Hungary and other new member states face special challenges in delivering their commitment to more and better aid. Challenges include the lack of institutional capacity both in the government and among CSOs; a lack of budgetary resources; and the fact that international development cooperation is low on the list of government priorities, which is also related to the lack of interest from the public towards this issue. Furthermore, since they are seen as ‘new’ donors, the considerable experience of Hungary and other new member states over the two decades of transition - and specifically, learning points about the contribution of CSOs during this period - are largely neglected by key actors in international development. These are the exact challenges that the Presidency Program of the Hungarian Platform of Development NGOs HAND is aiming to address. The specific objectives of HAND’s program are:
I. “More and better aid: overcoming challenges in new donor countries”: Improving aid effectiveness and CSO development effectiveness in Hungary and NMS.
II. “Transition experiences: development through innovation and participation”: Sharing transition experiences with countries of the Eastern Partnership and channelling transition experiences from the CEE region into the Structured Dialogue and other European processes.
III. “Help where it’s most needed”: Raising awareness on the importance of the MDGs and contributing to the MDG acceleration process; supporting the development of an LDC strategy for Hungary in line with the EU and international policy frameworks on LDCs.
HAND and its member organizations will carry out a range of interrelated activities that will each support one or more of the above objectives, thereby strengthening development cooperation in Hungary, and also highlighting and integrating the experiences of the NMS to make development cooperation more effective at the European level. Planned eventsd are:
February, 2011 – One-day workshop for Hungarian stakeholders involved in international development working on democracy support, civil society development and sustainability in other countries. Output: a position paper on Hungarian transition experiences and civil society development.
End of March/April, 2011 – 2-day international seminar with civil society developing NGOs and think tanks researching civil society development from Visegrad 4 countries, from 3 Eastern partnership countries and next presidency countries: Denmark, Cyprus, Lithuania, additionally to UK. Output: a policy brief on civil society development and sustainability in New member States of the EU and their relevance in Neighbourhood countries.
May/June, 2011 – a closing 2-day EU-level conference sharing the results of previous events addressing 3rd sector sustainability, new, innovative and alternative ways of operations, cooperation and financing (social innovation, social enterprise, social financing, etc.), their relevance to Neighbourhood policy, most likely connected to the Eastern Partnership Summit.
The launch event of the program will be held on the 25th January in Budapest where the program priorities and activities will be introduced as well as the bilingual website dedicated to the program. Visit www.hand.org.hu/presidency
For further information please contact: Réka Balogh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided by Réka Balogh, HAND