Friday, 3 April 2009

External evaluation on third TRIALOG phase

As foreseen in the contract with the European Commission, an external evaluation on TRIALOG III (September 2006 to September 2009) was carried out between January and March 2009. The evaluator Dr. Norbert Frieters put emphasis on the multitude of tasks and activities of TRIALOG: “On the one side TRIALOG cooperates with different actors in twelve New Member States of the European Union and further more, with key actors in some Old Member States and some Candidate Countries. On the other side TRIALOG itself is an important actor in the field of non governmental development cooperation and awareness raising on European Level.”

The results of this evaluation are again – as recent previous evaluations (2006, 2008) – very positive about TRIALOG and state that “TRIALOG has more than achieved most of its aims and quantifiable outcomes” outlined in the EC contract. The interviewed coordinators/directors and board members of national platforms in New Member States and from some Old Member States judged TRIALOG III as an important and successful project. In all of the main activity areas of TRIALOG (Capacity Building, Support of National Platforms, Networking, Policy, Advocacy and Information) TRIALOG achieved excellent results and significant impacts on national and European level according to the evaluation.

For more information please read the Executive Summary at:

For previous evaluations, please see: (EC Development Education Evaluation 2008) (External Evaluation 2006)

Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Report: Changes in ODA due to global financial downturn

TRIALOG has published a new report, detailing the situation in the EU’s 12 new member states in the context of the global financial downturn and the uncertainties faced by the national platforms of non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) as a result of reduced budgets.

The information in the report was gathered through the platform coordinators at the beginning of the year, in advance of the TRIALOG Central Training on the financial sustainability of platforms. It shows an increasingly unstable environment in which these platforms are trying to operate.

The report "Changes in ODA due to global financial downturn. Focus: New Member States NGDO platforms" can be downloaded from the TRIALOG website:
For the documentation of the TRIALOG Central Training (February 2009) turn to:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Disappointing Aid Figures Released by OECD

The 2008 aid figures released at the end of March by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), show that despite the huge impact of the financial crisis on developing countries, development aid has barely risen.

The financial crisis has seen EU member states making cuts to their development aid, with Italy reducing its aid by half at the end of 2008 and Ireland cutting its aid budget by ten percent at the beginning of 2009. New member states (NMS) have also seen cuts to their development aid, with Latvia’s aid budget being completely wiped out and Estonia’s recent announcement of a ten percent reduction.

CONCORD calculations suggest that developing countries will receive 27 billion US dollars less in aid between 2008 and 2010 due to the global financial downturn.

NMS governments are not represented in DAC, but some donors reported their changes in net ODA to the committee. The Czech Republic reported a 0.4 percent reduction; Hungary has reduced by 7.4 percent and Poland by 9 percent. Slovakia was the only NMS to report an increase of 14.4 percent to the DAC.

All EU governments have committed to meeting certain aid targets by 2010 and 2015. NMS have smaller targets to reach, but ‘the European Union is still way off track towards meeting its collective target of 0.56% of GNI by 2010,’ according to Jasmine Burnley, Coordinator of the CONCORD AidWatch campaign.

The CONCORD AidWatch report will be launched on 14 May 2009, and will look at the figures in more detail, on a country by country basis, covering all 27 member states, as well as analysing European aid as a whole.

False Sheen on European Aid Money: CONCORD/AidWatch Press release
Development Aid at its highest level ever in 2008: OECD website,3343,en_2649_34487_42458595_1_1_1_1,00.html

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG; Sources:;

Outcomes of the World in Crisis Conference in Prague

In the eve of the G20 summit in London and before the informal meeting of EU economic and finance ministers (Ecofin) in Prague, more than 150 representatives of NGOs, social movements, academia from all over the world gathered in Prague, from March 30 until April 1, 2009, to discuss the roots, causes, impacts and responses to the financial crisis, economic meltdown, climate change, mismanagement of natural resource use, increasing inequality and volatile food and oil prices from the perspective of the world´s poor and vulnerable.

Along with the discussions outlined above the conference aimed to bridge Czech, Central Eastern European (CEE), EU and global debates about global economy and politics, collect the views, experience and expertise on the crises from different groups. Special interest was given to support – and indeed legitimate – an open and informed debate in the CEE region on alternative economic approaches.

After three days of discussions the participants agreed on the text of the final declaration "Transforming the World in Crisis (Prague NGO declaration)" which contains joint messages addressed to the G20 summit in London and informal Ecofin meeting in Prague.

The text of the declaration as well as the program and list of participants can be found at The direct link to the final declaration is:
More outcomes of the conference including reports from workshops and various documents will be available soon.

For more information you can contact Ondrej Kopecny from Glopolis at

Information provided by Ondrej Kopecny, Glopolis

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

EPAN meets the Commission and Parliament in Brussels

The CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN), which is convened by TRIALOG, met in the middle of March at one of its six-monthly meetings. The group met in Brussels, which allowed it easy access to the European institutions and the offices of the CONCORD secretariat.

Around 25 people from all over Europe, including candidate country Croatia, met to discuss the work they wished to focus on in the next few months.

The group met Egidio Canciani from DG External Relations, who is the deputy head of unit responsible for the general coordination of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). He explained the current process surrounding the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) mid term review; and gave more details about the Eastern Partnership (EaP) proposal, and specifically the Civil Society Forum that has been foreseen. The EPAN working group will spend the next month preparing a contribution to the ENPI mid term review, and a position paper regarding the EaP Civil Society Forum.

The second issue that provoked heated debate, also related to Europe’s policy regarding its neighbours, was the recent violence in Gaza. This conflict has forced the Union for the Mediterranean to grind to a halt, and the group discussed the best way for the EU to deal with this situation. MEP Luisa Morgantini, and independent press representative Marisa Consolata spoke about their experiences during that last bout of violence, and their long-standing work in the country. The EPAN working group will also be preparing a position paper on what the EU should do.

The group also had the opportunity to find out about other areas of CONCORD’s work with an informal lunch meeting with members of the CONCORD and DEEEP secretariats. Ester Asin, Policy Coordinator at CONCORD talked the group through the confederation’s policy priorities for the next three years, and the actions that are being planned around the time of the European elections, including the ‘ten days for development’.

Due to a packed agenda and limited time, the group this time focused much more heavily on neighbourhood issues than pre-accession work. A conference call will be held in the first week of April to take forward the group’s work on pre-accession.

DG RELEX consultation regarding the Eastern Partnership’s Civil Society Forum
CONCORD election manifesto

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Study on Estonian MEPs and development cooperation

In March 2009 the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ) and the European Movement Estonia (EME) organised a conference on Estonia’s achievements in the field of EU development cooperation and neighbourhood policy. The main showpiece was a study analysing the activities of Estonian MEPs with regard to development issues. The study was commissioned by the FEST project (Finland, Estonia and Sweden – Together for Development) and conducted by EuroCollege, University of Tartu. During the period under observation (2006-2008) Estonia was represented in the European Parliament with 6 delegates, including one MEP (Toomas Savi) in the Parliament’s Committee on Development (DEVE).

The study provides insight into the opinions of Estonian MEPs about the role of the European Parliament in development cooperation vis-à-vis other EU institutions. The personal contribution of Estonian MEPs registered mainly as work in various delegations as well as in the field of European Neighbourhood Policy. In addition, Estonian MEPs were involved in the preparation of the Budreikaite report on the challenge of the EU development cooperation policy for the new member states. The most important development issues listed by the MEPs were migration, human rights and democracy, whereas Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) were regarded as least important. With regard to aid recipients Estonian MEPs prefer cooperation with countries in transition and vulnerable states, whereas African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and cooperation motivated by former colonial relations was deemed least preferable.

The study also analysed the collaboration of MEPs with the Estonian government and with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The MFA regards collaboration with Estonian MEPs as positive, but the role of the EP and DEVE is considered less important as compared to other EU institutions, especially the Commission and the Council. Collaboration between MEPs and CSOs has thus far been rather limited.

The study concludes with recommendations for the next parliamentary term. For the purposes of motivating future MEPs and keeping the electorate informed, the work of MEPs should be regularly monitored and evaluated both in the media as well as by more comprehensive analyses. In addition, cooperation must be enhanced between MEPs, the MFA and CSOs. The CSOs should provide regular feedback and thematic expertise and participate in the establishment of an effective cooperation model.

The new AKÜ team which now also includes a Policy Officer (Evelin Andrespok, is ready to meet the challenges and reinforce advocacy work towards Estonian MEPs to make CSO concerns and expertise better heard on EU as well as national level.

The full study paper on Estonian MEPs will become available in Estonian language during April, an English summary in May. For further information, please contact AKÜ Information Officer Kaarin Piiskoppel at:

Information provided by Kaarin Piiskoppel, AKÜ Information Officer

Survey analyses joint policy work of Czech platform members

In June 2008, 22 out of 40 members of the Czech NGDO platform FoRS took part in a survey which aimed to analyse the functions, skills, expertise and policy influence of NGDOs and their expectations towards the national platform.

According to the results of this survey, FoRS members believe that the Czech NGDO sector has at least a modest impact on development policy and practice in the Czech Republic, although only 13,6% of the respondents consider this impact significant. The most effective types of evidence when seeking to influence development policy are case studies, field reports and personal contacts. The main constraints Czech NGDOs face when trying to engage in policy processes are lack of time, insufficient staff capacity, lack of financial resources, and a policy process that is not open to NGDOs. The four most important development issues the respondents want FoRS to work on are: National development policy, Development education, Aid and EU positions.

For more information on the survey results, download the English summary at:

The survey is part of the project ‘Fostering Global Responsibility: Building a Development Policy Knowledge Network to Enhance NGO Public Outreach Initiatives in EU New Member States’ which intends to build a knowledge network of non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The project is EU-funded and led by a consortium of the Centre for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the UK; FoRS is one of the project partners.

Information provided by Jana Krczmarova, FoRS

Czech Republic has National Report on Global Education

In December 2008, the National Report on Global Education (GE) in the Czech Republic was launched as the part of the European Global Education Peer Review Process. The process was initiated by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took a year and was facilitated by GENE (Global Education Network Europe) Secretariat. This process was developed in partnership with the Czech Reference Group consisting of the Czech Development Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and FoRS – the Czech national platform of NGOs in development cooperation - and involved an international interdisciplinary peer review team which comprised experts from Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Slovakia.

The Peer Review recognises and welcomes the fact that while recent, there is a relatively strong, significant, energetic and growing tradition of Global Education in the Czech Republic. This is reflected in the range of committed organisations involved in Global Education, and in the many commendable initiatives and well-developed projects in the formal and non-formal education sectors.

The report also points out many opportunities and challenges ahead – the integration of Global Education into the formal school sector in a time of radical restructuring; greater coordination, capacity building of institutions and organizations; increased and more long-term funding; and more strategic work with non-formal sectors.

In this respect, FoRS and its member organisations working in the field of Global Education and awareness raising take the great opportunity of the current Czech Presidency of the EU to organise an international conference on the topic of the “Effectiveness in Development Education and Awareness Raising” (to be held in Prague, 28 – 29 May, 2009). The Peer Review recommendations will thus provide a good ground for further discussions and follow-up.

Download the full National Report on Global Education in the Czech Republic by GENE from:

Check the FoRS website to see the actual news on the planned events during the Czech EU Presidency. See also the events section of this TIS:

Information provided by Jana Krczmarova, FoRS

Cyprus Island-wide NGDO Platform signed Memorandum of Understanding

After three long years, Cypriot NGDOs from all across Cyprus are eager to soon join the European CONCORD family together. On 11 March 2009, the coordination committee, representing the Greek Cypriot NGDO Platform ‘The Development’ and the Turkish Cypriot NGO Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which constitutes the basis of the Cyprus Island-wide NGDO Platform (CYINDEP). This was an important next step, following the meta-platform building seminar under TRIALOG's facilitation in September 2008 (see link to related TIS article below).

The main aim of this island-wide platform is to bring together NGOs working on international development, development education, and development cooperation to improve the effectiveness of their work and advocacy. CYINDEP will serve as an umbrella platform for development NGOs in both parts of Cyprus and will strive to strengthen communication, exchange of good practices and collaboration among all NGDOS and thus contribute to a more equal and fair world, based on cooperation, trust, effectiveness, community building, and respect for human rights.

For more information please contact Kerstin Wittig at:

Related article in September TIS:

Information provided by Kerstin Wittig, Cyprus NGO platform "The Development"

New challenges for the Slovenian platform SLOGA

After the Slovenian EU Presidency (Jan.-June 2008) and with a newly elected government, the Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA is taking up new challenges.

In January 2009, Slovenian NGDOs met with the State Secretary and Development Ministress Dragoljuba Benčina who announced the second call for proposals of the Slovenian MFA for NGDO development projects. The call was launched on the 6th of March and indicated certain improvement in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid in Slovenia (more state institutions involved, financial resources doubled). However, among the priorities were only development projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans and Eastern Europe and humanitarian projects (catastrophe prevention etc.) but no development education/global education projects. SLOGA responded to the Call with a letter to the MFA, expressing the need for further cooperation among state institutions in the field of development cooperation, in particular with regard to ensuring sustainability of NGDO projects.

In February, SLOGA organised a national roundtable on »Local Authorities and NGOs – together for development cooperation« in cooperation with the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia. For the first time, NGDOs and Slovenian local authorities discussed about possible ways for cooperation in development cooperation and development/global education.

Another result of the SLOGA Presidency project was the decision to form a permanent SLOGA Working group on climate changes and development. The ambition of this group is to raise awareness of the political decision-makers and the general public about the interconnectedness of development and climate change for ahieving climate justice and global solidarity in the framework of the process towards the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (December 2009).

For more information about SLOGA, please visit: (Please note that SLOGA has changed its phone number; the new number is: +386 1 434 44 02.)

Information provided by Anja Mešič, SLOGA

Final documentation of the Regional Partnership Programme

After a four year period the Regional Partnership Programme (RPP) is coming to an end with April 2009. With this unique initiative that was set up between the NGDO platforms of EU New Member States Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia together with the Austrian EU-Platform a Central European Dialogue on development cooperation issues between the NGDOs as well as with governments and other stakeholders in the region was established.

The two recently published brochures are summarizing the "Lessons Learnt" and the "Results and Perception" of the Regional Partnership Programme, offering a useful tool for similar projects aiming for regional cooperation. They complement the first RPP publication "Learning by doing" issued in September 2008 about the RPP pilot project fund (see

According to the main goals of the programme on establishing sustainable dialogue and cooperation between the NGDO platforms of the RPP-countries, strengthening their capacities, creating forums for constructive dialogue between them and their respective national governments and implementing pilot projects in development awareness and development cooperation, the brochure "Results and Perception" clearly states that the Regional Partnership Programme proved to be a great success in all of the pursued goals. The added value lies in the establishment of higher networking opportunities among the countries, allowing a learning process through the sharing of common experiences and practices and the better positioning of platforms as important dialogue partners with relevant stakeholders such as ministries and member NGDOs.

The brochure on “Lessons learnt” is focused on programming and planning, budgeting structure, management and coordination, pilot projects, NGDO platforms cooperation and the relationship between NGDO platforms, ministries and government agencies. It stresses the importance of detailed planning while being aware of the different needs and legal statuses of the involved stakeholders. Despite the difficulties and the coordinating challenges of such a programme, projects with the setting of transnational cooperation can be seen as a model for the future.

The documentation will be presented at the final event of the Regional Partnership Programme on April 16, 2009 in Vienna. For more details, please turn to the Events section:

The two new RPP brochures are available at:

Information provided by Danijela Janosevic, RPP

New Lithuanian development education network LIDEA

In January 2009 five Lithuanian NGOs working in development education have formed a new non-formal network called LIDEA (Lithuanian development education and awareness raising network). The reason to establish the network was the wish to work transparently and cooperatively within LIDEA, with other civil society organisations and institutions in Lithuania interested in development education and awareness raising.

The network seeks to enlarge competences of NGOs working in development education and to make them stronger. The broader aim is to promote development education among citizens of Lithuania in order to raise their awareness about development cooperation.

LIDEA member organisations have several years of experience in development education and awareness raising work; one of them is also a part of an international organisation working in the development cooperation field. "One of the reasons to establish the non-formal network", says Lina Kalibataite, co-founder of LIDEA, "was not to be in competition with each other but to share problems and difficulties, to see where we are strong and where we are weak and how we can help each other."

For further information on the network please contact Lina Kalibataite at

Information provided by Lina Kalibataite, Lithuanian Kolping Society

Enlarging Fair project: Right for Food seminar in Malta

Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust (KKG), the only Fair Trade Organisation in Malta, is a participating partner in a two-year project co-funded by the European Commission called Enlarging Fair, which is implemented together with Fair Trade Organisations from four other New Member States (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Slovenia) under the coordination of Pangea-Niente Troppo, an Italian Fair Trade Organisation.

One of the objectives of the Enlarging Fair project is the design and implementation of a common campaign which will be launched in all the participating countries during the second part of 2009 and which has already been launched in Italy. The focus of the common campaign is the right to food and will deal mainly with the issues of food security and food sovereignty and the role of Fair Trade in helping poor producers overcome their unjust disadvantage in the world market.

In the scope of the Enlarging Fair project, KKG organised a public seminar in December 2008 on the theme of the Right for Food which was well attended by representatives of the participating International Fair Trade organisations as well as by members of local NGOs, the PL (Malta Labour Party), Alternattiva Demokratika, the Green Party and the general public. In line with the campaign theme, the guest speakers at the seminar addressed a number of issues related to food production and distribution both from a global and local perspective. Among the speakers was Ms Borbala Simonyi, a Hungarian expert in food sovereignty, who gave a theoretical overview of the complex relationship between the right for food, food security and food sovereignty from a global perspective.

In her intervention, Ms Claudia Piacenza from Pangea-Niente Troppo and one of the co-ordinators of the Enlarging Fair Project, stressed that Fair Trade has a significant role to play in the struggle against global poverty and injustice. Fair Trade has the role of educating different sectors of society and informing them about the roots and causes of hunger as well as to promote Fair Trade as a concrete alternative choice to fight global trade inequalities; as a force of change reflected in our everyday responsible lifestyle choices.

The theme of “The Right for Food” will be further developed in the 2009 Worldfest event in Malta. This is a yearly KKG event and this year it will take place on 9th May, the World Fair Trade Day.

For more information on the Right for Food seminar in Malta, please read the following detailed article:

For further information on the right for food/food sovereignty, the upcoming Worldfest event and related activities, please visit: (partly in Maltese language)

Information provided by Angele Deguara, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust

Global Education - Kick off event in Budapest

On basis of the 2008 Joint Management Agreement with the European Commission, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (NSC) held its launching event for the promotion of global/development education in the new EU member states on 23-24 March 2009 in Budapest. The event was organised in partnership with the Hungarian platform HAND and DEEEP.

TRIALOG Director Christine Bedoya gave input to the session on "Challenges and perspectives for Global Development Education in the new EU member States"; her presentation can be downloaded from:

More speakers' presentations, reports from the working groups and an updated participants list are available together with other conference documents on the NSC website:

As a next step, the NSC will organise 12 national seminars on global education in all new member states between 2009 and 2010. For more information on the Joint Management Agreement and planned activities please visit or contact Gordana Berjan at

Source: and information provided by Gordana Berjan, NSC

CONCORD internship for EU election campaign

CONCORD is proposing an internship of 2 months (from 23 April till end of June 2009) for somebody fluent in English to help with its European election campaign. The internship must be part of your school curricula and an internship convention must be signed with the school. CONCORD gives 100 EUR per month for lunch and transportation. If you are interested and can begin on 23rd April, send your cover letter and CV by 17 April to Agnès Philippart,

For more information, please read:


Latest CONCORD Flash

The latest issue of the CONCORD Flash reports the February news from the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development.

In this issue:
- A word from Per Bo on the transparency of non-profit organisations
- Madrid High-Level Meeting on Food Security for All: a big show with small results
- CONCORD at the informal Development Council meeting
- The Swedish Development Cooperation Agency: an example to follow
- When the European Commission assesses aid delivery by civil society
- Update on CONCORD's Food Facility advocacy – a chronological overview
- Access to medicines in jeopardy
- Focus on the core concern of New Member State platforms
… and many other subjects.

You can download the Flash from the “publication” section of the CONCORD website: or use the direct link:

Information provided by Agnès Philippart, CONCORD

Dochas briefing paper on the global crisis

In a report launched in March 2009, Dóchas, the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations, demonstrates how poor countries’ ability to respond to the global crisis is steadily being eroded. The report, entitled “Now is not the time to turn our backs on the poor”, highlights the dramatic impact of the global economic crisis on the world’s poorest people.

The Dóchas report is available at
Examples of how Irish Development NGOs are working to reduce world poverty can be found at

Information provided by Hans Zomer, Dóchas

Advance Notice: EC Application training

This is to inform all NGOs from new EU member states who submitted a concept note in the 2008 EC development education call for proposals (by February 17) that a TRIALOG training event on "How to write a full EC application" is foreseen for May 2009. If your concept note was selected by the EC and you are invited to submit a full proposal, please inform our capacity building officer Petra Kreinecker at to give us the possibility to possibly plan a further training. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide more than 1-2 training events.

Even if you will not participate in a training event, we would be grateful for information about your submitted EC project and the status of your application - this allows us to collect data for new member states, for comparison and in order to constantly adjust our actitivites according to your needs. Thank you in advance and all the best for your applications!

For further information please contact Petra Kreinecker at

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

April 16, 2009: Regional Partnership Programme - Lessons learnt and further perspectives, Vienna

The Regional Partnership Programme (RPP) is an initiative of the development NGDO platforms in Central Europe – Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. As a first cross-border programme of its kind in Europe, the main goal was to strengthen the capacity and the visibility of development cooperation in the participating New Member States of the EU.

The closing event on April 16 in Vienna will present the final documentation on the results of the programme and the lessons learnt, such as increased visibility of platforms, stronger cooperation among the participating states and the challenges faced when implementing a cross-border programme like the RPP. Based on the experiences made, perspectives and challenges for similar future cooperation will be envisioned.

For more information on the event, please go to: or contact Danijela Janosevic, To find out more about the results and final publications of the RPP, please read the related article in this TIS:

Information provided by Danijela Janosevic, RPP