The Impact of the NGO Sector and Roma/Gypsy Organisations on Bulgarian Social Policy-making 1989–1997
KATHERINE PINNOCK a11 a1 School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Wolverhampton.
This paper, drawing on fieldwork carried out in Bulgaria in 1997, examines
the impact of Roma/Gypsies and the NGO sector on Bulgarian social policy-making
between 1989 and 1997. NGOs emerged during this period as
important actors in the field of social policy. They were seen as agents of
civil society and as having scope to fill in gaps left by inadequate state
welfare. However, a number of problems have also been identified, in
terms of limited scope for participation and for long-term development.
The paper explores both outside and inside forces that shaped NGO development
and in turn social policy-making in Bulgaria in the period
1989–97. The case study of a Roma/Gypsy led NGO reveals this interplay
of forces and shows how international, national and local social policy
frameworks are both fundamental to and shaped by such NGO activities.
1Acknowledgements: I especially wish to thank all those NGO workers in Bulgaria whom I interviewed
as part of the fieldwork as well as Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov for their on-going support.
I would also like to thank Mike Haynes for giving feedback on early drafts of the paper. I am especially
grateful to Dr Luc Bonenfant for his invaluable support as always.