Democratisation processes in society have stirred up the private as well as the third sector. Civil society in Azerbaijan is in the first stages of development. The Ministry of Justice has registered more than 2 700 non-governmental organisations. There are also many unregistered organisations, although few of them can be described as really active. Most of NGOs suffer from a shortage of funds, organisational skills, research potential and members. Taking all of this into account, the President of the Republic signed, on 27 July 2007, the Decree on adoption of “The Concept on state support to the non-governmental organisations of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. The Council on State Support to NGOs was established under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which has already announced its first competition, resulting in grants to 191 NGOs, totalling 1 200 000 AZN. The Council has also started recently the preparatory work for publication of an information book on “Azerbaijani NGOs”.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism established in its Central Apparatus a Division on work with NGO’s in order to support additionally and coordinate NGO’s functioning in sphere of culture and tourism.