations ( 2009: 32).

Volunteers and Social-Humanitarian Work

The voluntary work within the social-humanitarian area is a human activity where one participates permanently and in an organised manner in performing certain works in the area of social protection, which is based on humane motivations, volunteer work and nonprofessionalism. By promoting a constant trend of changes, the modern society has caused modifications of volunteering as a complex social phenomenon, in accordance with the existing social image of the society. The provision of social rights and services slowly moves from the primary carriers, i.e. the state and it grows into shared responsibility among various actors. The social work, first of all understood as social protection, is a system of measures, activities and policies for preventing and overcoming the basic social risks the citizens are exposed to in the course of their lives, to decrease poverty and social exclusion and strengthen its capacity for his own protection (Law on Social Protection, 2009). The principle of pluralisation in providing services in the area of social protection means that besides the state which is the basic carrier of social protection, the social protection should also include other carriers: private legal entities, individuals and citizen associations, i.e. the non-governmental sector. An association of citizens is an association where the citizens can freely associate in order to fulfil and protect their economic, social, cultural, scientific, expert, educational,

humanitarian, recreational and other rights and interests (Law on Citizen Associations and

Foundations, 2010). They can perform certain works in the social protection defined by the Law for Social Protection, if they are registered for fulfilling goals and tasks from the area of social protection (Law on Social Protection, 2009), while humanitarian and religious organisations are a way of voluntary association and organising citizens in order to promote humanitarian activities and achieving social progress in order to promote humanitarian activities an achieving social progress by voluntary work (Glossary of Terms from the Area of Social Protection, 2000). These organisations can provide certain services to persons that are socially at risk and need help, after previous agreement of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (Law on Social Protection, 2009). Within the Law on Social Protection, volunteer work is mentioned at the place where social benefits for protection of certain categories of people are mentioned (for example, the poor, the old, people with special needs), the former being a means for the programme for dealing with social issues Here, volunteer work is seen as work that is made by personal involvement and without any compensation. The philanthropy research in Macedonia, conducted by the CENTER for Institutional Development shows that around 1/3 of the people surveyed expressed a wish to volunteer. The research stated priority areas for volunteering: humanitarian assistance (27%), children and youth (25%), education and science (16%), social protection and development (13%), living environment improvement (11%), sport and recreation (10%), health (10%), culture (9%), local community development (8%), religion (7%), etc. In Macedonia, according to the research of the Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation ( 2009: 28), 27.4% of the population is included in some volunteer activities in the community. Compared to some previous statistical data, obtained from the research conducted by MCIC, the citizen participation in voluntary activities in Macedonia is on the rise. According to the previous data, in 2001 only 2% of the population stated that they were included in some volunteer activities, while in 2006 this figure noted a small increase of 6.2% ( 2006: 63).


. ( 2009: 28), 27, 4 % , , . ( 4 % 2009: 28), 27, , . , , . 2001 2 , % , 2006: 2006 . 6, 2 % ( , 63). 2001 2 % , 2006 6, 2 % ( 2006: 63).
. 1. Organisations (=84) Humanitarian

and Profile of Volunteers in Social

. 1. (=84) Socio-demographic characteristics of volunteers

33% 67% 67% 33%


1of volunteers according to sex (N=84) Graph 1. Division . Graph 1 shows to sex criterion. The the division of volunteers according data show a , 1 67 %, . 33division, i.e. female volunteers prevail, with 67% as significant difference sex %. with respect to , with 33%. opposed to the male volunteers 67 %, . 2. (=84) 33 %.
. 2. (=84)
4% 2% 6% 6% 41% 41% 8% 8% Up to 17 17 39% 39% 18-25 18-25 17 26-35 26-35 18-25 36-45 36-45 26-35 46-55 46-55 36-45 56-65 56-65 46-55 65 65 Over 56-65 65 4% 2%

. 2 , Graph 2 . shows the division of volunteers according to age, with several age groups. The of the volunteers , analysis . 2 age indicates an almost equal presence of volunteers or two age .
groups, persons aged 26 to 35 with 41% and persons aged 18 to 25 with 39%. There is a low presence of volunteers of the older age groups, with 6% of volunteers age 36 to 45, and 4%
62 of the volunteers aged 56 to 65, while the volunteers aged 46 to 55 are a bit more present 62

Graph 2. Division of volunteers according to age (N=84)

with 8%. The smallest number of volunteers is aged under 17 with 2%, while there are no volunteers above the age of 65.


, 26 35 18 , 41 % 25 39 %. , 6% 26 35 41 % 18 25 39 %. 36 , 6% 65 45 4 % 56 , 46 55 56 8 36 45 4 % 65%. 17 46 55 8 %. , 2 % , 17 2 % , 65 . . 3. 65 . (=84)
1% . 3. (=84) 3% 1% 3% 1% 12% 4% 4% 14% 14% 63% 63% 12% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% / Macedonian / / Albanian / / Turkish / / Roma / / Serb / / Bosniak / / Vlach / / Slovenian / / Croat /

Graph 3. Division of volunteers according to ethnic background (N=84)

63% 63 opposed to the representatives of The volunteers of Macedonian ethnicity are as %, 14%, 14 %, . Albanians are with the non-majority groups in Macedonia. The ethnic 63 %, and immediately 12 . % there . with 12%. 14 %, after them are Roma people % . (=84) . 4. 12
. 4. (=84) 2%
23% 23% 75% 75% 2% / / / Single / / Married / / Divorced / Widowed

. 5. (=84) married (with 23%).

, 4. Division of volunteers according marital ( 75 %), Graph status (N=84) to , ( 23 %).to the marital status of the ( 75 %), one can notice a significant With respect persons who volunteer, (=84) . 5. of the persons to the persons who are ( 23 %). prevalence who are not married (with 75%), compared

63 63


36% 36% 64% 64%


- Unemployed - Retired - - - -

Graph 5. Division of volunteers according to employment status (N=84)

of volunteers based on their employment status shows Division that the unemployed are significantly more, with 64% compared to the employed volunteers with , 64 %, who volunteer 36 %. / . 36%. There is no volunteer , 64 %, who is retired. (=84) . 6. 36 %. / .
. 6. (=84)
7% 27% 7% 63% 63% 27% 3% Uneducated Incomplete primary education
Primary education

High school 3%
Higher education , , Faculty, education , ,

, 63 %. 6. volunteers according to education Graph 27 % . 7 %, Division of level (N=84) , ,%. 3 %. 63 Volunteers with 27 the ones most included in high education are , the volunteer activities, ( % . . 7 %, ) with a significant presence of 63%. Then, there are the3 %. , school with 27%. volunteers with high . 7. (=84)36 ( master degree are , with . The volunteers who have a ) 7%, while the volunteers higher education
. 7. (=84)36 are 3%. There are no volunteers with primary education (finished or unfinished), or without
5% any education, nor volunteers with Ph.D. 12% 8% 8% 8% 8% 15% 15%



5% 12%


15% 8% 15% 21% 21%

- -

, 59 % . , 15 % , , 59 % . . , 15 % , ,

, ,

, 63 %. 27 % . 7 %, 3 %. , ( ) , .
. 7. (=84)36
8% 8% 15% Medicine Social sciences Social work Legal sciences 8% 15% 21% sciences Economic Humanities Technical sciences
Natural sciences - High school

5% 12% 8%

Graph 7. Division of volunteers according to area of education (N=84) , the volunteers have the education in15 % of More than half of 59 % . , the area social sciences, i.e. 59% 15% of the , had of social of the volunteers. volunteers stated that they education in the area . , sciences, and some areas of education have fallen under this broader area. Therefore, most , numerous are the volunteers who have education in the area of social work, who account for 36 21 % . 21% if the total number of , 15 % surveyed volunteers. Then, there are the volunteers with education form the area of with . of economy, with 8% and , 8 % legal sciences, 15% 64 from the area8 % presence the . the 12 % of humanistic among volunteers. 8% of the volunteers have education in area There are 12% volunteers 5% - . sciences and medicine. , with technical science education, and 5% 8 % .

with education in science. 8% of the volunteers have high school education. . 8. (=84)

Under the average Average

Above the average


. 9. from families with an economic above the average. (=84) volunteers status
9% 10% 7% 74%

Graph 8. Division of volunteers according to the economic status of their families (N=84) (85 %), Most of the from families with an average ( 15 %). (85%),a volunteers come economic status and . small number from families with an economic status under the average (15%). There are no

36 Some of the volunteers surveyed did not give their area of education.



(85 %), ( 15 %). .

. 9. (=84)
10% 7%


Village City Town 74% Suburb


, ( 74 %) . Out of the , 10 % most (74%) come from surveyed volunteers, cities. 10% are volunteers that , come % while 7 %come from villages. 9 from a suburb, and 9% of them come from towns, 7% . (1999).

Graph 9. Division of volunteers according to the environment they come from (N=84)

. 10. (=84)37




Volunteering Motives
This research states the different motives for volunteering in accordance with the most frequent motives for volunteering indicated by Vidanovi and Milosavljevi (1999).
Filling in ones free time Social recognition and respect 9% 1% 10%
Helping relatives or friends Giving contribution for development of the community/society / Obligation in the process of professional ( ) training (obligatory practical work) Continuing the professional activity Religious motives Part and obligation of the social status

1% 25%

16% 8% 1%




Employment possibility
Gaining practical experience Other: additional income :

Graph 10. Division of volunteers according to their motives for volunteering (N=84)37 Most frequent motives ( 25 %)for volunteer work are the possibility of obtaining practical (25%) and 22 %). experience the possibility (to give contribution for the development of the ( 16 %). community by (22%). Employment possibility is%), and society volunteering (10 one of the most , frequent reasons (16%). (8 %). volunteering, (9 %) There is also smaller presence of other reasons for such as helping relatives or friends (10%), filling in ones free time (9%) and continuing ones professional activity (8%). , . . , . 35- ( 82 %) . , , . . , , . , , . , Some of volunteers circled more than one answer the , 37 , . . . , ,


General Profile of Volunteers
Taking into consideration that the results of the research have shown a significant presence of women volunteers compared to men, one can conclude that there is so-called gender stereotyping of volunteering in the social area, which at the same time matches the gender stereotyping of the professional social work. Most of the volunteers are persons at the age up to 35 (82%) which shows a developed awareness about volunteering among the young. In this way, by including the persons in the volunteering activities since an early age, there can be solid conditions for creation of volunteering and its promotion. The older volunteers do not spend time in volunteering activities. These are persons who are permanently employed, have obligations in their households, to their children and families, etc. However, what is maybe crucial is that they do not have a lot of free time, and they very rarely use the free time that they have for volunteer work. When it comes to the ethnic background, more than half of the volunteers are Macedonians, and they are followed by Albanian and Roma volunteers, which actually significantly corresponds the presence of the members of the ethnic communities in the country. Volunteers are mainly persons who are not married at the moment they are volunteers. Volunteers are unemployed. Therefore, it is not surprising that the main motives for volunteering are related to personal needs and goals of the volunteers, i.e. the possibility of employment, as well as obtaining practical experience that would facilitate the way to further employment. The research did not record retired persons among the volunteers. This indicates that there is a lack of awareness in the volunteer work and the possibility to give contribution to other persons and the community, with the people who are unemployed and have more free time, and at the same time it is assumed that they have solved the issue of material existence. Volunteers are relatively educated persons. This indicates the existence of awareness for volunteering among the highly educated persons, who can also contribute to promoting volunteering via their academic status in the society. More than half of the volunteers have education in the area of social sciences, and the most present are the volunteers educated in the area of social work. The economic status of the volunteers is average and below the average. Not a single volunteer comes from a family with an economic status above the average. Her we also face the issue about the motivation of the volunteers. Stressing the financial moment, the volunteer work

has the role of a provider of the material compensation or the possibility to improve the economic status by employment.

Most of the volunteers come from urban environment, i.e. from the city. The smallest part of the volunteers comes from rural environments, which maybe indicates an insufficient awareness for inclusion in volunteering with people who come from rural environments.

Motives to Be Involved in Volunteering Activities

Predominant motives for involvement in volunteer work are obtaining practical experience, contribution to the development of the community and the possibility for employment in the organisation where the volunteer work is performed. This shows a high degree of presence of motives that stress the practical and utilitarian component of the volunteer work, which means that altruism is slowly neglected, while being the actual basis and a recognisable attribute for volunteering. If we summarise the results obtained on the volunteers in the social-humanitarian organisations, we could create a profile of volunteers that contains the following sociodemographic characteristics: the volunteer is the social-humanitarian organisations is a woman, aged 26-35, Macedonian, single, unemployed, with high education in the area of social sciences, coming from an urban environment, from a family with an average economic status. *** Volunteering in Macedonia is very often understood as free of charge work and it is experienced as more or less unwanted activity because of not fulfilling material gain. Volunteering as a promoter of social activism and development of the community and society is still a novelty in the Republic of Macedonia, and therefore the volunteers very often face not being recognised in the society for their work and labour. Volunteering in Macedonia is still an unplanned activity, which has slowly obtained some frames (although primarily legal) of functioning and organising. In order to establish volunteering as an organised activity and have its organised development, it is necessary to create long term strategies for promotion and sustainability of volunteering in the society and use direct approach and specific examples of volunteering in the community. To this aim, it is necessary for the citizens to get acquainted with the role of volunteering in the society and the contribution that is has, not only for promoting the wellbeing of the citizens, but also the personality of the volunteer him/herself.


Ambroz, M. Ovsenik, M. (2002) Neprofitni sektor na podrucju socijalnih usluga. Zenica, Dom stampe. CIVICUS, IAVE UNV. (2007) Volunteering and Social Activism: Pathways for participation in human development. [ 10 , 2010]. Ockenden, N. (.) (2007) Volunteering Works: Volunteering and Social Policy. The Institute for Volunteering Research and Volunteering England. rdonlyres/4D138A1D-022E-4570-9866-B8E3A4F86C20/0/Final_Volunteering_Works.pdf [ 10 , 2010]. Rochester, C. (2006) Making Sense of Volunteering: A Literature Review. Volunteering England. Making_sense_of_volunteering.pdf [ 10 , 2010]. Sherr E., M. (2008) Social Work with Volunteers. Chicago, Lyceum Books. United Nations Volunteers. (2005) Developing a Volunteering Infrastructure: A Guidance Note. [ 10 , 2010]. , . a, . (1999) . , . , . (2002) . , -94. . . (2009) . , . [ 1 , 2010]. . (2000) . .



. . (2006) , . , . [ 20 , 2010]. , . (2006) . , . , . (1999) . , . (. . 85/07, 161/08). (. . 52/10). (. . 79/09). , . (2008) : : . , . (2006). , . (2004) . : . 4. , . [ 10 , 2010]. (2010) (2010-2015) ( ). , .


Dejan Mievski is a graduated journalist at the Law Faculty, Journalism Department at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. In 2008/09 he stayed in the USA as party of the State Department programme for professional training of journalists and obtains certificates from the University or Oklahoma and VOA. He has worked as journalist in several media in Macedonia. At the moment he is a journalist at Veer newspaper. He has previously worked in Utrinski vesnik daily and TV Sky Net. Darko Buldioski is one of the founders of NewMediaMK Internet marketing agency and the non-profit CENTER for New Media. For the last six years he has intensively worked in the domain of the new media. He started as a blogger, and continued as a trainer and consultant. His involvement in Glocal Conference,, PMTips, 140. mk and many others have continuously motivated him to improve himself in what he does. Some of the brands that he has worked on are Seavus, KitKat,, IDEA, , GlobalMedia and others. After six years of blogging he was called as the first official blogger of Macedonia to LeWeb and World Blogging Forum and he was a member of the jury of the regional WebFest. Basically, most of all he tries to help the companies and organisations in the process of effective usage of new media. Boris Ristovski was born on 28 June 1983 in Skopje. He graduated from the Computer Science Institute at the Faculty of Mathematics in Skopje. Since 2006 he has worked as a system and web administrator at the Macedonian CENTER for International Cooperation. Marko Troanovski is a Programme Director of the Institute for Democracy and a lecturer in communication theories at the High School of Journalism and Public Relations. He graduated in political sciences and holds an MA in communications (his thesis was on media effects press influence on the development of critical opinion). He was educated in the Netherlands, the USA and Macedonia. Areas of academic and professional interest: media, political communications and political culture.

Notes on the Authors


Mia Popovik works as a researcher at the Institute for Democracy (IDSCS) in Skopje. He obtained his MA at the University College London at the programme for identity, culture and power at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies. His academic and research interests are on the national identities in South East Europe and their discursive construction. In his works he uses a politicological, sociological and anthropological approach. Mio Dokmanovik, PhD, is a professor at the Law Faculty at St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. He has a ten year long experience in the non-governmental sector. He worked as a representative of the World University Service Austria in Macedonia, as well as in a number of projects financed by the European Commission (TEMPUS, FP7), USAID, Austrian Development Cooperation and the Open Society Institute. Since 2008 he has been a president of the Institute for Strategic Research and Education ( mk). Sanja Gievska is a graduated economist in the area of e-business from the Faculty of Economy in Skopje and she is a graduate student in monetary economy, finance and banking at the same faculty. She is a project coordinator and coordinator of EVS volunteers for the Mladiinfo ( Bojana Jovanovska was born in 1985 in Skopje. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, at the Institute of Social Work and Social Policy in 2008 at the group of social work as the best student in her generation. In 2011 she became a Master in Social Policy at the Institute of Social Work and Social Policy, where she has worked as a junior assistant since 2008. She is also a graduate student in gender studies at the Euro Balkan Institute for Social and Humanistic Research in Skopje. She is an author of several papers in the area of social protection, plural social work and volunteer work.