Etibar is an Expert on International Affairs at the Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan – a key state grant making body for the NGO sector reporting directly to the President of Azerbaijan. The NGO Council was established by decree of the President and has the following aims, among others:
• To strengthen civil society institutions and to work to achieve their sustainable development
• To encourage cooperation between the NGO sector and the government
• To involve national NGOs in the resolving of social problems
The Council provides NGOs with numerous forms of state support in order to meet these aims. This includes the provision of training materials, organizing conferences and providing funding for projects. Since its establishment in 2007, the NGO Council has delivered support to hundreds of NGOs in Azerbaijan providing nearly 10 million US dollars for civil society development.
Despite this investment and support, Etibar describes the NGO sector as facing numerous problems such as a low level of sustainability and transparency and a lack of cooperation between NGOs and other sectors. Etibar hopes to use his Fellowship experience to tackle these challenges and to improve the efficiency of the NGO sector. He particularly wants to use his time in the UK to learn about the social enterprise model for running NGOs.
He has previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme and the International Eurasia Press Fund. He is a graduate of the Azerbaijan State Economic University.