Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Successful Study Visit to Brussels for the Baltic CSOs

15 participants from Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian development CSO platforms came to the TRIALOG Brussels Study Visit from 4th to 8th of June 2012 in order to learn about European development policies.

The specific focus of this year’s study visit was on the Eastern Neighbourhood as this is the focus of many Baltic NGDOs. The participants had a busy week, scheduled with meetings with representatives of various EU institutions. The participants met with the European Parliament Development Committee (DEVE) and Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) secretariats as well as with their national MEPs.

During meetings in the European Commission (EC) the participants discussed with officials from DG EuropeAid about the EC programmes for CSOs and the state of Eastern Partnership. Pietris Ustubs, the Deputy Head of Commissioner Piebalgs’ Cabinet engaged the participants in an insightful debate when explaining the Cabinet’s thinking about the Agenda for Change and the future of EU development policies.
The study group also met with the three Baltic states’ delegates to the development cooperation working group of the Council of the European Union, as well as with people working on development and the Eastern Partnership in the European External Action Service (EEAS) and European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

During the final part of the study visit, participants made future advocacy and follow up plans. First steps have already been taken and the Baltic CSO views on the future of the EC calls for proposals on development education and awareness raising have been forwarded to the Council development working group Baltic delegates. Let’s hope more advocacy actions and engagement in influencing European development policies from the study group members are yet to be seen.

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Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Training of Multipliers 2012: A motivated group to support NGDO platforms in EU12 countries

TRIALOG invited participants from the previous cycles of the Training of Multipliers in 2010 and 2011 to further deepen their knowledge in development cooperation and EC contract management.

During the three training days from 23rd to 25th of May, a variety of topics, which have been requested by the participants, were covered. The input sessions on Development Effectiveness (by Melanie Oßberger from the Austrian development platform Global Responsibility) and on Policy Coherence for Development (by Nadja Schuster from vidc - Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation) were followed by lively discussions and the participants appreciated the knowledge shared by the experts. Very interesting was also the session on Body Politics in development cooperation, led by a research group of the University of Vienna.

Eva Hartleben-Scheibreithner from the financial department of HORIZONT3000 gave a practical insight in budget management of EC funded projects. In working groups the participants discussed the challenges of budget planning. As very inspiring, participants perceived the presentation on Systematization and Knowledge Management by Petra Koppensteiner from HORIZONT3000. The organisation implements this method successfully with its partners in the Global South and within the own organisation. Participants were motivated to think of ways to use systematization in their own working contexts.

The multipliers will share their knowledge on national level with other platform member organisations, therefore the training also dedicated space for facilitation methods and training design. The participants interactively recapped on their individual experience with training design and different methods. Deniz Usman from the Cypriot platform CYINDEP gave an input on time management.
A very important part was also the networking among participants for future collaboration and exchange. The group is highly motivated to contribute with their expertise to the work of EU12 platforms. TRIALOG will continuously support the group with knowledge and information sharing and launch the profiles of the multipliers on the TRIALOG website.

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Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

TRIALOG Bulletin 2012 available

TRIALOG published its annual Bulletin this month. The 2012 edition includes a review of last year’s TRIALOG activities such as the “Partnership Fair” for joint projects of European development NGOs, the recent conference “Advancing Beyond 2015” on EU12 contributions to a development framework after the MDGs and the East-West-South exchange of NGO representatives on the topic of rural development. The TRIALOG Bulletin also highlights relevant policy processes like the Multiannual Financial Framework, CSO Development Effectiveness and the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform of the EU. Furthermore it provides an insight on the upcoming EU presidencies in Cyprus (2012) and Lithuania (2013).

Download the TRIALOG Bulletin 2012 here (pdf)

Hard copies can be ordered at office@trialog.or.at

Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

Europe’s Eastern Neighbours – where do they fit in?

When we talk of Development Cooperation, it is usually understood to refer to the poor countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia. In fact, what is commonly referred to as the ‘Global South’ includes countries that are not confined to such neat geographical blocks, and the relationship between the EU and its Eastern neighbours is one example of how the EU tackles this.
Many NGOs from EU12 direct their development cooperation to countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood such as Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and Belarus. This briefing paper compiled by TRIALOG gives a comprehensive and compact overview on the European Neighbourhood Programme (ENP), the Eastern Partnership and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Download the policy brief here (pdf)

Information provided by TRIALOG

Post-2015: Opportunities for EU-12 CSOs - Briefing Paper

A briefing paper based on the discussions during the Conference “Advancing Beyond 2015: EU-12 contributions to a global development framework after the Millennium Development Goals” which took place on 24 April 2012 in Prague is available online.

The paper was compiled on behalf of TRIALOG and FoRS (Czech Forum for Development Cooperation) and aims to encourage national post-2015 consultations. It presents potential themes and approaches to a post-2015 development framework and shows when and how EU-12 can contribute to the international debate.

Download the briefing paper here (pdf)

Information provided by TRIALOG

Training on Development and Global Education in Romania

During 11-12th of May, the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), in partnership with Civil Society Development Foundation (within the framework of the 'Global Education Without Borders' project, financed by the European Commission), organized a two-day training for its members on development and global education.

The training was designed for civil society organizations, members of academia, practitioners, students and conducted by Iuliana Rada (Civil Society Development Foundation), Mihaela Sabadac (independent trainer) and Mihaela Griga (Policy Center for Roma Minorities), who all attended TRIALOG’s Training for Multipliers (2010 and 2011).

The first day aimed at reaching a common understanding of the two concepts and the links between them and other connected fields. The discussions were animated by role plays, case studies, living library and thematic films, which enabled the participants to get involved in an active learning process and to better understand the intercultural dimension of development.
The second day was dedicated to the role of national and international actors working in development and global education. The participants described the training as being very useful as it offered important knowledge about development and global education, provided a space for learning, exchange and networking and offered concrete ideas for funding opportunities and awareness raising campaigns.

Find more information on the website www.fondromania.org/eng or contact adriana.zaharia@fondromania.org  

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND

Slovenian NGDOs review the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages

The seminar “Code of conduct on images and messages” took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 17-18 April 2012. Organized by Sloga Slovenian NGDO platform, the seminar was supported by DEEEP as part of its national seminars aiming at strengthening the capacities of national platforms.
The seminar was facilitated by Mrs. Eilish Dillon from Kimmage DSC, Ireland who teaches sociology and research methods and supports and facilitates students in undertaking primary research in development-related areas.

During the first day the participants got familiar with the issues surrounding the use of images and messages (I&M) in a development-related context. First they discussed what do they like or dislike about Slovenian NGOs and their use of I&M. They evaluated the existing fund-raising campaigns and assessed the effects of the images and messages we use. The focus was on stories, stereotyping, labelling, sensationalism, the use of headlines. The next challenge was to understand the key principles of the code through the role playing. The participants learnt why the code has been adopted within the development sector. The conclusion of the first day was given by Slovenian NGOs which provided a short input on the use of I&M in Slovenia.

The second day the facilitator presented how to apply the principles of the code. The participants reviewed the content of the code and explored how to apply the code in NGO media and communications work, campaigning and development education. To that end they prepared their own campaigns which followed the code principles. Organisational strategies for implementing the code was the next task. They set up some guidelines for organisations regarding the sourcing, storage and use of photos, the consent of the photo subjects, guidelines for volunteers, training for the staff within NGOs and the appointment of the “code champion” – the person who promotes the code.
The most important part of the seminar was the exploration of challenges in national level and sectoral implementation mechanisms which brought the discussion about the role of Sloga and other NGOs in the process of the implementation of the Code.

Information provided by Dunja Segrt, SLOGA - Slovenian NGDO Platform for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid

Irish NGOs will focus on the future of development during EU Presidency

In the first half on 2013 Ireland will hold the EU Presidency. Development NGOs are also preparing for this period and formulated a briefing paper announcing that they will promote a nation-wide debate about the type of ‘Development’ the world needs. In the paper, published by DÓHAS (The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations), the organisations point out that the debate about the future of our own country can no longer be separated from the future of the international community. Development Beyond 2015 has to be universal.

Download the paper here

Information provided by Hans Zomer, Dóchas

Study Visit in Slovenia from Afghan Civil Society

Sloga, Slovenian NGDO platform is hosting a representative from the Afghan NGO Help, Mr. Zabiwollah Monib. Mr. Monib came to Slovenia for two months to learn about the Slovenian civil society organisation and their work. He has also been working with Slovenian media to present a positive picture of Afghanistan which is quite often portrayed as a security challenged country. This visit which is part of the Sloga project "Consortium of Slovenian NGDO for Afghanistan" is supported by Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While the first part of the projects aims to provide a vocational trainings for the Afghani returnees from Iran and to ensure their integration into Afghani society, the second part is planned for the study visit for two Afghani nationals.
Following Mr. Monib’s visit, Sloga will host another representative from NGO Help in August and September 2012.

For more information contact dunja.segrt@sloga-platform.org

Information provided by Dunja Segrt, Sloga - Slovenian NGDO platform 

Fundraising For Development And Relief

„Fundraising For Development And Relief: A quest for private sources in CEE region“ was the title of the international conference that took place in Bratislava, Slovakia on 23-24 May 2012.
More than 90 participants and speakers shared their knowledge, experience, and motivation to involve individuals and companies and let them participate on fulfilling the missions of their organisations. It was about fundraising but also about friendraising: NGDOs need broader constituencies willing to support them by money, time, and influence in the society.

Many Central European nongovernmental development organisations (NGDOs) implement projects with the support of government or EU funds. There are several examples of successful NGDOs in the region that are able to fundraise from private sources regularly. But equally, many Central European NGDOs have not yet set up fundraising mechanisms from independent sources, nor have the knowledge and experience to do so.
The conference aimed to assist in filling this gap. The conference was organised by PDCS and its partners (The Resource Alliance, People in Need, DemNet, Partners Poland Foundation) within the framework of the Strengthening Fundraising Capacities of NGDOs in Central Europe project under the auspices of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia and in partnership with TRIALOG, V4 National NGDO Platforms, and V4 National Fundraising Associations. It was supported by European Union and SlovakAid.

Presentations from the conference are available at http://www.ngdofundraising.net/conference-proceedings.

All participants of the conference received a brand new book of inspirational case studies Ján Mihálik (ed.), Hearts And Money Beyond Borders: Fundraising from individuals for development and relief, PDCS 2012.
The book is available also for free download at http://www.ngdofundraising.net/book in pdf and as an e-book. In July 2012 there will be available also translations into Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak languages.

Information provided by Ján Mihálik, PDCS

The spirit of Rio is alive in Central Europe - Delegation from Brazil visits Slovakia

“VAMOS –act now” could and should be the slogan for the Rio+20 conference. In fact it is the name of a project financed by the EU involving partners from Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Brazil working togeth-er on promoting a sustainable development and climate justice. Thus further strengthening the 20 years old climate alliance between European villages, towns, schools and enterprises and indigenous partners in the Amazon Region. Whereas the Rio conference is reduced to debate a green economy climate alli-ance members in their daily work act in favor of lifestyles, values and political frameworks that make a sustainable development possible.

In April 2012 Friends of the Earth-CEPA welcomed guests from Austria and the Rio Negro region in the Brazilian part of Amazonia at the occasion of the annual meeting Climate Alliance in Slovakia. Repre-sentatives of member municipalities discussed local energy self-sufficiency as a prerequisite for stable local economy. Juraj Zamkovský from Friends of the Earth-CEPA commented that energy self-sufficiency stops the needless flow of financial resources from regions brought about by energy and fuel import on the one hand and on the other it creates considerable income. Emil Benesch from the Austrian Climate Alliance introduced several small regions in Austria, which had been successful in gaining energy auton-omy.

Representatives of schools focused on different approach and experience in education about climate change and shared their experience with the foreign guests. Camila Sobral Barra, anthropologist from the Association for Social and Environmental Problems, presented community-based education in the Brazilian region Rio Negro. According to her, community-based education is vital for maintaining tradi-tional knowledge and cultural identity of inhabitants of this Amazonian region. Traditional approaches in agriculture, fishing, forestry, or even relation to the country could be inspiring for the so-called devel-oped world, which keeps getting into on-going and deepening financial crisis mainly incurred by its un-healthy dependence on material consumption and energy from fossil fuels.

Maximiliano Correa Menezes, vice president of the Federation of Native Nations in Rio Negro region (FOIRN) observed that the Amazon region is already suffering from the impacts of global climate change. The country is getting drier and extreme weather is more frequent. “Our destiny is closely con-nected to the way society works in the rich world including the European Union“, exclaims Menezes. He believes that the quality and complex awareness raising in the developed world is of great importance. It can help mitigate the influence of changing climate on the poor countries and their inhabitants.

For more information contact: Juraj Zamkovský (Friends of the Earth-CEPA), zamkovsky@foe.sk

Information provided by Juraj Zamkovský (Friends of the Earth-CEPA) and Emil Benesch (Climate Alliance Austria) 

Re-Create: Baltic NGOs recycle creative ideas

More than 20 people from Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Estonia participated in the partner meeting  of the NordPlus project “Re-Create: Recycling of Creative ideas, Experiences and Cultures with the Climate in Focus” in Tallinn from May 6-12, 2012. There were previous meetings for learners and teachers in all four partners countries during the year.

The meeting in Tallinn aimed to introduce the partners to Estonian non-governmental organizations, especially to Eesti People to People NGO and to learn methods in development and global education. The first session was on sharing experience between the partners on the joint NordPlus project and about non-formal and adult education in Estonia. The week-long program consisted of different study visits, for example to the Rottermani quarter of Tallin where the participants learned about re-building - from old to new and Old Town’s handicrafts techniques. Another day was dedicated to the biggest Scandinavian sorting centre of Humana People to People where all participants could design their own second-hand T-shirts. The day war rounded up by visits to Humana second hand shops. Further there were visits to the Ukraine cultural center, the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and a workshop on painting with recycled material. Finally the participants worked on the evaluation of the project and started to think of a new project with focus on art and climate change.

The project partners are: Eesti People to People (Estonia), Svefi (Sweden), Jyväskylä school (Finland) and Ideja (Latvia)

Information provided by Ruta Pels, Eesti People to People ruta.pels@mail.ru  

DARE Forum & the European Parliament: a mass lobby activity on development education

On May 22 DARE Forum members “invaded” the European Parliament in Strasbourg for a unique experience of mass lobby! The representatives of European DEAR NGOs met with their MEPs, inviting them to sign the written declaration n.7 on development education and active global citizenship!

The action resulted in a success, as at the end of the plenary week the number of signatures raised was 306! There is still a plenary session left for MEPs to sign the declaration, if we put a last effort into the campaign, we can easily reach the necessary majority (377 MEPs), for the declaration to be adopted!

On the same day, DARE Forum members were invited to the roundtable “Do Europeans Citizens Care about the Rest of the World”, co-organised by MEP Kaczmarek, one of the initiators of the written declaration n.7. MEP Kaczmarek, MEP Badia I Cutchet, Rilli Lappalainen (CONCORD), Mari Helene Kaber (DARE Forum) and Denis Huber (North South Centre) discussed on the relevance of development education, and the role of the European institutions- and in particular of the European Parliament. A question and answer session allowed the audience to interact with the speakers. In his closing remarks, MEP Kaczmarek announced that following the written declaration on the development education, the development committee of the European Parliament could draft an “own initiative report” on development education.

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP

Making your case: advocacy toolkit on development education and awareness raising

DEEEP is happy to share with you our latest Advocacy toolkit “Making your case: advocacy toolkit on development education and awareness raising”, which has been drafted by Gerasimos Kouvaras and Marina Sarli.
The toolkit aims to provide solid arguments and background information to sustain the case for reinforcing DEAR policies and strategies- towards institutional stakeholders, but also within civil society.

You can download the toolkit here or via the DEEEP website

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP

Call for papers on Good Governance in Europe and the Neighbourhood

The PRIO Centre in Cyprus launched a call for papers to be presented at their annual conference from 26-27 October 2012 in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Papers should address the issues, both theoretically and empirically, in the European Union, the Western Balkans, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Near East. The organisers are particularly interested in papers that link good governance with issues relating to social unrest and/or various forms of conflict, including themes such as:
--The role of “good governance” in the Arab Spring and its aftermath;
--Empirical and/or theoretical studies of governance in the EU crisis;
--Good governance, citizenship and practices of migration;
--Gender, equity and governance;
--The role of governance in regional conflicts and their resolutions;
--Empirical studies of governance in north and south Cyprus;
--The role of Internet and other media in governance today.

Please send a short biography and an abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr. Rebecca Bryant, r.e.bryant@lse.ac.uk, by 20 June 2012.

Only selected abstracts will be informed by 30 June. Participants may expect that part of their costs will be covered, with priority given to students and recent recipients of the Ph.D.