Friday, 21 December 2012

TRIALOG Advocacy Guide and new Website

We are happy to announce our latest publication and the re-lauch of the TRIALOG website.

The TRIALOG advocacy guide introduces readers to the world of lobbying and advocacy, with inspiring examples from EU12 experience. Drawing up an advocacy strategy, choosing target groups, using media, planning a campaign and many more topics are covered. The guide is a practical and down to earth– tool which provides suggestions on how to incorporate advocacy into your organisation’s work. A special feature of the guide are successful advocacy examples from new EU member state organisations and NGDO platforms.

Download the guide from the TRIALOG website.

The TRIALOG website was refreshed with a new design and a more user-friendly structure. New elements include an interactive EU-map that brings you directly to the country pages of the newer EU member states, quick-links to all EU13 platforms, news from EU13 platforms and TRIALOG and a login areas for partners to share internal documents. Visit the website now at www.trialog.or.at

We hope that the Advocacy Guide and the website will be useful tools for your work in the field of development education and development cooperation.






Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

4th TRIALOG Development Education/Awareness Raising Partnership Fair – Application open

TRIALOG held successful Partnership Fairs in 2006, 2010 and 2011 where many of the EC-funded development education projects under NSA-LA line were conceived. TRIALOG will host the fourth edition of this event from 13 to 15 March, 2013. At this event around 100 participants from across the EU work on possible projects for the NSA-LA Development Education call. The Partnership Fair is a learning, networking and project-designing event from development CSOs from across Europe. TRIALOG aims to include representatives not only from NGOs but also from trade unions, academia, political foundations and Local Authorities. The Partnership Fair facilitates partnerships, cooperation, learning and exchange at an international level for joint projects for DEAR.

Please find a more detailed description here.
Download the application form.

Deadline for application is 8th of February 2013.

For further information please contact Ulrike Bey at u.bey@trialog.or.at

Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

First TRIALOG Strategy Meeting in the New Project Phase

On December 4th 2012, the first Strategy Meeting of TRIALOG in the new project phase was held in Vienna. This meeting – in previous phases called the Central Training - is meant for mutual exchange and updates about the situations of the platforms and planning of joint projects. In a market place EU12 /AC platforms presented an overview of the platform situations, their achievements and challenges of the past couple of months with regards to financial situation, platform structure and priorities of work. It was clear that all platforms are struggling with an insecure financial future. Main challenges are stability and continued involvement of member organisations within the platform under the current circumstances but also the improvement of relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The day continued with a presentation of CONCORD priorities in 2013 by Klavdija Cernilogar, head of programmes, which was useful in relating to the platforms’ own activities. Following were presentations on specific policy issues and how they are translated into the national contexts of several countries. Jana Milerova of the Czech platform FoRS presented examples of how NGO effectiveness – also laid down in the Istanbul principles - is implemented by member organisations of FoRS. Kerstin Wittig presented the activities of the Cypriot island-wide platform CYINDEP to promote the Beyond2015 campaign during the Cypriot EU presidency. Marjan Huc of the Slovenian platform Sloga introduced the project “World Wise Europe” on policy coherence for development (PCD) where eight EU12 platforms are involved under the lead of the Belgian NGO 11.11.11. He elaborated how Sloga engages to relate PCD to the Slovenian national context and to get public and policy support for the topic. The discussions that started during the panel presentations continued during the following working groups where platform representatives were looking more deeply at the different topics. The sessions turned out to be a sharing of information, best practices and examples. In future the Strategy meetings will be held by the end of the calendar year. The capacity building activities of TRIALOG V leave a lot of space for joint actions.

In the photos: participants of the Strategy Meeting during working group sessions.

Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

Czech NGDO Platform FoRS launched new Aidwatch Report on Czech ODA in 2011

In their new Aidwatch report on Czech Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2011, development NGOs associated in Czech Forum for Development Cooperation (FoRS) point out that the quality of the Czech aid has increased, but it is necessary to ensure its stable funding.

The report shows that Czech ODA is operating more effectively and more transparently. Several conceptual documents were prepared by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 2011 such as country strategy papers with 4 of the 5 priority program countries, a new Project Cycle Methodology for bilateral ODA defining standard procedures and roles of individual actors as well as the National Strategy for Global Development Education and the Strategy for Government Grants for Students from Developing Countries. In addition, evaluations of bilateral development projects were launched in 2011. Moreover, the responsibilities, competencies and the aid budget within the Czech ODA will be unified under the Czech MFA in 2013.

The volume of Czech ODA in 2011 slightly increased compared to 2010 reaching approx. 177,2 million EUR. Most bilateral ODA went to the priority countries: Afghanistan (8 million EUR), Mongolia and Moldova (3 million EUR each). The highest part of bilateral ODA was spent on strengthening government and civil society, which is the sector of a long-standing Czech expertise. However, with ODA representing only 0,12 % of the Czech Gross National Income (GNI), compared to 0,13 % in 2010, the Czech Republic does not meet its international commitments to provide 0,33 % of its GNI for ODA by 2015. In addition, the proportion of the bilateral ODA was further reduced to 31 % of the total ODA and was spent mostly on development projects in partner countries carried out by various actors, especially private companies (37 %) and civil society organizations (34 %).

A briefing paper in English based on FoRS Aidwatch report including FoRS recommendations for Czech state institutions is available here.

Contact person: Marie Zazvorkova, marie.zazvorkova@fors.cz

Information provided by Marie Zazvorkova, FoRS

Malta’s AidWatch Working Group

Malta’s AidWatch Working Group (AWWG) has had a very busy second part of 2012. SKOP (National Platform of Maltese NGDOs ) was granted funds through CONCORD’s Sub-contracting Scheme to employ an AidWatch Research and Advocacy Officer for six months.

During this period, the AWWG managed to intensify its research capacities and thus enhance its advocacy actions. Malta’s AWWG aims to provide a detailed report and analysis of the Government’s Official Development Assistance programme. This would enable the AWWG to make recommendations aimed at a more efficient and effective national ODA programme. The necessity to focus more energies on this issue came after years of difficulties encountered in accessing data and information related to Malta’s ODA, as a result of lack of transparency.

The work carried out since June brought about a strengthened dialogue with the Development Unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as established new communication links with other Ministries and institutions involved in the management and allocation of Malta’s ODA. Communication with other national platforms, especially from the EU12, helped in identifying potential solutions. This was based on sharing of experiences, good practices and lessons learnt.

The research project has been helpful for SKOP’s AWWG and other civil society organizations and representatives (such as academia) to jointly advocate for an improved political framework and a clearer implementation strategy focused on poverty. A multi-stakeholder workshop was organized on the 8th November entitled, “A Review of Malta’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) through the past three years from a political, academic and civil society point of view”, during which representatives from political parties, academia, NGOs and other civil society backgrounds discussed how the quality and transparency of Malta’s ODA programme could be improved.

The next step is to gear up on advocacy actions with politicians, especially in view of the upcoming General Elections in Malta on 9th March 2013.

For further information, contact Ms. Paola Prinzis, AidWatch Research and Advocacy Officer: paola.prinzis@skopmalta.org  

Information provided by Philippa Arrigo, SKOP

The World We Want – Global Civil Society Symposium

CYINDEP, the Cyprus Island-wide NGO Development Platform carried out a symposium with the aim of providing the space to civil society to interact with other relevant stakeholders from academia, international institutions, governments and the private sector, to discuss, share ideas and concerns on the issue of food and nutrition security. The symposium was held on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2012 in Cyprus.

The symposium focused on six key issues of food security, namely: nutrition, sustainable agriculture, resilience, water, governance and the role of the private sector, while it was based on the cross-cutting issues of the Human Rights based approach, Policy Coherence for Development and Sustainable Development with its three dimensions (environmental; economic; and socio-political).

During the second day a High Level Panel was co-organised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, hosting European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, the Irish Development Minister Joe Costello, Baroness Northover from DfID, HRH Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho, Krystyna Bednarska, Director of WFP Office in Brussels and Ben Slay from UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava. Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Erato Kozakou Marcoullis during her opening speech noted that ‘The pursuit of an ambitious and visionary post-2015 development agenda requires an inclusive and visionary coalition, encompassing a variety of dedicated stakeholders within and beyond Europe. Our aim today is to build such a coalition, a coalition which stretches across civil society and governments, across Europe and the world’.

The conference envisages influencing the post-2015 framework through a set of specific recommendations, which will feed into the Thematic Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security and the national consultations. The Cypriot Platform is also very keen in continuing the work on food and nutrition security within the new development framework through other activities.

Information provided by Sophia Arnaouti, CYINDEP

Visegrad4 Parliamentarians Visiting Ethiopia

From 10th- 19th November 2012 nine members of the parliaments of the Visegrad4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) visited Ethiopia as part of the EU funded project V4 Aid- United Support for the MDGs. The journey was organized by People in Need (CZ), DemNet Foundation (HU), Polish Humanitarian Action (PL), Slovak NGDO Platform and PDCS (SK).

The visit enabled the V4 decision makers to gain firsthand experience of Global South countries' development problems, provide them invaluable insight into development cooperation and its complexity as well as stimulate debate and further interaction between the representatives of V4 countries on national ODA policies. Participants had the opportunity to meet the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Water and Energy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU Delegation in Ethiopia, the Federal and Regional Parliament of the SNNPR. Most of the journey concentrated on visiting V4 development projects. In Debre Zeit the participants visited a school supported by the Slovak Integra Foundation, in Alemtema a school run by the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit which is supported by Polish Aid. Most of the visited project was supported by Czech NGOs, especially People in Need that have the most extensive presence in Ethiopia among V4 countries. Apart from the health and education projects in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, the MPs visited environmental, sanitation and agriculture projects implemented by Czech NGOs. The beginning and the end of the visit was accompanied by a meeting with the V4 ambassadors who are present in Ethiopia.

Partners of the project will organize a follow-up conference on V4 cooperation in the area of development that will take place on 21st January 2013 in Budapest.

More information on V4 cooperation in Ethiopia can be found in the analysis here.

The author of the photo is Robert Hodosi
Description: Meeting at the Polish Embassy in Ethiopia.

Information provided by Andrea Girmanová, Platforma MVRO - Slovak NGDO Platform

Czech Engagement in Development Cooperation in the Times of Economic Crisis

On 20 November 2012, the Czech Forum for Development Cooperation (FoRS) organized a panel discussion titled "Should the Czech Republic remain engaged in development cooperation in the times of an economic crisis?". Panelists from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Czech Development Agency, the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament and Caritas Czech Republic agreed on the strengths of Czech aid especially the experience from the transition period to democracy and market economy, a considerable progress on the systemic level (clear structure with responsibilities, a multiannual strategy, country strategy papers etc.) and small, but relatively stable funding despite an economic crisis. Some weaker aspects of Czech aid were also mentioned such as relatively low sustainability of development projects and insufficient communication towards, awareness among and support from policy and decision makers and the public for development cooperation.

On this occasion FoRS also published a press release, presented its new Aidwatch report on Czech Official Development Assistance in 2011 as well as a new version of the website http://www.fors.cz/ceskapomoc/ providing a detailed and interactive database of over a hundred development projects of Czech NGOs.

Contact person: Marie Zazvorkova, marie.zazvorkova@fors.cz

Information provided by Marie Zazvorkova, FoRS

Forum on Personal Security launched under the Czech NGO Platform

On 22nd of November 2012 the Czech NGO platform (FoRS), in partnership with the humanitarian organisation ADRA Czech Republic and a team of Security/Safety Professionals SALANGA, organized a Round table on topic „Personal security in Czech Development Cooperation“.

The round table in Prague was part of the project supported by Czech Development Agency that aims to contribute to the professionalisation of organisations active in the field of humanitarian aid and development cooperation with focus on personal safety and security of personell deployed abroad.

While the opening remarks presented by representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Security Department summarized the tools that Czech Republic has to ensure security of its Citizen abroad, the following discussion was touching mainly personal experiences with practical aspects of sending personnel to risk areas. The round table discussion involved not only the field of humanitarian and development work but also academic institutions preparing students for their future carrier in this field and organisations sending volunteers to Global South countries.

The third part of the round table was dedicated to presentation of the project outcomes – a new e-learning course on personal safety and security and an internet forum for exchange of security experience and information among Czech NGOs.

This round table hopefully was only the beginning of a wider discussion on the topic. There is a plan to start a working group under the Czech NGO platform that will focus on Personal Security and will aim to strengthen the discussion on this topic in context of Czech development cooperation.

Related link: www.security-training.cz

Contact person: Markéta Lančová, Marketa.Lancova@adra.cz

Finding new Ways of Cooperation in Developing Countries

On 22nd of November 2012, the Czech NGO platform (FoRS) organized the workshop on topic: Finding of new ways of cooperation in developing countries. The workshop was organized within the project RESAREAS. The aim of this project is to create a network among the organizations and institutions active in research and development in non-European countries. The workshop tried to enhance the discussion among the participants from academic institutions, the private sector and NGOs active in developing countries. There were also some representatives from the Czech Development Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which showed their support for this topic.

According to the participants from all sectors there are now just few examples of projects coordinated by actors from all sectors. Although the potential is very high, especially in the field of sharing knowledge and expertise, the actors are facing many obstacles, for example in terms of legislation or fear. Each sector can offer different types of contribution and together we could be very successful. All the participants expressed their interests to continue the discussion on this topic.

Contact person: Adéla Stiborová, asistent@fors.cz

Journalists in Latvia talk about Communication for Development

On 29th of November 2012 media representatives from all regions of Latvia were invited to participate in the National World Talks about Communication for Development. The goal of this event was to raise awareness and discuss with media professionals about communication for development, its essence, topics and methods.

The event was organised in close cooperation between the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS) and its member organisation Latvian Media Professionals Training Center. A total of 16 journalists took part in event, representing 15 different local print media - which is still one of the main information sources for lots of people, especially in the countryside. Invited guests were representatives from the Latvian forum for Latvian Farmer’s Federation and the Latvian Portage Association, who shared their experience working in development cooperation.
The participants were introduced to communication for development and development cooperation. There was an open discussion about inequality and poverty what led to talks about Millennium Development Goals and social dimensions of globalization, as well as about the differences in how news about developing countries are covered in Latvian media and abroad. There was a conclusion, that even for news from local communities, it’s possible to find a correlation with the the global scale and similar problems can be identified in Latvia, South-America and Africa. As said one of participants: “We are invariably connected.” There was a discussion on how to elaborate a good publication about development issues, how and where to choose information, ethics and format and how to deliver the story.

In the end of the day several participants revealed, that before this day they didn’t know a lot about global development issues, but now they see importance to link local level issues to a global context. This event took place within the framework of the EU-funded project “Baltic States – Channeling Information for Development”.

In the photo: participants of the event.

Information provided by Baiba Udrase, LAPAS

International Forum “Stronger together” in Slovenia

The Slovenian NGO Povod and SLOGA (Slovenian NGDO platform for development cooperation and humanitarian aid), with the financial support of Anna Lind Foundation (ALF), organised on November 13th and 14th 2012, an international forum titled “Stronger Together”.

The forum was opened by an interesting panel “The Euro-Mediterranean Space in Times of Changes – the Arab Spring and Looking Ahead”, consisted of national and international (Tunisian and Lebanese) guests, which were discussing about the following topics: political, social and cultural changes in the Arab world after the Arab spring, their impact on relations in the broader Euro-Mediterranean region and the role of civil society.

The programme also offered two workshops (the first one focusing on the role of women in the Arab world during and after the revolution and the second one about young people as new ideas’-/ideologies’-holders), included the annual meeting of the Slovenian ALF Network members and an informal gathering for those interested in cooperating with organizations from Tunisia and Lebanon.

In the photo: panel “The Euro-Mediterranean Space in Times of Changes – the Arab Spring and Looking Ahead” (photo by Petr Lavrencik).

Information provided by Iva Likar, SLOGA

Feasibility visit between KOPIN (Malta) and APE (Egypt)

In the beginning of December 2012, KOPIN (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali – Malta) hosted Mrs Syada Alhamy Greiss, Chairperson of the Egyptian Association for the Protection of Environment (APE), for a three-day meeting during which the relative representatives discussed a potential partnership, shared ideas and opportunities for collaboration between the two NGOs.

The discussions held over these three days helped the organisations get to know each other better. It was clear that the mission and vision of both organisations deal with social and economic sustainable development. The two organisations have shown a great interest in establishing a strong and long-term partnership in support of the Zabbaleen community in Cairo.

APE works with the informal garbage collectors of Cairo known as the Zabbaleen (garbage collectors). The focus of this NGO is to enable women and children in this marginalized community to engage in education. Amongst the different programmes implemented by APE, an afternoon project gives children the opportunity to learn new skills in an informal way while also providing them with support in their formal educational formation. Women, too, are at the heart of the NGO. With the help of volunteers, APE has managed to equip a significant number of Zabbaleen women with weaving, recycling and craft skills. All the products are produced from collected waste materials.
KOPIN works in the field of development cooperation and its overall aim is to contribute actively to the alleviation of global poverty and social injustice. The NGO’s main areas of work deal with networking, advocacy, global education and development cooperation.

This event was made possible through the financial contribution of the European Commission through the Youth in Action Programme. Three young KOPIN volunteers, Annabelle Khalil, Maria Psaila and Gisele Correia, helped in the preparation and organisation of the visit.

For further information, contact William Grech, Executive Director at KOPIN: william.grech@kopin.org

Humanitarian Aid and Development Cooperation discussed in Warsaw

From 7th-8th December 2012, Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) organized an international conference - “Key Challenges of Humanitarian Aid and Development Cooperation in the 21st Century” at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The conference was part of the celebrations of the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary.

During the conference a number of issues relating to development cooperation were discussed including prevention of the food crises; working in areas of armed conflict; the effectiveness of global education; the impact of the financial crisis on development cooperation; problems of migrants in Poland; and the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation. The conference was attended by more than 30 experts from all around the world, and nearly 500 participants.

The president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, inaugurated the conference with his opening speech. He spoke about the positive changes that have been taking place since the political transition in Poland. The President stressed that the aid which Poland received from other countries during that period puts on our shoulders moral responsibility to cooperate with and help countries and societies that now need similar assistance. Helping others is the most beautiful form of diplomacy one can imagine, and humanitarian and development aid is the form of struggle for freedom, equality and democracy, said the President.

Minister Pełczyska - Nałęcz transferred to the hands of the president of PAH a congratulatory letter from the minister of foreign affairs Radosław Sikorski. In addition to the letter, she highlighted the changes that have occurred in the Polish society during the past years, relating to development cooperation. She said: More and more people in Poland are interested in development cooperation, as much as 78% of citizens believe that Poland should support the countries of the Global South that are in need by providing them with humanitarian assistance and development aid. Poland is progressively becoming a mature donor. The Undersecretary of State also spoke about the legal act introduced in early 2012, which defines the key concepts of development assistance, and sets its direction. In addition, the audience had a chance to listen to the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs - Radoslaw Sikorski, who wrote the letter to be read to the audience at the conference.

The president of the Board of PAH, Janka Ochojska, also took an opportunity to warmly welcome the audience of the conference. She stressed that the 20th anniversary celebration of PAH is an unique opportunity to evaluate the performance of PAH, as well as examine the overall achievements and errors pertaining the implementation of humanitarian and development aid and to analyze the challenges of the present and the future. Polish society is certainly experiencing significant transformation - Janina Ochojska emphasized. However, society’s education in terms of the global education and humanitarian aid still remains a challenge. The media play an indispensable role in building awareness and educating the public. She also referred to the above mentioned act, stating that it requires some changes to enable organisations to conduct long-term activities.

Information provided by Aneta Sarna, PHO

Slovak Development Cooperation Forum in Nairobi

The Slovak Embassy in Nairobi and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic organized a Development Cooperation Forum in Nairobi . The forum that took place from 19th – 21st November 2012 aimed at discussing development cooperation that has been provided to Kenya for almost 17 years by Slovak development NGOs and 10 years by the official development assistance programme “SlovakAid”.

The forum gathered together representatives of 10 Slovak NGDOs and universities that are active in Kenya, their local partners as well as the representatives of the MFA SR and their Kenyan counterparts, private sector, other donors, the EU and the UN agencies. Participants of the conference accessed their experience from working in Kenya and defined strategies and policies for the next period in order to make Slovak development cooperation with Kenya even more effective and sustainable. The forum was accompanied by a Kenyan-Slovak Trade and Economic Seminar on 19th November 2012 where Slovak companies participated.

In the frame of the programme “SlovakAid”, 5.8 million Euros have been allocated for bilateral development projects since 2004. Projects are implemented by universities, NGOs, research institutes or business entities. Apart from the programme, Slovak organizations implement projects thanks to fundraising campaigns. According to Slovak NGDOs, the Slovak Development Cooperation Forum in Nairobi was a unique event that provided space for experience sharing and discussing possibilities of increasing the positive impact of the cooperation.

More information on Slovak development cooperation in Kenya can be found in the material prepared by the Slovak NGDO Platform “Slovakia has been helping Kenya for 17 years”.

Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, MVRO- Slovak NGDO Platform

Emergency Health Care Programme for the Disabled Poor in Guatemala

Integra Foundation, Malta  are partnering with the Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK on an action research project providing disabled people in extreme poverty in Guatemala with emergency health care, in particular those residing in the poorest rural areas and indigenous populations . It prioritises those living in the most impoverished conditions. Working collaboratively throughout all stages with local level Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and other trusted partners as well as families and communities, the project contributes to alleviating the barriers in particular the costs that traditionally bar access to emergency health care, while offering a sustainable and individualised health care programme that is locally owned and run. The project is currently funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Malta.

For more information see http://integrafoundation.org/guatemalaproject/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CYhKFmlvSk.

Contact for project: Dr Shaun Grech E-mail: integrafoundation@gmail.com

Information and picture from the project provided by Shaum Grech, Integra Foundation

CSO Partnership on Development Effectiveness

The end of one process often marks the beginning of a second, and this is true of the Open Forum, which successfully completed its mandate this month. The decision was taken to merge the two CSO global processes dealing with aid effectiveness - Open Forum and BetterAid – after the fourth high level forum on aid effectiveness in Busan. The new CSO Partnership on Development Effectiveness (CPDE) is a result of worldwide CSO consultations over the past year and intends to respond better to the post-Busan development agenda. The CPDE Global Council met in Nairobi in December 2012 to finalise the strategy, working groups and mandate.

The ‘ABC’ of the New Global CSO Platform (taken from the last Open Forum newsletter):

- Mandate: The CPDE is an open platform for civil society organizations worldwide that promotes CSOs’ vision of development effectiveness as based on a rights-based approach prioritizing women’s rights, sustainability, improved livelihoods, mutual accountability - as well as CSOs’ own effectiveness and enabling environment - in the scope of the policy and practice of the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, and by focusing on country level outcomes while coordinating CSO efforts globally.

- Structure: The CPDE is led by a Global Council representing the major regional and sectoral civil society groups worldwide and is assisted in its task by a Coordination Committee, Global Secretariat, thematic Working Groups, and an Independent Accountability Committee.

The CPDE will focus on three priority areas: CSO Development Effectiveness; enabling environment for CSOs and the Human Rights Based Approach.

For more information on the CPDE:
 Consult the CPDE Bulletin and website of BetterAid
 Refer to the Open Forum CPDE webpage

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Maltese Mission Fund Project in India

Mission Fund is a voluntary organisation set up in Malta to provide support to a number of Maltese missionaries spread out in about 40 countries throughout the globe. For the last 20 years, Mission Fund has funded 22 construction projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

This year’s project consisted in the construction of an extension to St. Xavier College run by the Jesuits in Maharo, Dumka, India. This building will serve as an accommodation hostel for about 400 tribal girls attending the college coming from remote Santal villages.
On 13th October 2012, a group of seventeen Mission Fund volunteers left Malta for a 5-week stay in Maharo to help in the construction of this project. The group was accommodated in St Xavier College where they received a very warm welcome by the Jesuits running the college as well as the students, who showed their appreciation for the volunteers who came to help in this project. The group also met 8 Maltese missionaries who have been serving in the vicinity of Dumka for a long time, some for over 50 years. Before returning to Malta, the group took the opportunity to visit the tomb of the Blessed Mother Theresa in Calcutta as well as the homes for handicapped children and for the elderly which are run by the Missionaries of Charity.

In the photo: constructing the extension of St. Xavier College.

For further information about this project, please contact Mr. John Sammut, Public Relations Officer – Mission Fund at: sammutjohn@onvol.net

European Commission announces increased Support for Civil Society in the Neighbourhood Area

The European Commission has adopted the second phase of the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility to enhance involvement of civil society organisations in the European Neighbourhood area. The goal is to support them in the policy dialogue with partner governments, to strengthen civil society's role in fostering public accountability and support their increased role in national reforms process and in local development agenda. The Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility will receive a new budget allocation of EUR 45.3 million for 2012-2013.

Read the press release here.

Global Citizens: Development Education Theory & Practice

Kerry One World Centre (KOWC) invites you to attend this insightful course for Adult Basic Skills/Literacy Educators - fully funded by the EU. Join with an international group of professionals and peers to enhance your skills and improve your capacity to assist your students to learn in an environment that encourages active citizenship.

Development Education (DE) methodologies will be introduced by an expert team and participants will be facilitated to explore how to integrate DE approaches and resources into their work. Take this opportunity to gain crucial competences to boost your personal and professional profile as well as the potential of your organisation.

The course is fully funded by the European Union's Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme. You will first need to apply to your national agency before 16th January 2013 to obtain this grant. Applications can take several days so it's best to begin your application now.

Course Dates:
Session 1: 27/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
Session 2: 17/06/2013 - 21/06/2013
The course takes place in Tralee/Kerry, Ireland.

Costs:
A grant is available under the EU Grundtvig Inservice programme to cover travel & accommodation expenses and fees for this course.

Registration:
Attendees must register by Monday, January 16th 2013.

Further information:
Contact Mary McGillicuddy by email coordinator@kade.ie of KOWC

How to apply:
1. Find your National Agency here.
2. Email them or visit their website to download the application form for Grundtvig in-service training. Grundtvig is for teachers of adult learners or other forms of informal learning (for example librarians, local council staff)
3. Choose the dates that you want to attend (Session 1: 27/5/2012 - 31/5/2012, or Session 2: 17/6/2012 - 21/6/2012).
4. Complete the pre-registration booking form. You will be issued with a pre-acceptance letter by email.
5. Complete your National Agency form.
6. Submit the application form and pre-acceptance letter in time for your local national deadlines (all countries are different so check with your local Agency).
7. Please contact coordinator@kade.ie with details of your acceptance/rejection.
8. We will then furnish you with the necessary pre-course information.

Further details can be found on the Kerry One World Centre website: www.kade.ie/globalcitizens

Interactive Web Portal for CSO Development Effectiveness

The CSO Development Effectiveness Web Portal, which was launched this week, is an open online platform where civil society practitioners interested in and working towards improving the impact of their work in development, can access and share tools, resources and case studies with others also working on improving their effectiveness. On the site, you can search for ideas and examples from other CSO practitioners, upload your contributions, and rate the tools you think work best for implementing a particular aspect of the CSO Development Effectiveness agenda.

Visit the web portal at http://wiki.cso-effectiveness.org/

A second tool launched through the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, to apply civil society’s standards of effective development, expressed in the International Framework for CSO Development Effectiveness and recognized by the Global Partnership agreement, is The Practitioner’s Activity Guide to the CSO Development Effectiveness Principles - a training methodology to transmit the collective experience behind the International Framework to help civil society organizations (CSOs) take the first planning steps towards improving their effectiveness by applying the eight ‘Istanbul’ Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness.


For more information please contact Olga Kozhaeva: info@cso-effectiveness.org

Source: Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness

UNIDO Report: Networks for Prosperity - Connecting Development Knowledge beyond 2015

This report of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) illustrates the importance of network governance in the context of economic globalization, aid and development. It argues that this is of particular relevance in the context of the current debate on the establishment of a new set of global development goals by 2015. This report has been jointly produced by UNIDO and the Centre for Global Governance Studies in Leuven, Belgium, under the overall umbrella of the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund. It includes contributions from a wide variety of experts in the field of knowledge networks and network governance.

Among the expert contributions is an article on KNOW-HOW3000, the knowledge management programme of TRIALOG´s lead agency HORIZONT3000. The article provides an insight to the structure and methods of the programme, as well as an assessment and lessons-learned.

Read the UNIDO report online.

Source: UNIDO

Friday, 16 November 2012

November News from TRIALOG

This month the TRIALOG team is dedicated to preparing the Partner and Strategy Meeting of EU13 development CSO platforms and other consortium members, which will take place from 3rd to 4th of December 2012 in Vienna. The event will start with a Partner Meeting where the coordinators and liaison officers of the EU13 platforms will discuss practical issues related to the implementation of the new TRIALOG project phase. The second day will be dedicated to the exchange of information and the identification of synergies for joint actions. The updated information of each platform will be made available on the country pages on the TRIALOG website.

We are happy to announce the new TRIALOG information leaflet which gives an overview of the activities planned for the next three years; it is available for download here (pdf).

In the TRIALOG office Vienna we welcome Ulrike Bey, who is back from maternity leave.

The current team members are:
Christine Bedoya – Director: c.bedoya@trialog.or.at
Pilar Lendl – Project Assistant: office@trialog.or.at
Ulrike Bey – Capacity Building Officer: u.bey@trialog.or.at
Rebecca Steel-Jasińska – Liaison Officer: trialog@concordeurope.org
Elisa Romero – Information Officer: information@trialog.or.at

In almost all EU13 development CSO platforms the liaison officers, financially supported by TRIALOG, have started to work on increasing the capacities of their platform and members to engage in important European policy exchanges.

Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

Launching the first national AidWatch Report in Romania

The International Day for Eradicating Extreme Poverty (17th of October) was marked in Romania by the launch of the first national AidWatch Report – “Romania’s performances as ODA donor, 2007-2012”. For Romania, this is an innovative advocacy tool which emphasizes both the ODA progresses and challenges (related to legislation, funding mechanisms, transparency and support given to the civil society organizations).

The national report provides a very complex view of the 5 years as donor, taking into consideration the international commitments, the national strategic framework of the development cooperation policy, the main actors involved and analyzes the amount of funding spent on ODA projects and activities. A special attention is given to Republic of Moldova, one of the Romania’s main partner countries, with a chapter focused on the Romania ODA disbursed in this country.

Even if the legislation on ODA funding has recently been updated (through Governmental Decision 1052/2011), there is still need for an implementation unit to evaluate and monitor the projects funded from the national ODA budget. The report highlights some recommendations, based on a complex process of consultation with the FOND Policy/Advocacy Working Group and the White Paper of the NGO sector in Romania (launched this month, FOND coordinated the chapter on International Solidarity), as well as relevant events organized for the national development community in Romania (Romanian Development Camp V in July 2012).

FOND has started to disseminate the national AidWatch Report among the decision-makers (Ministries, Parliament, local authorities, other NGOs). The FOND Policy/Advocacy Working Group will be actively involved in future activities of the platform, in order to continue the capacity building process and active engagement in policy work both at European and national level.

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

The Black Sea NGO Forum 2012: Participation and Inclusion for responsible Development in the Black Sea Region

During 24-25th of October, the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation of the European Commission in Romania organized the fifth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, entitled “Participation and inclusion for responsible development”.

The forum represents a unique opportunity in the region by gathering the most important stakeholders and grassroots organizations, in order to debate common issues and find solutions for the problems in the Black Sea region. Among the guests invited were Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luminita Odobescu, State Secretary (Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), representatives from the European Commission, Governments, civil society representatives from the region, media. This anniversary edition was attended by Rilli Lappalainen, member of CONCORD Board and Secretary General of the Finnish NGO Kehys who addressed a mobilizing message to the audience regarding the potential of the region and how important are the networks for empowering civil society in the Black Sea area.

This edition brought together around 160 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and Russia. The discussions of the Forum were structured around 3 main topics: social entrepreneurship and community development in rural areas, transparency and public integrity, youth policies and youth development. The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops and encouraged networking throughout the event. The main recommendations were related to a new Black Sea Strategy and the need to prioritize the main concerning issues on the agenda of the European Commission. There are two successful results of the previous editions of this Forum. The regional coalition on child protection in the region (ChildPact) and the Black Sea Youth Network.

The Representation of the European Commission in Romania awarded for the third time, the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency. The winner is Black Sea NGO Network from Bulgaria, a network dedicated to sustainable development, European politics and environmental issues. 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 online

In the photo: panel at the Black Sea NGO Forum 2012
Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

Development Day 2012 in Bratislava

On the occasion of the International Day of Poverty Eradication, the 17th October, one hundred participants interested in Slovak development assistance gathered in the University Library in Bratislava for the Development Day 2012, organised by the Slovak NGDO Platform MVRO. The topic of the event was Cooperation for Development. Panel discussions focused on cooperation among all stakeholders involved in development cooperation.

The event demonstrated on examples from Slovakia and abroad how important it is to mobilize specific capacities of all relevant stakeholders in order to increase effectiveness of development cooperation, including business entities with potential to engage in development activities.

Gunter Schall from the Private Sector and Development Section of the Austrian Development Agency introduced a functional model of involving the business sector in development cooperation. Nora Beňáková, coordinator for development policy for the Slovak NGDO Platform, presented the 2nd National AidWatch Report 2011, analysing the bilateral development assistance of the Slovak Republic in 2011. The importance of cooperation across sectors was discussed on a panel with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, business representatives, academics, as well as representatives of development NGOs.

The Slovak NDGO Platform in cooperation with PDCS prepared the second photography competition for amateurs and professionals “Human Rights in Development Cooperation”. At the occasion of the Development Day, the winners were announced and the exhibition was opened. The 30 best photographs will be presented at exhibitions in various Slovak towns.

The event was financially supported by the European Commission and SlovakAid (as part of the project “V4 Aid – United support for Millennium Development Goals“), as well as by CONCORD.


In the photo: participants of the Slovak Development Day 2012
Information provided by Lenka Nemcová, MVRO

MFF Letter sent to Baltic Prime Ministers

At the end of October, a letter written jointly by the development CSO platforms in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was sent to the prime ministers, the ministers of foreign affairs and the ministers of finance in the three Baltic countries. In it, a number of recommendations were put forward to improve the proposal for the EU budget 2014-2020, ahead of the extraordinary European Council meeting on the subject. The main message was the need to maintain the development aid budget; to reaffirm the commitment to the 0.7% of GNI for aid; to base development cooperation on the objective of poverty eradication using a human rights based approach; and the importance of policy coherence for development. The letter also referred to civil society’s role as a central development actor.

The letter can be read here (pdf).

Further details available from the secretariats of the Baltic platforms:
Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ)


Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Development Education Conference in Lithuania

On 9th of November 2012 LITDEA organised the annual development education conference “Development education and development cooperation policy in Lithuania the situation and development opportunities” which was held in the Ministry of Education and Science premises.

The conference was welcomed and coordinated by LITDEA president Lina Kalibataite. The aim of the conference was to present the activities and projects on development education of LITDEA, especially “Development Education multipliers in Lithuania”. The presentation of the project evolved positive discussions, questions and possible plans for the future.

One member of LITDEA made an interesting presentation based on his personal experience in Guatemala “Travelling together. Development education in Guatemala experiences reflection“.
Julius Norvila, board member of LITDEA talked about remarks, challenges and perspectives of Lithuanian Official Development Assistance. The Lithuanian National Platform of Development NGOs presented the recommendations on co-financing/ support for partnership and there was space for comments and feedback. Also a discussion process with the MFA (Ministry for Foreign Affairs) representatives on co-financing 10% for EU presidency project was started. Last but not least a short presentation on the MFA’s planning for the upcoming EU presidency was held by a representative of ministry.

For more information, please contact Ruta Ulkyte at info@litdea.eu
In the photo: participants of the conference.

Information provided by Ruta Ulkyte, LITDEA

Civil Society Bazaar: Citizens as Actors of Change in Cyprus

CYINDEP, the Cyprus Island-wide NGO Development Platform, presented a Civil Society bazaar entitled Euro-Mediterranean Souk: Citizens as Actors of Change, on Friday 12 October 2012 in Nicosia. The event, held under the auspices of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, provided an open space, inspired by Mediterranean market places, for participating Non-Government al Organizations to pitch their ideas and initiatives to a live audience,to form discussion groups, offer small workshops, to network and learn from each other. Live music and food completed the creative setting.

The Souk closed the Peace it Together, Power Of One Inter Regional Learning Exchange Conference. The event provided international and local participants with a series of unique opportunities: a creative open space to present their work, explore ideas on global change and network with a wide range of Cypriot CSOs and active citizens.

Guest speakers included Professor of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Hyderabad in India and holder of the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, Professor Vinod Pavarala, who gave a lecture about community media and civil society and Dr Matt Baillie Smith, Reader in the Department of Social Sciences in Northumbria University, Director of the Northumbria Centre for International Development, who spoke about his work in the field of Active Citizenship Development.

Dr Matt Baillie Smith states the following in connection to the subject of Citizens as Actors of Change: "I feel that if we say citizens are complicated people, which we are, and if we accept that empowered citizens don't do as they're told, then, absolutely critical in all this, is the way civil society organizations get to know the people they're trying to work with, what level of understanding they have of community, identity, history, and ways in which both change and move over time."

The Euro-Mediterranean Souk took place within the framework of the EU-funded project 'Solidarity in Change - Development in a Time of Transition'.

Next CYINDEP event will be “The World We Want – Global Civil Society Symposium:Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Framework” from 22-23 November 2012.


In the photo: participants at the Souk
Source: CYINDEP

The Pontis Foundation is sharing Slovak Transition Experience with Tunisia

Representatives of the Tunisian organization I Watch took part in a training cycle aimed at public policy, advocacy and communication with the public and the government, in Slovakia on 2nd-10th October 2012.

Revolution, political transformation, new constitution and transition to democracy are among the most frequently used words in Tunisia today. The whole society is going through important changes which will determine the future development of the country. „Civil society in Tunisia is young. More than anything else it needs to gain knowledge about what activities it can do in relation to the people and government,” thinks Mouheb Garoui, the president of I Watch which was formed during the Jasmine Revolution. This organization consists mainly of young people whose aim is to watch over transparency, political responsibility and to fight the corruption in the country. At the same time, I Watch is one of the partner organizations of Pontis Foundation which assists in sharing the Slovak transition experience in Tunisia. The objective of this cooperation is to exchange the experience in the area of civil society development during the democratic transition and in supporting the civic engagement in public affairs and democratic institution building.

During the expert breakfast on Wednesday 10th October in Bratislava, Mouheb Garoui discussed with Filip Vagač, the Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government for Development of Civil Society, and with Lujza Richterová, of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, coordinator of the Slovakia-Netherlands Task Force on Tunisia under Community of Democracies. The conclusion of the discussion was that out of all the countries of the Arab Spring, Tunisia is the one with the most stable and linear progress towards democracy. The emerging civil society in the country will keep playing an important role in the process of ongoing political transformation; therefore the support to this sector is essential. Lujza Richterová said that the cooperation with Tunisian institutions and civil society had kicked off very well. However, the process of democracy building is a long run and that is why the question of long term cooperation is vital. The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Matters confirmed that Slovakia will soon strengthen its presence in Tunisia through opening of a new embassy in capital city Tunis.

More information can be found here.
In the photo: participants at the expert breakfast.

Information provided by Petra Nagyová, Pontis Foundation

Trade Union Seminar on Development Education – Building Global Solidarity

Trade unions and their partner NGO representatives from all over Europe gathered in Vienna on 5-7 November 2012 to share their experiences in development education (DE), discuss the role of DE in the trade union movement as well as trade unions‘ contribution to the DE community.

The seminar was organised by the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (TUDCN), an initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation – the main international trade union body, representing 175 million workers in 153 countries around the world. International solidarity is one of the fundamental principles of the trade union movement and building it, one of its key objectives.

Trade unions carry out educational activities and campaigns in the area of decent work, gender equality, migration and many others, raising awareness both within the trade union movement and among a wider public. While in some countries trade unions have been committed actors of DE for decades, the domain seems still underexplored by the movement in many others. The TUDCN has committed to further foster development education in the trade union movement as well as improve the recognition of trade unions as DE actors.

The report from the seminar as well as the TUDCN statement on the role of trade unions in development education, an outcome of the meeting, will soon be available on the ITUC website.

For more information please contact Kasia Szeniawska, ITUC at kasia.szeniawska@ituc-csi.org.
In the photo: participants of the Seminar in Vienna.


Information provided by Kasia Szeniawska, ITUC

Let’s rebuild our Food Distribution System!

In recent years community-supported agriculture and alternative food distribution systems have spread all over Europe, but there was no European Platform which brought together these initiatives. Throughout Europe people from different cultures and backgrounds work towards the shared goal of redefining the way our society organises the production, processing and distribution of food, and get together to achieve Food Sovereignty in their local communities.

From 10-12th of October 2012, a European Meeting with participants from more than 20 countries was organised in Milan, Italy as part of a follow- up process to the Nyeleni-Europe Forum that took place in Krems, Austria in August 2011. This meeting, organised by a decentralised steering committee with the coordination of the International Network URGENCI, aimed to identify a shared vision of these alternative food systems, define future thematic focuses and develop an organisational structure for a new European Platform.

The meeting was structured into sessions which dealt with the following topics: communication platform, alliances and advocacy, forms of organisation and action plan. In spite the fact that alternative initiatives across Europe are on a different development level, there are some common problems, for example: homogenisation of global food systems destroys local small-scale producers, producers getting older and rural areas are abandoned.

On the last day of the meeting, the possible organisational structure of a new European Platform was discussed. Therefore, participants analysed already existing organisational schemes, and shared their position in a final discussion. Participants from European countries where these alternative initiatives are already established networks (e.g France, Italy or Belgium) had different expectations from a European Platform than the ones where these initiatives are just started to formulate and mainly individuals or NGOs representing the movement (e.g Hungary, Greece or Romania). The discussions pointed out that the new platform should fit to these different needs. Considering the participants’ opinions, the form of an umbrella organisation could satisfy the different expectations, so a voluntary committee in a decentralised form will work on this issue. In addition, it was also agreed that the European Meeting should be repeated in 1-2 years, because face-to-face meeting are necessary for building up a diverse and well-functioning network.

Further information on the URGENCI website.

Information provided by Zsófia Perényi, Association of Conscious Consumers
Photos were made by Asociatia C.R.I.E.S., Romania

Black Sea Trust for Children Heralded by Region’s Leaders as Essential

Members of national parliaments throughout the wider Black Sea Region came together at the annual Black Sea NGO Forum to support the implementation of the PABSEC Recommendation, in particular the creation of a Black Sea Trust for Children. The panel of parliamentarians, hosted by the region’s child protection coalition ChildPact, issued a call to all countries within the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) to build a Black Sea Fund for Children that stimulates collaboration and innovation on child protection in a region that shares much of the same history and current trends of child vulnerability.

Earlier this year the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (PABSEC) issued Recommendation on Child Protection in the BSEC Member States that calls for a regional trust for children. The Recommendation now needs to be put in practice.

Zhalya Aliyeva, member of Azerbaijan’s parliament, stated that “all things said and all decisions taken should not remain only on paper.” BSEC’s Deputy Secretary General, Traian Chebeleu confirmed that governmental cooperation on child protection within BSEC might be difficult, but it is possible, stating that as a platform of regional engagement BSEC is well-positioned to include child protection as an area of cooperation.

Mira Antonyan, ChildPact Vice-President, stressed the importance of having such an initiative: “Why spend so much time to do the same mistakes, to start from zero, when you can just ask (your partners) how did you do the same process in your country, was it successful or not? ”

In pursuit of implementation, in particular of a Black Sea Fund for Children, a political decision needs to be made by the BSEC’s Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. To ensure this decision, it is important that a ‘champion’ or a group of ‘champions’ of BSEC government/s brings the initiative to the Council.

ChildPact is a regional coalition for child protection that unites more than 500 NGOs from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldavia, Romania, and Serbia. ChildPact represents the interests of the most vulnerable children in the Wider Black Sea Region, in policy debates at national, regional and international levels.
Mirela Oprea, ChildPact Secretary General, stated that the event in Bucharest “was an historical meeting. It was the first time when PABSEC members and representatives of civil society organizations came together at a regional level to discuss these issues. The meeting was successful, participants agreed that next steps to implement the Recommendation must become tangible tasks, and this conversation started a new level of engagement toward collective impact for children throughout the region’’. Participating parliamentarians and regional leaders included: Zhalya ALIYEVA, President of the PABSEC Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Namik DOKLE, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Albania; Aram MANUKYAN, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia; Elvira KOVACS, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Traian CHEBELEU, Deputy Secretary General, Permanent International Secretariat, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation; Mira Antonyan, ChildPact Vice-President, representatives of the diplomatic community, civil society and academia.

Please watch this video feature about the event here
Please find attached a more detailed report of the outcomes of the event.
For more information about ChildPact, please visit our website www.childpact.org or contact Mirela Oprea at mirela_oprea@wvi.org

Information provided by Mirela Oprea, ChildPact

2015 as Year for Development Cooperation: A Latvian Initiative finds wide Support

The European Parliament has voted in a large majority to call for 2015 to be designated the European Year for Development Cooperation. The vote comes as lawmakers met in Strasbourg in the end of October 2012, endorsing a report by MEP Charles Goerens (ALDE, Luxembourg) on the future of EU development policy.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, in a debate following the Parliament vote on 23 October also stated his support for the initiative.

•The European Year for Development 2015 would be the first designated to a global theme. European years have been designated since 1983, the current being on ‘Active Ageing’.
•2015 is the year of expiry of the Millennium Development Goals, with many European Union states falling off track on anti-poverty aid targets.

Concord, the European confederation of Relief & Development NGOs, strongly welcomes the European Parliament’s support for the European Year 2015. For Marius Wanders, Concord Board member, “Having a European Year in 2015 for Development would be perfect timing. It’s the year when important global agreements to decide how to tackle global poverty will be negotiated, which need far more open public debate and European citizens need their say. The year could generate great public awareness and put the spotlight on the EU’s global role in international development.”

The idea of such a European Year first came from the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS). For Andris Gobins, member of LAPAS & President of the European Movement in Latvia, “I am proud that the idea was born in Latvia, a country which recently was a development recipient country, but has become a donor. I am overwhelmed by the wide support from the very first moment from civil society and EU institutions. This vote is a key milestone in the process. Let’s now start to work and hope for final support from the European Council soon. Then, perhaps we could look at having a worldwide year of and for Development”.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) also supports the proposal for the European Year. For Staffan Nilsson, EESC President, “The initiative to nominate 2015 as a European Year for Development Cooperation is an excellent example of cooperation between the EESC, other European institutions and European civil society. The official decision on the initiative can be expected soon. Now we have to return to national, local and individual level to get suggestions for concrete aims and content. This European Year, set in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the new, post-2015 goals, will be a success if it can obtain broad support from people inside and outside the EU.”

Information provided by Daniel Puglisi, CONCORD

Easier, faster Routes to EU Funding for CSOs

The European Financial Regulation review was approved on Tuesday the 23rd October by the European Parliament, after a campaign initiated by Euclid Network in 2008. The Financial Regulation covers all the EU funding and therefore, it has a huge impact on civil society organisations and social enterprises.

The new regulation is advocating for more transparency and efficiency from the European Institution, being more civil society friendly. 

You can find additional information on the campaign on the Euclid Network website here and read the final text and the press release (pdf).

If you are having any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Luisa Deamicis at luisa.deamicis@euclidnetwork.eu

Information provided by Lucas Fülling; Euclid Network

Conference on Sustainable Education in Zagreb

The international conference „Are civil rights and obligations connected to environmental issues in education”, organized by Network of Education Policy Centers, will be held in Zagreb, Croatia on the 28th & 29th of November 2012.
 
This event will gather members of the ENjoinED Initiative and the representatives of other civil society organizations from the EU and its neighbourhood countries, international experts on ESD, decision makers from the participating countries, educational experts, researchers and the representatives of the business sector from the Region.
The aim of the conference is to encourage further actions in promoting Education for Sustainability through nurturing the already existing partnerships, opening the initiative to new partners, regions and sectors and finding suitable entry points for Education for Sustainability in the formal education systems.

The ENjoinED initiative is a non-formal network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and research institutions with different backgrounds – environmental organisations joining educational institutions – that promotes Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through research, advocacy and training in 8 countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia. It was born out of the Education for Sustainable Development Partnership Initiative (ESdPI) project, funded and supported by the European Commission’s IPA funds for strengthening partnerships among CSOs, which is coordinated by the civil society organization Network of Education Policy Centers (NEPC: www.edupolicy.net).

Should you need any further information on the event or on the ENjoinED Initiative, please do not hesitate to contact Asja Korbar at asja@edupolicy.net

Information provided by Asja Korbar, Network of Education Policy Centers

Course on Disability and Poverty in the Global South taking place in Malta

The recent World Report on Disability (WHO/World Bank) estimates that some one billion people around the globe are disabled and some 80% live in the global South. Around 20% of the world’s poorest are disabled people.

Integra Foundation (Malta) will be collaborating with the Research Institute for Health and Social Change (RIHSC), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) to organise a short course entitled 'Disability and poverty in the global South: activating European movements for change' in Malta from the 10/06/13- 14/06/13.
This course will cut across disciplines and perspectives to build on the EU development policy and its commitment to raising awareness of development issues, promoting development education and mobilizing support for poverty reduction, in particular among disabled people living in poverty. A transnational panel from academia and civil society will help to engage critically and discuss these themes in a friendly atmosphere of debate. Guest speakers include Dan Goodley (University of Sheffield), Shaun Grech (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Maria Pisani (Integra Foundation).

Those wishing to attend can apply for a Grundtvig grant (adult education) to participate, covering all costs (Course fees, flight, accommodation and food).

For more information visit the Integra Foundation website or email Maria Pisani on integrafoundation@gmail.com.

Information provided by Shaun Grech, Manchester Metropolitan University

Hungarian Maltese Charity Service seeks Partners

The Hungarian Maltese Charity Service (MMSZ) would like to pass on their experience in care and education services, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief and are looking for experienced partners to realise joint development and relief projects.

The MMSZ has worked out and used exemplary models on the fields of social works and health care. Later on these solutions were incorporated into the normal social/health care system.

Currently in Hungary the MMSZ works on the following fields of interest:
• Heath Care Service
• Disabled Care Activity
• Children and family care • Homeless care
• Elderly people care • Education
• Humanitarian, disaster relief activities

More information you can find here (pdf) or on the organisation website in English at www.maltai.hu
If you are interested to work with the MMSZ, please contact Mr. Péter Mujzer at mujzer.peter@maltai.hu

Information provided by Péter Mujzer, MMSZ

Report on Maltese NGOs, Local Councils and International Development Cooperation

Within the frame of the project “MEDEVNET - Capacity and synergy building for Development among non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) in Greece, Cyprus and Malta”, a research was conducted about the capacities of Maltese non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) and local councils (LCs) and possible areas for collaboration. The aim was to obtain information from Maltese CSOs which are active on issues related to global development issues and/or migration, and from local councils, about organisational structures, focus areas of work, knowledge about development policies and their opinions about related matters.

The outcomes of the research were compiled in the report “Maltese NGOs, Local Councils and International Development Cooperation” by the development CSO platform SKOP and the Maltese organisation KOPIN. The report was published with the support of TRIALOG.

Download the report here (pdf).
For hard copies, please contact SKOP at info@skopmalta.org

Information provided by SKOP Malta

Policy Papers on Development published by the Cyprus NGO Platform

As Cyprus assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 01 July 2012, CYINDEP (Cyprus Island wide NGO Development Platform) sought this opportunity to develop a set of policy papers and policy materials in order to bring development issues higher on the agenda of the Presidency and the government as such.

After an initial research on what would be the most relevant issues the following policy papers were elaborated and can be downloaded here:
Post-2015 development framework
The Multi-Annual Financial Framework of the EU and its implications on the development agenda
Role of Citizens in Development

The policy papers were published with the support of TRIALOG and disseminated by CYINDEP at several meetings with decision-makers where its contents and relevance were discussed.

Information provided by CYINDEP

Monday, 29 October 2012

CONCORD seeks Finance and Administration Officer for BEYOND 2015

CONCORD is seeking a "Finance & Administration Officer" to ensure efficient, effective and transparent administration and oversight of the finances, donor relations, core meetings and communications of the structures of Beyond 2015. The position is based in Brussels.

Scope of job
• Responsible for financial management of Beyond 2015 resources
• Responsible for monitoring donor contracts, reporting to donors and advising Beyond 2015 on donor relations
• Responsible for development and maintenance of the internal communication systems of the various Beyond 2015 working structures
• Responsible for organisation and servicing of key meetings / conference calls of Beyond 2015

Closing date: 9 November 2012
Interview dates: 19 November 2012
Aimed start date: As soon as possible

Read the full job advert here (pdf).

Please send the cover letter and CV, in English only, by e-mail: lwilliams@concordeurope.org with the reference “Recruitment – Beyond 2015 Finance & Administration Officer”

Friday, 19 October 2012

New Faces in TRIALOG

TRIALOG entered its current phase on the 1st of October 2012 and the team is extremely motivated to continue the work in the frame of the new project.

In this phase, the TRIALOG team will grow and for the first time, include liaison officers in all EU13 development CSO platforms. The people are currently being recruited and will gather for a first coordination and strategy meeting in December 2012. In the meantime, the platform coordinators of almost all EU13 platforms met for a planning meeting with TRIALOG during the recent European Development Days 2012.

In the TRIALOG office in Vienna we welcome Pilar Lendl as Project Assistant. She will support the team with her administrative and organisational skills. She holds a degree in Spanish philology and comparative Literature, worked for film events and brings in experience as Spanish trainer. You can contact her at: office@trialog.or.at.


Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

TRIALOG at the EDDs 2012

TRIALOG supported the participation of representatives from nearly all of the EU13 platforms in this year’s European Development Days 2012 (EDDs) in Brussels on 16 and 17 October.

The event was organised across three sub-themes: sustainable agriculture, food security and resilience; the private sector and development and empowering people for inclusive growth. CONCORD and many of its members were involved in a variety of events, including two events co-organised by the Cypriot Island-wide platform CYINDEP. Cyprus currently holds the EU presidency. One of the CONCORD events was a continuation of the efforts of the confederation to designate 2015 as the European year of development. The idea, which was born in Latvia, has received backing from many of the European institutions and speakers from the European Parliament, European Committee of the Regions and Commissioner Piebalgs’ cabinet, among others, gave their opinions on the importance of designating this year. The audience was then asked for their input on five key questions relating to the success of the year, which can also be found on the EESC website.

As well as taking part in the official agenda, TRIALOG director Christine Bedoya and liaison officer Rebecca Steel-Jasińska also took the opportunity to arrange a side meeting with representatives of the EU13 platforms to discuss TRIALOG V, the current project phase, which started at the beginning of October.

Links Videos and photos from the different sessions are available on the European Development Days website: www.eudevdays.eu
More information about 2015 as the European Year of development is available on the European Economic and Social Committee website: www.eesc.europa.eu/european-year-2015

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

TRIALOG Job Vacancy: Junior Policy Officer

TRIALOG is currently looking for a full time Junior Liaison Officer based in Brussels, starting on 10 December 2012.The position will last for a total of six months.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:
 Assisting the liaison officer with tasks related to supporting liaison officers in the EU13 platforms: o ensuring their active engagement in CONCORD working groups;
o undertaking research to contribute to policy digest papers;
o providing a contact point for queries and requests for assistance.
 Completing a six-month project, to be defined in cooperation with the successful candidate.
 Supporting the liaison officer with the logistical and content preparation necessary for the study visit to Brussels, planned for June 2013.
 Carrying out other office support tasks as and when necessary, including attending and reporting back from relevant meetings, supporting the preparation necessary for the upcoming office move and some administrative tasks.
 Participating in TRIALOG events in other European countries if and when appropriate

Requirements:
 Recent graduate in a subject related to International Development, European Affairs or similar.
 Familiarity with development cooperation, aid policy, the neighbourhood and pre-accession regions and Brussels-based advocacy work.
 Interest in the newer member states of the EU.
 Strong work ethic and willingness to play an active role in a small international team.
 Excellent communication skills and fluency in English. Knowledge of French and other European languages is an asset.

Applicants must have the right to live and work in Belgium. EU13 applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. The gross salary is 722 Euro per month according to the Belgian Convention d’immersion professionnelle contract.

Please send your CV and covering letter to Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG Liaison Officer, trialog@concordeurope.org by 29 October 2012.

Download the job vacancy (pdf) here.

Slovenian Development Days 2012

Slovenian NGDO platform for development cooperation and humanitarian aid – SLOGA and the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised on October 4th and 5th 2012 the fourth edition of the Slovenian Development Days.

The two-day event in Ljubljana, titled “International Development Cooperation: 2015 and Looking Ahead”, attracted approximately 200 participants and was opened by the foreign minister of Slovenia Karl Erjavec. The programme consisted of four panels, which covered the most current aspects and issues of development cooperation, on national and international level: The implementation of Slovenian development goals and the way forward; follow-up of Rio+20; migration & development and public-private partnership & development cooperation.

At the end of the first day there was also a Partnership Fair on the topic of migration & development, which continued with the informal gathering for all the participants of Slovenian Development Days (both activities were organised by The Peace Institute). On the second day a workshop on EU-project tenders took place.

The programme ended with a Development Cooperation Fair at Prešeren Square in Ljubljana, where 16 Slovenian NGOs presented their work in the field of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and migration.

With such a success this year, the organisers are already looking forward to next year's Slovenian Development Days.

In the picture: Development Cooperation Fair at Prešeren Square in Ljubljana.

Information provided by Iva Likar, SLOGA