Friday, 16 December 2011

European Development Days 2012

TRIALOG director Christine Bedoya and policy officer Rebecca Steel-Jasinska are currently in Warsaw, attending this year’s European Development Days (EDDs). The event has been reduced in size this year and does not include some of the successful features of previous years such as the development village. However this gives the event a more intimate feel, with smaller discussion panels, and opportunities remain to network during sessions.

The central theme of the event is democracy and development, with a strong emphasis on the Arab Spring. The EDDs were opened by the President of Poland and featured prominent members of Poland’s struggle for democracy including former trade union leader and President of Poland Lech Walesa.

Panels will cover many development topics over the two days of the EDDs including one panel ‘Beyond 2015 – A Citizen Driven Agenda’ organized by CONCORD, two sessions on ‘Agenda for Change’ organised by the European Commission and a number organised by the Polish Presidency, including one on Aid Effectiveness and Accountability organised in cooperation with the Polish platform of NGDOs Grupa Zagranica. Webstreaming is available from the EDD website and the event’s organisers are encouraging interaction through social media such as facebook. Link: http://www.eudevdays.eu/

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Busan Partnership Agreement for Effective Development Cooperation adopted

From 29 November to 1 December 2011 the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan, South Korea gathered over 3000 international delegates who met to review the aid effctiveness agenda set up at the previous meetings in Rome (2002), Paris (2005) and Accra (2008). After extended negotiations, 18 sherpas elected to represent a wide group of stakeholders reached agreement on the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. This declaration for the first time establishes an agreed framework for development cooperation that embraces traditional donors, South-South cooperators, the emerging donors Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa( BRICS), CSOs and private funders. This marks a turning point for international development cooperation. The process has been guided by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness (WP-EFF), which brings together representatives of over 80 countries and organisations. Five fundamental principles have been set out to make aid more effective: ownership (developing countries are responsible for their development strategies), alignment (donor countries align to these strategies), harmonization (donor countries coordinate and simply aid procedures), results, and mutual accountability. The level of aid at stake has been estimated by the OECD to be $129billion a year, a figure which does not include money from private foundations or countries like China.

Although civil society representatives were proud to be part of the newly forged global partnership for the first time, they recognize that they had to compromise. Better Aid, a platform for CSOs from all over ther world that carried out many of the civil society activities in the lead up to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in 2011, expressed the following critics towards the Busan Agreement: no explicit commitments to adopt human-rights based approaches, lack of implementation of Paris and Accra commitments, cooperation retains overall private sector led growth as framework for development. Read the full statement here.

CSOs will continue to pursue a stronger commitment to an enabling environment for civil society to fulfill their role in development.

Read more reactions on the website of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness

Sources: BCSDN Newsletter Nr. 243, Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, Eurostep, Better Aid

Conquering Rules and Regulations: Building Capacities to work with EuropeAid Standard Contract

From 13th to 14th December 2011, TRIALOG in cooperation with the Slovenian platform of NGDOs SLOGA (Slovenian Global Action) held a training seminar on “EuropeAid Standard Contract Management” in Ljubljana. This seminar was a follow-up to the training on “Quality Criteria for Development Cooperation“ which TRIALOG and SLOGA organised in June 2011. The training on Standard Contract (SC) Management looked at the basics of project management related to the EuropeAid SC and introduced and discussed the various components of the SC. A considerable part of the training was dedicated to exploring the potential for change within the SC system and learning more about the financial regulations of the SC. Hands-on exercises regarding the EC requirements on visibility provided a larger frame to contextualise the SC’s set of laws within participants’ own projects and activities. An additional emphasis on monitoring and evaluation concepts, approaches and methods concluded the training seminar. Ten participants from Slovenian NGDOs, mainly project managers and programme directors working with the SC on a day-to-day basis, participated in the seminar. They appreciated the dynamic and participatory design of the training and expressed the wish and need to continue with such trainings in the future in order to increase NGDO’s capacities of contract management and to ensure that the complexity of the SC is not a limitation but can be transformed into opportunities for NGDO’s work.

Information provided by Emilia Nunnari, TRIALOG

Who is the Democracy Owner?
Zagranica Group’s Conference "Democracy and Development"

"The EU can assist in the process of democratization of Arab countries, but on our terms" - said Kinda Mohamadieh from the Arab NGO Network for Development at the conference "Democracy and Development", held on the 30th November in Warsaw. The conference was attended by activists from the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, and representatives of Polish NGOs involved in development cooperation and democracy support.

Representatives of organizations and social movements from the Arab countries agreed, that they want democracy, but fostered independently by their society. Mustafa Haid, a Syrian activist suggested that the support from the European countries should be based on the transfer of knowledge and skills related to democratic and peaceful methods of civic participation. The experience of creating a democratic basis, autonomy and self-organization from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe would be very useful, although not to be uncritically transmitted to Arab countries, because they are different from the countries in the West and diverse internally. Behind the relief efforts of European countries often stands an assumption that economic growth goes parallel with the process of democratization. This correlation does not always occur, which shows an example of Arab countries. "This restricted way of understanding the civil liberties as economic freedom may actually impede the process of social transformation started in the Arab countries." - stresses Mohamadieh.

The conference preceded a High-Level Conference on EU cooperation with countries of the South Neighbourhood (1-2 December, Warsaw), organized by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

More information, conference materials and agenda here.

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Zagranica Group

(On the picture: Kinda Mohamadieh, the Arab NGO Network for Development)

CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood meets in Warsaw

The CONCORD EPAN working group, which TRIALOG convenes, met in the middle of November for one of its six-monthly meetings. The group, which brought together participants from all over Europe, combined its regular working group meeting with a seminar on democracy and development, described in more detail in the article Zagranica Seminar Development and Democracy in EU External Policy.

The working group’s agenda was dominated by making plans for the coming year, and participants spent time working in subgroups as well as coming together in full plenary sessions to share information and discuss central themes. One important aspect of the agenda was a session on evaluation, where some of the common challenges faced by the group were discussed and solutions put forward. The second day brought the participants into contact with national NGO representatives and speakers from Polish institutions as well as speakers from the European Commission and European External Action Service. This gave everyone an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a number of European initiatives linked to strengthening democracy in the neighbouring countries of the EU.

The EPAN work plan for 2012, as well as the minutes of the Warsaw meeting will be available shortly on the TRIALOG and CONCORD/EPAN websites.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Zagranica Seminar Development and Democracy in EU External Policy

During the seminar, held on 17th November in Warsaw, organized jointly by the Zagranica Group, Institute of Public Affairs and the Working Group EPAN (Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood) of the European NGO confederation CONCORD, the impact of the EU Neighbourhood Policy and Community Development Policy was discussed. The panelists analyzed the main trends in European Union policy that link development cooperation, the support of democracy and the consequences of the so-called Arab Spring for EU policy in relations with neighboring countries, as well as changes that should be implemented to the Neighbourhood Policy to foster peaceful democratic change.

The first part of the seminar was dedicated to democracy support and development cooperation in EU policy. Paweł Baginski from the Stefan Batory Foundation, John Hofmokl from the chancellery of the Prime Minister and Elena Fanetti from the European Centre for Development Policy Management discussed both policies in the context of the so-called Arab Spring and two documents released this year: Agenda for Change for the Development Policy and Civil Society Neighbourhood Facility for the Neighbourhood Policy. Alexandra Nerisanu from the European Commision and Monika Hellmeyer from the London School of Economics discussed tools of development policy and among them the case of the EU Civil Society Facility.

During the second part of the seminar the issue of "European Endowment for Democracy" was tackled. Jacek Kucharczyk from the Institute of Public Affairs, Susan Kierzkowska from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pirkka Tapiola from the European External Action Service discussed conditions that should be fulfilled by the European Endowment for Democracy.

More information from the seminar you can find here.

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Zagranica Group

Croatia and EU Sign Accession Treaty

On 9th December 2011, EU and Croatian leaders have signed Croatia's EU Accession Treaty. Subject to the Treaty's ratification by all Member States and Croatia, the country will become the 28th Member State of the European Union on 1 July 2013. The Accession Treaty has been signed by the 27 Heads of State and Government and by the Croatian President and Prime Minister. Following the signature each Member State proceeds now with the ratification of the Treaty in accordance with their national provisions. Croatia has announced that it will hold a referendum on the ratification of the EU accession treaty in early 2012.

During the interim period between the signature of the Accession Treaty and the actual date of accession the work on Croatia's preparations for EU membership continues. Croatia needs to complete the remaining implementation of the commitments taken during the accession negotiations. Through the closing of accession negotiations and by finalising the Accession Treaty, Member States have given a mandate to the European Commission to carefully monitor the progress Croatia is making in all the areas covered. The Accession Treaty includes provisions which allow for appropriate measures to be taken in case problems are identified during the monitoring process.

Until its accession, Croatia will have an active observer status in most of the Council working groups as well as Commission committees. This allows Croatia to become familiar with the working methods of the EU institutions and to become involved in the decision-making process.

More information here, full Treaty available here.

Source europa.eu, Reference: MEMO/11/883

Roundtable on Aid Effectiveness

On 23rd November 2011 the Slovak NGDO Platform (MVRO) and PDCS (Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia) organized a roundtable on Aid Effectiveness of the Slovak development cooperation before the HLF-4 in Busan. At the beginning, Head of the Department of the Development and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the event took place presented the position of the EU for Busan. Thereafter representatives of the platform presented two resource papers on Aid Effectiveness and Aid Transparency (will be available in English next month) and recommendations followed. Although only a small Slovak delegation participated at the forum in Busan, the discussion at the roundtable was fruitful and can serve as a basis for further policy making and improvements of the Slovak Official Development Assistance. One of the key messages of the platform regarding Aid Transparency was a recommendation for the Slovak Republic to join the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Information provided by Andrea Girmanová, MVRO

Learning for a Just and Sustainable World - DE Conference in Warsaw

DEEEP organised, together with Grupa Zagranica the Polish national platform of development NGOs, an international development education (DE) conference on Learning for a Just and Sustainable world: Global Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in initial teacher training.

This multi stakeholder event with around 100 participants took place on 14 December in Warsaw, preceding the European Development Days. The conference in the frame of the Polish EU presidency examined the relation of development education and education for sustainable development, and discussed the role of both in initial teachers training. Among the speakers were Prof. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO chair at Toronto University; Polish development under-secretary of state Krzysztof Stanowski; Under-secretary of state on environment Joanna Maćkowiak-Pandera and Kerstin Wittig, Chair of the CONCORD DARE Forum Formal Education Working Group.

For more information visit the DEEEP website .

Eurobarometer: Europeans and the Future of Development Aid

The European Commission has published recently a Eurobarometer poll on "Making a difference in the world: Europeans and the future of development aid" (pdf).

An anaylsyis done by DEEEP reveals that:
  • A vast majority of Europeans (85%) think it is important to "help people in developing countries". However, there is a continuous decline over the years (2004: 92%, 2009: 88%).


  • There is no significant difference between EU12 and EU15 member states on this question: While Hungary (23%), Estonia (24%) and Slovenia (28%) are the countries with highest rates saying helping people in developing countries is "not important", Cyprus is the country with by far highest percentage of people saying helping people in developing countries is "very important" (74%), and is together with Poland the country with the lowest percentage saying help is "not important" (4%). Poland (92%), Czech Republic (83%) and Slowakia (84%) show higher support to help people in developing countries than UK (81%) or France (82%). There is no pattern or common characteristic for EU12 or EU15 as categories.


  • Sub-saharian Africa is by far considered as the region most in need of aid (70% of responses). Also, it is "number one" in all member states. However, there is a tendency that in many EU12 states (excluding Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta) plus UK, Portugal and Italy, priority given to this region is lower (>66%) than in other countries. Interestingly, eastern Europe outside EU as a development priority is cited most in Austria (27%), Sweden (26%) and Denmark (23%).


  • There seems to be awareness on questions of policy coherence, trade/finance, peace building, migration and agriculture being mentioned most often as policies having biggest impact on developing countries ("in addition to aid"). However, 13% say "none" or "don't know".


  • 62% of Europeans say aid should be increased (64% in 2010). However, 80% state that "in addition to fighting poverty, (..) aid should be linked to other European objectives such as the management of migration flows, access to energy and raw materials or trade opportunities of the EU". Aid only if you take back your migrants and let us exploit your resources.


  • 47% of Europeans are ready to pay more for fair trade products, 47% aren't. This varies significantly between countries, depending on economic situation, with RO (22%), PT (21%) and BG (19%) ranking last. Interestingly, 60% of the students are ready to pay more: More than income, level of education seems to be a key factor when it comes to fair trade products.


  • More information at the DEEEP website.

    Information provided by Tobias Troll, DEEEP

    Towards a Federal Solution in Cyprus

    The ENGAGE-Do Your Part for Peace project which is being implemented by the Management Centre and the NGO Support Centre, with the co-operation of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Good Offices in Cyprus, hosted a public discussion on the 18th October in northern Cyprus. The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser Mr Alexander Downer was the guest speaker of the evening, which was titled Towards a Federal Solution-What does this mean to you? Mr. Downer, who believes the only structure that the two sides can agree on, is a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation said that “the predicted outcome at this point in the negotiations is a federal structure with limited authorities, which will be discussed when the constitution is formed. In this federal structure there will be Cyprus Greek and Cyprus Turk partial government.” Further he underlined that there are many different federal structures in the world, and the system that will be formed here will be unique to Cyprus. Mr. Downer, who reminded that ownership, security and guarantor ship are the hardest issues to discuss, stated that the sides were getting closer to an agreement on the topics of ruling, sharing of power, EU and internal affairs.

    The event provided an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriot Community to take part in an open discussion with a representative directly involved in the negotiations process and ask questions related to the concept of a Federal Cyprus. Those that attended the meeting included mayors of Local Authorities, local business men, non-governmental organization representatives, politicians, foreign residents in Cyprus, people living in the region, and a multitude of media representatives.

    For more information about the project please visit the official website or contact Jale Canlibalik jcanlibalik@mc-med.eu

    Information provided by Jale Canlibalik, The Management Centre and NGO Support Centre

    Seminar Series on Civil Participation

    Südwind NÖ South and their international partners in Weimar and Brussels organise in March and September 2012 a workshop series to strengthen civil participation in Europe called "Play Your Part – Active Participation in Civil Society". The conditions for participants are really good and if you want to participate you are more than welcome to apply. Applicatiions are welcome for persons from an EU country or from Albania, Croatia or Macedonia. Deadline for application is 10th of January. You find more information about the programme and application procedures at http://mitost.org/active_participation.html

    Photo Competition “Human Rights in Development Cooperation”

    The first year of the photo competition for amateurs and professionals called “Human Rights in Development Cooperation”, that was organized by the Slovak NGDO Platform (MVRO) in cooperation with PDCS (Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia), lasted from 6th June to 9th September 2011. Through this photo contest, organizers aimed to refer to the interconnection of basic human rights and development of the poorest countries in the world.

    The jury has selected the best 30 photos that were consequently displayed within the exhibition touring through Slovak cities. The opening of the exhibition took place on 17th October 2011 during the Development Day 2011 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that concentrated on the theme “Human Rights and Freedoms in the context of Slovak Development Cooperation”. Thereafter the exhibition moved to other Slovak cities.

    Finally, the exhibition returned to Bratislava where it formed part of the international festival of documentary films “One world” organized by People in Peril Association. The exhibition is now displayed in the European Information Center in Bratislava until the end of December.

    The photo competition and exhibition were organized within the project „V4 Aid – United Support for Millennium Development Goals“ funded by the European Commission and co-financed by SlovakAid. The photo competition will be organized again in 2012.

    Information provided by Andrea Girmanová, MVRO

    High School Students Debate on Development Approaches

    At the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights, the Slovak NGDO Platform (MVRO) in cooperation with its member organizations eRko, People in Peril, UNICEF Slovakia, and the Slovak Debate Association organized a debate on the Human Rights Based Approach in development cooperation. The debate took place on 9th December 2011 at the European Information Center in Bratislava. Around 70 students from 6 high schools in Bratislava and Malacky participated. At the debate two approaches to development were discussed: the charity approach and the Human Rights Based Approach. Members of the Slovak Debate Association discussed the thesis: the Human Rights Based Approach in development cooperation is more effective than the charity one. One team of students was advocating the thesis and another group was disapproving it. After the debate a vote followed. Despite the fact that the opposing team used interesting arguments in favor of the charity approach, most of the participants voted for the Human Rights Based Approach.

    The Slovak NGDO Platform believes that the Human Rights Based Approach is an important tool to achieve the MDGs. The Human Rights Based Approach enables the new donors, where Slovakia belongs, to concentrate more on quality than quantity of aid and fight poverty more effectively.

    Information provided by Andrea Girmanová, MVRO

    Social Watch Report 2012: The Right to a Future

    The Social Watch Report 2012 refers to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The lengthy study, based on the contribution of citizens’ organizations in 66 countries from all over the world that produced their national reports, concludes that “growing inequalities and unregulated finances are expropiating people everywhere from their fair share in the benefits of global prosperity”. “Our children will inherit the burden of deforestation, desertification, erosion of biodiversity and climate change. To revert this trend, the promise of universal dignity brought by human rights has to be enforced and the rights of future generations need to be recognized and properly defended,” concludes this 16th edition of the Social Watch Report.

    The report includes thematic chapters written by members of relevant social and academic organizations, such as the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development, Third World Network, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Social Development Network (SODNET, Kenia), Eurostep, Feminist Alliance For International Action (FAFIA, Canadá), Global Policy Forum and terre des hommes.

    Also a number of organsiations from the EU12 contributed with national chapters, such as on Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia. There is also a chapter on Croatia.

    For the full report and the country chapters visit the Social Watch Report Website.

    NGO-IDEAs Publications on Monitoring and Evaluation

    NGO Impact on Development, Empowerment and Actions (NGO IDEAs) is a cooperation of 8 African, 22 Asian and 13 German NGOs working in the field of development cooperation. It is a unique concept as it intends to identify and develop, jointly with all partners some genuine concepts and tools for NGOs in the areas of Outcome and Impact Assessment and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E). Three publications of NGO IDEAs and VENRO are available now online:

    NGO-IDEAs Impact Toolbox: The Impact Toolbox describes simple tools for participatory planning and monitoring of grassroots’ projects. It is designed to enable NGOs, groups and group members to steer a project to enhance positive outcomes or impacts, and reduce negative ones. For download of the NGO-IDEAs Impact Toolbox (910 KB), please click here.

    “How do they do it? – Civil Society Monitoring Self-effectiveness”: An NGO-IDEAs documentation of field experience: The publication presents descriptions of examples of outcome and impact analysis, which illustrate to staff of development organisations how outcome and impact assessment can be implemented and used in different ways. For download of the documentation of field experience (1 MB), please click here.

    „Monitoring Self-Effectiveness“: A Manual to Strengthen Outcome and Impact Oriented Project Management: The Manual intends to support an organisation to focus its planning, monitoring and evaluation procedures towards increased outcome and impact orientation. For download of the Manual (1,47 MB), please click here.

    Wednesday, 14 December 2011

    Environmental Project in Europe

    Circolo Legambiente Cuneo (Italy) is seeking partners from the EU countries for an environmental project under the programme “Europe for Citizens, 2007-2013”. Circolo Legambiente Cuneo is a branch of Legambiente, the most widespread environmental organization in Italy. The project aim is to connect, convene and facilitate dialogue among organizations and single citizens, enabling them to learn and share sustainable best practices on the resource efficiency in Europe and to create value for their community. More..

    Thursday, 17 November 2011

    Second Module of Training of Multipliers 2011

    From 19th to 21st of October TRIALOG held the second module of the ”Training of Multipliers 2011” in Vienna. The event hosted 9 participants from Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Malta and Slovenia. The first module, held in April 2011, had focused on the EuropeAid Standard Contract and its implication for contract management as well as on training skills. The second module instead laid emphasis on training aspects like working with groups and improvement of training skills on the one hand, and on the other hand on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of projects and within the framework of an EC Standard contract. The unit on M&E was facilitated by Anja Fischer, who has spent many years working in Papua New Guinea for HORIZONT3000 with a lot of experience in M&E as well as in organisational development.

    Between the first and the second module, the participants were asked to conduct a training or training unit. The aim was to gather experience and to present some of the learned issues to platform members or the organisation. These commitments and activities were presented on the first day and it turned out that all participants had been very engaged in the time between the two modules.

    The participants actively participated in group exercises and discussion on various topics, in an energetic and lively atmosphere to which a cultural evening added. Three intense days in which the spirit of initiative, vitality and commitment have been protagonists, making the atmosphere stimulating and satisfying the expectations of the participants and the TRIALOG team. We hope that in future the trained participants will contribute to their platforms with the newly gained skills.

    Read also about the first module Contract Management and Training Skills: new round of TRIALOG Training of Multipliers started in April

    Information provided by Emilia Nunnari and Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG


    TRIALOG: Junior Policy Officer in Brussels Office

    TRIALOG is currently looking for a Junior Policy Officer based in Brussels (the main TRIALOG office is in Vienna), starting on 9 January 2011. Tasks and Responsibilities will include supporting the policy officer with tasks related to coordinating the CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood, supporting the policy officer with tasks related to NMS involvement in other CONCORD working groups and processes, supporting the policy officer with the preparation of an advocacy and lobby guide through research and drafting certain sections, other office support tasks as and when necessary, including researching the current situation of CSOs in countries of interest, attending and reporting back from relevant meetings and administrative tasks.

    Applicants must have the right to live and work in Belgium. EU12 applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. The salary will be 722 EUR according to the Belgian Convention d’immersion professionnelle contract. The period of engagement will last for a total of six months, including a trial period of one month.

    Please send your CV and covering letter to Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG Policy Officer, trialog@concordeurope.org by 1 December 2011. Please use ‘TRIALOG JPO’ as your title. Interviews will take place in December. See the full vacancy (pdf).

    Report Launch: 2011 Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development

    CONCORD, the European Development NGO confederation, launched a new report entitled "Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development: a Lisbon Treaty provision, a Human Rights obligation". Following a first report in 2009, the new Spotlight Report assesses different EU policies in the areas of Food Security, Natural Resources, Human Security and Migration against the benchmark of EU Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). All chapters examine in more detail specific EU policies, functions and tools in place that promote or undermine efforts towards the effective implementation of PCD. A number of recommendations to redress coherence are proposed to the EU institutions, relating to the policies, as well as to the political and institutional set-ups.

    With the article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, PCD became a legal obligation applicable to all EU institutions and Member States. The article implies that all EU policies must be in support of developing countries’ development needs, or at least not contradict the aim of poverty eradication. Nevertheless, cases of EU policies whose external impacts are clearly negatively affecting poor people in developing countries are many.

    PCD is all about bringing development concerns into the policy debate in policy areas where poverty eradication is hardly ever discussed. Therefore, development education is a key strategy. Strengthened awareness and capacity in the EU insitutions and in the Member States is necessary to avoid creating incoherencies. The launch event of CONCORD's second report "Spotlight on EU Policy Coherence for Development" took place on 7 November in Brussels with a panel discussion bringing together CONCORD members and representatives from EU institutions including MEP Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, PCD Standing Rapporteur, MEP Ska Keller, Vincent Grimaud, Head of Unit at European Commission DG DEVCO.

    The report and other PCD-related documents (case studies, country profiles, position papers, statistics, etc) are available on CONCORD’s new dedicated website: http://www.coherence.concordeurope.org/

    Information provided by Blandine Bouniol, CONCORD

    FDR meeting: A Look Back and a Vision for the Future

    From 12-13 October 2011, the CONCORD working group on Funding for Development and Relief (FDR) met in Brussels for its second annual meeting. Representatives of national platforms and of transnational networks shared information about current developments and took a look into the future of the work of the FDR, discussing the draft Strategic Framework for 2011-2020.

    The exchange between the working group members revealed the devastating impact of the financial crisis on funding for development cooperation. In some countries, calls for proposals have been frozen and funds put on hold – leaving NGDOs in a funding gap and struggling to survive. The continued work of the FDR for more and better EU funding for quality work by NGDOs is a crucial element in overcoming these challenges. Looking back, the successes of the last year were celebrated such as the growth of issues studied by the FDR and its broadened scope.

    The meeting also saw the election of a new Steering Group (now composed of World Vision, Handicap International, Plan, CARE and the Spanish and German National Platforms) and the election of Anette Wulf (German National Platform) as new co-chair alongside Alexandra Makaroff (Plan). Regarding the composition of the Steering Group, a more balanced representation between platforms and networks and an increased participation of EU12 representatives was expressed as desired. This will be taken into account in future planning.

    Other topics of the meeting included an update about the Structured Dialogue and its follow-up, the FDR engagement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and future external action instruments as well as inputs from the FDR subgroups (Financial Regulation, Deconcentration, DCI Thematic Programmes). The EPAN working group (Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood) presented a draft statement on the new European Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility which was announced by the EC in September 2011 in reaction to the events of the “Arab Spring” and its strong CSO involvement. EPAN has long advocated for such a civil society facility to be established in the neighbourhood and welcomes this initiative. At the same time, EPAN voiced concern over the accessibility of the funds for CSOs. Following the discussions between the working groups, an FDR-EPAN statement will be developed. Read the statement.

    A joint session with members of the DARE (Development Awareness Raising and Education) Forum at which both groups’ priorities for 2012 were presented concluded the meeting.

    Information provided by Faika El-Nagashi, TRIALOG

    CONCORD Special Event on Identity

    ‘We are all CONCORD’, the ‘Octopus’, ‘A common position of Development NGO’s’…CONCORD can mean different things to different people, depending on their relationship and involvement in CONCORDs work as the special event on CONCORD identity showed on 9 November in Brussels. Participants from right across Europe gathered to discuss how to shape a clearer identity for CONCORD, as part of the first major event on the topic. Members were given an informative overview by President Justin Kilcullen of how CONCORD was set up in 2003 and the challenges faced from establishing a new organization from the origins of the old NGO Liaison committee. Consultant Florian Eisele moderated the event. He outlined that every organisation has a brand, an identity, a perception about what it is and this ultimately has effects on the strength of advocacy relations with other stakeholders. The CONCORD Board leading several workshops and open discussions amongst members. Workshops discussed CONCORDs relationships with other stakeholders and CSO’s, it’s core identity and its relationship with members. There was a general sense that CONCORD identity can improve, and that a special taskforce could be set up to follow on with discussions. More information will follow with a detailed report of the meeting soon. A big thank you to all participants for open and fruitful discussions. For any specific information contact: communication@concordeurope.org

    Information provided by Daniel Puglisi, CONCORD

    Development Cooperation and Education in the Baltic Countries – main challenges

    During the conference „Development Cooperation Policies and Trends: Lithunia’s Role towards the EU Presidency in 2013" on 4th of November 2011, Julius Norvila, board member of the Lithuanian Development Education and Awareness Raising Network LITDEA, presented an overview about development cooperation and education in the Baltic countries. He painted a picture of steady decrease in respect for international commitments, universal human rights and public support for development assistance, expressed in very low numbers of ODA contributions. The legislative framework is still inadequate and national aid co-operation programs and funding are lacking. This hinders NGOs and allows them to implement only short term projects and small scale activities, which in turn has led Baltic countries to compromise their partnership commitments to countries who are on priority list and need assistance. Norvila suggests to renew the development cooperation system which should focus on the quality of development assistance and global education programs and projects. Read the full presentation.

    Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

    Learning for a Just and Sustainable World - Conference

    Grupa Zagranica, the Polish national platform of development NGOs, and DEEEP invite you to an international conference in the frame of the Polish EU presidency. The conference 'Learning for a just and sustainable world. Global Education and Education for Sustainable Development in initial teacher training' will examine current policies and concepts of implementing global education (GE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) in initial teachers training (ITT) in the EU member countries and beyond. Also, the seminar will take a closer look at similarities and differences between GE and ESD. To register, please click here.
    This event will take place the day before the European Development Days, which will take place on 15 and 16 December. CONCORD proposes a panel on "Beyond 2015 - A citizens driven agenda" on 16 December in the morning. Matt Baillie Smith is one of the invited speakers and will bring a development education perspective in the discussion.

    Information provided by Ana Biurrun, DEEEP

    Regional Conference » National Identity in the Context of Global Citizenship«

    The Slovenian development NGO Platform Sloga held a conference »National Identity in the Context of Global Citizenship« on 17th and 18th October 2011. The conference focused on how to address issues of national identity in the context of global citizenship and to question whether the concept of citizenship remains rooted in a nation-state or whether its understanding has been changed through the process of globalization. Most of the participants were from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Slovenia, but also from the countries of the Western Balkans. They were from different institutions, like governmental, educational and non-governmental. In the 2 days of the conference there have been panel discussions and workshops which were held by various experts and practitioners from different parts of the world, mostly Europeans.

    With the support of North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this conference was a follow up to the series of national seminars that have taken place in the last two years in the new EU member states, in the framework of the Joint Management Agreement signed by the European Commission/DG DEVCO and the North-South Centre designed to promote global education in the new EU member states. The summary of the conference will be published shortly. Please see short video on the conference on http://studio12.si/druzba/razno-ostali-prispevki/1399-global-education-and-global-citizenship-eng.html

    More information dunja.segrt@sloga-platform.org or http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE_en.asp

    Information provided by Dunja Segrt, Sloga

    Workshops on Effectivenss and Humanitarian Action in Slovenia

    In light of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4), which will be held in Busan, South Korea, between 29th of November and 1st of December, Ekvilib Institute in cooperation with Sloga, Slovenian NGDOs Platform for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, organized on 20th October a workshop "The effectiveness of civil society in development cooperation - the 8 principles of effective development cooperation", part of a project financed by European Social Fund and Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration. At the workshop, participants learned about the eight principles (the Istanbul Principles) of the effectiveness of civil society in development cooperation, which were adopted in the context of a global process of consultation between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society organizations, Open Forum, and so they represent a global consensus on the key elements that determine the effectiveness of civil society in development cooperation. Furthermore, the Slovenian non-governmental and governmental actors discussed how the Slovenian NGOs and other development actors should contribute to the development and implementation of the principles highlighted, with particular emphasis on advocacy and dialogue, and in conjunction with key concepts, such as policy coherence for development.

    Between 12th and 14th of October a training »Introduction to Humanitarian Action« was organized by Humanitarian Response Centre, which is operating under Sloga, Slovenian NGDOs Platform for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The training was led by Mr. Iain Logan, the representative of an internationally recognized organization for humanitarian response, Global Emergency Group, and advisor for the international humanitarian aid, Jasna Djordjevic. The three-day program included lectures, discussions, video presentations, intensive case studies and exercises. The aim of the training was to acquaint participants with the basic humanitarian actions, topics and principles and to create a place, where participants exchanged experiences, gained new knowledge and developed practical skills.

    Information provided by Nina Perovic, Sloga

    DE Workshop in Lithuania

    On the 11th of November the Lithuanian Kolping Society LITDEA held a workshop for the LITDEA member organisations, board members and staff members on Development Education. The workshop was held by Matthias Fiedler director of Irish Development Education Association (IDEA). IDEA is the national platform for organizations and individuals engaged in the provision, promotion and advancement of development education throughout the island of Ireland. The workshop objectives for participants were to become familiar with relevant current European trends in Development Education/ Global Education (DE/GE). Besides, they engaged in a reflection on how their own DE/GE work locally and nationally is situated within the European landscape and dynamics and received “European” inspirations for their own work in DE/ GE.

    Mr. Fiedler presented concepts and conceptual issues of Development Education in Ireland, gave reasonable arguments why DE is needed and provided the information what DE explored. During the workshop members did group exercises and had plenary discussions on concepts of DE: informing on development co-operation; campaigning; quality in DE as well as discussions to clarify the concept for the Lithuanian situation, needs analysis for LITDEA, entry points for DE in Lithuania. All members were able to share their points of view and examples of good practise.

    The results showed that in Lithuania we need stronger interest in Development Education, more communication and work with society members to promote and enhance DE throughout Lithuania. It is important to involve the ministry of science and education of Lithuania better in promoting DE through the schools.

    Information provided by Ruta Ulkyte, Lithuanian Kolping Society

    Prepare to Respond – Training Programme (Austrian Red Cross & RedR UK)

    In 2012, the Austrian Red Cross and RedR UK are running a unique training programme for relief workers, offering a broad range of courses targeting humanitarian organizations from the new EU countries and Croatia. All training resources, accommodation and meals are covered. This has been made possible through the support of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO). Participants have to pay a small registration fee only (for target organizations: 10 EUR per training day) and are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses.

    The programme caters for all knowledge levels with training appropriate for individuals beginning a career within the sector to experienced relief workers looking to develop specialist skills. Diverse programmes and methodologies, skilled facilitators and international groups of 20 participants, each with different skills and experiences, will provide the ideal training environment. Held in various central and eastern European countries, the following courses will be available:

    General Humanitarian Skills
    - Disaster Risk Reduction
    - Field Logistics in Emergencies
    - Managing People and Projects in Emergencies
    - Needs Assessment in Emergencies
    - Training of Trainers

    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
    - Hand Pump Training
    - Household Water Treatment
    - Hygiene Promotion
    - Sanitation

    A limited number of NGO-participants from new EU member states will be able to get their travel costs refunded by TRIALOG. Given you are accepted for a training happening until 30 August 2012 you can apply for reimbursement of travel costs. Please send the application form at least three weeks prior the event. Please do read the TRIALOG travel reimbursement scheme. Send your application to f.elnagashi@trialog.or.at.

    Find more information: http://www.redcross.at/preparetorespond

    Should All Development NGOs be “Green” NGOs?

    On 27 – 28 October 2011, the Baltic-Nordic NGO capacity building programme was launched in Vilnius. The programme entitled “Development Cooperation in the Nordic and the Baltic Countries: NGO-to-NGO Training and Networking”, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania and the Association of the Local Authorities in Lithuania, aims at strengthening Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Danish, Finnish and Swedish NGOs working in the field of development cooperation. The first training focusing of the relationship between development cooperation and sustainable development covered such important questions as
    What’s the relationship between the development co-operation and sustainable development? How to make sustainable development an integral part of the development co-operation strategy? What is the role of the NGOs in this? Shouldn’t all development NGOs be “green” NGOs? Climate change prevention, mitigation and environmental awareness – is it an integral part of the development co-operation policies? If not, how to make that happen? Project/campaign/tools ideas – how to integrate the outcomes of the discussion above into our daily work? Exchange of practices and tools.

    The second training focusing on environmental awareness in development cooperation and fight against climate change is scheduled for January 2012. This is the first joint project by the Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian (both the National Platform and LITDEA) NDGO platforms, organised by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) in Vilnius.

    Materials & info about the event on http://www.eesc.lt/en/news/new?id=527 More information at ringaile.trakymaite@eesc.lt.

    Information provided by Ringaile Trakymaite, EESC

    DESS 2012 confirmed!

    The Development Education Summer School DESS 2012 will take place in the Czech Republic and will be organised by the Czech NGOs platform FoRs - Czech Forum for Development Co-operation - DEEEP and CONCORD. The upcoming DESS 2012, 'CHANGE LAB – Engaging Local Society in Sustainable Development', will combine issues related to sustainable development, i.e. developing and sharing concrete tools and methods to engage various target groups in the field of sustainable development at the local level. Among the objectives of DESS 2012, there is an aim to clarify particular issues on sustainable development to be used in DE/AR in order to build locally engaged society – with Human Rights Based Approach and local governance as cross-cutting issues.

    During that week, participants will be able to discuss how to adopt and develop existing approaches in DE/AR and to reflect critically new global and local challenges for sustainable development in synergy with other streams of non-formal education relevant to sustainable development, e.g. the Education for sustainable development, environmental education, human rights education etc. DESS 2012 will also stimulate networking, partnerships and the exchange of best practices between participants across regions and sectors. More information will soon be uploaded on DEEEP's site.

    Information provided by Ana Biurrun, DEEEP

    DEEEP intern position

    DEEEP is recruiting for an internship position based in Brussels and offers a contract according to the Belgian law from February 2012 – 31st July 2012.
  • The intern will work 4 days per week, including holidays (to be agreed together with the DEEEP Co-ordinator according to the Belgian law).

  • The gross salary is 722 Euro per month according to the Belgian Convention d’immersion professionnelle contract.

  • The intern will play a key role in the organisation of the upcoming DESS 2012, which will take place in Czech Republic and will have the chance of attending this event.

  • Please, send your CV and motivation letter (in English) to vacancies@deeep.org by December 16th 2011 at the latest.

  • Only short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. You can find the full job description here (pdf).

    IRIN: The Rise of the "New" Donors

    IRINNEWS, humanitarian news and anaylsis, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, features an article series on the "new" donors, the so-called BRICSS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and South Korea - in the field of humanitarian assistance. Read more

    Partnersearch: Local Authorities in DE Call

    EuropeAid has published the NSA-LA call for proposals for local authorities, covering objective 1b (multi-country development projects) and 2 (development education and awareness raising in Europe). Deadine for concept notes is 1 February.
    KADE, Kerry Action for Development Education, is looking for a project under this call with a second level schools focus in order for their LA schools network in Ireland to participate in. For more information follow the link.

    Online Discussion on Development and Migration

    KOPIN, Malta, would like to invite you to participate in an online discussion on the question "Do you think that the national and EU development policies put sufficient emphasis on the link between development and migration?" The idea of the forum is to exchange our views, knowledge and information on the topic. The gathered knowledge will also help our organisations to formulate policy recommendations to decision-makers in Malta and Europe. Your opinions count, and we will be glad to read from you! Please enter this link, register and contribute your opinion: http://forums.developmenteducation.org/discussion/10/eu-development-policies-development-migration-kopin-malta

    Information provided by Dominik Kalweit, KOPIN

    Silver Rose Awards - Call for Applications

    SOLIDAR’s Silver Rose Awards were launched in 2000 to help raise the profile of individuals and organisations whose struggles contribute greatly to social justice and equality throughout the world. Winners are sometimes well-known; others are simply ordinary people leading extraordinary lives, reaching out to the most vulnerable groups in their societies, advocating their rights, campaigning for their needs, and providing essential services such as soup kitchens, housing, children’s holidays and literacy classes. As SOLIDAR’s member organisations work on numerous projects with local partners both in Europe and around the world, examples of worthy recipients are not difficult to identify.

    The winners are always powerful advocates of change, united by their passion, commitment and vision for bringing about a fairer and more just society. Among the winners from previous years is Morgan Tsvangirai, President of the Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change and a key figure in the fight for human rights in Zimbabwe, the National League for Democracy of Burma which helped turn the spotlight on their struggle against Burma’s military junta and organisations providing social support such as Filo D’Argento (Italy) a helpline set up for the elderly, offering support, conversation, and acting as a watchdog against abuse.

    The Awards are presented each year at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the European Parliament in Brussels. The next edition will be held in the Members Dining Room on 6 March 2012. The call for nominations are open until 23 November 2012.

    Launch of 2011 Human Development Report and State of the Population

    The 2011 Human Development Report argues that the urgent global challenges of sustainability and equity must be addressed together – and identifies policies on the national and global level that could spur mutually reinforcing progress towards these interlinked goals. Read more

    This year's State of World Population report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion, looks at the the dynamics behind the numbers. It explains the trends that are defining our world of 7 billion and documents actions that people in vastly different countries and circumstances are taking in their own communities to make the most of their--and our--world. The report makes the case for sound planning and investing in people. Read more

    Thursday, 13 October 2011

    Updates from the Policy Officer in Brussels

    Since returning from maternity leave a couple of weeks ago, TRIALOG Policy Officer Rebecca Steel-Jasińska has been getting back into the swing of things with some new developments requiring particular attention.

    First, the European Transition Compendium is about to be relaunched as an interactive database, with the aim of making all the information gathered over the past years available to whoever is interested. During a meeting with Antonio Lopez-Pena from DevCo, who is in charge of the ETC database, the policy officer got a sneak preview. The launch should take place later this month and a real test will be spreading information about its existence and encouraging its use.

    At the end of September, the European Commission adopted four decisions that affect the neighbourhood, including the launch of the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. This is something we have been advocating for a number of years and the EPAN working group, which TRIALOG convenes, is currently working on a joint statement with the CONCORD FDR working group to respond to these measures.

    CONCORD has a busy time ahead of it and the coming weeks see a period of intense work within working groups including the policy forum, CONCORD’s main space for debating policy direction and advocacy work.

    Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

    Fostering Successful Partnerships

    Between the 19th and 21st of September TRIALOG held for the third time a Partnership Fair in Vienna. This event hosted about 120 participant coming from 84 development NGOs of 24 countries of Europe. The main objectives of the event were to deepen the dialogue and mutual exchange between Old Member States (OMS) and New Member States (NMS), to enable NMS platforms and organisations to access European Commission (EC) funds for Development Cooperation (DC) and to facilitate partnerships, cooperation, learning and exchange at an international level for joint projects for development.

    During the conferences programme the participants attended lectures and discussions about EC funding schemes about the 2011 calls for proposals for Development Education and Awareness Raising and other relevant calls for proposals for NGOs. Input was also given about guidelines on how to write a successful co-financing application. Another significant focus of the Partnership Fair was the upcoming call for proposal 2011-2012, which has now been published by the European Commission. Deadline for submission of a concept note will be 21st of November 2011.

    The main element of the Partnership Fair was the intensive and fruitful work in groups, in order to develop projects together for the EC calls and to share experience and knowledge. At the end of the event, 19 project proposals have been concretised with topics varying from women empowerment, migration issues, school partnerships, land grabbing, climate change, or local authorities, food sustainability and others.

    For the TRIALOG team as well as according to the feedback of the NGO representatives the Partnership Fair was a great event. Participants evaluated that the Partnership Fair was “a very useful event to find potential partners for future projects, to establish contact with other European NGOs as well as to share visions and exchange ideas.” We want to thank the participants for their engaged work which was important for the genuinely atmosphere and the great results and wish success for their project proposals.

    The full documentation is available at the TRIALOG website.

    Information provided by Emilia Nunnari and Hannah Angerbauer, TRIALOG

    Effectiveness Matters! Zagranica Group’s Conference “See People Behind Politics”

    Over 60 people from all around Europe and global South met in Warsaw, to discuss solutions for improving aid effectiveness. There are two months left to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4). The Joint Position of the European Union for Busan is developed under the Polish Presidency. The conference “Why effectiveness matters? Perspectives from the global South” on 10th October 2011 was supposed to show that political decisions and declarations that will be made, affect millions of people in countries of the global South. In the conference representatives of development Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academics and representatives of Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part.

    The first part of the conference was dedicated to the Human Rights Based Approach. Roberto Pinauin from IBON Foundation (Philippines) and Zsofia Farkas from the Minority Rights Group (Hungary) discussed how the HRBA can improve aid effectiveness, based on practices from partner countries and in terms of the upcoming HLF4 decision. During the second part of the conference, panelists discussed if solutions concerning ownership and accountability can bring concrete changes in the current aid system. The discussion was supported by Vitalice Meja from the Reality of Aid Network and Franklin Oduro from the Ghana Center for Democratic Ownership.

    The biggest success of the conference was a Role Play Game, in which participants simulated Busan negotiations. Delegations had to prepare own positions about including HRBA and democratic ownership principle in a Busan Outcome Document. The simulation showed in an innovative way how difficult and fervent the decision-making process is – especially if the issue is so significant.

    Zagranica Group expects that the European position for Busan (which has not been finalised yet) will be an expression of solidarity and real co-responsibility and a re-establish progressive framework for poverty eradication focus instead of being led purely by economic interest.

    More information on the conference and the Zagranica Group Presidency project. http://zagranica.org.pl/en/Presidency-2011/ and Watch the Presidency spot at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t5odvq8aPc

    Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Zagranica Group

    V4 Aid Transparency Conference in Prague

    Czech Forum for Development Cooperation - FoRS, People in Need and OpenAid co-organised an international conference on aid transparency of Visegrad countries (V4) - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The event took place under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on 4th October 2011 in Prague. There were about 50 participants from Visegrad and other countries.

    The opening speech of the conference was given by Zuzana Hlavickova, head of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Department of the MFA and the director of People in Need Simon Panek. Several speakers were present at the conference, including Fola Yahaya, former UN and World Bank economic consultant, Anna Lauridsen, representative of Development Gateways, an organization providing advisory services in development in Brussels, Rolf Kleef, co-founder of Open for Change, a network focused on transparency in development, Owen Barder, development economist and director for Europe of the Center for Global Development in Washington and Ton Zijlstra from European Public Sector Information Platform.

    The speakers focused mainly on the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and its importance for emerging donors, in particular EU12 countries. Further, they have shown a number of projects fostering aid or state budget transparency. There were other topics raised as well, such as positive impact of aid transparency on aid effectiveness or on reducing corruption. Participants could also learn about and discuss the level of aid transparency in the Visegrad countries. More information at info@fors.cz.

    Information provided by Renata Lupacova, Intern, FoRS

    Building a Common Vision” - Black Sea NGO Forum

    The 4th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum took place from 6th to 8th of October 2011 in Bucharest, Romania. During the event more than 200 participants from various countries (among which Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia) debated on the main regional issues and tried to find common solutions to the current local and regional problems. The event was organized by the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), with support of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Representation of the European Commission in Romania and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation.

    The forum was attended by NGO representatives, experts and donors from region, Governments, other EU member states active in the wider Black Sea region, embassies, mass-media. Mr Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, was one of the guest speakers, together with Mr. Doru Costea, State Secretary on Global Affairs – Romanian and Mr. Traian Ungurean – Member of the European Parliament (Rapporteur on “An EU Strategy for the Black Sea”). Mr. Nilsson stated his support for this event and stressed that “Civil society is able to build partnerships and create and implement common projects. The projects developed by civil society in the last three years are excellent examples, but their number must increase. "

    The Black Sea NGO Forum reiterates the importance of the Black Sea as an area of ​​collaboration and interaction beyond the barriers and explores similarities and opportunities for joint action between countries in the Black Sea. The quality of governance, democratization, regional cooperation models, lessons learnt from the transition period, environmental issues, child protection, education, building leadership were some of the themes addressed in this edition.
    The Forum aims at increasing the level of dialogue and cooperation among NGOs in the wider Black Sea Region, building links and common projects in the region. The Representation of the European Commission in Romania awarded the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency for a partnership to both the ARI Movement from Turkey and the Analytical Centre of Globalisation and Regional Cooperation from Armenia. The aim of this award is to enhance the profile of the Black Sea Synergy and its role in proposing a regional, cooperative approach in the region, as well as the multilateral dimension of EU external policies.

    Find more information about the previous editions on the website http://www.blackseango.org/pagini/index.phpand www.fondromania.org/eng.

    Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

    New Czech Aidwatch Report Focusing on Aid Transparency

    A new shadow report on Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Czech Republic was published by FoRS on 4th October 2011. The Aidwatch 2011 report analyses the Czech ODA in 2010 and the transformed Czech ODA system. Further, it elaborates on bilateral ODA, its territorial and sectorial focus in 2010 and the Czech multilateral aid. The report contains a chapter also on the transparency of the Czech development assistence. An executive summary of the report is available in English here.

    Information provided by Inka Pibilova, FoRS

    22 million EUR for new Civil Society Facility

    The European Union is setting up a Civil Society Facility to provide funding for non-state actors in its Neighbourhood Partners, with EUR 22 million between 2011 and 2013, targeted at reinforcing the role of civil society across the region (read more). This refers to the Communication on ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’, outlining the EU’s response to recent events in the 'Neighbourhood South'. The Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility is made up of three components, to be funded by the ENPI over 2011-2013:

  • Component 1: Strengthening capacity of civil society, through exchanges of good practice and training, to promote national reform and increase public accountability, to enable them to become stronger actors in driving reform at national level and stronger partners in the implementation of ENP objectives.

  • Component 2: Strengthening non-state actors through support to regional and country projects, by supplementing the funding available through thematic programmes and instruments.

  • Component 3: Promoting an inclusive approach to reforms by increasing the involvement of non-state actors in national policy dialogue and in the implementation of bilateral programmes.


  • First regional calls could be published by mid-October already. Part of the funds for several countries could be combined with funds for the NSA/LA call and announced together with a local call. The list of eligible countries contains countries from the partnership programme East (EuroEast) as well as Partnership Programme South (EuroMed).

    Besides, a „SPRING Programme“ for the "Support for partnership, reforms and inclusive growth (SPRING)" was decided according to which in 2011 and 2012 altogether 350 million EUR for democratic transition in Tunisia, Egypt, Marocco and Jordan will be spent. (Document)

    More information: http://www.enpi-info.eu/ and http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/neighbourhood/index_en.htm.

    Sources: bengo, CONCORD, EC

    Butterfly Effect – Seminar about the Role of Media in Development Cooperation and Climate Change

    The Seminar about the role of media in development cooperation and climate change, under the title "Buttefly Effect" took place in Ljubljana on 26.9.2011 and was organised by Sloga - the Slovenian Platform of development NGOs - and Focus – association for sustainable development - as a part of a project financed by Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration and European Social Fund.

    The aim of the Seminar was mainly to discuss with representatives of Slovenian and international media on climate change, interlinkages between solutions for climate change and development challenges, ways of communicating the issues and the role media can play in it. First, Sandra Bašić Hrvatin, professor of media communication from University of Primorska, analised media in Slovenia and their communication of above mentioned issues. She concluded by saying that Slovenian media are subject to pressure for producing large amount of news, which decreases their quality. BBC correspondent and professor of journalism at the Reuters institute for the study of journalism, James Painter conducted a research on media reporting in countries in development on climate change and its impacts. He, on the other hand, implied there is a certain environmental fatigue occuring in media. Simple and relevant stories that the public can relate to, are the key to success. Also Vlasta Jeseničnik, a TV Slovenia reporter from Cancun climate change negotiations agreed with Sandra, that reporters and journalists are usualy subject to pressure from editors and media owners.

    Accordingly all the speakers concluded, that the national televisions are the ones which have the most important role in communicating the climate change and developments cooperation issues to public. They also set standards for commercial televisions. NGOs on the other hand can help media by supplying them with stories that are simple and relevant for the common public. And so, like the butterfly effect, we can make small steps here, to make huge effects on people on the other side of the planet.

    Information provided by Aleš Rovšnik, SLOGA

    Partnersearch: Development Education on Migration and Identity

    The Devon Development Education / The Global Center (UK) is looking for partner organisations for a DE project on migration and identity to apply under the NSA/LA call for Development Education in Europe (objective 2). For more information follow the link (pdf).

    Transition Manifesto

    As a result of the Transition Experience Conference in Budapest (26-27 May 2011) DemNet drafted a Transition Manifesto, a statement of civil society organizations, active in the field of democracy support, on what they believe to be indispensable for transitional societies in the post-communist context, and what they can offer, based on their own transition experiences, to be utilized in development cooperation (DevCo) programmes and external relations of the EU and its Member States. Find the Manifesto here.

    Slovak - Balkan Public Policy Fund: Raising the Policy Development Capacity of CSOs

    In cooperation with Pontis Foundation and with the financial support of SlovakAid, BCSDN will be launching a pilot grant scheme for CSOs and individuals. The aim of this program is to build the capacity of CSOs and young experts through offering them a grant support. The pilot phase running between September 2011 and October 2012 will cover 3 countries: Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. The kick off meeting of the partners implementing the project, BCSDN and Pontis Foundation, took place in Skopje on the 26th of September which served as a starting point defining all the general procedures on how to continue the project. The fist call for proposals should be expected by the end of October. More information is available at the BCSDN website.

    Source: BCSDN No. 238

    Integration of the Human Rights Based Approach into Development Policies and Programmes: A guide for the New EU Member States

    The human rights based approach (HRBA) is a powerful and pragmatic framework which offers practical solutions for the new EU Member States to overcome some of the specific challenges they face as relatively new donors. This guide by the Minority Rights Group (MRG) provides a range of programming tools for policy makers and programme developers to enable them to integrate and thus capitalize on this framework in their specific context.

    The new landmark publication, intended as a follow-up tool to MRG’s policy paper on the relevance of the HRBA for new EU Member States, provides an overview of the policy and programming processes of official aid administrations and identifies entry points for the integration of the HRBA to policy development and programming. The tools presented provide a general guide to development planning and implementation. They are applicable to any thematic area, ranging from infrastructure development to social development and beyond.

    Specific focus in the guide is given to three countries, all of which are holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during 2011 and 2012: Hungary, Poland and Cyprus. The countries were selected because the Presidency provides some political space for agenda-setting and brings increased attention to the respective countries, including to their development cooperation activities and frameworks.

    The toolkit also provides HRBA project management tools tailored for the needs of new EU Member States’ NGDOs to integrate HRBA principles into their projects. See the toolkit by following the link.

    Information provided by Bernadett Sebály, Minority Rights Group Europe

    European Network Academy - ATTAC Summer University

    It’s been the second time that Polish delegates participated in the ATTAC Summer University. This year the event took place in Freiburg, Germany. Around 1200 people from different European countries (mainly Western Europe) participated. From Central and Eastern Europe, where there is lesser social activity, the Polish delegation was the largest with 6 persons. Attac Poland has been involved in a worldwide movement criticizing the neoliberal globalization for 10 years now. They took part in many events, beginning with the 1st European Social Forum, ending with the ATTAC University. Other countries of the region, for example, Hungary or the Czech Republic were represented by only two persons, which might mark a large crisis in social activity the region.

    The academy itself was very well organized. It took place in the university building, where the offices of the event organizers were located, as well as rooms for translators and coordinators, meeting halls, registration and information for participants. Overnight stays were organised in local schools, camps or hostels. The organisation was impressive, there were no problems what-so-ever with registration and other administrative matters.

    Representatives of ATTAC Poland participated in a number of meetings, for example, against privatization of public services, entitled “PrivatAttac”. Here also members of German and French Attac participated. The issues discussed there are crucial discussion points of all social movements. This event will be cyclically repeated in the future. Polish participants took part in numerous debates, seminars, integrating with activists from Western Europe.

    Soon we are facing next meetings of Attac and other social movements. Hopefully, one day the countries from the Eastern Europe will become more active.

    TRIALOG supported the participation of 8 persons from new member states in the European Network Academy in Feiburg.

    Information provided by Piotr Kawiorski, ATTAC Poland

    UNDP Lithunia is Looking for Partners for an International Student Exchange Programme

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lithuania and 5 main high education establishments of Lithuania are looking for organisations that might be interested in cooperating with and receiving Lithuanian students for international internships. Participation costs would be sponsored by the Lithuanian Government. The aim of this initiative is to provide Lithuanian undergraduates / graduates with real-life work experiences to: a) back up their studies, b) provide them with international profile for advancement of their early careers and c) contribute to “brain circulation”. Receiving organisations will in their turn benefit from new ideas, qualified temporary assistance and a talents pre-selection opportunity. Find more information...

    Danube Road of Learning for Culture

    FIDE (Romania) is looking for project partners for a network of organisations of 10 countries sharing the Danube river in the area of tourism, culture and local development. Please read more.

    Evaluation of the Implementation of the Paris Declaration

    An independent group has evaluated the effects of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The evaluation looks at how the principles of aid effectiveness have been put into practice and what results this is having in developing countries. The outcomes of this important international evaluation include a synthesis report, 21 country evaluations, 7 donor studies and several thematic reviews (see further down). The evaluation was managed by an independent reference group that includes country partners and will be a key input to the Busan High Level Forum in November 2011. For more information follow the link.

    Source: OECD

    Food Sovereignty: Exploring Debates on Development Alternatives and Women’s Rights

    AWID – Association for Women’s Rights in Development has published an article on Food Sovereignty. This article compiles and analyzes current debates about food sovereignty from a gender perspective, in which the international and Latin American peasant women movement have played a central role. It explores the challenges and promotes debate among gender equality advocates on how to connect with the peasants’ movement vision of food sovereignty and peasants’ rights. The Feminist Perspectives Towards Transforming Economic Power series shares experiences from the ground and testimonies from diverse groups of women; provides analysis; and builds knowledge on alternative visions and practices of development, with a vision of transformation. Download the article.

    Friday, 23 September 2011

    Conference: See People Behind Politics. Why Effectiveness Matters. 10 October 2011 Warsaw

    Zagranica Group, the Polish platform of development NGOs, invites you to the international conference: See People Behind Politics: Why effectiveness matters? Perspectives from the Global South, which takes place in Warsaw on 10th October 2011. Please find the agenda and additional information of the conference here. Some travel and accomodations costs can be covered. Deadline for registration is 30th September at event@zagranica.org.pl.

    V4 Aid Transparency Conference 4 October 2011, Prag

    Currently, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) is the most comprehensive effort to improve transparency in development cooperation. Created in 2008 by key OECD donors IATI developed an open data standard for aid information open to bilateral, multilateral and private donors, including foundations and NGOs. OpenAid e.V. together with Visegrad non-governmental development organisations are organising the V4 Aid Transparency conference in Prague to explore the relevance of IATI and of open data generally for emerging donors such as the EU12 countries. Concrete examples of open data initiatives in other public sectors will stimulate the debate on the possible uses of aid data. Deadline for registration is 29th of September.

    Find more information on the FoRS website.

    Thursday, 15 September 2011

    TRIALOG starts into a new project year of Phase 4

    After the summer break in August the TRIALOG team is now back and complete in its offices in Vienna and Brussels. Our Policy Officer Rebecca Steel-Jasinska is back in the Brussels Office, and we welcome our new Capacity Building Officer Faika El-Nagahsi, the maternity leave replacement for Andra Tanase.

    We are happy to present our TIS newsletter in a new format and hope that you will enjoy reading it. We have been busy preparing our next activities including the Partnership Fair (19-21 September 2011). At the Partnership Fair we will welcome more than 100 participants from all over Europe - we were pleased by the high interest that the event generated.

    We would also like to announce the publication of our annual Bulletin - fresh off the press. This issue includes a review of the conference and field visits in Nicaragua in November and December of last year, highlights relevant policy processes like the Structured Dialogue, the Multiannual Financial Framework and CSO Effectiveness as well as providing new perspectives on the transition experience of new EU member state. There are articles focusing on the EU presidencies in Poland (2011) and Cyprus (2012) as well as on Croatia as a future member of the EU. We hope you enjoy it! Please find the pdf-version online; hard copies can be sent upon request to office@trialog.or.at

    The Black Sea NGO Forum 2011, 6th-8th of October, Bucharest

    The 4th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum will take place on 6th - 8th of October 2011 in Bucharest, Romania. The event is being organized by the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), with support of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Representation of the European Commission in Romania and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation.

    Recent developments in the EU neighborhood have revealed once more the essential role of civil society and its potential as a positive force for change. The 4th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum will explore the role and needs of civil society in the region, its vision(s) and solutions to the current local and regional problems and will include dedicated panels on different topics – democratization, leadership, regional cooperation models, monitoring of social models, education and children rights, environment, lessons learnt from the transition period. Representatives of Government, both from Romania and other foreign countries, European Commission, NGOs from the Black Sea Region, donors will debate on the European Strategy for the Black Sea Region, the impact of NGOs on programming process.

    The Representation of the European Commission in Romania will award this year, within the framework of Black Sea Forum, the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency. The aim of this award is to enhance the profile of the Black Sea Synergy and its role in proposing a regional, cooperative approach in the region, as well as the multilateral dimension of EU external policies.

    The Black Sea Forum was launched in 2008 by FOND with the support of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation in the framework of the Black Sea Synergy. The Forum aims at increasing the level of dialogue and cooperation among NGOs in the wider Black Sea Region, strengthening the NGOs capacity to influence regional and national policies, and to increase the number and quality of regional partnerships and projects. The previous editions focused on good practices in various fields and countries and successful cooperation initiatives in the region, the main challenges and opportunities in the region and gathered more than 500 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and other EU member states active in the wider Black Sea region.

    Find more information about the event on the website http://www.blackseango.org/pagini/index.php and www.fondromania.org/eng.

    Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

    Conference National Identity in the Context of Global Citizenship 17-18 October, Slovenia

    SLOGA, the Slovenian NGDO platform kindly invites you to the regional conference “National Identity in the Context of Global Citizenship” co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (NSC). The conference will take place on 17-18 October 2011 in Jable Castle, near Ljubljana in Slovenia. The objective of the conference is to discuss concepts of global education, global citizenship and national identity throughout the region of South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean EU countries, and to increase understanding of the subject. Another objective is to explore the similarities and differences in definitions of these concepts and to seek ways of working together to attain common goals and actions despite - or because of - such differences. The accommodation and travel cost are not covered. If you would like to attend the conference, please contact Ms. Dunja Segrt dunja.segrt@sloga-platform.org or Ms. Gordana Berjan gordana.berjan@coe.int and see the detailes on http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE/JMA/SEE-Med-regional-seminar-concept%20paper.pdf.

    Information provided by Dunja Segrt, SLOGA