Friday, 5 October 2007

March 2-8, 2008: TRIALOG Study Visit on Expert Sending

TRIALOG is organizing a study visit to German and Austrian expert sending organizations. The study visit initially planned for October has been cancelled and merged with the second study visit in spring 2008. The new date is March 2-8, 2008 and it is open to development NGOs from all 12 new EU member states who are in the process of founding a department of development worker/expert sending within their organisations.

After an introduction into the topic and the possibility to discuss different terms and definitions but also the image that one has about the own organization, the participants will be visiting AGEH (Germany), DED (Germany) and HORIZONT3000 (Austria). On Thursday, March 6, it is planned to hold a high-level roundtable with representatives from new member states and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna. The last day of the study visit will be used as a reflexion day.

What are the main topics to be tackled during the Study Visit:
In every organization the group will get information about the advertisement of open positions, the selection process of possible candidates (so called experts or development workers), the preparation before the stay abroad and the monitoring of these missions. Additionally the legal context in different countries and social security aspects will be touched upon - e.g. how to deal with political or natural crisis situations. Both will be looked at on an organizational and individual level.

Who is the target group of the Study Visit?
The Study Visit is targeted to decision makers from NGDOs from all 12 new EU member states, but also from the relevant Ministries or other state agencies. The NGDO-participants should represent organizations which are within the process of founding a department of development-worker/expert-sending within their organizations. From every country, max. 3 participants will be accepted, ideally each country delegation would include at least one NGO and one state representative.

What are the objectives of the Study Visit?
At the end of the Study Visit, having visited 3 NGOs and met international experts, the participants will have a broad perspective and basic knowledge of (dis-) advantages of different expert-sending systems applied in other European and non-European countries. According to the principle “the more we know, the more questions we have …” – the participants will also have a better idea which aspects they still have to clarify in their home countries.

For more information on the agenda, the application, reimbursement and travel arrangements, please refer to the following documents:

Invitation Letter:
Tentative Agenda:
Application Form:
TRIALOG Reimbursement Scheme:

The deadline for application is Friday, October 19, 2007.

For further information please contact TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer Petra Kreinecker at

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Successful TRIALOG FDR Preparation Seminar

The TRIALOG seminar “Added Value for new member states (NMS) organizations” in preparation of the next CONCORD FDR meeting (Funding for Development and Relief) took place in Brussels from September 25-26.

“Whenever the government in my country is trying to address some issue, it is setting up a new committee”, stated one of the participants and turned to the EC-representative, asking him with that expression, why the Commission is elaborating so much paper and changing every year important regulations without consulting and without using the lessons learnt from the past.

13 participants from all NMS (except Estonia) had the exceptional opportunity to join the FDR-preparation meeting, organized by TRIALOG with Maria Winnubst, Izabella Toth and Alwin Loeckx as resource persons. It was highly appreciated by the group that spontaneously Pieter Bangma, EC representative and responsible for Civil Society Liaison, was able to join.

Apart from information given on the structure of FDR and its subgroups and a description of the most important activities, the two day seminar in Brussels was dominated by sharing and explaining the current discussions and strategies regarding the new Thematic Programmes and Financial Instruments.

The group made a big step forward towards reaching the ambitious aim of creating an aware, informed, competent and motivated FDR NMS expert group. During the seminar, the main critical points and comments on the Annual Action Plan of the thematic programme “Non State Actors -Local Authorities (NSA-LA)” have been collected and formulated from a NMS perspective. They will now be used as a basic tool in the lobby work on a national level and will help to explain the civil society arguments vis a vis the national representatives in the Member State Committee.

TRIALOG would like to say again a sincere thank you to Maria Winnubst - the main speaker. Thanks to her some participants considered the seminar as the best they ever attended in the development cooperation framework.

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer
For further information please contact her at

Slovenian EU presidency to push for further Balkan integration

"Keen on pushing forward EU integration of the Balkan countries during its presidency of the bloc from January to July next year, Slovenia has sent a letter to EU leaders and the European commission calling for 'brave decisions' regarding the region", the EUobserver reports. Read more at:

Source: - 02.10.2007

CONCORD Working Groups newsletter

The latest CONCORD Working Groups newsletter reports on the work of the Working Groups for the first semester of 2007, January to June. Also the work of the TRIALOG and DEEEP projects in this period is covered.

From the content:

CONCORD is moving forward. The Assessment and Adjustment process is drawing to an end, with some implications for CONCORD working structures. On the invitation of the Board of CONCORD, most of the working structures have broadly discussed and reviewed their terms of reference and submitted amended versions to the Board for approval. Some groups have decided to move forward without major changes, other groups prefer to evolve, taking up new challenges. The most notable being the former policy group, now called the “policy forum”, which strives to ensure an overview and coherence within CONCORD advocacy work, and the former Enlargement working group, now called “Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood” working group (EPAN).

A communication network has also been set up. Communication Officers gathered in early June in Brussels for the first Communication Seminar with nine workshops offering training and peer-to-peer exchanges of experience and knowledge. The central theme was how to use new techniques better in order to increase the impact of NGOs when campaigning, advocating, raising funds or dealing with the media.

Read more on:

Information provided by Pierre Mathieu, CONCORD Assistant

New issue of Development Education Times

Download the latest DE Times, the newsletter of DEEEP, the Development Education Exchange in Europe project, from:

DE Times now has a new design and provides information on development education and development cooperation issues, conferences, seminars, meetings, NGO funding opportunity, job vacancies, DE resources and more. Read in this issue reports on the Development Education summer school, reflections on how young people can make a difference, on policy and practice, an article on the Teleproject "Global Education Week at School in Slovakia" and more.

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP Information Officer

Latest Development and Transition newsletter

The July issue of Development and Transition is available online at The theme of this issue is the Private Sector and Poverty Reduction, with a special focus on microfinance. This issue examines the current state of the region's private sector, and how development agencies can strengthen its pro-poor characteristics.

As the title suggests, Development and Transition aims to be a forum for policy-oriented discussions and debates about how the nature, evolution, and challenges of development and transition intersect in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and also Turkey. The aim is to discuss and think differently about policy frameworks by bringing together a variety of viewpoints and analytical approaches from researchers and practitioners to explore and explain the core issues and problems, and to extract the best practices.

Previous issues can be also downloaded from:

The newsletter on Development and Transition is published three times a year as a joint enterprise between UNDP and LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science).

Information provided by James Hughes and Ben Slay, Development and Transition

WIDE News from August and September

WIDE News, Number 8, covering news from August and September 2007 is now awailable online at:
From the content:
- Accra High Level Forum on aid effectiveness: where has the process got so far?
- Civil Society Conference on effective democratic governance and the aid effectiveness agenda
- Launch of EU Gender Watch Report – Losing women’s issues through gender mainstreaming?
- Alternatives to the direction of the European Union
For more information please turn to:

Information provided by Gea Meijers, WIDE Network Officer

UNCTAD: The Least Developed Countries Report 2007

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD published The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report on Knowledge, technological learning and innovation for development. The Report gives a comprehensive insight into the development objective of technological learning and innovation capacity-building in LDCs. It is intended to increase awareness of this issue and enrich the policy dialogue toward the new "paradigm shift" on poverty reduction through productive capacity-building.

For more information and to download the report turn to:

Source: oeza aktuell Nr. 83/ September 2007

Bled Strategic Forum: EU 2020 - Enlarging and Integrating

The second Bled Strategic Forum, organized by the Center for European Perspectives in Bled/Slovenia, was dedicated to the question of future EU enlargement and the future of the EU integration process. The conference was held from 26 to 27 August 2007 and brought together high level decision-makers - mostly from the public and private spheres as well as academics -to discuss on the topic "European Union 2020: Enlarging and Integrating" and some major challenges the European Union is facing today such as energy and environment. The issues of global warming and energy security have been addressed as problems that concern not the EU alone, but will have to be dealt with on a global scale. Europe has a leading role in the fight to curb global warming, but much remains to be done and the participants posed the question whether an enlarged Europe has also become a management challenge.

The four panels of this year’s Bled Strategic Forum dealt with the following topics:
  • The Next EU Enlargement
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Global Preponderance
  • The Future of EU Integration Process
    • Two breakout sessions in the afternoon on 27 August focused on ”Economic and Political Trends in the South Caucasus and Central Asia: The Role of the EU and the OSCE“ and ”Turkey in Europe".

      The Conference Background Paper and some of the speeches can be downloaded from:


      December 4-5, 2007: TRIALOG Time Management Seminar; Vienna

      The target group of this participatory TRIALOG seminar are new EU member states' NGDO platform coordinators, their assistants and substitutes. The event will be held in Vienna as a two-day seminar on the 4th - 5th of December 2007 (9:00 - 17:00).

      For the first day we have invited a theatre pedagogue to work with the technique "statues" of the methodology "Theatre of the Oppressed", originally developed in Brazil. During the second day we will focus on practical working tools, to organize ourselves taking into acount all the needs and requirements of the different stakeholders.

      If you are interested, please send your Application Form (see link below) to by Monday, October 15, 2007.

      Application Form for Participation in Events:

      Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer

      Wednesday, 3 October 2007

      New structure of EuropeAid

      In summer 2007 EuropeAid has been restructured. The new Direction F has four departments: F1/Relation with civil society and co-ordination (headed by A. Bouratsis), F2/programming RELEX (mainly human rights and democracy budget lines, under the responsibility of External Relations Directorate General - DG RELEX), F3/ programming DEV (thematic programmes under the responsibility of the Directorate General for Development - DG DEV), F4/Contracts and finances (former 05). The former service 04 is replaced by the departments F2 and F3 which now manage the thematic budget lines. The staff responsible for NGO co-financing is now working in F3. The department F1 is responsible for the general communication with NGOs.

      View the new EuropeAid Organigramme at:
      Find more information in the "Who we are"-section of the EuropeAid website:

      Information provided by bengo, eu-mail-info Nr. 195-17.07.2007 and CONCORD/FDR.

      Provisional Data on the 2006 EC Calls

      The first provisional results on the 2006 EC NGO Co-financing Calls for Proposals have been communicated by EuropeAid recently. Both 2006 calls of the budget line 21 02 03 (ED, PVD) have been two stages calls for proposals (1st stage: concept note, 2nd stage: full proposal).

      The final selection of development education and awareness raising projects (ED) has not taken place yet, the provisional statistics contain the number of full proposals that were submitted. Out of the total of 150, 35 full proposals were submitted from new member states NGOs. A decision is expected not earlier than for the end of October 2007. It will show how the extra 10m EUR for actions in new member states (NMS) have been assigned.

      The provisional data on selected NGO projects in developing countries (PVD) shows the following picture regarding new member states results: only 1 Czech NGO was successful in getting a PVD project approved. Hungarian and Lithuanian concept notes did not pass into the second stage, Polish and Slovak full applications did not succeed in the second stage. For the moment, the reasons for this are unknown.

      To compare with the previous years:
      In 2005, 1 Czech and 1 Slovenian NGO were successful as applicants in ED versus no new member states contracts in PVD.
      In 2004, the year of the EU enlargement and first possibility to apply, no NMS NGO received a contract within the NGO co-financing budget line.
      However, since 2004 many NMS NGOs have participated as consortium members or partners in EC funded projects.

      View the PROVISIONAL 2006 NGO Co-Financing Calls for Proposal data at:

      TRIALOG support to the Slovenian platform SLOGA

      Slovenia will host the EU-presidency from January to June 2008 and will be therefore the first new member state fulfilling that crucial task. It is a big opportunity for the Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA to raise awareness on development issues and to launch important campaigns, targeting national and European politicians and the broader public. But it is also a big challenge, as SLOGA is a young platform which only became CONCORD member in 2006.

      TRIALOG facilitated during the last months the networking process within the platform member organizations to develop the joint presidency project “Difference is our Strenght” on Development Education and Awareness Raising in Slovenia. Although SLOGA has not received until now the written contract from EuropeAid, the platform got positive feedback and is looking forward to sign the formalities during the nearest future.

      To prepare the big Conference in June 2008 in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana – planned as the main activity of the presidency project - will be the dominating topic of the planning session this October between SLOGA, the Development Education Forum (DEF), DEEEP (Development Education Exchange in Europe Project) and TRIALOG.

      Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer
      For more information on SLOGA, turn to:

      GCAP Europe meeting in Rome

      GCAP Europe (Global Call to Action against Poverty) held its annual meeting in Rome between the 13th and 15th of September 2007, with the aim of constructing its vision for political change for the coming three years. The new EU member state GCAP campaigns from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania and Slovenia were present. The participation from BG, H, MT and RO was made possible through TRIALOG support.

      The main question tackled during the meeting was: “What are our objectives for change in the next three years?” Participants noted that GCAP Europe had no roadmap for the future, and during the three intense days of workshops and discussion set out to agree what changes to make in the next few years and what GCAP Europe might set out to achieve together. In particular the meeting set out to explicate what additional framework to Montevideo we as Europe believe is useful. It was made clear from the start that all the demands need to be made within the resources that we have i.e. within what is achievable and within what is in our power.

      Participants agreed to find ways to measure the changes they aspire to and to create attainable indicators of success. Participants also agreed to more action at a European level, in particular in view of the forthcoming 2009 Elections to the European Parliament. Recurring key words were Governance, More and better Aid, Trade Justice, Debt Cancellation, Gender Equality, Climate Change, Corporate Accountability and the Europe – Africa partnership.

      Participants also shared their plans for the forthcoming International Day against Poverty (October 17), agreeing that the main objectives of the day will be to raise awareness, put pressure on political decision makers, mobilise mass numbers of people, ensure wide media coverage, and demonstrate the ever growing number of people that agree with the main aims of GCAP.

      The meeting concluded with participants agreeing to set a deadline to improve the strategic framework by January 2008 in view of having in January 2008 a GCAP Europe Strategic Framework 2008 - 2010.

      Information provided by Vince Caruana, Kopin Malta
      For more information on GCAP, please go to:

      Financial Sustainability of NGDO platforms

      On the 10th September 2007, in Brussels, members of CONCORD including the new member states (NMS) platforms attended the training that aimed to discuss issues such as: why and how to elaborate a financial strategy for a NGDO platform; pros and cons of different membership fee systems; financial reporting, limiting expenditure, diversifying funding etc. The main speakers were Jake Bharier from the CONCORD board, Andreas Vogt from the CONCORD secretariat and John Cammack, consultant, who brought important input on financial management for the NGDO platforms.

      One of the most important aspects that was discussed was the existence of the reserves, which is not necessarily specified in all legislations. The financial strategy, as well as the existence of the reserves is not written down for most of the platforms, or in some cases, it may be found split up in different strategic papers. One of the ways to resolve this is to introduce one phrase in your strategic papers such as: “The platform aims to hold its reserves at a level of 35%, or just over 4 months worth, of its expenditure budget. This target should be achieved over the next 3 years, by 31 March 2010. The board will then review this percentage annually, at the time when the budget is being set.” This will insure your financial strategy and will give you time to think it through.

      Returning to the reserves issue, it was concluded that they may depend on:
      • Level of membership fees
      • Portfolio of donors
      • Governmental future income
      • Formalization of government/NGOs partnership

      Moreover, most of the platforms identified a risk to having most of the financing from the government: the diminishing for the platform’s independence. Focusing on the financial independence based on the level of membership fees, it was said that in most cases the membership fee could or should be raised.

      Find more information on financial management at:

      Information provided by Claudia Iatan, Romanian Platform for Development Cooperation FOND
      Photos provided by Andris Gobins, Latvian Platform for Development Co-operation LAPAS

      The Maltese NGDO platform: Update from the Heat of the Isle

      The Maltese Platform has formed a new Secretariat composed of Mario Gerada and Angie Farrugia. Mario Gerada was already a member of the Secretariat last year, whilst Angie is a newcomer. Angie and Mario have commenced their duties in the Secretariat as of 1st September 2007. Both Mario and Angie come from a social work background and can build on the sterling work done by the previous coordinator Roberta Micallef.

      In the past few months, the Platform has particularly focused on 2 persisting issues: Maltese Aid and Migrants’ Health, through its working groups Aid Watch and Health Access to Migrants (H.A.M.). The Platform, through its Aid Watch Working Group has managed to create an ongoing national debate about Maltese Aid. This working group has also held talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss issues related to how Maltese Aid is allocated and its transparency.

      The Platform’s Health Access to Migrants Working Group has worked very closely with Medecins du Monde (MdM). Staff members from Medecins du Monde were in Malta for 5 months to offer medical services in the Open Centre. MdM would have liked to extend their medical services to the detention centres as well, but the local Authorities only issued a permit for entry to detention centers during MdM’s final week in Malta (only after this was reported in the local media). Medecins du Monde together with H.A.M. held a meeting with Government Officials to discuss the possibility of continuing the medical service offered by Medecins du Monde. MdM has also collected data on health of migrants and migrants’ access to Maltese Medical Services. Medecins du Monde, in collaboration with the Platform, has launched a report on this data in a press conference on Friday, 31st August 2007. For more information regarding this report please access the links below. The Platform’s Working Group on Health Access to Migrants plans to follow the work done by Medecins do Monde.

      Links to Newspapers Articles on the launching of the Medecins du Monde Report:

      Link to the full Medecins du Monde report "Access to health care and human rights of asylum seekers in Malta. Experiences, results and recommendations":

      Information provided by Angie Farrugia, National Platfom of Maltese NGDOs. For further information please contact:

      November 15-17, 2007: Civil Society Forum on Euro-African Dialogue; Lisbon

      The Civil Society Forum on Europe-Africa Dialogue, which will take place in Lisbon from 15th to 17th November 2007, is the key event of the Portuguese NGDO Platform’s Presidency Project. This event will be an instrument for policy analysis and debate, aiming at opening and broadening the perspectives of the dialogue between the European and African continents.

      The Forum will gather together representatives from European and African civil society organisations and will be structured into plenary sessions, comprising a wider participation, as well as several specific workshops, including a more limited participation. The opening and closing sessions will be held in conjunction with the Euro-African Parliamentarian Forum organised by the North-South Centre (Council of Europe). The discussions will be focused on four main themes: Trade and Development, Governance and Fragile States, Migration and Development, and Cooperation Issues.

      The Civil Society Forum on Europe-Africa Dialogue will offer a unique opportunity for a wide range of civil society representatives to voice their main concerns and make recommendations on how to improve the Europe-Africa dialogue. The final product of the Forum will be a political declaration and specific recommendations on the main topics tackled during the event.

      For more information about the programme and registration turn to:

      Read the second newsletter issue of the Portuguese NGDO presidency project at:


      Tuesday, 2 October 2007

      Vacancy at TRIALOG: Policy Officer

      TRIALOG is currently looking for a full time policy and advocacy officer based in Brussels. The deadline for applications is October 11, 2007. For more information, please refer to:

      Third World Day in Estonia

      On September 15th 2007 it was for the third time that the event called World Day took place in Tallinn, Estonia. It was organized by the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ) in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim was to introduce development issues to the wider public in Estonia as well as spread information about opportunities of getting involved in solving the global problems.

      This year's theme was "Helpful Estonia", which was introducing Estonia as a donor and its priority countries - Ukraine, Moldova, Afghanistan and Georgia. One part of the day was dedicated to Belarus and the difficult situation there. During the event different Estonian and international organizations in the field of developmental and humanitarian aid were introducing their activities. Workshops, discussions and debates took place similarly to the last year and good atmosphere was ensured with different music and dance groups from Estonia and abroad on a stage in the centre of Tallinn. The evening ended with a very emotional and interesting concert from the Finnish - Tanzanian duo PolePole.

      Information provided by Merle Kasonen, Estonian Development Cooperation Roundtable AKÜ

      Further information:,

      FanFest in Romania: Promotion of Fair Trade

      What is the Fanfest? “The activities prepared for the participants will span three thematic avenues - Say it Green, FanFest Art and FanFun. Designed as a meeting for environmental activists from all around the country, FanFest 2007 calls on you to become active - an activist and begin to create and act to protect nature. ", says the official site of FanFest (more at: This year's event took place in Rosia Montana, Romania, from August 24-26, 2007.

      The Hungarian NGO Protect The Future was invited officially by the organisers to participate at this event with its mobile café. The aim was to introduce fair trade and to share the Hungarian experience of promotion. An information stand, a fair trade product exhibition and a fair trade related photo exhibition invited the FanFest’s participants to come closer. Volunteers translated the leaflet of Frequently Asked Questions into Romanian language to help better understand the topic. It was ensured that NGOs having interest in fair trade could get information not only about the topic, but also on the ways how they can start their activity.

      Gyorgyi Ujszaszi who represented Protect the Future, gave an interview for a local radio station and wrote a "fair article" in a civil movement newspaper. As a result of these activities, around 10 organisations in Romania are ready to start working in the field of fair trade. On Saturday afternoon Gyorgyi Ujszaszi had a lecture which was attended by 30 participants who heard facts about fair trade, its history, principles and international organisations. The documentary film "Against the current" was shown. It talks about the start of the Hungarian fair trade movement. (The film is available with English subtitles upon request at Protect the Future).

      The FanFest presence of the Hungarian fair café turned out to be very successful.

      Information provided by Gyorgyi Ujszaszi, Protect the Future. For more information please contact her at

      November 12-13, 2007: EPAN Working Group; Romania

      The next CONCORD Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) Working Group which is convened by TRIALOG will take place in Romania on 12-13 November 2007.

      The meeting will mark an important new phase in the development of the EPAN Working Group. Apart from information and discussions on topics of the 2 sub-groups of EPAN - the subgroup on ENPI (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument) and the subgroup on IPA ( Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) - the agenda is likely to include information about the EU budget review, the Slovene platform presidency project; plans for strategic engagement with the Slovene and French presidencies, discussions on current and forthcoming EU policy processes, finalisation of the 2008 workplan and the development of a lobbying strategy, feedback from EPAN members involved in other CONCORD working groups, in addition to selected country updates. A draft agenda and preparatory questionnaires will be circulated in the next few weeks, in addition to detailed information regarding the itinerary.

      The registration on the CONCORD extranet is now open for the working group (WG) members, please register by 19th October at the latest. Support for new EU member states WG members: Please note that in order to be able to claim CONCORD/TRIALOG reimbursement for this meeting, you must pre-register on the CONCORD extranet.

      The agenda and all the necessary background documents will become available soon and circulated per email. For more information please contact

      Vacancy at DEEEP: Advocacy Officer

      DEEEP, the Development Education Exchange in Europe Project, is seeking professionals to fill the post of Advocacy Officer. The deadline for submission is 10 October 2007. For more information, please refer to:

      Information provided by DEEEP.

      November 7-9, 2007: European Development Days; Lisbon

      "Climate Change and Development Cooperation" is the subject of the second edition of the European Development Days which take place in Lisbon on November 7-9 2007. European Development Days (EDD) is a European Commission initiative, undertaken by Commissioner Louis Michel and the Directorate-General for Development and relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific States. It aims to enhance public awareness of development cooperation issues, such as the European Consensus on Development, as well as strengthening aid effectiveness with a view to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

      Participants come from different sectors such as the EC, member states representatives, development agencies, local authorities, academia, civil society, media, the private sector etc. The programme consists of plenary sessions as well as parallel events, exhibitions etc.

      CONCORD will present the photo exhibition Emerging views: How do developing countries see Europe? and organise a networking meeting on the topic Putting the European Consensus into Practice.

      For more information on the programme and the participants turn to:

      Czech NGOs visit Fair Trade cooperatives in Ghana

      A group of eight Austrians and two Czechs made a study trip to Ghana to find out how the Fair Trade cooperatives work in this West African country. The study journey was organized in August 2007 by Welthaus Linz. The two Czech participants from the Society for Fair Trade and Development Education in Brno and from the Ecumenical Academy Prague were supported by TRIALOG.

      The main programme were two visits to Fair Trade cooperatives dealing with Fair Trade food, respectively with Fair Trade handicrafts: The first cooperative is called Kuapa Kokoo and is a cocoa farmers' union consisting of 40.000 farmers’ families. The group was presented the procedures and the way of processing cocoa plants and cocoa products, as well as the advantages of the Fair Trade market.

      The other cooperative called Kalangu produces traditional „djembo“ drums, a typical musical instrument used in Ghana for centuries. Thanks to Fair Trade, high professional quality goes along with profit for the association which is used for example for further education of junior association members.

      There were many other interesting meetings like visits to Bishop Joseph Afrifah or to the Rector of a Catholic University in Cape Coast. Last but not least, the study group got the chance to get acquainted with the Ghanaian traditional way of life and wonderful nature. All participants who at home work in the field of Fair Trade and development education, got the chance to learn about the daily reality of their African counterparts.

      According to the Czech participants, apart from the very valuable personal experience the biggest benefit and at the same time the best motivation for the future work in Fair Trade was to realize that Fair Trade is not just an idea but works in practice. They saw that the conditions of the farmers are improving, the benefits of Fair Trade are used directly for the various social and educational purposes and the flow of money is very transparent. The study visit met the expectations of all participants. The participating representatives of Fair Trade NGOs in the Czech Republic aim to use their experiences and new contacts to shorten the business chain between producers and customers in the future.

      Information provided by Tomas Bily, Society for Fair Trade and Development Education in Brno. For more information on the study visit, please contact him at:

      All photos: copyright Tomas Bily
      Photo 1 (on the right): Children of the Fair Trade producers of the cooperative Kuapa Kokoo in a village north of Kumasi.
      Photo 2 (on the left): Drum producer of the cooperative Kalangu in Accra.

      Brno: Transborder Laboratory for cooperation from below

      The seminar "Transborder Laboratory for Cooperation from Below" was organized by the Institute for Studies in Political Economy together with Economy and Society Trust, the Paulo Freire Centre and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. It was held in Brno, Czech Republic, between the 14th and the 16th of September 2007.

      The seminar was called a laboratory because it had an experimental character. The four co-operation partners stated above from various backgrounds invited critical social researchers and grassroots activist which mainly included people from the development cooperation field, anti-globalists and Central and Eastern European political activists who got together to participate in a joint discussion and learning process. This turned out to be an interesting pool of backgrounds and thus opinions. The goals of the seminar were primarily the dissemination of knowledge, an exchange between university and activist experience and discussions on prospects of trans-border co-operations. The seminar was two and a half days long and was divided into five parts. It was based on dialogue and joint reflection of activist and research experiences. Each of the five half days were opened by expert input statements, which were meant to be brief, though always very interesting and critical, these experts where later used as resource persons for the related discussions.

      Tania Borg from Kopin Malta took part in the seminar (with support from TRIALOG) and shares her impressions:

      Looking back on the weekend, it was an extremely interesting one, the fact that there was such a good combination of activists and academics, from Europe and also from Brasil who at times agreed and at other times had different opinions yet providing such a harmonization of actors. Even more so, some of the grass-roots activists themselves have written papers hence putting them onto the other side of the spectrum, the academic side. Their inputs resulted into academic yet practical experienced papers or rather reflection and action, having read about Freire one could note that this experiment was held within the Freiren context of PRAXIS, where speakers showed a clear action, reflection and action approach. Thus triggering more insights into action and reflection within the participants and also proofing the experiment was a successful one. Being a new experience for a few of the participants it enticed future collaboration and participation in such seminars.

      Information provided by Tania Borg, KOPIN Malta (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali). For more information please contact her at:

      Monday, 1 October 2007

      Oct/Nov, 2007: Dtalk - Development Training and Learning Programme; Ireland

      Dtalk is a training programme specifically designed for NGO staff. It aims to promote a culture of learning and knowledge sharing in the international development sector, and to ensure that development workers and volunteers are adequately trained and prepared for the challenges of their roles. Courses and training programmes are provided in a wide variety of subjects, such as security management, stress awareness, mediation, programme management, strategic planning and civil society strengthening. Trainings are open to all staff of EU-based NGOs, both at home and abroad, and are subsidised by the Irish Government.

      The following courses, organised by Dtalk, will take place in October/November 2007:

    • Proposal Development and Grant and Management: 9-11
    • Learn to Debrief Effectively: 10 & 11
    • Partnerships in Development: 15 - 17
    • Disaster preparedness: 16 - 18
    • Understanding HIV in Development: 23 & 24
    • Community Responses to HIV: 25
    • Sphere Training of Trainers: 24-26
    • Working Effectively within a Rights Based Approach: 31-2 (November)
    • Working Together: Managing Human Interactions and Dealing with Conflicts: 31 - 2 (November)

      All of the above courses will take place in the Development Studies Centre, Kimmage, Dublin, Ireland. For futher information visit
    • To register for any course please contact: Programme Administrators - Niamh Brennan or Kathleen Cox, telephone: +353 (0)1 4064307, email:,; Programme Coordinator - Patricia Wall, telephone: +353 (0)1 4064424, email:

      Information provided by Hans Zomer, Dóchas
      Dóchas is the umbrella organisation of Irish Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) involved in development and relief overseas and/or development education in Ireland.

      Guide to European Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Population Assistance

      The Guide to European Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Population Assistance publishes information about funding available in the European Union (EU), including its Member States plus Switzerland and Norway, to help improve sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS and population assistance in developing countries. It includes 67 funding streams from 27 EU Member States plus the European Commission and provides current, consolidated and easy-to-use information on European NGO support for programmes and services of all types in developing countries. Each entry provides contact information, purpose and mission of the institutions, a review of financial information and, most importantly, detailed information about how to submit a proposal and apply for funding. The free online funding guide can be searched by recipient or donor country, and each donor profile can be downloaded for printing.

      The Guide is published by the German Foundation for World Population (DSW) and has been updated recently. It is available at:

      Information provided by Matthias Brucker, German Foundation for World Population (DSW).

      October 17, 2007: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

      On this day, civil society campaigners around the world will demand that global governments keep their promises to achieve the Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2015. Last year on October 17, over 23 million people in 87 countries "stood up" against poverty in what was "the largest single coordinated mobilisation of people in the history of the Guinness World Records". All around the world, in churches, schools, workplaces and on the streets, civil society joined with one action and one message in a powerful show of solidarity that reached political leaders on every continent.

      This year, on October 17, the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) and the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) will be aiming to break this record and mobilise millions more to become part of the growing movement to end poverty. The task for this year is to show that the movement is growing and to keep the momentum going. As Nelson Mandela said at the launch of GCAP, "As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest". Read more at:

      Full details on the campaign can be found on or

      Source: e-CIVICUS 353 HTML, 22 August 2007, ISSUE No. 353

      October 15-16, 2007: Fair Trade Advocacy Forum; Brussels

      The aims of the forum, organised by the four main fair trade networks, are to establish an effective Fair Trade Advocacy Network to execute targeted advocacy activities in a coordinated way and to increase awareness about advocacy among Fair Trade actors. Expected participants are Fair Trade actors interested in advocacy, 40 to 50 people from Europe and abroad.

      Find the agenda at:

      The event will be followed by a half day conference on October 17 on "Fair Trade: a lever for change: How can the EU support the growing interest of consumers in sustainable production and social responsibility?"

      For more information please visit or contact the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels at:

      All RPP project funds used

      The Regional Partnership Programme between Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic has spent all its project funds. The two last small national calls for pilot projects between NGOs from Slovenia and Slovakia in cooperation with Austrian partners have been closed. 7 proposals have been received from Slovenia and 5 from Slovakia. After appraisal by the Committee in summer on the whole 8 projects have been approved.

      Find the lists of the approved projects here:

      For more information on the Regional PArtnership Programme please visit: