The Czech Republic is a relatively new independent state in central Europe. It was
formerly the independent republic of Czechoslovakia, created in 1918 from previously
Austria-Hungary controlled Bohemia, Moldova and Slovakia. After World War 2, the
country fell under the political influence of the USSR until the collapse of the Soviet
Union in 1989 when Czechoslovakia regained its political independence . Then, in 1993,
the country split into the independent democratic states of the Czech and Slovak
The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post Communist
states of Central Europe. Rapid economic growth and low interest rates led to an
expansion of domestic demand and a steady rise in welfare. In 2005, the inflation rate
stood at a mere 1.3% while the unemployment rate hovered above 10%.
Non profit sector in the Czech Republic
Following the 1989 regime change, a vibrant and vocal civil sector developed.
According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), there
were more than 55,000 registered NGOs in the Czech Republic with well defined
missions through a wide range of activities in 2005. Of 27 countries surveyed the Czech
Republic ranked fifth for overall sustainability of the civil sector and best for service
A network of NGO information centres exist, and are mostly concentrated in Prague and a handful of other
large cities. They provide information, organise training programmes and offer legal and
An enabling environment for NGOs is generally in place.
Major firms – often multinationals – mainly support visible youth or recreational
activities, more so than problems of marginalized groups. Nevertheless some
Czech NGOs have succeeded in diversifying their funding sources and decreasing
dependency on any single donor, not least by operating social enterprises to self finance
the organisations activities.