Thursday, 6 May 2010

Reserve the November Date: Conference Right to Development/Role of CSOs in Nicaragua

For some time, a central debate within the CONCORD family and their partners worldwide has focused on various aspects affecting the future work of civil society development organisations (CSOs). Several events have challenged current development approaches and the role of CSOs in development in times of crisis and changed paradigms (see for example the Prague Conference 2008). Furthermore, CONCORD is currently in a consultation process between the European Union institutions and member states and civil society to define the future role of CSOs in shaping, monitoring and implementing European development policies (the so-called “Structured Dialogue”).

At the same time – as a consequence of the Paris Declaration agreed by donors - the Open Forum for CSO development effectiveness is searching for a vision on development effectiveness through national and international policy dialogue, taking account of the centrality of the concepts of human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and the capacity of development actors to lead the changes they seek, as the foundation for situating CSO effectiveness, as well as the effectiveness of donors and governments. The objectives are to reach an agreement on common principles regarding CSO development effectiveness and an agreement on guidelines on how to apply these principles and documentation of good practices for context-relevant mechanisms appropriate to each country and region.

TRIALOG in continuation of it’s conference on paradigm shift in development cooperation and in coordination with the above mentioned processes is organising a conference on “Right to Development /Role of CSOs” in Nicaragua from 24th to 26th of November, 2010. In the frame of this conference we invite CSO representatives from the 12 new EU member states, from the 15 old EU member states and from the “Global South” (especially from Latin America) to continue the discussions started and to find joint statements on the identity and role of CSOs in development cooperation in the “North” and in the “South”. The invitation and background information is available at:

From Nov. 29th to Dec. 3rd, TRIALOG is organising field visits to development projects in Nicaragua for participants from the 12 NMS. The visits will include meetings with local stakeholders, CSOs, the local target group and beneficiaries, as well as official representatives of the EC-delegations and regional offices of the European national representations.

CSO representatives from the 12 NMS who would like to participate in the conference and the field visits please contact: Travel support for some NMS participants will be available.

Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG

June 7-8, 2010: TRIALOG Central Training, Krakow

The ashes of the Icelandic Volcano crossed TRIALOG's plans to hold this year’s Central Training for New Member States' NGDO platforms in April in Poland. A number of participants and resource persons were not able to travel due to the Europe-wide closure of airports.

The good news: the training is postponed and will be held on 7th and 8th of June 2010 in Krakow, Poland. The training which is co-organised with the Polish NGDO Platfrom Grupa Zagranica deals with “The Lisbon Treaty and Its Implications For Civil Society”. Apart from a general introduction into the Lisbon Treaty participants will have a detailed look into the opportunities and challenges of this new European constitution for development NGOs and discuss mechanisms for dialogue between EU institutions and civil society organisations, look into how civil society organisations can benefit from an increased role of the European Parliament and National Parliaments and explore Lobby Strategies towards the policy making bodies.

For more information please contact your national platforms or our Capacity Building Officer Andra Tanase

Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

TRIALOG is recruiting a Policy Officer

The TRIALOG team is currently looking for a Policy and Advocacy Officer for the Brussels office, to cover maternity leave from September 1, 2010. Full details are available at the following link:
The deadline for applications is May 31, 2010. We strongly encourage applicants from the 12 new EU member states.

2010: The year of change - A new team in TRIALOG

The year 2010 brings a lot of challenges and changes for the TRIALOG team. Our Information Officer Anita Bister, who has been working with us for the last six years, decided to leave TRIALOG for personal reasons. We are very sorry to lose her as a highly professional and reliable colleague and wish her all the best for the future. In May, Anita will be replaced by Ulrike Bey who has been doing already an internship with TRIALOG in the last two months. Ulrike is German and holds a masters degree in social anthropology, sociology and politics of economics from the University of Münster. Between 2001 and 2009 she co-ordinated the Burma-Initiative and a project on Asian Development in the German Asia Foundation.

Brigitte Quehenberger, TRIALOG Administrative Assistant, will have a baby in the beginning of August and will go on maternity leave in June, for probably 15 months. Her maternity leave replacement is Elisa Romero who will start her work with TRIALOG in the beginning of September. Elisa finished her “Languages, Economics and Cultural Area Studies” in Germany and is currently working as Assistant to the Director of HORIZONT3000, TRIALOG's lead agency.

And last but not least "we" will also have a baby in our Brussels office: our Policy Officer Rebecca Steel-Jasińska is expecting a baby in September. Due to the different regulations for maternity leave in Belgium, Rebecca will only go on maternity leave in the middle of September till probably end of March 2011. Her maternity leave replacement will be recruted in June and start in the beginning of September (see Job advertisement).

Together with our Capacity Building Officer Andra Tanase we will ensure a smooth handover to our new colleagues and do our best to maintain the same quality and quantity of TRIALOG work also in future.

Information provided by Christine Bedoya

European External Action Service Takes Shape

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty at the beginning of the year, the European institutions have been adjusting to the new framework and taking steps to make the necessary changes. One of the new elements to have been introduced by the Treaty is the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), which is under the control of the High Representative Catherine Ashton.

Mrs Ashton submitted a proposal for the EEAS on the 25th March 2010 and since then, Brussels has been full of discussion about what the proposal means in practice. The main points of the proposal that are interesting to the development community are the suggestions that the EEAS should contribute to the programming and management of external cooperation programmes that fall under development policy.

A challenge has come from CONCORD and some of its members however based on legal grounds. They assert that the proposal actually breaches the Lisbon Treaty and goes against the interests of both the EU and the world’s poorest.

First of all the lawyers say that the role of EEAS is restricted to the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), which is just a part of the EU’s external action. This does not extend to development policy, which is the ‘sole competence’ of the European Commission, as defined by the treaties.

Secondly, poverty reduction is the main objective of development policy and this is being threatened if it is put under the EEAS, which risks pursuing purely European interests.
Despite these objections, Ashton’s proposal was accepted by the Council at the end of April. It now has to pass through the European Parliament.

The TRIALOG central training, which was postponed due to the Icelandic volcano eruption in April and moved to 7-8 June, will look at how our work as CSOs has been affected by the institutional changes that result from the Lisbon Treaty (see Events).

Related links: The Ashton Proposal for a Council Decision on the EEAS:
CONCORD and partners’ media statement on the illegality of the Ashton proposal:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Training for Multipliers: First Module Completed

With the Training of Multipliers TRIALOG has started a new element in its activities on capacity building. 23 people from 11 New Member States will undergo three 3-day training sessions during 2010 with the final goal of them serving as multipliers and resource people in their respective countries.

The first module from 22st to 24th of March 2010 in Vienna focused on the basics of development cooperation, EU development policies and instruments and EC application. The training consisted of an intensive mixture of input combined with interactive methodology on how to train other people about these sometimes dry issues. Participants debated about ongoing issues in development using the debate as a tool for presenting contradicting positions, conducted expert interviews in order to conduct a needs assessment for an imagined project, and went through the project application steps.

The 23 participants from 11 new member states represented a variety of professional experience and expectations. In the course of the training the need appeared to have more room for discussing current issues of development cooperation as well as for a more intensive sharing of best practices and experiences with regard to projects and applications. The next modules are currently planned including the feedback and input of the participants in order to meet these needs better. The second module will take place from 19 to 21st of May in Vienna, the third module is scheduled for 20-22 September.

Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

Polish NGOs improve their skills on Management of EC Projects and Standard Contracts

Operational management of EC Projects and Standard Contracts was the theme covered by the recent national training organized by TRIALOG in April 2010 in Poland.

During the training the participants engaged in practical and theoretical workshops addressing monitoring, evaluation and financial reporting of EC contracts. Andra Tanase, Capacity Building Officer at TRIALOG, introduced the audience to the process of implementing a standard contract from the EC. The participants had opportunity to analyse in details EC administrative and financial rules, work on the management plans of their projects, exchange experience and to ask concrete questions regarding the implementation phase of development cooperation projects. “Polish NGDOs which are relatively new in this sector are still dealing with lack of sufficient knowledge and experience in the implementation of projects financed by the European Commission. This workshop was a great opportunity to learn, clarify our doubts and exchange experience” said Monika from the ZAGRANICA GROUP.

The event was organized on April 12-13, 2010 in Warsaw in cooperation with the ZAGRANICA GROUP, the Polish NGDO Platform. In total, during the two-days training, around 20 participants from various polish NGOs working in the development field were trained.

Information provided by Monika Kuśmierczyk, Grupa Zagranica

AidWatch puts pressure on EU governments to push towards achieving the MDGs

The annual OECD DAC aid figures released in April 2010 show that EU countries reduced their levels of development aid in 2009, making these states unlikely to meet the targets set for 2015 and putting a large question mark over their commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The release of the aid figures was swiftly followed by the European Commission publishing the ‘April Package’, a cluster of documents released each spring that comprises a communication and staff working documents relative to European aid levels. This year, the staff working documents focus specifically on the MDGs, outlining the key challenges for the road ahead; aid for trade; financing for development; policy coherence for development (PCD) and aid effectiveness.

As part of capacity development events aimed to strengthen the work of CSOs working on aid, a workshop has been organised by CONCORD, the French national platform Coordination Sud and TRIALOG, with other partners, at the end of May in Paris. It will gather together representatives from across Europe to look at parliamentary scrutiny in development policy and aid budgets.

The AidWatch annual report will be launched in June, with a public awareness-raising stunt in Brussels and across European capitals.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) aid figures:
April package:
The CONCORD press release on the OECD figures and an AidWatch position paper on European aid in 2010 are available from the CONCORD website:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

European Development Education Conference in Cyprus

Future Worlds Center, in collaboration with its project partners Scotdec, Youth Career & Advising Centre, C.E.G.A. Foundation and KADE, hosted the first European Development Education Conference "Making Global Connections – Development Education in Schools" in Limassol, Cyprus, from 8 to 10 April 2010.

The conference was opened by the Head of European and International Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus and brought together NGO representatives, teachers, students, educational authorities, Development Education experts, and active citizens from across Europe. The conference was organized as concluding event of the EuropeAid funded project ‘Accessing Development Education’, which has been coordinated by Future Worlds Center since January 2008.

Throughout the 2,5 days of the conference, participants engaged in sharing good practices in introducing a global perspective into the educational system. They also had a critical look at persisting challenges faced by educators across Europe, as well as opportunities and success stories.

During the interactive parallel workshops the participants could learn more about Development Education resources and classroom activities, experience new methodologies and network with their peers from other European countries. In addition to the working sessions, participating schools and teachers had prepared an exhibition to portray and celebrate their efforts of including Development Education into the school realities.

The project ‘Accessing Development Education’ engages educators and schools in Development Education activities and equips them with relevant training and materials, thus making them promoters and multipliers of national campaigns and initiatives that aim to create awareness about development issues and global interdependencies.

For more information please contact Kerstin Wittig,,

Information provided by Kerstin Wittig, Future Worlds Center

Training in Riga

Towards the end of a long winter, and with floods still affecting day-to-day life in Riga, TRIALOG organized in cooperation with the Latvian NGDO Platform LAPAS the national training in Latvia on the 29th of March 2010. The topic, chosen according to the needs assessment done at the platform level was "Development Cooperation 101", which means the basic issues in development cooperation. Basic issues, but not so basic discussions and insights into the current state of affairs with a wide participation and insights from a varied and very interesting group, ranging from civil society organizations, governmental employees, EC workers, teachers and academia.

The workshop aimed at introducing participants to the EU development cooperation policy creating a solid base for understanding its rationale, main challenges and structural blocks. Having had this overview, and sharing also the realities of their own work, the participants did seek and genuinely hoped for the opportunities among the many challenges present in the current context (strong financial crisis in Latvia, low public interest in development issues, low interest in enlarging the partner countries’ horizons to African and Latin American countries). LAPAS’ presentation towards the end of the day contributed to the concretization of the reality of development cooperation activities in the Latvian context, and most agreed that the road to development cooperation has quite a few thorns at the moment, but that they are willing to take the axes to clear up this road.

Information provided by Andra Tanase, TRIALOG

EPAN Working Group meets in Vienna

The CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN), which is convened by TRIALOG, met in Vienna for one of its twice-yearly full working group meetings at the beginning of March 2010. The group shared information about initiatives undertaken at the national and European level related to EPAN focus countries as well as plans related to current and upcoming EU presidencies and CONCORD priorities for this year. The group divided into subgroups in order to plan in more detail upcoming events related to the Eastern neighbourhood, Southern neighbourhood and pre-accession area of the Western Balkans and Turkey.

As well as representatives from old and new member states, the group was happy to welcome representatives from candidate countries Croatia and Turkey, who were able to bring their expertise of their own countries to the discussions.

The meeting was planned to take place right before the regional workshop of the open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness that focused on non-EU European countries, largely overlapping with the EPAN countries of interest. A handful of members attended both meetings. EPAN meeting minutes are available on the CONCORD extranet. For more information please contact Rebecca Steel at

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Monday, 3 May 2010

Fifth Euro - Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Forum

On 15 and 16 March 2010, the Mesa de Articulación (the coalition of Latin American platforms and networks) and CONCORD held the Fifth Euro - Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Forum in Madrid. Over 40 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) organisations and around 15 organisations from Europe participated in this event to prepare for the official heads of states and governments Summit in May. The topics of the Forum were: crisis and the development model; innovation, technology and media; democracy, human rights, migrants and indigenous peoples; association agreements and regional integration; and development financing and cooperation. The final declaration puts emphasis on the global crisis but also on the ways forward, here an extract:

“The current international crisis has made clear the limits of an economic model based on market deregulations, unlimited growth and the reduction of the State to its minimum functions. The consequences of these policies are being felt in the lives of everyday people, particularly among the poorest and most excluded. This is a deep systemic crisis, with economic, alimentary, energetic, environmental and social dimensions. […] We believe that the current crisis is an opportunity to advance more decisively with respect to alternatives for change that comprise the complexity and integrity of the political, social, environmental, cultural and economic processes on our continents.”

Thirteen “proposals and observations” have been sent to the EU and LAC governments that aim at establishing a relationship model between the EU and LAC that is based on political dialogue, cooperation, the promotion of social justice and human, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, taking into account a thoroughgoing analysis of and respect for the development models of their countries, their weaknesses and their strengths. Civil society in the LAC and EU countries is vital for safeguarding, promoting and developing rights and democratic spaces on their continents and should continue their advocacy and solidarity work, strengthening their links and alliances on the basis of their shared values.

The full declaration is available in English (Spanish and Portuguese) on the CONCORD website, see:

Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG

Conference in Slovenia: Development Cooperation - Quo Vadis?

How to increase development aid and make it more effective? What is the future of Slovenian development aid? These were some of the key issues raised at the Slovenian international conference "Development Cooperation – Quo vadis" that took place on 26th March 2010. It was organized by the Slovenian NGDO Platform SLOGA together with Ekvilib Institute and its goal was to highlight the basic challenges faced by the international and Slovenian donor community.

In 2009 Slovenia has allocated 51 million EUR for development aid, was stated at the beginning of the conference by the representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and progress has also been made in increasing its effectiveness. The following panels of the conference focused on the civil society and the NGO representatives presented their ideas on aid effectiveness, new practices and approaches to development, and concrete project examples. Slovenian and international NGO representatives focused on the Paris declaration and Accra agenda and emphasized the importance of unity in understanding what aid effectiveness is. Some of the panelists also focused on new donors such as China and analysed the EU approach in the light of the new donors in the Sub Saharan Africa. In this light recommendations for the Slovenian strategy on development cooperation in the region were given. The panel was followed by a discussion that critically reflected on the role of civil society organisations in development cooperation. The conference concluded with a workshop on the human rights based approach to development cooperation.

For more information please contact Barbara Vodopivec from SLOGA at

Information provided by Barbara Vodopivec, SLOGA

Training session Working with EuropeAid in Prague

The two-day fruitful training session delivered by the Italian organization punto.sud in cooperation with the Czech Forum for Development Co-operation, FoRS, was held in Prague, 23-24 March 2010. The participants were comprised of 24 Czech civil society organizations involved in the planning and management of EC funded development programs. The training was followed by hands-on support to interested organisations on specific issues pertaining to their Europe-Aid funded projects. The next training session will be held in another new member state (NMS) country in 2010 (see

The training is part of the project “Helpdesk platform and support to New Member States (NMS) Non State Actors/Local Authorities in the Development sector” implemented by punto.sud as lead organization; FoRS (Czech Republic), People in Peril Association (Slovakia), Hungarian Baptist Aid (Hungary) and APEL Service (Romania) as implementing partners; Caritas Poland (Poland) and Support to Life (Turkey) as Associates. The project’s main purpose is to improve the access to information, methods and best practices on EuropeAid-grant contractual obligations of Non State Actors and Local Authorities of the EU NMS.

Information provided by Tereza Ambrozova, FoRS intern,

V4 Roundtable: Prague

The 6th roundtable - organized by the Czech Forum for Development Cooperation FoRS, funded by the EU and co-financed by the Visegrad Fund - was held in Prague on 18-19 March 2010 within the project of the Center of Social and Economic Research, CASE, “Fostering Global Responsibility- Building a Development Policy Knowledge Network to Enhance NGO Public Outreach Initiatives in EU New Member States”. The roundtable comprised of two sessions which mainly focused on mainstreaming gender into development cooperation. The overall objectives were to learn how to promote gender equality and women’s human rights in development, to learn concrete methods and practical tools how to mainstream gender in all projects and policies, and to strengthen the participant’s practical skills on how to do internal evaluations. The participants were representatives of national platforms of four European countries (Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland), NGDO representatives from the host country (Czech Republic), experts, representatives from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Czech Development Agency, and representatives of the Overseas Development Institute, ODI, and CASE The discussions that were part of the roundtable highlighted that the majority of the audience were new to the subject of gender and gender mainstreaming and showed how important it is to strengthen this topic within development cooperation. For more information go to

Information provided by Tereza Ambrozova, FoRS intern,

TRIALOG at PLATFORMA conference in Bucharest

In 2007, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) took the initiative of gathering a wide range of associations of territorial authorities—national, European, and global—within a new European Platform of Local and Regional Authorities for Development. PLATFORMA was officially launched in November 2008 during the European Development Days, in Strasbourg.

The strengthening of links between non state actors and local authorities is one of the objectives of PLATFORMA. In February 2010, TRIALOG invited Lucie Guillet to introduce the initiative at the 2nd TRIALOG Partnership Fair in Vienna. Soon after, on 12 March 2010, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer Andra Tanase participated at the PLATFORMA Seminar "Development cooperation in the post-2004 EU member States: the role of local and regional authorities" in Bucharest. In her contribution, Andra touched upon the role of local and regional authorities in development education and how to effectively work with NGOs. Her intervention was much appreciated by the organisers particularly regarding the presented approach in development education and the work TRIALOG achieves. Future cooperation was envisaged. Ionut Sibian from Civil Society Development Foundation in Romania also highlighted the essential role of civil society in development cooperation. In general, the event was very promissing in terms of topics and also in terms of presence of national and international guests.

For further information, please contact Andra Tanase at
For more information on PLATFORMA, please see: and
Find a list of PLATFORMA-members at:

Information provided by Anita Bister, TRIALOG

Lithuania: Association LITDEA formalised

The Lithuanian Development Education and Awareness Raising Network LITDEA has worked informally since the end of 2008 (see related article in April 2009 TIS: New Lithuanian development education network LIDEA). This year, on the 4th of March 2010, the network has been formalised as "Association LITDEA".

The Association LITDEA is the result of a merge between two networks: the previously informal LITDEA network and most members of the Association "New Connections" - another group of NGOs working in development cooperation as one of their priorities since 2004. Both now together transformed into the new "Association LITDEA" (by reorganising the name and statutes of the former Association "New connections").

LITDEA currently unites 9 NGOs working in development education and general public awareness raising in Lithuania as well as working abroad in partnership with and for the benefit of foreign partners. All the members of LITDEA are conjoined by the will of acting together in order to create better conditions in Lithuania and Europe for developing supportive activities for the countries in need. Two more organizations expressed the wish to join the network.

For more information please read about LITDEA in the following text: or contact Lina Kalibataite at

Information provided by Lina Kalibataite, LITDEA

Poland: quality of development education debate

Representatives of Polish NGOs involved in global education met on the 11th of March 2010 to discuss criteria, ways of evaluating and mechanisms of ensuring high quality of global education in Poland. The meeting, conducted by members of the Institute of Global Responsibility (IGO), provided an opportunity to prepare for a common position for the multistakeholder meeting on the 29th of March.

There are 6 multistakeholder meetings planned altogether in 2010, each focusing on a different aspect of global education in Poland (i.e. financing, definition, new actors etc.). Among the involved parties are representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, inservice teacher training centres, publishers etc. Additionally there is a moodle learning platform to enable further and deeper discussions also for those who cannot participate in meetings.

The multi-stakeholder process was launched at the Conference on Global Education in Warsaw in December 2009 (see The anticipated result of all 6 meetings and the moodle platform discussions will be an multistakeholder consensus on the development of development education in Poland.

The Institute of Global Responsibility is very much involved in the process. Feel free to contact us for more details at: networking[at]

Information provided by Marcin Wojtalik, Institute of Global Responsibility,

Zagranica Group is undergoing major institutional changes

With the relocation of Zagranica Group’s office to the very centre of Warsaw's political space (Nowy Swiat) in February 2010, the first stage of institutional changes has been finished: the Polish NGDO platform now has an updated statute, new management structure, 6-year strategy and 3-person staff.

In March 2009 changes to the statute were introduced, allowing the Board of Zagranica Group to become more proactive in influencing the platform’s functioning and policies. In July, the Board decided to hire the Executive director of the Group, Wojciech Tworkowski (formerly Board member), who became responsible for reorganizing the office, stabilizing the platform’s finances and pushing forward the Group’s work on the strategy, as well as its implementation. In November 2009 a new person was hired for the office, Katarzyna Krzemińska, to become a coordinator for working groups. In March 2010 Monika Kusmierczyk joined the staff as coordinator for financial/administrative matters and information policies. Meanwhile, in February 2010 Marta Pejda, who used to be the Group’s secretary for over 3 years left the Group and the position of secretary was officially cancelled.

The work on the strategy started during the March 2009 General Assembly, during which the members obliged the Board to prepare the new strategy until the next General Assembly in November during which it was accepted. In between the assemblies, consultations took place, including a three-day multistakeholder seminar in Falenica (near Warsaw). The key operational objective of the new 2010-2015 strategy is building the institutional stability of Polish NGDOs. Within the strategy, the mission of the Zagranica Group has also been formulated, focusing the platform’s work on (1) Advocacy of NGDO sector interests, (2) Building capacity of NGDOs and (3) networking Polish and foreign NGDOs, all this with the ultimate aim of providing partners in developing countries with better quality of project impact.

What’s next?
The Zagranica Group is currently working on preparing Action Plans for different parts of the strategy, as well as fundraising for them. Within its broader mission, the Group is working hard in the area of advocacy (especially as the new draft of the Law on Foreign Assistance is being prepared) and reforming its information policies in order to become a better networker and gateway to the Polish NGDO sector.

You can find more information as well as new contact data on the Zagranica Group website, which is also being redesigned at the moment with the re-launch expected to take place sometime in spring:

Information provided by Wojciech Tworkowski, Zagranica Group

Polish government cuts ODA to Africa

The Institute of Global Responsibility (IGO) has issued a press release on the results of the 2010 Call for Proposals by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which addresses the cut of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for NGOs working in the partner countries of Africa. “It’s a shame that Polish development organizations will have even less capacities for challenging the most burning development problems in Africa than they had a year ago”, IGO representatives have alarmed. According to the Call results published on February 24th only 2 million PLN to be granted for the Polish NGOs working in Africa, that is 150 per cent less than in 2009.

Whereas the Polish government has cut aid for Africa, the overall volume of ODA available for NGOs working in other countries - mostly Eastern Europe - has increased. In 2010 there will be a lot of projects implemented by Polish ministries, authorities and local governments, which – according to IGO – may not be the best choice of development actors with respect to the reality of development cooperation in Poland.

In sum, in 2010 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted less money to NGOs than a year ago (drop from 18 million PLN in 2009 to 15 million PLN 2010). According to IGO this will have a negative effect on the development of capacities of Polish NGDOs and the quality of their project work.

IGO is calling upon the Polish government to fulfil their commitments made in the Paris Declaration and the EU Consensus on Development. “We need more and better aid for Africa to be truly based on Southern priorities with a real objective of poverty reduction”, IGO has alarmed.
For further information please contact or check the new IGO website:

Information provided by Katarzyna Staszewska, IGO

Palacky University field trip to Bratislava and Vienna

The Department of Development Studies in Olomouc is one of the first departments with this focus in Czech Republic and also in Central Europe. Students can gain the knowledge in the development area and get prepared for their future carrier in national or international organizations working in the field of development.

In February 2010 the department organized a field trip to development organizations in Vienna and Bratislava. The aim of this field trip was to enable the students to complete their theoretical knowledge by the direct insight into the biggest organizations in the field. The students had the possibility to listen to many specialists from different organizations and ask questions related to their interests. The first two days were spent in Bratislava by visiting SlovakAid (Slovak Development Agency), Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, Slovak Catholic Charity, UNDP, People in Need and MVRO (Slovak platform of development NGOs).

For the last two days the group of 39 students and lecturers moved into Vienna and its international surrounding. The students visited the UN office and participated in a vivid discussion with its employees. Among the other visited organizations were OSCE, Suedwind and TRIALOG. During the visit to TRIALOG students got inside information about the NGO sector and possibilities of involvement in Central and Eastern Europe. During the whole field trip the students enriched a lot their theoretical background and could see the development work in practice.

Photo: Students visiting the TRIALOG office

Information provided by Simona Šafaríková, Palacky University Olomouc

AidWatch goes to Warsaw

As part of its 2010 capacity development activities, members of the “Concord AidWatch working group” organised a report-writing workshop at the end of February 2010 in Warsaw, to guide participants through the process of gathering national aid data and analysing it, ready for the annual AidWatch report in May.

AidWatch coordinator Alessandro Bozzini and AidWatch report writer Javier Pereira took participants through the general context for aid this year before introducing the report and methodology and going on to cover the key aid quality issues that the report will cover, such as democratic ownership. Other aid quality issues to be included in this year’s report are climate, fragmentation, poverty focus, transparency, gender, securitisation and migration.

Immediately before the workshop, which was attended by 12 participants representing 7new member states, 3 old member states and one network, there was an additional session for Polish participants, to see how the platform could step up its engagement in AidWatch. As a result, the AidWatch advocacy group has a new Polish member.

The workshop was well received and provided the organisers with valuable feedback on what should be included in this year’s report. TRIALOG is proud to have supported its preparation.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

OECD DAC Special Review on Polish Aid

In January 2010 the Polish government invited the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to conduct a Special Review on Polish aid. Next to the meetings with the government officials, the visit included a consultation with Polish NGDOs that drew OECD DAC experts’ attention to a number of issues, like the need to draft country strategy papers in the ODA system (none have been drafted until now), the necessity to implement the principle of ownership, a quick introduction of an independent evaluation of Polish aid, and the contribution to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The OECD DAC consultation meeting with Polish NGDOs was held on 27th January 2010 in the palace of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw. Institute of Global Responsibility (IGO) was one of the seven Polish NGDOs that participated in the consultations. The governmental side was represented by OECD DAC senior experts as well as representatives of two OECD member countries: Belgium and Turkey.

IGO will follow the Special Review and contribute to its outcomes. IGO believes that Polish membership in DAC could contribute to an increased quality of Polish aid and strengthen the Polish government's commitment to the international development agenda. For more information please visit

Information provided by Katarzyna Staszewska, IGO

FOND General Assembly in February

The Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND) organised on the 25th-26th February 2010 its annual General Assembly. The organizers invited relevant actors involved at European, national and local level in development cooperation, such as: Mrs. Corina Cretu (Development Committee Vice-Chair, DEVE Committee, European Parliament), Mrs. Mihaela Rutjens (Head of ODA Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romania) and Mr. Mihai Staicu (program coordinator at AMR – Romanian Municipalities Association).

The guest speakers presented their initiatives and plans for 2010 and opportunities for collaborating with the Romanian NGDO Platform. This year FOND will organise in partnership and with financial support of the Romanian MFA two important events for the national development cooperation policy: The Republic of Moldova - Romania NGO Forum (May 2010) and the Romanian Development Camp – 3rd edition (June 2010).

Considering Romania’s commitments to allocate 0,33% of GNI (gross national income) by 2015 for official development assistance, Mrs. Corina Cretu emphasized the necessity of defining Romania’s new role as a donor country.

Information provided by Adela Rusu, FOND

The Mission Fund Malta active in volunteer sending

Volunteer sending programmes are very often part of development cooperation or education projects of European development NGOs. Among the new EU member state, Maltese NGDOs are among those with a lot of experience in volunteer sending. In the following, one of the members of the Maltese NGDO platform SKOP is introducing its activities in this field:

The Mission Fund is a lay catholic organisation founded in 1984 with the aim of helping Maltese Missionaries serving in over 40 countries. The Mission Fund sends EUR 1,200.00 to each missionary on a roster basis. Since 1992 it carried out several projects in many developing countries. A group of around 25 volunteers each year answers to a request made by one of the missionaries to carry out a project in a respective country.

Projects of the last years include a Fish farm in Guatemala built in 2007 which is now producing food, generates jobs; and with the profits made through these activities, the people were provided with a clinic and a resident Medical Doctor. In 2008, a school was built in Tanzania which is now already operating with the first 92 first year students.

This year, 2010, a group of volunteers will be answering to the request made by Sr. Maria Borda, a gynaecologist (Medical Missionaries of Mary, MMM) running a hospital with 170 beds in Singida, Tanzania. There the group will build an extension of the hospital, not only in order to increase the number of beds, but also to be able to host a number of doctors to serve in this hospital.

For more information please visit or contact Charles Decelis,
Read more about the Maltese NGDO platform SKOP at:

Photo: Makiungu-hospital-Tanzania

Information provided by Charles Decelis, Mission Fund

New bridges built: European Social Forum preparation in Berlin

What is supposed to be an exciting and lively event of social movements in Istanbul in coming July 2010 took a thorough preparation in Berlin. The next European Social Forum - which is the sixth after the Florence, Paris, London, Athens and Malmö – will be held in early July in the metropolis of the EU applicant country Turkey. Several thousand people from all parts of the continent will come to discuss for four days, demonstrate, and enjoy Europe’s cultural diversity.

For the content related and organizational preparation of this event with its hundreds of different seminars and workshops, 120 representatives of groups, initiatives, NGOs and networks had arrived by the end of January to Berlin. Thanks to the support of TRIALOG, it was possible to include many representatives from the new EU member states and to give them the possibility to set the specific problems of their countries on the agenda of the Social Forum in this preparatory process. With their new ideas and experiences those people from Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania made a lively and important contribution to the bridging of social movements in Europe.

At the end all agreed: Ways out of the financial crisis, development of democracy, alternative lifestyles, education for all, good working conditions and just climate policy should be the main topics of the Social Forum in Istanbul being connected with a comprehensive portfolio of cultural events.

But there is still much to do: the numerous registered events must be put into order and organized in specific workshops, volunteer interpreters have to be recruited, and technology must be installed. And finally, the physical well-being of participants must be considered. Before the event in July there's still a meeting in May in Brussels.

All who are interested in more information please go to

Information provided by Hugo Braun, attac-Koordinierungskreis

Training on EC Contract Management in Sofia

In February 2010 TRIALOG commenced this year's series of national trainings for NGDO platforms in new EU member states with a training on EC Contract Management in Bulgaria. During the training the participants got an overview of the process of implementing a standard contract from the EC. Those who already have a contract had the opportunity to work on their development cooperation projects and to ask concrete questions regarding the implementation and the management process.

The training gathered 20 participants from different Bulgarian NGOs, many already working on EC projects and contracts, and the results were quite positive as reflected in the following quotes from some evaluation reports: "I've obtained more than expected from such a short term [training]", "the very interactive methods allowed for the involvement of all participants", or as one of the participants put it: "I didn't at any point get bored".

The training was organised in cooperation with the Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPID). For more information, please contact TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer Andra Tanase at

Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

Online documentation of the TRIALOG 2010 Partnership Fair

Between 15-17 February, TRIALOG held the second edition of the Partnership Fair in Vienna. The event gathered more than 150 participants mainly from development CSOs from across Europe coming from different sectors. Its main objective was to enable various stakeholders from the European development CSO field to gather, network and discuss project proposals that will be submitted in future EC calls.

The programme of the conference was exhaustive combining presentations, a market place where organizations had the opportunity to get to know each others' background and interests, and individual group work.

The presentations covered a wide range of topics and among others, offered the overview of EC funding schemes as well as guidelines on how to work in partnership, how to write a co-financing application or how to bring the “co-” into the financing. The speakers coming from diverse organisations (Europeaid, CONCORD, grassroots organisations, local authorities, experts on application writing...) provided input which covered all the relevant stakeholders of the contracting process.

In the end, the results were concretized into 17 different project proposals which covered a wide range of topics – from sustainability, consumer behaviour and corporate social responsibility to volunteering, gender equality, sexual education or conflict prevention. We are pleased that many interesting project ideas have been born, discussed and constructively elaborated upon, forming a basis for future partnerships.

The overall atmosphere emanated with hard work and deep interest and participants showed great commitment as they even continued to discuss their joint proposals throughout breaks or evening events.

The results, impressions and background material are all online! If you are interested in the Partnership Fair documentation (incl. presentations, photo gallery, videos, reports and evaluation), please consult

We thank all participants for their contribution!

Information provided by Gabi Thomasová and Andra Tanase, TRIALOG

KOPIN launches Newsletter

The Maltese NGDO KOPIN active in the fields of international development cooperation and global education has issued a newsletter under the framework of its project “Raising Awareness for Development Cooperation (RADC)". RADC is one of KOPIN's project's which is currently being implemented with the financial contribution of EuropeAid and led by the Cypriot NGDO CARDET ( In Malta, this international project is being implemented by KOPIN and the Centre for Environmental Education and Research (CEER), University of Malta.

The newsletter will be published every four months and will contain information relating to international development cooperation and global education. It will also contain information on volunteer issues relating to development work as the implementing organisations regard volunteer work as: (a) a more experiential way of building public support for the MDG agenda and the fight against world poverty; and (b) a way of bringing universities and NGDOs ever closer together.

The newsletter can be downloaded as pdf directly from KOPIN's website (section “Resources”). For information, feedback and own contributions please contact KOPIN

Information provided by Dominik Kalweit, KOPIN

WIDE 2009 Annual Report

WIDE, the European feminist network of women’s organisations, has published its Annual Report 2009. This publication combines the overview of the network's activities implemented throughout the year 2009. The Annual Report 2009 shows how the WIDE network used the multi-dimensional (economic, financial, social and environmental) crisis to de-legitimise the current neo-liberal economic and trade system from a feminist perspective. All the activities carried out in 2009 by WIDE were in accordance with this goal.

You can download the Annual Report from the WIDE website or here.

IPDTC 2010 Training Calendar

The International Peace and Development Training Center (IPDTC) in cooperation with the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) have launched the 2010 Training Calendar with a range of programmes addressing core and expert skills and knowledge training for policy makers and practitioners working in peacebuilding, conflict transformation, development work, humanitarian aid, gender, governance and related areas. The following training events are scheduled in the coming months:

  • Advanced Mediation and Peacemaking (AMP): Achieving Resolution and Transformation in Intractable and Complex Conflicts
    17th – 21st of May, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Designing Peacebuilding Programmes (DPP)
    24th – 28th of May, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Systemic Peacebuilding: Enhancing Effectiveness and Impact in Policy and Practice for Crisis Management and Prevention, Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
    28th – 30th of June, 2010 – London, UK
  • Improving Effectiveness and Impact in the Design, Development and Implementation of Peacebuilding Projects and Programmes
    1st – 2nd of June, 2010 – London, UK
  • Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Post-War Stabilisation, Recovery and Reconstruction (PCTR)
    18th – 22nd of October, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Gender and Peacebuilding: Integrating Planning and Action in the Field
    25th – 29th of October, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Early Warning, Crisis Preparedness and Prevention of Armed Conflicts
    6th – 8th of December, 2010 – London, UK
  • Preventing Political and Electoral Violence
    9th – 10th of December, 2010 – London, UK

For more information on course content, fees and application procedure, please visit the IPDTC website: or write to

Information provided by Kai Brand-Jacobsen, PATRIR

Upcoming UNDP Procurement Training in Europe

UNDP delivers specialised Procurement Training and Certification to UN staff and their development partners (incl. NGOs) around the world with the objective to provide an opportunity to improve the knowledge and skills required within the various aspects of public procurement as well as network with fellow-practitioners. The arrival of spring in Europe also means the possibility of participating in a UNDP Training Course in Europe again. The following courses are scheduled in the coming months:
  • "Introductory Certificate in Public Procurement", Level 2 - Accredited by CIPS in Rome, Italy from 18-21 May 2010
    The aim of this course is to provide participants with the possibility of obtaining a professional certification with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS); a clear understanding of the principles of effective public procurement, the generic procurement process and the role of corporate and transactional procurement; the capability to plan, implement and evaluate a sourcing process appropriate to the value/risk of the goods/service being procured; knowledge of what rules and procedures govern UN procurement – and why they exist.

  • "Logistics and Incoterms" in Copenhagen, Denmark from 1-3 June 2010
    The aim of this course is to provide participants with a clear understanding of the principles of effective logistical arrangements and to understand methods of mitigating risks and to optimise the organisation’s logistical activities; the capability to plan, implement and evaluate a logistical exercise appropriate to the value/risk of the goods being transported

  • “Effective Negotiations in Projects and Procurement” in Vienna, Austria from 15-18 June 2010
    The aim of this course is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge needed for successful negotiations, including: Understanding the principles and dynamics of the negotiation process and how to avoid the common traps in negotiation; Developing win-win strategies based on analysis of the other parties' needs; Identifying and actively working on their own negotiation strengths and weaknesses through role-plays.
Find more information about the full training programme (incl. link to course catalogue, training calendar 2010) and on-line registration at:
General inquiries can be sent to:

Information provided by Lisa Fialla, UNDP Procurement Support Office