Selected statistical characteristic of civic life in Belarus

 

Any life, social life including, approves itself with any actions. Assimilation, dissimilation and reproduction are the signs of one’s activity. In its turn, any activity can be decomposed by more or less complicated transactions. The most general kinds of transactions for NGO-type goal-seeking system are the foundation and liquidation. Such fundamental occurrences are registered at the Ministry of Justice. Let’s examine data in Table 1 below, which shows the process dynamics.
 
The number of political parties remained unchanged during the entire observation period. This statement is illustrated by the following fact: abmodality of grassroots organizations of 15 registered political parties remains within 1% range during three years. It ought to be noted that relatively large number of political parties is compensated by scantiness of their sizes and simplicity of their structures. On average, a party has one party cell per two administration regions. Only 26 new organizational structures were registered during three years.
 
The same concerns the trade unions. The number of trade union grassroots structures remains unchanged as to the gainfully employed population. Growth of organizational structures of the existing trade unions fluctuates within the calculation error, and is predominantly connected with spontaneous splitting or amalgamation of enterprises by administrative order.
 
On retention of statistically stable number of registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs), it bears mentioning that sizeable growth of their organizational structures occurred in 2010 (from 31636 as of the end of 2009 to 35634 as of the respective date in 2010, (which fact is connected with growth of activity of the White Russia NGO, the project initiated and supported by the state.
 
Table 1
Data on registration and number of NGOs according to the Ministry of Justice, Republic of Belarus
 

 
As of the end of 2009
As of the end of 2010
For 9 months of 2011
newly established
total
newly established
total
newly established
total
Political Parties
Organizational structures of PP, incl.:
regional
district and city/town
grassroots  
 
18
15
994
 
8
15
976
 
15
981
Trade Unions
Organizational structures of TU, incl.:
regional
district and city/town
grassroots 
 
748
35
22885
 
608
35
22790
1
36
22905
Non-Governmental Organizations, incl.:
International
Republican
local
94
3
16
75
2225
226
667
1332
134
5
15
114
2325
231
675
1419
85
1
7
77
2380
229
679
1472
Organizational structures of NGOs, incl.:
Regional
District/city
others
5228
31636
4134
35634
 
36547
Unions and Associations of NGOs
 
22
 
25
 
27
Foundations, including:
International
Republican
Local
8
1
84
9
4
71
14
1
 
13
99
10
4
85
15
1
1
13
113
10
5
98

 
Source: “United Way” Belarusian National NGO, 2012
 
At the same time, stable quantity of numerous organizational structures, even taking account of existence of quasi-NGOs, evidences of sufficient potential of non-political activity in Belarus. The cohort of civic activists exceeds the cohort of activists of political parties and movement by 40 times as a minimum.
 
Table 2
Belarusian NGOs by regions and lines of activities (according to the Database of www.ngo.by portal as of October 2011)
 

Lines of activities
Minsk
Brest
Grodno
Gomel
Vitebsk
Mogilev
Belarus
1. Sports, recreation, tourism
375
59
46
50
71
61
662
2. Social welfare and rehabilitation
359
48
40
76
48
53
624
3. Charitable
257
31
20
89
32
40
509
4. Education, enlightenment, training
295
29
32
34
43
30
463
5. Professional
258
28
24
24
23
23
408
6. Arts, culture
201
29
42
17
39
21
349
7. Youth’s, children’s
150
13
13
26
22
15
239
8. Science
158
10
16
16
14
9
223
9. Organizations of people with disabilities
101
18
14
30
23
20
206
10. Hobby, special interests
94
20
19
21
5
22
181
Total for first 10 lines
2248
285
266
383
320
294
3864
Total for last 18 lines
814
118
127
162
125
120
1467
Total for considered 28 lines
3062
403
393
545
445
414
5331

 
Source: Calculation based on data submitted by “United Way” Belarusian National NGO,
 
Table 2 shows (on the basis of data placed at www.ngo.by the state of social movement by regions and lines of activities. Share of Minsk and Minsk region (where the main satellite towns are situated) in the top ten lines of activities makes 58%.
 
Such proportion holds true for the entire population estimation. Statistically significant upward deviation is observed in the fields of sports, recreation and tourism, and also in education and training in Vitebsk region, influenced by the old well-developed education infrastructure in Vitebsk and Polotsk; charity and dealing with disabled people in Gomel region, which fact is explained by the consequences of Chernobyl accident. Organizations engaged in arts and culture are distinctive for Grodno region.
 
As for the remaining fields, all regions demonstrate insufficient or random fluctuations of NGO quantity by lines of activities.
 
Structure of dominating lines of social activities was formed as early as at the time of the USSR and suffered no substantial changes during past twenty years. Ratio of NGOs initiated by the government authorities or ideological control bodies to NGOs which were established without any external influence also remains practically unchanged.
 
With such state of things, the main trend in the development of social activity is most vividly demonstrated by its coverage in the press (Table 3).
 
Table 3
Quantity of articles on activities of non-governmental organizations in the Belarusian Newspapers
 

 
2009
2010
2011 (as of 20.12.11)
Total
Narodnaya Gazeta
594
300
96
990
Respublika
486
335
143
964
Zvezda
396
260
138
794
Sovetskaya Belorussia
313
107
32
452
Nasha Niva
31
268
86
385
Vecherny Minsk
35
277
19
331
Narodnaya Volya
23
105
13
141
Belarusy I Rynok
44
52
17
113
Belgazeta
23
35
24
82
Gomelskaya Pravda
 
46
10
56
Svobodnye Novosti
31
14
4
49
Minskaya Pravda
 
26
18
44
Zarya
 
13
8
21
Grodzenskaya Pravda
 
9
8
17

 
Source: United Way “United Way” Belarusian National NGO, 2012
 
Real-time data acquired by employees of United Way BRNGO are based on monitoring of two groups – state-owned and non-state – of newspapers. Such groups are very much different from each other by their average week cumulative circulation. The state-owned press lists approximately 4 million copies for sale and by subscription, non-state – by 100 times less.
 
Substantial difference between the number of readers, and even larger break off in assessment f current events in this country and abroad did not cancel a similar trend in publication of information on NGOs, i.e. reduction thereof, except that the non-state press gave certain gross on the threshold of the elections and reduction thereafter up to the level of 2009. The state-owned mass media cover this field almost by 4 times less than in 2009.
 
Let’s now turn to the Internet resources.
 
Table 4
Territorial origin and main purposes of www.ngo.by portal visitors®
 

Cities/ towns of Belarus
Countries*
Most visited portal sections
Minsk
Russia
News
Gomel
Ukraine
Programs/ application calls/ training
Bobruisk
USA
Databases
Vitebsk
Poland
Non-profit law
Grodno
Lithuania
Foundations

* Except for Belarus
 
Source: Calculation based on data submitted by “United Way” Belarusian National NGO
 
Validity and value of data on the situation related to civil activity, obtained by UWB employees, are also supported with data shown in Table 4. As evident from its contents, data on national visitors of the specialized portal agrees – by its territorial distribution, with what is shown in Table 2, and by the fields of interest – with the data obtained from the Ministry of Justice (Table 1).
 
In conclusion it ought to be noted, that origin of the main group of foreign visitors agrees, except for Germany, with the rating of main partners of Belarus in foreign economic activity.
 
Thus, the analyzed data set gives ground to say that:
·          a feebly marked trend of public activity relaxation is observed in Belarus;
·          Minsk and large cities remain the centers of activities;
·          regional specificity is conditioned with long-term factors formed as early as at times of the USSR;
·          structure of people’s interests lies in the field close to their main professional activities.
 
8 February 2012