Friday, 21 December 2007

TRIALOG study on development cooperation in Estonia

A TRIALOG study, written by Annika Kool, on the state of development cooperation in Estonia has been published.

The study speaks of the Estonian Official Development Assistance (ODA) as well as of NGO activity in international development and the relation between the two.

The ODA chapter describes the history of adopting development cooperation policies and the funds given by the government. Descriptions of bilateral activities of ODA and their relation with the NGOs are also given.

The part on NGOs covers the history of NGO engagement in development cooperation. One can learn about the beginnings of the NGDO platform as well as about a number of NGOs in Estonia that are active in development cooperation. A description of NGO projects in developing countries is given.

The study addresses the development education and awareness raising (DE/AR) activities conducted by NGOs, sometimes in cooperation with the government. It also features the presence of Fair Trade in Estonia and its significant increase during the last years.

Download the TRIALOG Country Study on Estonia from the following link:

Country studies on Lithuania and Latvia will be available soon as well.

Presidency Fund: New Call open! Romanian and Bulgarian NGOs also eligible!

The Presidency Fund is pleased to announce its Fifth and Final Call for Proposals. Please click on the following link to vist the website for details of this Call:

Please note that this call is open for participation of all 12 new EU member states! For the first time Romanian and Bulgarian NGDOs are eligible to participate in this Call as well.

Deadline for the preliminary phase is 15 January 2008.

Information provided by Samantha Saldanha, Presidency Fund,

EU assesses stabilisation and association process in Western Balkans

The External Relations Council, made up of the foreign ministers of EU member states, adopted conclusions on the future of the Western Balkans on 10 December.

The Council’s conclusions reaffirm that ‘the future of the Western Balkans lies in the European Union’ and reconfirm ‘continued support to the region’s course towards the EU.’ They also note that the EU’s engagement in the region, through the Stabilisation and Association process, has made ‘a significant contribution’ to recent progress. According to the Council, these achievements now need ‘to be built on and made irreversible.’

The challenges that countries in the Western Balkans still face include those related to state-building, the rule of law, reconciliation, administrative and judicial reform, and the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Albania has made progress, but the major challenges that still remain relate to good governance and the rule of law, and fighting corruption and organised crime in particular.

Albania and the EU have signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), and its effective implementation is essential for further progress.

The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has also developed, and a special mention is made of police reform. Concern is expressed however about the political situation, and the slowdown in reforms over the past year.

There are four conditions that still have to be met, including full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal with Yugoslavia, before an SAA can be signed, but the Council has ‘reaffirmed its readiness’ to sign such an agreement.

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, some progress has been achieved, but internal political tensions have delayed reforms and diverted political institutions from EU integration priorities. Council conclusions encourage ‘all political parties to deepen political dialogue and cooperation, including on interethnic relations, in order to move ahead in the accession process.’ It also called for an acceleration of the pace of reforms in key areas.

Montenegro has made progress in several areas, including adopting a Constitution and establishing a legal framework and institutions since independence. The conclusions reiterate the need ‘to implement the new Constitution in line with European standards and to continue efforts in broadening consensus on basic features of state building.

Serbia is another country where the signing of an SAA depends on full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal. The Council also called for further reform efforts.

The Council ‘stressed the need for major efforts to strengthen the rule of law, anti-corruption policy and the fight against organised crime’ in Serbia/Kosovo as well as calling for enhanced dialogue between the communities.

Council Conclusions, full text:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG Policy Officer

CARDET hosts event on Lobbying and Advocacy for Cyprus NGOs

Advocacy is about influencing the social, economic and political environment that impacts on disadvantaged people. It is about effecting changes in policy and/or practice of institutions.

On November 23, 2007 CARDET ( with its partners (MC-MED & CFPA) organized a conference and a workshop with the title Advocacy for Change: The Role of Civil Society. The activities focused on building capacity among NGOs to influence development policy and to engage in dialogue with policy and decision makers. The event gave participants practical tips in designing and implementing an effective advocacy strategy. The keynote speaker was Mikaela Gavas, Policy Advisor on EU development policy for the UK Government's Department for International Development.

The event was successfully attended by more than 50 participants representing NGOs, academic institutions, government officials, funding agencies, and the general public.

Participants received practical guidelines on how to use advocacy techniques to pursue their objectives. The event was supported by the Presidency Fund and the United Nations Development Program, Action for Cooperation and Trust.

The notes from the conference are available online at:

Information provided by Charalambos Vrasidas, CARDET,

June 22-29, 2008: Development Education Summer School; Netherlands

“Getting eradication of global poverty and social inclusion in the political agenda through development education, campaigning advocacy”

Utrecht will host from June 22 to June 29 the DEEEP/CONCORD Summer School on Development Education (DESS 2008)! The aim of this year DESS is to foster active and effective engagement of non governmental and civil society organisations working on eradication of global poverty and for social inclusion in educational, advocacy and campaigning work around political and electoral processes.

For the first time, participants will be divided into two groups, beginners (with less than a year of experience) and advanced (2 years experience), in order to give the opportunity to all to benefit from the one week long learning process.

3 working groups have been established, namely
1- How to involve political parties and citizens to put eradication of global poverty and social inclusion on the political agenda at local level,
2- how to involve political parties and citizens to put eradication of global poverty and social inclusion on the political agenda at national level and influence national government’s position in international organisations,
3- Getting eradication of global poverty and social inclusion on the political agenda at European and regional level. Each working group will have the two experience level.

Furthermore, some 5 thematic sessions- each of about 120 minutes- have been thought: participants will be able to follow 3 different thematic sessions, on three different evenings.
A- role of migrant organisations and diasporas in getting eradication of global poverty and social inclusion on the political agenda
B- how to approach political parties , elaborate political demands and monitor politicians work
C- shifting the paradigm: young people from target groups to partners of political campaigns and education activities
D- EU decision making process on Development: role of the European Institutions, National and local governments
E- How to effectively address and engage different segments of citizens and politicians sharing common norms and values.
F- Democratic governance and the millennium development goals> holding governments accountable.

After the experience from the previous DESS, the market place session is going to be anticipated to the first days of the week, so to facilitate the “getting to know each other” process. An audiovisual tool exhibition is also foreseen, as well as a fundraising session.

Participants are welcome to apply to their national platform by January 15th at the latest. DEEEP is expecting around 100 participants to take part in this week long learning process.

For more information, download the DESS 2008 presentation and application form:

Or contact Angelo Caserta:, and Rina Froklage:

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP,

CONCORD is looking for an Aid Watch Project Coordinator

CONCORD is looking for an "Aid Watch Project Coordinator" (renewable 6 month contract). The position is based in Brussels.

This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work for a ground-breaking pan-European project to assess European Aid. The Aid Watch Project Coordinator will play a key role in planning and delivering the advocacy, campaigning, media and capacity building work of Aid Watch. This will mean working effectively with the different groups in charge of implementing the main strands of the Aid Watch initiative, namely: .
- European Aid Report 2008 group
- EU Aid Effectiveness group
- Aid Watch Advocacy group

Further details about the main tasks and responsibilities and employment conditions are available at:

Download the Application form from:

Please send the completed application form, in English only, (CVs will not be accepted), by e-mail to:

Closing date: 31st December 2007
Interview dates: 7th & 8th January 2008
Aimed start date: Immediately

Information provided by CONCORD

January 24, 2008: EU budget - What role for NGOs? Brussels

The EU Civil Society Contact Group (CSCG) is inviting to the CSCG conference "Building a value based EU budget for the future - What role for NGOs?" to take place on January 24 2008 in Brussels.

European values and policy priorities need to be better reflected in the EU budget. The EU budget for a long time has been the result of negotiations between national interests. It is time for the EU budget to become a real European budget. The ongoing EU Budget review (a consultation is running until April 15 2008) is meant to generate debate about the vision for the EU and how it relates to the budget.

The EU Civil Society Contact Group’s conference on January 24 wants to stimulate the debate among NGOs by asking
- Which priorities for the EU and how to reflect them in the EU budget?
- How can NGOs work in solidarity to influence the future EU Budget?

In the morning session NGOs will have the opportunity to learn more about the EU budget (priorities, management, resources, consultation) and how NGOs can engage in budget work. Please note that the number of participants for the morning session is limited to 25. Please register quickly. The afternoon conference offers a framework for broader political discussions.

Turn to the following website to download the programme and registration form as well as a briefing on the EU budget review consultation:
Please register before January 15, 2008.

For further questions please contact CSCG coordinator Regula Heggli at:

The EU Civil Society Contact Group (CSCG) brings together eight large European NGO platforms in the following fields: culture (EFAH), development (CONCORD), environment (Green 10), human rights (HRDN), lifelong learning (EUCIS), public health (EPHA), social (Social Platform) and women (EWL). Together they work to develop the dialogue between civil society organisations and the EU institutions as an essential part of strengthening participatory democracy.

Update on the activities of FOND

November and early December 2007 counted three important dates for the Romanian NGDO platform FOND.

The first one was the meeting of the CONCORD working group EPAN in Romania, at Sinaia resort on the 12-13th, organized in partnership with TRIALOG. Read more about the meeting on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood at:

The second one was the European Development Days, 7-9th November, in Lisbon, where the Romanian MFA, in partnership with FOND was invited to participate. The Romanian stand in the Development Village at the Lisbon International Fair had as main objective to show throughout a photo exhibition and printed materials, its transition from a beneficiary state to a donor state. Moreover it provided information on the humanitarian aid and cross-border cooperation projects implemented so far in developing countries by the Romanian NGOs, providing also the full description of the national development cooperation strategy. The Romanian delegation was formed of representatives from the civil society, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affaires, academics and journalists. Romania was represented by Petre Roman, former Prime Minister, in Le club de Madrid, an organization that promotes the strengthening of democracy worldwide, formed by former heads of state and governments, and that was present at the event.

Another important date for the platform was the beginning of a series of meetings with parliamentarians or Euro-parliamentarians, newly elected and ready to focus on the European agenda in collaboration with the Romanian civil society that is trying to put forward the development cooperation issues.

Visit the FOND website for more information:

Information provided by: Claudia Iatan, National Platform Coordinator, FOND, Romania

Maltese NGO active in Sri Lanka: Tsunami Relief Project

During the past two years the Maltese NGO Koperattiva Kummerc Gust (KKG) has been working on the Tsunami Relief Project which it embarked on early in 2005. Two days after the disaster a campaign was launched on national television to raise money for those effected by the disaster. Money collected from the event was then passed on to the government to distribute it amongst organizations and individuals who wanted to help the effected.

The cooperative, through Fair Trade contacts it has in Sri Lanka, managed to secure Lm31,950 (around 75,000 EUR) to help one Fair Trade organization in Sri Lanka re-build the lives of those effected by the disaster. Many lost their livelihood after the disaster and creating secure and sustainable jobs was a top priority for the country. With co-funding from Malta the cooperative Kummerc Gust was able to help create a textile factory which has so far employed 40 people in Fair Trade conditions who were effected by the tsunami. The factory (run in Fair Trade standards) was launched in 2006 and is continuously expanding its sales and workforce. The team managing the factory aims that they will have 100 tsunami effected full time employees working by the end of the year 2007 .

In August-September 2007, Lana Turner and Celia Attard (two volunteers from KKG) visited the factory in Sri Lanka to inspect and ensure that the project has been setup as described in the project application and that the factory is as fruitful and as described on paper. Below is a short excerpt from Lana and Celia's report of their trip.

"We visited three Fair Trade production centers whilst we were there. First we visited Gospel House Woodbrix – a production plant which produces toys and other wooden artifacts. The employees work under Fair Trade conditions and we were impressed by the safety measures taken at this plant to protect their members from certain health hazards. Next organization we visited was the Siyath Foundation, another production center which produces twine, rope and carpets. Unlike Gospel House most of the workers here were women and though the work seemed tough to do they all seemed to enjoy doing it and with such skill. Siyath Foundation also engages in political lobbying, for example organizing manifestations against domestic violence and lobby for the materialization of the 8 Millenium Development Goals.

As part of this project with Gospel House, apart from the sewing room and cutting room they were opening a training centre. They said that another 200 women, all tsunami victims, were willing to enroll to undergo training which would enable them to find work. Also on the same factory grounds they built a Montessori kindergarten school. The intention initially had been to keep the workers children close by but as most of the employees were young women with no children yet they were thinking of opening the school for women within the community."

For more info about this KKG project, please visit

Information provided by Lana Turner and Celia Attard

Seminar called for attention for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

In the framework of the forthcoming Slovenian EU presidency (first half of 2008), the seminar “Impact of crises and conflict on sexual and reproductive health and rights; the EU is to act!” was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia on November 22, 2007.

Participants from the Balkan countries made clear, attention for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) had been severely neglected during the war, post-conflict and in the current democratisation process. Despite an enormous rise in gender based violence and high risk sexual behaviour during and post crises and conflict, SRHR issues in these high risk areas are neglected all over the world. Combined with the absence of basic health services and reproductive health supplies this leads to an increase of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, difficult pregnancies and high risk deliveries, transmissions of STIs and HIV&AIDS and psychological problems in such situations.

Participants made clear to the Slovenian presidency of the EU what the priorities should be; in short the main points in humanitarian aid, post conflict and in the development phase:

- Make SRH a priority; Provide SRH services and reproductive health supplies; and Ensure sufficient funding
- DG ECHO and its partners, other EU funding mechanisms and the Member States should follow up and act along internationally agreed guidelines and standards (MISP, SPHERE, Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Settings, gender equality and empowerment);
- Prepare an action plan on basis of the Humanitarian Aid Consensus and include SRH services;
- Make progress in combating violence an indicator in the EC assessment of the governance of third countries (the so-called governance profile).

Please read the full text and all recommendations on

This seminar was organised by Slovene Philanthropy, Association for Promotion of Voluntary Work; IPPF European Network and World Population Foundation (WPF) (both members of Countdown 2015 Europe) in collaboration with SLOGA (Slovene platform of non-governmental development organisations) and Division for International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information you can contact Yvonne Bogaarts of WPF at , or Dunja Obersnel Kveder of Slovene Philanthropy at

Information provided by Yvonne Bogaarts, WPF

Portuguese presidency: Civil society recommendations for Europe-Africa relations

The Portuguese presidency over the EU comes to an end, and its zenith was the EU-Africa summit held in Lisbon from the 7th to the 9th of December.

Just before the summit of the European and African Heads of State and Government, a Civil Society forum took place in Lisbon from the 15th to the 17th of November. Over 100 civil society representatives from Europe and Africa came to express the shared vision of partnership of the two continents. The priorities for the Portuguese presidency that the Portuguese NGDO platform chose in this context were addressed at the Civil Society Forum – Trade & Development, Governance, Migration & Development, Cooperation & Partnership.

As the final outcome of the Forum came a proactive political declaration that concerned the relations between Africa and Europe and this declaration was presented and received with great success at the EU-Africa summit on the 9th of December.

The declaration was especially well received at the African side and Alpha Konare, the Chair of the African Union Commission quoted it and praised the role civil society played at the summit. The lack of power equilibrium and the negative impact of Economic Partnership agreements, both issues addressed in the Declaration, were emphasised by the African delegates.

For more information and further reading, turn to the following websites/documents:

Article on the website of the Portuguese NGDO presidency project:
Declaration of the Civil Society Forum:
The Manifesto of the Portuguese NGDO presidency project:
Article on the Civil Society Forum in the November CONCORD Flash:

Information provided by Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern

Polish ODA meeting in November

The Polish national platform of development NGOs, the Zagranica group, teamed up with the Polish Green Network in November, to bring together key players and discuss development policy in the region.

The cross-sectoral meeting, Development Assistance – our common responsibility, gathered key players in the four Visegrad countries (V4: the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) and covered three main themes.

Development Policy Coherence
The Zagranica group has just published a report on Polish development policy (see link below), with a focus on coherence, so this is a very relevant topic. A representative of the Polish MFA talked about how coherence relates to internal policy just as much as donor-recipient coherence, and noted how priorities can have an effect (such as security concerns being valued more highly than development issues). A Polish Green Network representative talked about the importance of development being sustainable, as well as interconnections between issues being recognised. The discussion that followed highlighted issues of incoherence in several countries. The Czech Republic for example has 9 ministries involved in ODA, and coordination between donors is variable.

The V4 countries have many overlapping priorities. A second representative from the Polish MFA described how priorities are set, taking into consideration commitments Poland has signed up to, and the capacity Polish actors have on the ground. The Polish institutional view was complemented by a representative from the Czech MFA, who informed participants that a new development agency would be created in 2008. There is a strong NGO community in the Czech Republic as MFA cofinancing complements that from the EU and funding for NGOs is therefore almost guaranteed. A representative from the Slovak Agency of Development Cooperation gave an overview of the situation in Slovakia, where the national platform is part of a group that is writing the new law. She talked about the need for ODA to be made attractive to the media and general public.

These viewpoints were added to by representatives of Slovak and Hungarian NGOs, where concerns included priorities focused on infrastructure and the dominance of business partners in Slovakia. The discussion that followed covered the difficulty of the situation faced by a number of NMS, where economic growth has meant that the ODA percentage commitments countries agreed to, now refer to larger sums of money, and are increasingly difficult to meet.

Development Policy 2007-2013
The third section of the meeting started with presentations from the Global Development Research Group, and representatives from beneficiary countries – the West Ukrainian Centre ‘Women’s Perspectives’ and the development of small towns of Tajikistan ‘Vatanam’. The research group would like to bring a programme-based approach to Poland, instead of the current project-based approach. The two beneficiaries underlined the importance of European ODA and noted that sharing expertise could be just as valuable as financial aid.
The discussion that followed focused on the issue of treating beneficiaries as partners rather than subordinates.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG Policy Officer

Download the report on Polish development policy, published by the Zagranica group:

More information:
The Zagranica Group:
The Polish Green Network:

New NGO portal of platforms all over the world

In 2005, national NGO platforms in Brazil, Chile, India, France and Senegal decided to join together to reinforce the position of their platforms. At that point, France was already part of the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development CONCORD, but since coming together, the platforms have worked to create regional structures in Latin America, and have launched the creation of similar structures in Africa and Asia.

One initiative that has come from this cooperation is a portal of National NGO Platforms, which gives access to information about platforms all over the world.

By clicking on a section of the world map on the welcome page, visitors to the portal are taken to a more detailed map of that continent. It is then possible to explore the continent, and the name of each platform is given by hovering over the map with the mouse. After clicking on a particular country, visitors are taken to a page that is divided into two– a presentation of the platform, and more detailed information of that platform’s history, and experiences. Contact details are also provided for platform coordinators.

The portal is a very exciting tool, which should continue to evolve as more information is added, helping to bring platforms across continents, and around the world, closer together.

More information is available on the portal itself:

Get involved! If you see that information for your platform is missing, contribute to the website and fill the gaps. Contributions to the website can also be directed to

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG Policy Officer

GLEN - Moderation and Facilitation Seminar in Latvia

At the beginning of November GLEN (Global Education Network of Young Europeans) organized a (TRIALOG-co-financed) seminar in Raiskums, Latvia, where 25 participants from seven countries were invited to work on their moderation and facilitation skills. The seminar was carried out by the Polish-German trainers tandem Soete Klien and Kasia Szeniawska.

One of the first tasks was to clarify the differences in-between facilitation, moderation, leading and teaching for everybody. Afterwards, topics such as group process and visualization were discussed, tried out and analyzed. During the focus groups one could get hints of how to work longtime with a group of activists, more detailed information about moderation or e-learning as a facilitation tool in global education. Moreover, after one session the group was taken “backstage” by the facilitators and talked about how the just finished session was planned. To get even more experience in this field one entire bloc was dedicated to “seminar planning”.

In the end, the floor was given to the participants. In small groups from two up to four people a short exercise was prepared and facilitated for the whole group. The “safe learning space” could especially during the facilitation practice be used by every participant to get from the “comfort zone” into the “stretching zone” in order to learn and improve ones skills. Giving and receiving feedback was also part of the exercise. Finally, the four days seminar gave as well the opportunity for sharing experience in different facilitation practices, networking and getting to know each other better within the GLEN network of global educators.

Information provided by Christina Plank, INEX-SDA (CZ), participant of the seminar
Find more information on:

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Seminar on ODA reporting and monitoring in Slovenia

The international seminar on “ODA reporting and monitoring” was organized in Ljubljana on November 19-20, 2007, by the Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA in cooperation with Concord, TRIALOG and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD.

The seminar was designed as a capacity building event for non governmental representatives and governmental officials from different new EU member states (NMS). It was attended by 22 participants from NGOs and governments from 6 NMS countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovenia), from the French NGDO platform and a DAC representative. Additionally, 3 NGDO platforms (Hungary, Poland, Malta) sent their written presentations about ODA reporting in their countries.

During the Slovenian EU presidency, SLOGA and its member organisations are going to assist in the implementation of the European NGDO agenda and will focus also on EU aid effectiveness (a conference is planned for April 2-3, 2008, together with Concord and the French NGDO platform). In this sense the recent ODA seminar was an excellent opportunity for networking among NMS. Development NGDO platforms in NMS are relatively new and have neither established a strategic partnership, nor strengthened dialogue with governmental institutions regarding ODA monitoring and reporting. Therefore, there is the need for NGDOs from NMS to closely work together in the field of capacity building and information sharing in order to be competent to establish a strategic partnership.

The main aspects of ODA covered at the seminar were on the nature of ODA and its evolution, the rules and criteria of the DAC; case studies from NMS (examples/practice); NGO critique of ODA (aid inflating); the pressures ODA is coming under (inclusion of more security spending, climate spending not being additional, etc.); the means to monitor it (Aid Watch Report, Evaluation systems), problems in monitoring (sources, documents, collecting of data at the level of line ministries etc.) as well as experiences from previous Aid Watch Reports and a debate on common methodology of reporting for the next CONCORD Aid Watch Report.

Representatives from six NGO platforms at the end of the seminar came to the conclusion that the main challenge in the past was that the timeframe of the Aid Watch report (information gathering in March or April) was not feasible in most of the NMS. Suggestions were made to include in the next CONCORD Aid Watch report a separate overview of main issues relevant to NMS. The participants identified the need for further training on the topic of Aid Watch that would address concrete problems with ODA monitoring and reporting.

Information provided by Ales Kranjc Kuslan (Ekvilib), Coordinator SLOGA Working Group on ODA monitoring and aid effectiveness, and Anja Mesic, SLOGA

Download the 2007 CONCORD Aid Watch report from:
Find a summary of the report, in the TRIALOG bulletin 2007:
Read more on the NGDO project for the Slovenian Presidency 2008 at:
SLOGA website:

New deadline for the Development Youth Prize

Please note that the new deadline for the Development Youth Prize will be 31 March 2008.

The portal of the Development Youth Prize 2007 (DYP) has been launched and is open for submissions. The DYP is supported by the European Commission, DG DEV, and organised by European Schoolnet. It is the second round of this European school competition.

The focus this year is on sustainable development in Africa. Pupils from all 27 EU Member States at the age 16- 18 can submit posters or multimedia presentations on three themes:
  • climate change
  • water and energy
  • sustainable tourism
  • The creative vision of young people shall help raise awareness among fellow pupils, teachers, families and others. The winners, runners-up and their teachers will be invited to a two-day stay in Brussels. This includes the prize-giving ceremony where the national winners and runners-up will be awarded. The winners and their teachers will again be invited to follow Commissioner Louis Michel on one of his missions to an African country next year to witness European development assistance at work. They will visit development cooperation projects working in the education sector, including relevant initiatives from the EU Member States as well as the Commission.

    The deadline for submissions has been extended to 31 March 2008. Pupils can submit on the portal or sent the original artwork to the DYP office. Find the address on the portal in the submission form. After the deadline the evaluation will take place in two rounds in which the national winner and runner-up per country will be selected.

    The DYP website is: In case of any further questions or comments, please contact Sylvia Binger, European Schoolnet, at:

    Seminar on Time Management for staff of NGDO platforms

    On the 4th and 5th of December 2007 TRIALOG organized a time management seminar in Vienna - for staff of NGDO platforms from new EU member states.

    The first day was on the methodology of the "Theatre of the Oppressed" (according to Agosto Boal) coming from Brazil. The theory behind that theatre is to show, that the changed role of only one person ("the oppressed") within a specific daily scene is changing the situation as a whole. For the seminar, the theatre pedagogue from the Austrian Sog Theatre, Margarethe Meixner, used the topic of stress and frustration due to overload.

    The second day, led by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG capacity building officer, focused on practical tools for banishing so called "time thieves". The issue of prioritisation and planning the daily activities as well as making mid and long term plans in a written form, concerned all participants - organizing methods have the overall aim and potential to free more time through proper organization.

    Information provided by Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern, and Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer

    Round table discussion in Lithuania

    The round table discussion on „Lithuanian development cooperation. Role of NGO‘s and participation of our society“ took place in Druskininkai on December 13-14, 2007. The meeting was initiated by the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in cooperation with member organizations of the Lithuanian NGDO platform.

    There were several important issues discussed during this meeting: the evaluation of the results of the 2007 development cooperation (DC) program, the guidelines of development cooperation action for 2008, the role of NGOs in the implementation of the DC policy and the role of the Lithuanian NGDO platform. The subject of information and education of the Lithuanian society concerning DC was also widely discussed.

    Lina Kalibataite, board member of the Lithuanian NGDO platform, reports: "The seminar was useful and important to both sides – the representatives of NGOs and the MFA. It was for the first time that we all together discussed the Lithuanian DC policy implementation, ways and possibilities and shared our ideas and concerns. We got to know each other better which is very important for the further success of our cooperation. As representatives of NGOs we noted the interest of MFA officials in our ideas and work and the willingness to cooperate. We all have agreed that these kinds of seminars are useful and necessary for both sides."

    Information provided by Lina Kalibataite, Lithuanian NGDO platform/Lithuanian Kolping society,

    First Fairtrade week in Estonia

    A Fairtrade week – a well established tradition in most consumer societies – was initiated for the first time in Estonia in 12-18 November, 2007. A thematic week was organized by the Estonian Green Movemement, an NGO which actively advocates responsible consumption and sustainable ways of life, and acts as a focal point for Fairtrade activities in Estonia.

    Retail activities focused on tastings and a lottery which awarded the winner with Oke Fairtrade fruits in the amount of the winner's weight! The central activities and media attention was on the special guests from Tanzania, Finland and the Netherlands. A fairtrade coffee farmer Mr. John Kanjagaile, representing 60 000 coffee farmers at the coast of Lake Victoria, was met by the Foreign Affairs Committee chair at Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) calling for the Members of Parliament to follow the steps of the European Parliament and the Nordic counterparts to switch to Fairtrade coffee and tea.

    Photo: Mr. John Kanjagaile of Kagera Cooperatives Union of Tanzania at the opening of a photo exhibiton presenting Fairtrade coffee to Mr. Peeter Müürsepp, Rector of Audentes International University on November 14, 2007.

    The Estonian Chamber of Commerce hosted a morning coffee and discussion with Fairtrade gurus such as Mr. Erkki Toivanen, Fairtrade Goodwill Ambassador in Finland, Mrs. Ilona Hofstra of Max Havelaar Netherlands and Mr. Jeroen Kroezen of Agrofair fruit company. The event which attracted a wide audience of retailers, enterprises, media and NGOs was supported by the Royal Dutch Embassy in Tallinn, Association for Promoting Fairtrade in Finland and the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute.

    Photo: Mr. Erkki Toivanen, Fairtrade Goodwill Ambassador of Finland and a retired BBC journalist talks at the seminar: "Fairtrade - following the Dutch Example" in Tallinn during the Fairtrade week on November 15, 2007.

    A special title “Fairtrade Friend” was awarded to Open Estonia Foundation as the first organization using Fairtrade products in its office and events, and for its committed support of global justice issues. A photo exhibition on the life of Fairtrade farmers in Nicaragua was displayed in Audentes International University, which continues to be shown in various public locations next year. Fairtrade week is planned annually in the fall.

    For more information, please see or contact: Riina Kuusik, Fairtrade project manager, at:

    DEEEP: Development Education Times

    The latest newsletter of the Development Education Exchange in Europe Project (DEEEP) is available for download at:

    DEEEP is a 3-year project initiated by the Development Education Forum of CONCORD. It aims to strengthen capacities of NGDOs to raise awareness, educate and mobilise the European public for worldwide poverty eradication and social inclusion.

    From the newsletter content:
    - The European Consensus on Development: the Contribution of Development Education and Awareness Raising launched at EU Development Day
    - Towards Stronger and Coherent Development Education in Europe: Next Steps in the Implementation of the Development Education Consensus
    - New CONCORD Development Education Forum position paper launched
    - Development Education Summer School 2008
    - many other issues...

    Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP Information Officer,

    Latest CONCORD Flash - November

    In November there was dialogue all around: at the Development Days, at the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly and with DG Development and DG Trade. CONCORD dialogued intensively with the institutions and other sectors of civil society, such as environmental NGOs. The impact of climate change, development education, consulting the South and the economic partnership agreements were all central issues.

    Read more about CONCORD in Action and many other topics in the November CONCORD Flash. Download it from:

    New issue of "Development and Transition" on Gender in Transition

    "Development and Transition" is a joint publication of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and LSE (London School of Economics). It focuses on the nature, evolution and challenges of development and transition in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and also Turkey.

    The newsletter is published three times per year (in English and Russian) and the latest issue published in December 2007 deals with Gender in Transition. It provides a variety of viewpoints and analysis from researchers and practitioners.

    Download the December newsletter:
    Subscribe to the Newsletter at:
    Visit the Development and Transition homepage:

    WIDE publication: Gender mapping EU policy and decision-making

    The new WIDE publication “Who decides – Gender mapping the European Union’s policy and decision-making in the areas of development, external relations and trade” written by Maria Karadenizli, provides an analysis of the role that the key EU institutions play in the definition of policy priorities in the areas of development, external relations and trade.

    Aspects of development programmes in the countries of the South are closely examined as are the EU’s gender equality strategy in the area of development, the EU relations with ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) countries under the Cotonou Agreement and the relations with the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India.

    This research is aimed at constituting a reference work for people interested in the EU gender-trade-development nexus. It will give you more information on the EU’s increased focus on economic issues, migration and security at the expense of poverty eradication and social development objectives, one of which is gender equality.

    The study is available at and a paper copy can be ordered from the WIDE website:

    On the website you can also find a number of other WIDE’s latest publications, including their November 2007 newsletter ( and the brochure on the implications of EU-India trade negotiations for social justice (

    Information provided by Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern

    February 1-3, 2008: European Fair Trade Fair

    Equi’Sol, with its European and French partners, is inviting you to the first European Fair Trade fair on 1, 2 and 3 February 2008 in Lyon (France). An opportunity to meet, exchange, discover and present Fair Trade products in a 4000 square meters exhibition hall, with participants from all over Europe!

    The fair proposes a rich and diverse programme aimed at professionals; for half of the time, it will also be opened to the broad public.

    Find all news and details about the European Fair Trade fair on:

    February 19-20, 2008: TRIALOG Central Training, Brno

    The TRIALOG Central Training is a seminar for NGDO platforms from new EU member states (NMS) and accession/candidate countries.

    The 2008 Central Training will take place in Brno (Czech Republic) on February 19 and 20, 2008. It will start on Tuesday, 19th, at 9 a.m. and finish on Wednesday, 20th, in the early afternoon (around 4 p.m.).

    The main topic will be on Public Awareness Raising and Development Education. Additionally, we would like to devote time to the "European Consensus on Development" and here especially to the question "how to implement the written strategy in the NMS countries?". There will also be time for exchange between the platforms on specific questions.

    TRIALOG would like to invite 3-5 representatives of each NMS platform and 1-2 participants from each of the three candidate countries Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia.

    We would like to ask the NMS NGDO platforms to suggest the participants by sending the application form(s) below by Friday, January 4th, 2008 to TRIALOG capacity building officer Petra Kreinecker at NGO representatives from the three candidate countries can also apply by sending the application form to Petra by the same date.

    Application form:

    If your application is approved by TRIALOG, please make sure to read the documents below, check cheap flight options to both Vienna and to Prague as Brno is easily accessible from both cities. Further logistical information will be circulated to you in January.

    TRIALOG Reimbursement Scheme
    Travel Expense Claim Form

    For more information please contact TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer Petra Kreinecker:

    Friday, 30 November 2007

    In memoriam Yvonne Kojuharova

    We are sad to inform that Yvonne Kojuharova, one of the two coordinators of the Bulgarian NGDO platform and chair of the Board of the CEGA Foundation, unexpectedly passed away on November 28, 2007. Not only the platform is shocked by this news, but also the international colleagues who have enjoyed working with Yvonne. We can only affirm the words of her team from CEGA who wrote: "We shall ever keep in our hearts and souls the memory of her smile, devoted work, optimism and will to live. May her memory live for ever. Last farewell, Yvonne!"

    TRIALOG sends deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues from CEGA and the Bulgarian NGDO platform. Yvonne will be remembered by all of us.

    Just recently, Yvonne, together with Ognyan Drumev, wrote an article for the TRIALOG Bulletin which once again showed her active engagement for the Bulgarian platform:

    New TRIALOG bulletin and website, including Capacity Building Guidelines

    This year’s issue of TRIALOG’s bulletin has just been published. It has 8 pages and deals with the subject of development cooperation in the context of EU enlargement. The articles provide interesting reading, ranging from the editorial by Christine Bedoya, the TRIALOG director, on achievements and challenges for international development, to the presentation of the NGDO project for the Slovenian presidency 2008 or the report on Eurizons 2007 - a project of young Europeans who hitchhiked accross Europe to promote global responsibility. Jiri Silni from the Ecumenical Academy Prague wrote an article from an insider’s point of view on development cooperation in the new EU member states that sheds a critical light over the actions of not just the governments, but of the NGOs as well. The work of the NGDO platforms in Bulgaria and Romania is presented, as well as the findings of this-year’s Aid Watch Report of CONCORD, the European Confederation of NGDOs.

    The TRIALOG bulletin can be ordered by writing an e-mail to or can be downloaded from the new - recently relaunched - TRIALOG website
    Direct link to the Bulletin:

    In the course of the website renewal, TRIALOG also revised its Capacity Building Guidelines. Find the document which includes the principal criteria for TRIALOG capacity building support at:

    EC decided on development education projects in new member states!

    As reported earlier, as a result of EU-wide lobby actions, the EC allocated 10 million Euros in the 2006 budget especially for development education and awareness raising activities in the new EU member states (NMS). They were added to the 20 million budget of the 2006 Development Education (ED) Call for Proposals.

    It became known in September, that 38 pre-selected projects with active participation of NMS NGOs have been invited to submit a full application within the second stage of the Call.

    Towards the middle of November 2007, the EC published the eagerly awaited results of the ED call including data on the 10 million for NMS. In the final selection, in total 56 projects from all EU countries have been selected for funding. Out of them, 18 projects with lead agencies from 8 NMS have been approved by the EC and will begin in 2008. Together with 4 projects which will operate in NMS, but lead by British, Greek and Dutch NGOs, the full sum of 10 million Euros allocated for ED activities in NMS will be used.

    The 18 projects with NMS lead agencies come from: Cyprus (1), Czech Republic (3), Estonia (1), Hungary (6), Lithuania (1), Poland (3), Slovakia (1) and Slovenia (2). The planned actions reach from documentary films to human rights issues, migration, health related topics over school and university curricula to climate issues and fair trade concerns.

    TRIALOG congratulates all organizations who were successful as lead agencies, consortium members and European partners - a result of a lot of engagement and efforts!

    For details on the Call results, please refer to the following EC documents:

    Information provided by: Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building officer

    Rebecca Steel is the new TRIALOG Policy Officer in Brussels

    We are happy to inform you that the vacant position in the TRIALOG Brussels office is now filled by our new policy officer Rebecca Steel. She already participated in the recent meeting of the Working Group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) in Romania and will officially start her engagement with TRIALOG in the beginning of December.

    Rebecca is British citizen. For the last two years, she has been living in Poland where she has been mainly working with asylum seekers by running two EC-funded projects in this field and organising an awareness raising exhibition for the World Refugee Day in June 2007. She gained valuable Brussels experience through two internships: one with the International Federation of Terre des Hommes and one with the Coordination Unit in the Thematic Budget Lines Directorate of EuropeAid where she then also participated in a group to investigate the success of basic education projects in the EC delegation in Burkina Faso.

    We warmly welcome Rebecca in our team. From December 10 onwards, you can contact her at:

    EPAN working group meeting in Romania

    The CONCORD Working Group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN WG), which is convened by TRIALOG, met on the 12th and 13th of November 2007 in Sinaia, Romania, to discuss the developments and activities since the last meeting in May and to agree on the next steps and the workplan 2008.

    Starting with the subgroup on ENPI (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument), Mirkka Matilla from the Finnish platform provided information on the Helsinki Seminar on Human Rights in the Mediterranean Region which was part of the Euro-Med Civil Forum. The role of FRONTEX (European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders) was in the focus of the seminar. Vince Caruana from the Maltese platform did a presentation about the situation of women in Arab countries and on the power transactions within the societies. It was agreed that the EPAN WG/ENPI subgroup will conduct two studies on the impact of the ENPI on one Mediterranean and one Eastern Europe neighbouring country. It was decided that these case studies will be on Egypt and the Ukraine and cover 2 or 3 specific fields of EU interventions.

    Another EPAN activity (together with the Cotonou working group) will be to send the already drafted letter on multilingualism of EC programming to EU Commissioner Leonard Orban and other EU officials. The letter asks for all documents in public consultations etc. being available in the official languages of the partner countries.

    The focus of the work of the IPA subgroup (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) will be on the EC budget review which will end in March 2008. The EC is currently holding consultations regarding its budget, based on the premise that Europe's policies and financing need to evolve to reflect citizen priorities and what Europe is best placed to do. EPAN is planning to participate in this debate on the future EU spending priorities and will focus in particular on the difficulties of Civil Society Organisations in the Balkans to access European funds that reflect their priorities.

    Part of the EPAN meeting was focused on the transition experience of new member states (NMS) and on the relevance of civil society in the EU, in neighbouring and potential candidate countries. How is the third sector perceived and how can NGOs from NMS help the pre-accession countries in the transition they will face on many levels. The transition experience of NMS could be of great value to transition countries in the Balkans and the European neighbourhood. A questionnaire will be sent to NGO networks or coordination bodies in the transition countries, asking them which sectors would be of most interest for them to be investigated and reported.

    Other topics discussed included the nature of development and the different perspectives of development based on the background and experience of the beholder. On these issues a TRIALOG-CONCORD conference will be held in Prague in 2008 (see Events, May 14-16) with the participation of civil society representatives and resource persons from all parts of the world.

    The minutes of the recent EPAN meeting will become available at:
    The next EPAN meeting will take place on April 23-24, 2008 in Brussels.
    For further information please contact TRIALOG policy officer, Rebecca Steel, at (from December 10, 2007).

    Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG director, and Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern

    Europe has now a common strategy on development education and awareness raising

    This strategy has been released in November 2007 during the Development Daysin Lisbon. It aims to provide a framework for the development of Development Education and awareness raising at local, regional, national and European levels.

    As said Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid: "this consensus on development education is as important as the European Consensus on Development. Young people are unaware of poor people suffering. Raising awareness amongst the young people is a day to day effort. Development education is a long term process to prepare the young people for the debates of tomorrow."

    This strategic framework is indeed a contribution to the implementation of the European Consensus on Development (2005) with particular reference to the mention that "...the European Union will pay particular attention to development education and raising awareness among EU citizens."

    As Rilli Lappalainen, chair of the CONCORD Development Education forum, explains: this strategy has been elaborated with the contributions from the stake-holders of the civil society, Euro-parlamentarians, national governments and the European institutions. "A lot of action already existed, but separetely. This strategy is a tool to encourage cross cutting activities."

    "This strategy framework is the beginning of future actions. Annexes will provide details for each stake-holder’s group on how to implement the strategy’s principles and policy. In one year, we will assess what has been done. A reference manual of best practices and lessons learned will complement the framework" said Anita Reddy from InWEnt (Capacity Building International, Germany).

    Use the following link to download the strategy framework and start putting it into practice:

    Information provided by Pierre Mathieu, CONCORD Assistant,

    EC published Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports for Candidate countries in 2007

    On the 6st of November 2007 the European Commission (EC) published the annual Enlargement Strategy and issued reports of the progress made over the last twelve months by each EU candidate country (Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey). These reports and the reports on potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo - under UN Security Council Resolution 1244) can be found at:

    All the candidate countries made progress in 2007, but a great deal more of the path towards membership needs to be traversed. The reports make no mention of international development issues - the bulk of the reports is on economy, human rights and the rule of law - but each report has a part on civil society and regional cooperation.

    Turkey: The state of civil society in Turkey has improved since the recent reforms and the positive trend in Civil Society (CS) development and dialogue observed over the last few years has continued. NGOs have been able to take a more active role. Regional cooperation of Turkey is limited to improving relations with Greece.

    Croatia: Civil society organisations promote human rights, democracy and cross-border cooperation. A 3 million EUR grant scheme will be launched to support civil society projects in the sectors of environment and sustainable development, democratisation and human rights and youth. Croatia's chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) was successful, allowing good progress to be made in transition from the Stability Pact to a more regionally owned framework. Croatia also presided the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the Migration, Asylum and Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI).

    Macedonia: The Government adopted a strategy for cooperation with civil society organisations and developed an action plan. One of its aims is to involve civil society more in the policy
    development process and in legislative drafting. The NGOs in Macedonia continue to be heavily dependent on foreign sources of financing. Macedonia maintains good relations with its neighbours and participated in regional initiatives such as SEECP and Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). It participated actively and constructively in the negotiations for the new CEFTA (Central European Free Trade Agreement).

    Go to to read the entire reports, the press material with the key findings and to download the Enlargement Strategy 2007-2008.

    Information provided by Mirko Dautovic, TRIALOG intern

    Parliamentary debates in New Member States on MDGs

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Commission and the NGOs from New member states (NMS) joined their efforts to raise public awareness in the new European donor countries by organizing parliamentary debates on development cooperation and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in each of the 12 new member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia). The project was funded by the European Commission and implemented by UNDP - UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and UNDP Country Office in Poland.

    In total, the 12 new EU members contributed to global development assistance with approximately 500 million Euro last year. They have committed to increase significantly their official development assistance to 0.17 % of their gross national income by 2010, which combined should exceed EUR 1 billion.

    The issue of raising public awareness of development is one of the biggest challenges in becoming a donor country. The debates had primary objectives of mobilizing public attention and national media coverage of development/MDGs topics (including MDGs mid-point assessment), and the participation of Members of Parliaments (MPs) and decision-makers in discussing development cooperation.

    Over a hundred MPs from European and national parliaments and over 700 experts, politicians, ambassadors, government officials and NGO representatives participated in the debates and in some countries this was the first time that officials and politicians debated on the topic of development cooperation. The events took place around the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17) between October 15 and 22 in all capitals of the 12 new member states. Through these events, the NMS were preparing their contributions to the European Development Days 2007 held in Lisbon on November 7-9.

    Find separate articles on the MDG debates in Bulgaria and Romania in this TIS issue (see "News from NGDO platforms").

    Read more on the actions which took place in the NMS at the following links: (short records on the debates in each NMS) (list of partner NGOs in the NMS)
    Press releases from UNDP on the end and the onset of the campaign:
    UNDP also published a DVD containing the record of the debates.

    Information provided by Jan Szczycinski, UNDP Poland

    New EC Eurobarometer on how EU New Member States see development

    "Most citizens in new member states see European aid in good light even if they don't understand it very well." During the International Poverty Eradication Day on 17 October 2007, the European Commission published results from a new Eurobarometer survey on how the new EU member states saw development aid.

    This survey of 11,000 citizens, from the 12 countries that joined the EU since 2004, appear to establish a positive link between accession and assistance to developing countries. Most of them see the EU as the biggest fund donor (which it actually is, and provides more than 55% of public development aid worldwide). They consider that poverty eradication is the main development aim and that the EU, compared to member states, is the best channel for providing aid. Despite these perceptions, EU12 citizens do not know European development policy very well (more than two thirds affirm that they have not seen or heard any information or campaigns about it). The Millennium Development Objectives are not familiar to them either. A series of parliamentary debates on MDGs took place between 15-22 October in the EU12 (see seperate article in this TIS).

    For the full report, please turn to:

    Information provided by DEEEP, Development Education Exchange in Europe Project

    Call for support: How to avoid the iron curtain between the EU and Belarus?

    The EU claims that its priority in relations with Belarus is not to isolate the country despite its harsh policy towards the Lukashenko regime, but instead to "engage with Belarusian society by further strengthening its support for civil society and democratisation" and further, to "intensify and facilitate people-to-people contacts". Notwithstanding this, after 1 January of 2008, Belarus will paradoxically be the only EU Eastern neighbour whose citizens will have to pay EUR 60 for a single entry Schengen visa that approximately equals one third of the average monthly salary there. This will affect most strongly the cross border movement between Belarus and its closest western neighbours, i.e. Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

    Find more information including an appeal for taking action regarding visas for Belarusian citizens in the following document prepared by the Stefan Batory Foundation, Poland, and the Association for International Affairs, Czech republic:
    To support this appeal, please send an e-mail to Marta Pejda from the Polish NGDO platform Zagranica,, or Anita Szymborska at by December 5, indicating your name and the organisation you represent.

    Information provided by Marta Pejda, Grupa Zagranica,

    First Hungarian Aid Watch Report published

    From the beginning of 2007, the Hungarian NGDO Platform HAND has been actively involved in a completely new area of work - at least for Hungarian NGOs. Following the inspiration and experiences gained through the publication of the first CONCORD aid watch report in 2006, the Hungarian organisations decided to monitor the Hungarian ODA performance more closely and with investigating more details than ever done by anyone before. Based on the data acquired during several months of continuous "struggle" with the responsible government offices (it was a challenge for them too to provide data in a structured and consistent manner and not the least in time), the first ever aid watch report in Hungary was published and presented to the media on October 18th, 2007.

    The same day, HAND also organised an Aid Watch Seminar to provide space for a debate about the findings of the report and to discuss the so called "12 points of the Aid Watch Working Group" containing the recommendations of the NGOs. Some 50 participants - representatives of the government, NGOs, private companies, universities and research institutes – discussed the trends of Hungarian international development depicted in the report.

    The NGO recommendations included in the 12 points were concentrating on the transparency of and free access to official data of Hungarian ODA, questions related to aid effectiveness and the commitments Hungary made and how it will fulfill these commitments. International speakers gave insight into the Italian and the Europe wide aid watch activities, and two presentations showed as well the perception of Hungarian ODA activities in the Balkan region and in Africa.

    The publication of the report was supported by the Presidency Fund and the seminar by the Regional Partnership Program. The documentation (partly in Hungarian and English) of the seminar will be soon available in CD format and on HAND’s website ( containing the entire Hungarian Aid Watch report in Hungarian and a short English summary.

    Download the English summary of the first Hungarian Aid Watch Report:
    For further information please contact Reka Balogh at

    Information provided by Reka Balogh, HAND

    Bulgaria: National Debate on MDGs

    Several representatives of the Bulgarian national NGDO platform participated in the National Debate on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which took place in the Bulgarian National Assembly on 16 October 2007 under the auspices of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs. The event was organized by The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria within a joint project of the European Commission and UNDP implemented at national level with the participation of NGOs. The debate was one of the 12 national debates held in each of the new EU Member States around the International Poverty Eradication Day to raise public awareness on development issues and the role of the new donors in the global efforts for achieving the MDGs.

    In the Bulgarian context, the MDG debate was perceived as the remarkable first event at highest official level to promote and encourage the political action for implementation of the EU development policy. Participants in the discussion were decision-makers, including ministers and members of the Bulgarian and EU parliaments, representatives of the international community, journalists, and NGOs.

    During the debate it was discussed that the membership in the EU implies also responsibilities, such as participation in the common development policy. In 2006 Bulgaria invested 2 million Euro in the official development assistance. Mr. Lyubomir Kyuchukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed the Government’s commitment to achieve an ODA share of 0,17 % of the GDP by 2010 and 0,33 % by 2015. The participants noted also the role of NGOs in development assistance. Yvonne Kojuharova presented the national NGDO platform, marking the main points of its development, current status and upcoming activities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared the Government’s willingness to provide financial support to development projects of NGOs.

    The lack of publicity, public awareness and proper information dissemination in Bulgaria regarding the MDGs was another main topic of the debate. Thus, some main ideas about the future communication strategy on the MDGs were brought forward and discussed.
    For further information, please contact the organiser, the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, at:

    On the picture: Mr. Solomon Passy, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bulgarian Parliament, opens the debate. Next to him is Mrs. Lene Jespersen, Acting UNDP Resident Representative in Bulgaria.

    For more information:
    European Commission and UNDP MDG debates:
    UNDP Bulgaria:

    Information provided by Valery Pandzharov, ECIP Foundation, Bulgaria

    Romania’s contribution to the achievement of the MDGs

    On the 16th October 2007, at the Palace of Parliament, Bucharest, took place the national debate on development cooperation and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The event was organized by the Civil Society Development Foundation, in partnership with the Romanian NGDO platform FOND and World Vision Romania, and was funded by the European Commission through a program implemented by UNDP - UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and UNDP Country Office in Poland.

    The debate had as primary objectives:
    - promoting the European Development Days 2007, mobilizing national media coverage of development/MDGs topics (including MDGs mid-point assessment),
    - mobilizing participation of Members of Parliaments (MPs) and decision-makers in discussing development topics,
    - raise awareness on Romania’s responsibility to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs.

    At the event participated Romanian NGOs, representatives of the Government, MPs and MEPs, ambassadors, scholars, mass media, EC representative as well as other relevant stake-holders. Several Romanian NGOs have presented their contribution to the achievement of the MDGs in Romania through programs and projects aiming to contribute to the eradication of poverty (World Vision Romania), education for all (Save the Children Romania), gender equality (AIDRom) reproductive health (Society for Sexual and Contraceptive Education), combating HIV/AIDs (Center for Health Policies and Servicies) and TB (Romanian Red Cross).

    In the last part of the event civil society organizations presented and debated prospects and ideas on future action for the promotion and achievement of MDGs in Romania and through the Romanian development cooperation policy. Claudia Iatan, National Platform Coordinator, gave a succinct presentation of FOND, the Romanian NGDO platform, specifying that the MDGs are part of the platform’s main objectives and that it strives to improve the life of developing countries such as Moldova and Georgia by using the capacity and the expertise of member organizations.

    For more information on the statements of the participants, please visit:

    Information provided by Claudia Iatan, National Platform Coordinator, FOND, Romania

    Seminar in Lithuania on Development Education

    In the end of March 2007, nineteen Lithuanian NGDOs had a conference where the platform of Lithuanian NGDOs was (re)established. Unfortunately the platform is not yet officially registered, due to long burocratic procedures, but registration is on the way. In the meanwhile, member organizations of the platform already took initiative and organized different seminars about development issues.

    One of them was a development educaiton seminar organized on 3-5 October 2007 by the Lithuanian Kolping society (a member organization of the Lithuanian NGDO platform) in cooperation with the platform and with the big help of DOCHAS, the Irish NGDO platform. The trainers were TJ Hourihan and Brian Murtagh, both coming from the DOCHAS member organization YMCA. The title of the seminar was "Development Education: challenges, expectations, possibilties and practical solutions."

    The aim of the seminar was:
    - to provide practical and moral support to key development groups in Lithuania; to support them in their efforts to define instruments and approaches to achieve greater public support for development cooperation, and greater public awareness of how citizens can affect international inequality.

    The seminar had the following objectives:
    - To brainstorm about the challenges and possibilities of increasing the Lithuanian public awareness and understanding of global issues and of the interdependence of different countries.
    - To explore current expectations, skills and possibilities of the Lithuanian NGOs to engage in meaningful activities to strengthen that awareness and understanding.

    The target group of the seminar were members and staff of member organisations of the Lithuanian Development NGO Platform as well as members and staff of NGOs working in development education.

    The seminar attracted 13 participants from 9 different NGOs. People who participated in the seminar were very happy about it as it was full of theoretical and practical information about the topic. It gave more experience and understanding how to offer information about development education to the Lithuanian citizens, how to make programs on development education, and what is important to take into account when doing such kind of education etc.

    Information provided by Lina Kalibataite, Board member of the Lithuanian NGDO platform and National secretary of the Lithuanian Kolping society

    Two ActionAid job adverts based in Budapest

    In the framework of a new project funded by the European Commission, Terre des hommes - Child Relief, in partnership with Action Aid UK and NGO partners in Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia, are seeking candidates to fill the two following positions:

    - Senior Project Administrator (Application deadline: 07 December 07)
    - Senior Human Rights Project Coordinator (Application deadline: 14 December 07)

    For details please turn to:

    Information provided by Louise Hilditch, ActionAid International,,

    GLEN call for tutors 2008 is open

    GLEN is looking for tutors for the following GLEN 2008 preparation teams:

    - English speaking Africa (40 participants) - 5-6 tutors,
    - French speaking Africa (55 participants) - 7-8 tutors,
    - English speaking Asia & Europe (35 participants) - 4-5 tutors.

    The seminar groups will work in plenary sessions as well as in tutorials. The tutorials are small groups of 6 to 16 participants each, who will be working in the same host countries. The tutors‘ main task is to facilitate the tutorials and accompagny the participants in their preparation and during their stays.

    Please submit your application for English speaking Africa and Asia & Europe preparation group to Darina Manurova ( and for French speaking Africa preparation group to Laure Heinrich ( until 10 January 2008. Find more information on the GLEN call for tutors 2008 in the following document:

    Information provided by Laure Heinrich, on behalf of the GLEN Steering Committee

    Act in Europe with the Global Call to action against poverty (GCAP)

    The quantity and quality of aid from rich countries is inadequate and promises of debt cancellation have not yet materialised. Rich countries have yet to act on their repeated pledges to tackle unfair trade rules and practices. Galvanised by this imperative, a group of civil society actors including NGOs, international networks, social movements, trade unions, women’s organisations, faith-based and youth groups and other civil society actors launched the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) in September 2004.

    GCAP has adopted the white band as its official international symbol – a symbol that has been seen on the arms of millions of people in many countries, highlighting that the war against the injustice brought on by poverty and inequality is not confined to a few activists but is, in fact, a global phenomenon. In many countries, national GCAP coalitions have been built, and GCAP has become increasingly present in the Global South. On the Global Day of Action, on 17 October 2006 (International Day for the Eradication of Poverty), GCAP mobilised 23.5 million citizens around the world to demonstrate against poverty and inequality.

    In 2007, the GCAP decided to keep the coalition alive till 2015 to see the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It is establishing minimum procedures to ensure accountability and good governance within GCAP and is elaborating a three-year strategic framework so that the organisation can foresee their actions.

    GCAP is here to last. So why not joint the coalition? If you are part of it, start thinking about your next action plans: ideas, means, themes of campaigns or of advocacy. It is possible to make things change.

    At European level, the Call to Action Against Poverty gave a decisive push to European member states’ aid commitments in 2005. Since 2007, there is "GCAP Europe Secretariat", hosted by the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD), which is helping building up momentum of the call to action in Europe. Currently, GCAP Europe is reflecting on common plans/activities in order to bring all the European voices together to echo politically at national and regional levels.

    For example, in 2007, CONCORD’s Aid Watch Report Launch in 2007 – supported by GCAP coalitions in Spain, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Greece, Portugal and Slovenia, to name but a few – embodies the type of action the European campaigners would like to integrate into the strategy and translate on the ground through creative activities. A new report will be elaborated in 2008 to monitor the reality of Aid delivered by the European countries. The help of all national associations will be needed to produce and launch the report. This year, October 17th has been also the big mobilisation day for GCAP. Millions of citizens around the world raised their voices together to demand concrete steps to end poverty and inequality. A lot of action took place in Europe: see CONCORD marked this day of action with the launch of a photo exhibition in the European Parliament which highlights the impact of Europe on the developing world (see separate article in this TIS).

    What’s next? Get prepared, in 2009, the election of the European Parliament and the G8 Summit in Italy, will be two key moments towards which the GCAP Europe supporters intend to act in solidarity. Historically, development NGOs in Europe have developed many ways of influencing positively the lives of people and communities living in poverty. NGOs support and implement many concrete projects and programmes, raise awareness on development issues in Europe and persuade political decision-makers of the need to give external policies a clear pro-poor focus. In recent years, big efforts have been made to coordinate and articulate these three aspects of NGO work better in order to achieve more impact and effectiveness. Together, we can make a change!

    All European organisations are welcome to join GCAP Europe. For more information, contact Julien Vaissier at:
    See also the article on GCAP actions in Malta in this TIS.

    Information provided by Agnes Philippart, CONCORD

    Malta: 15,948 STAND UPs on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

    The National Platform of Maltese development NGOs (NGDOs), in collaboration with STOPoverty!, KOPIN and Global Action Schools organised the first MDG one-day conference in Malta. The event hosted 85 persons including a number of academics, school children, diplomats, members of parliaments, representatives of different NGOs and faith-based groups. The aim of the conference was to create space for citizen participation and discuss the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    The conference also indicated the importance to strengthen NGOs and NGDOs who work to ensure international solidarity with the poor. The importance of directly involving people from the developing world in such debates and in the decisions that affect them was also expressed and agreed upon. This was highlighted particularly with regards to decisions which are crucial to policy making.

    For this event, Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) Malta, has promoted the "Stand Up Speak Out" activity which brought together 15,948 people standing up and speaking out against poverty and inequality between the 16th and early 18th October. The majority of people taking part in the actions were from schools including pupils and children, however a number of other groups also performed a stand-up. The final amount of global stand ups is 43.7 million in 127 countries, including Malta. This amount of Stand Ups has broken the Guinness World Record, for more info please go to:

    The number of Maltese standing up against poverty indicates that the Maltese and Gozitan people are increasingly expressing their concern with regards to poverty around the world and showing their solidarity. Also Maltese citizens are calling on our politicians to deliver on their promises to play an active role in advocating for people who live in poverty, in fighting harder in favour of a fairer world, and in promoting human rights.

    For further information please contact the National Platfom of Maltese NGDOs on:

    Information provided by Angie Farrugia, National Platfom of Maltese NGDOs

    Fair Trade Advocacy Forum in Brussels

    The Fair Trade Advocacy Office, based in Brussels, coordinates the political activities of the four main Fair Trade Networks: FLO-I, IFAT, NEWS and EFTA (see further links below). These four networks bring together over one million Fair Trade producers from more than 60 countries, 20 national labelling initiatives, hundreds of specialized Fair Trade importers, 3000 worldshops and more than 100,000 volunteers.

    On 15th to 17th October 2007 the office organized a series of events, including a two-days Advocacy Forum meeting among Fair Trade activists, discussing various advocacy issues and an international conference.

    The Advocacy Forum (October 15-16) aimed to start a network of fair trade advocacy actors within the four movements. Participants came from a broad level of experience in advocacy activity, including 2 representatives from new EU member states (Hungary and Malta) and also members with a long history of advocacy work such as Ctm Altromercato (Italy) and Traidcraft (UK) - to mention just a few examples.

    The participants’ expectations were of different levels, but the general wish for achieving more collaboration and reaching more common positions was expressed throughout the forum. Another important need identified, was to improve the communication channels between the office and fair trade advocacy actors.

    On the first day, there were six small working groups, to which each participant could attend two. Nathalie Grima (Malta) attended the ones about Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Fair Trade commodities. Both groups were first focused on giving updates on the issues and also on what kind of advocacy work each participant had been involved on the subject. One action proposed by the EPAs group, was to circulate an already existing draft letter addressed to DG Trade, so that it can be signed by all Fair trade advocacy actors. Regarding Fair Trade commodities, there is still a strong need to make a bigger effort to share more information on who is working on which commodity, in order to come to joint positions and share the research and work being done.

    Gyorgyi Ujszaszi (Hungary) attended the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) working group and the group "Can Fair Trade influence the wider corporate practices?" Traidcraft with Oxfam Wereldwinkels Belgium and IDEAS, introduced their newly developed guidelines for coffee and tea companies about best practice of purchasing. Participants showed interest in examining the documents and in making efforts for working together in the near future.

    The first session on the second day, was a meeting with DG Trade Head of Unit Ms. Ditte Juul-Jorgensen. The aim of the meeting was to share information about the European Commission’s policy regarding Fair Trade. She explained that there is a genuine interest to involve Fair Trade in different DGs such as Development, Trade, Consumer rights, Environment, etc. She replied and took note to various questions coming from the participants.

    The forum concluded with a very positive note in that the Fair Trade Advocacy Office is very keen on listening to the participants’ needs and suggestions on how to continue improving the network.

    For information on the international conference "Fair Trade: a lever for change" which took place on October 17, please turn to:

    For more information please contact Ms. Anja Osterhaus on or visit

    Further links:
    Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International FLO-I:
    International Fair Trade Association IFAT:
    Network of European Worldshops NEWS:
    European Fair Trade Association EFTA:

    Information provided by Gyorgyi Ujszaszi, Protect the Future, Hungary, and Nathalie Grima, Koperattiva Kummerc Gust, Malta.