Radiography of civil society in Chile

January 10, 2020
Communications Colunga Foundation

Civil society is a social and political actor that has a fundamental role in building the country we want. That is why we highlight the data related to the third sector in Chile.

What do we understand by civil society? They are those private, autonomous, voluntary and non-profit entities. Foundations and corporations, Chilean firefighters, neighborhood boards, sports clubs, organizations that defend specific rights or causes, and volunteer groups fall into this category.

According to project information Society in Action, initiative of the Center of Public Policies UC and Chile + Today, supported by Fundación Colunga, currently There are 234,500 civil society organizations in Chile. The thematic areas to which they are evoked are: social development and housing (32.1%); culture and recreation (31.6%); education and research (13.3%); trade associations and professional associations (11.5%); social services (5.4%); health (1.4%); defense of rights and politics (2.4%); environment (0.9%) and others (1.4%).

Colunga dialogues - civil society

Civil Society Contribution

The same project revealed that civil society organizations generate 310,000 total jobs in equivalent full-time jobs (paid + voluntary). This is equivalent to 3.7% of the country's workforce. And in terms of expenses, they represent 2.1% of Chile's GDP.

His most outstanding contributions are the following: The State is anticipated in the solution and visibility of topics of public interest; focus their actions on groups in a situation of greater vulnerability; they collaborate with the State and complement their work on various topics; develop innovative, relevant and easily adaptable actions; mobilize resources from various sources to allocate them towards the common good; they contribute with efforts to generate changes at the cultural and public policy levels.

Colunga dialogues - civil society

The recent National Volunteer and Solidarity Survey 2019 Transcending Foundation and Criteria, highlights that 88% believe that organized civil society must be part of the dialogue and articulation to respond to social demands, because they are present in the territory and understand the needs of the people, are entities that best represent citizens and have greater credibility.

And as soon as the “social outbreak” occurred, the #NewSocialPact, a network of networks, where more than 600 Chilean civil society organizations, working to build a more just, democratic and sustainable country, made available to the country their ability to articulate trust and participation. An initiative of great value to connect communities with the changes that Chile needs.

Photo: New Social Pact Meeting in Colunga

What are the challenges?

According to the last book published by Society in Action, "A new deal for civil society organizations. Challenges and proposals "There are two thematic axes that are relevant to move towards a new conception of civil society organizations: 1) Promote public trust and faith in civil society organizations through more and better information and 2) Improve the process of transfer of resources from the State to organizations. Only in this way will it be possible to foster a more horizontal relationship with the State and achieve greater collaboration on issues of public interest.

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