Thursday, 19 December 2013

New Policy Digest: Development Effectiveness & the Role of CSOs

As a result of numerous changes in the world the development community is no longer talking about aid effectiveness, but about development effectiveness.

The key role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in addressing this paradigm shift, to which they also contributed, is to focus on poverty reduction and factors affecting development such as human rights, participatory democracy, social and environmental justice, sustainability and gender equality. CSOs engage in development effectiveness in many important ways. Firstly, CSOs monitor the actions of donors and other actors in development and play the ‘watchdog’ role. Secondly, they shape the global agenda of development effectiveness by participating in multi-stakeholder discussions. Thirdly, CSOs make sure their actions reflect the internationally agreed principles of development effectiveness. This policy digest will look more closely how CSOs can act in these roles in order to enhance development effectiveness.

Download the Policy Digest from the TRIALOG website.


Information provided by TRIALOG.
 

EU13 Platform Strategy Meeting 2013

The annual TRIALOG exchange meeting of development NGO platform representatives from EU member states after 2004 (EU13) looks back at a tradition of nine years, when TRIALOG organised the first “Central Training” in Vienna. A lot has happened since then and the meeting moved from a training setting to a networking and planning event for the now 13 national platforms.

  This year’s TRIALOG Strategy Meeting was hosted by the Slovenian platform SLOGA in Ljubljana and gathered around 30 participants from national platforms, CONCORD and other TRIALOG partners. During a market place session the platforms shared their highlights and challenges of 2013 and exchanged on their situations. CONCORD director Seamus Jeffreson presented the confederation’s annual priorities for 2014 and looked into statistics of EU13 engagement in CONCORD working structures. A special session was dedicated to the EU Presidencies in Lithuania and Latvia. The policy topics chosen by EU13 platforms this year were “European Parliament (EP) Elections 2014” and “The European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015)”. In workshops the participants went deeper into the planning of activities related to these topics.

Read more and find the presentations here.


Information by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG
 

Job Vacancy: TRIALOG Project Manager

HORIZONT3000 is currently looking for a Project Manager for TRIALOG V in combination with the responsibilities of EU Co-Financing Expertise based in Vienna, starting March 1st, 2014. The position will last for 19 months until the end of the project, with 30 hours/week for TRIALOG and 8,5 hours for EU Co-Financing.

Find more information on tasks and responsibilities, requirements and the application process here (pdf).

Deadline for applications is 20th of January 2014.


Information provided by TRIALOG

There is an Alternative: Regional Seminar on Global Education

The regional seminar TIA – There Is An Alternative – on Global Education (GE) took place from December 4th to 5th in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This event was organized by the Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, other regional platforms (SKOP – Malta, CYINDEP – Cyprus, FOND – Romania, BPID – Bulgaria) and partners and with the support of the North-South Center of the Council of Europe.

TIA took place in the framework of the Joint Management Agreement signed between the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the European Commission for raising awareness of global interdependence and solidarity through global/development education and youth cooperation in Europe and beyond. As a follow-up to the strategic recommendations of the 2nd GE Congress held in Lisbon in 2012, a series of national and regional seminars took place in the new EU member states.

Slovenia hosted the seminar for the South East Europe and Mediterranean region. The event was opened by the Minister of Education Dr Pikalo in front of more than 50 participants (formal and non-formal educators, NGO representatives, governmental representatives such as Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Austria and Ireland. The aim of the seminar was to discuss the concepts of GE. The goal was not to search for common definitions but to look for similarities and differences in its understanding and finding ways to work together for the common goal despite of (or because of) differences. The situation of GE in all participating countries was presented and two round-tables about global perspectives and about GE achievements until 2015 allowed identifying and discussing the current and upcoming challenges. During different workshops (‘National strategy development and implementation’, ‘continuing professional development of educators’, ‘quality in GE’ and ‘Campaigning and outreach’), recommendations have been drafted (they will be published soon on Sloga’ website).

The participants are already looking into further collaboration through reinforcement of existing networks, creation of open spaces for discussions, implementation of trainings and common projects and campaigns.

For more information please contact Marjan Huč, SLOGA at: info@sloga-platform.org


Information provided by Malika El Garouni, SLOGA
 

Malta’s Overseas Development Assistance - What is the Next Step Forward?

On the 22nd of November the AidWatch working group (AWWG) within Malta’s NGDO platform SKOP organized the annual Aid Watch (AW) seminar on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). The aim of the Seminar was to build up a new dialogue and bring about a structured approach to the collaboration between Government, political representatives and CSOs with regards to Development Aid policies and instruments. Moreover the need of reviewing Malta’s National ODA policy, together with the need of a strategic plan and an annual action plan were discussed.

During the Seminar the official launch of the CONCORD AidWatch Report on ODA took place. This year’s AidWatch study on Malta’s ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) concluded that 87% of the current figure (0.33% of GNI) is inflated aid. In light of the 2015 deadline set for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Malta is officially on its way to reach the target of contributing 0.33% of its GNI to ODA, but the results of this study put the authenticity of this figure in question. During the SKOP event, it was pointed out that while Malta’s transition from a recipient to a beneficiary country cannot be underestimated, the current strategy is reactive and neglects the possible contribution in expertise the country can give to developing small states. Transparency was also an issue when it comes to reporting ODA. Until 2007, there was no data on how much was being spent on multilateral and bilateral aid. Government representatives reassured the participants that this issue has been tackled by successive governments, who have consulted experts and critics of the current system to try and improve it. AidWatch recommended joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), as an important step towards more transparency. A major concern expressed by AidWatch and civil society in general was the reporting of refugee costs as ODA. The detention of refugees, that is in itself a violation of human rights and a breach of international law, can hardly be considered as a contribution to those objectives.

Photo: Plenary during the seminar (by SKOP).


For more information please contact Paola Prinzis at paolaprinzis@skopmalta.org



Information provided by Paola Prinzis, SKOP
 

Polish Development Cooperation – Assistance Far Below Our Potential

We failed to create an effective program of Polish bilateral development aid with the objectives and results, adapted to the needs of our priority countries and harmonized with actions of other donors. There is an urgent need to elaborate realistic plans that will significantly increase both the volume and quality of Polish development aid over the next five years - stated the development CSO platform Grupa Zagranica in the published report "Polish Development Cooperation 2012".

In relation to the declarations that Poland made on the international forum, the volume of its development aid still remains at a very low level. The total value of Polish development aid in 2012 amounted to 437.7 million USD, which accounted for 0.09 % of GNI. This level is practically unchanged for five years. Observing this negative trend, it seems unrealistic to expect reaching the target of 0.33 % of GNI in 2015. Polish ODA statistics show a lack of connection between the priority countries (listed in the Multiannual development cooperation programme 2012-2015) and the largest recipients of Polish ODA, which include China - the largest individual country-recipient. China received over 40% of Polish bilateral development assistance in the form of preferential loans.

Moreover, the Polish aid statistics - as in other European countries - are to a certain extent "inflated", which means they include funds, which in fact never reach developing countries. Poland inflates the size of its assistance, including to ODA categories such as in-donor refugees cost, scholarships for foreign students from developing countries or - to the greatest extent - tied aid, mainly concessional loans. Grupa Zagranica, as well as CONCORD – the European confederation of NGDOs, is critical to such approach. This seventh annual report issued by Grupa Zagranica, was launched together with the CONCORD AidWatch report during the debate "Polish development cooperation – do we help with sense?" on 12th of December 2013. The guests of the debate were: Jan Hofmokl (Development Cooperation Department of PL MFA), Patryk Kugiel (Polish Institute of International Relation) and Marta Gontarska, Polish AidWatch Working Group representative.

For more information please contact Magdalena Trojanek at magdalena.trojanek@zagranica.org.pl


Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica
 

Opportunities and Challenges – NGO Cooperation Between Romania and Moldova

FOND – the Romanian NGDO Platform organized on the 16th of December 2013 a roundtable on the cooperation between civil society organizations from Romania and Republic of Moldova. This event gathered both governmental and nongovernmental representatives from the two countries and marked the end of the first round of the Mobility Fund for Experts, launched by FOND and the Romanian MFA in March.

Mr. Radu Podgorean - State Secretary - MFA and H.E. Iurie Renita – Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Romania highlighted the importance of the cooperation among NGOs, their role in the European integration of the Republic of Moldova and the opportunities and challenges encountered. They also reaffirmed their support for NGOs which have a very important role in monitoring and implementing ODA activities.

On this occasion, a research paper covering the cooperation between NGOs from Romania and Moldova was launched. This paper provided an overview on the cooperation between NGOs from these countries in the years 2007 – 2012, including important issues, such as: Romanian ODA and the main challenges, funding opportunities/instruments for NGOs, recommendations for improving cooperation. The research was conducted by FOND with the support of Alin Teclu (FOND Research Associate/ PhD Candidate – Univ. of Liege) and financed by the Romanian MFA.

The Mobility Fund for Experts from Romania and Republic of Moldova was supported by the Romanian MFA from the Official Development Assistance (ODA), in partnership with UNDP Romania. This initiative is a follow-up of the Civil Society Forum Romania – Republic of Moldova and it was one of the recommendations from the participants, emphasizing the need of a mobility fund to support the expertise and knowledge sharing between the representatives of civil society from both countries. The Republic of Moldova is the main recipient country of Romanian ODA.


Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND Romania.

Introductory Workshop on Policy Coherence for Development in Romania

On the 6th of December 2013, The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND organized in Bucharest for the first time an Introductory Workshop on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). This event was addressed to FOND Policy and Advocacy Working Group members, other NGOs and resource persons (trade union, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) interested in this topic (approx. 20 persons attended the workshop).

The aim of this initiative was to introduce Romanian NGDOs to PCD as a key policy issue at European, international and national level. The specific objectives of the workshop were: to build knowledge of participants on policy coherence for development (institutional framework, concrete examples of incoherencies from EU15 and EU13 member states); to introduce to participants tools for effective advocacy in PCD (using examples/best practices from NGO work); develop participants’ capacity/ skills on identifying examples of incoherencies within the framework of Romania’s ODA policy.

The cases of incoherencies identified and discussed during the workshop included topics such as: migration, climate change and policy incoherencies regarding ODA disbursement to the Rep. of Moldova (main beneficiary of Romanian ODA). Regarding facilitation, FOND benefited from the support of the CONCORD PCD Working Group, by having as trainer one of its members, Njeri Jensen (Policy and Research Officer, CONCORD Denmark).

This workshop was organized as part of the PCD project “World-Wise Europe: A more coherent Europe for a fairer world”, funded by the European Commission.

More photos are available here.

Information provided by Adela Rusu, FOND Romania.

International Conference on Migration and Development in Ljubljana

On 5 and 6 December 2013 an international conference titled Developing developers: Migrants as development actors – A new way forward took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference was organized by the Peace Institute within the project Consistency of Migration and Development Policy (CoMiDe) which is being implemented in four partner countries – Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Director General of the Directorate for Global Issues and Multilateral Political Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dragoljuba Benčina, opened the conference with her welcome note and expressed interest in complex topics of migration and development cooperation. Discussants at the panel What is Development without Migrants? were Gibril Faal, representative of African Foundation for Development and Africa-Europe Platform from UK, Charito Basa, representative of Filipino Women’s Council from Italy, and Angela Odai, working at Diaspora Support Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Ghana. The “CoMiDe Manifesto on Migration and Development in Europe” was presented at the conference. Over 60 participants from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America who attended the event had the opportunity to comment on and change the Manifesto, which at the end of the conference was endorsed.

For more information, please contact Maja Ladič, Mirovni Institute at: maja.ladic@mirovni-institut.si or visit www.mirovni-institut.si


Photo: Panel discussion during the conference.


Information provided by Maja Ladič, Mirovni Institute

MDG Study Visit to Burundi: First Hand Development Experience for Young Romanians, Czechs and Bulgarians

From November 24 to 2 December 2013, a group of 24 trained facilitators and the coordination team took part in a study visit organized in Burundi within the project “8 Goals…We Act!” which is implemented by Partners’ Foundation for Local Development (Romania) in partnership with Partners Czech (Czech Republic), YMCA (Bulgaria) and FOCODE: Forum pour la Conscience et le Dévéloppement (Burundi).

The project is co-financed by EuropeAid and it aims at using participatory, transformative and empowering methods to facilitate the engagement of young people in addressing development issues in their local surroundings and abroad, in developing countries. The 24 young facilitators are currently enrolled in master programs relevant for the topic of the Millenium Development Goals and have been trained on facilitation techniques in October 2013 in order to be able to design and conduct participatory processes aimed at promoting the achievement of the MDGs.

The study visit in Burundi was essential to breaking stereotypes about Africa, to understanding and documenting living conditions and development issues in an African country and to building bridges with local communities and organizations through meeting with different civil society associations working on achieving the MDGs in Burundi, discussing with staff and beneficiaries and visiting projects and services developed by these organizations.

More outcomes, testimonials as well as educational materials developed by the 24 facilitators will be available in January 2014 on the project’s platform: www.8goals.org.

In the photo: Participants of the Study Visit to Burundi (by Partners’ Foundation for Local Development)


Information provided by Partners’ Foundation for Local Development (Romania)


 

Albanian CSO Coalition Announced to Support the Open Government Partnership

A group of Albanian civil society groups working to support the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Albania announced at a December 5th Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) conference the creation of a new coalition to support open government.

The Albanian CSO Coalition on OGP is committed to improve the OGP Albania Process by upholding the value of openness in governments’ engagement with citizens to improve services, manage public resources, promote innovation, and create safer communities. The coalition is open for organizations that share the same values.

The announcement came at a one-day IDM conference held in Tirana that brought together representatives of NGOs and officials to discuss the status of open government in Albania. The conference was held in connection with “Advocacy for Open Government: Civil society agenda-setting and monitoring of country action plan”, an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

More about the conference and coalition can be read here.


Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network E-Mail Alerts nr. 283, 15 December 2013

European Parliament Approved External Action Instruments 2014-2020

On 10 December 2013 the European Parliament voted on and approved the external action instruments under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014 - 2020, including the Development Cooperation Instrument. After three years of negotiations this marks the end of the MFF process just before the start of 2014.

On 2 December 2013 the European Council adopted the regulation on the MFF 2014-2020 after the European Parliament gave its consent to it on 19 November 2013. The funding confirms the earlier political agreement of the European Council in February 2013. Whereas the overall budget of the MFF and for the heading “Global Europe” was already agreed on, the decisions were now taken for the implementing rules and instruments under this budget heading.

Funds of €51 billion for 2014-2020 cover pre-accession assistance, neighbouring and partner countries, and peace-keeping, democracy and human-rights actions:
• Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA): €11,699 million
• European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI): €15,433 million
• Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI): €19,662 million
• Partnership Instrument (PI): €955 million
• Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IfSP): €2,339 million
• European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR): €1,333 million


A detailed overview on the instruments can be found on the EC website.  


Source: CONCORD/EC

European Parliament: Exchange on EU13 Opportunities in Development

On 18 December 2013, the Development Committee of the European Parliament exchanged views on challenges and opportunities for newer EU Member States to contribute to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, especially by sharing the transition experience.

Lithuanian MEP Mr Donskis, member of the European Parliament (EP) Development Committee suggested the exchange of views on this topic. Inputs came from the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Rolandas Krisciunas and Evelin Andrespok from the Estonian NGDO platform AKÜ, representing Civil Society as CONCORD delegate.

Mr. Krisciunas highlighted that the transition experience is an asset of Lithuania which can play a crucial role in structural transformation processes of both donors and recipients of development assistance.

CSOs also expressed their views on the topic. CONCORD was represented by Evelin Andrespok from the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation AKÜ, a member of CONCORD. She highlighted that many EU13 countries are very active on the topic of development cooperation. Already four countries (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovak Republic) are members of OECD DAC which shows the relevance of development cooperation for them. Most cooperation is held with Eastern Partnership countries. Today the aim to contribute 0.33% of the GNI to ODI by 2015 is far from being reached in most EU13 countries. Therefore CSOs encourage member states to fulfil their commitments. Ms. Andrespok also tackled the problem of inflated aid such as in-country costs for migrants, which does not contribute to poverty reduction but figures in the development budget. Regarding the future of development cooperation, human rights should be in the centre of the time post-MDG, Ms. Andrespok pointed out. Global inequalities are increasing and should be addressed, as well as linking environment and development issues. Long term solutions require structural changes and EU13 countries have experience in this.

Members of the EP (MEPs) underlined the comparative advantage of the EU in the fields of transition and social inclusiveness. Nevertheless copying of models has to be avoided, instead through good knowledge management the European lessons learnt can be translated to the realities of developing countries.

Watch the Development Committee meeting online here.

Information provided by TRIALOG

Shadow Report on the Progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European Union Accession Process

The Shadow Report on the Progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) European Union (EU) Accession Process was developed by an in formal coalition of civil society organizations called the Initiative for Monitoring BiH’ s European Integration, which is a group of nongovernmental organizations active in BiH and interested in the EU accession process.

The initiative’s main goal is to effectively monitor the work of the government throughout its mandate and constantly inform the domestic and international public about all of the positive and negative developments in the integration process. The initiative recognizes the need for connectivity and empowerment of civil society organizations working on the promotion and protection of human rights and the promotion of EU integration at the local and national levels.

The main objective of this Shadow Report is to give a nongovernmental perspective on the level of progress achieved by BiH in the EU Accession Process with a focus on human rights. This is the first such report to be published in BiH.

The report can be read here.  


Source: Initiative for Monitoring BiH’s European Integration http://cps.ba/en and Balkan Civil Society Development Network E-Mail Alerts nr. 283, 15 December 2013

European Citizens Say: Helping Developing Countries Benefit Them

In a survey published at the European Development Days 2013, 66% European citizens agreed that tackling poverty should be one of the main priorities of the Union. The Eurobarometer survey also showed that 69% of European citizens believed that helping developing countries also benefits the EU and themselves.

Other key figures show that 61% feel that aid should be increased, and 48% are more willing to buy food products that support developing countries. Younger people also have a more positive outlook on development, with 61% of 15-24 year old believing they can play a personal role in tackling poverty in developing countries, as opposed to only 45% of those aged 55+.

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, commented: "I am very encouraged to see that EU citizens support global solidarity and believe that together we can make a real difference in overcoming poverty. Big challenges lie ahead of us: ensuring that we achieve the Millennium Development Goals and make poverty a thing of the past. For the way forward we all need to work together - the global community should agree on an ambitious joint agenda for the eradication of poverty and sustainable development. Today’s survey has a clear message: Europeans stand ready to play their role in this.”

Read the EC press release here


Source: CONCORD EU Monitoring newsletter from 5th of December 2013

New Partner Requests for Projects Under the EC DEAR Call

The EC published the NSA LA Call: Raising public awareness of development issues and promoting development education in the European Union with the reference EuropeAid/134863/C/ACT/Multi on 19th of November. You find all relevant documents for the "DEAR Call" on the EC website.

Deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 30th of January 2014.

On the TRIALOG website you find Partner Requests of various organisations, here are the latest ones:

(-) International Alert (UK) has been working with diaspora communities over a number of years. They are looking for partners to work through Lot 2 of the DEAR call to build the profile and presence of diaspora communities, in-particular young people, as a recognized and valued voice in development debates and actions.
(-) The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) is looking to join a partnership planning for a Campaigning and Advocacy project dealing with Development Effectiveness in fragile states and/or Healthcare. SCA is interested to become partner or associate in a project. 
(-) The Ubuntu Network from Ireland is interested in participating, as a partner, in a consortium under LOT 1: Global Learning - projects within the formal education system. Partners should work to further global development education in teacher education or work with post-primary schools. NGO or university partners are both welcome.

Information provided by TRIALOG

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Goodbye Christine Bedoya


With deep sorrow we have to announce that our dear colleague Christine Bedoya lost the fight against cancer and passed away on 24th of November 2013.

Christine was working with TRIALOG since 2003 and coordinated the project successfully over many years. As a platform member expressed: “Those who were lucky to know her and worked with her will never forget her passion for civil society and development!”

We will miss Christine’s cheerful way, her strong spirit, and her engagement for a better world. We are grateful for the moments we shared with her.

The TRIALOG team and HORIZONT3000

Read the obituary on our website.

2015 and Beyond: What is the Future of Development and Development Education in Malta?

The roundtable brought together foreign experts, Government representatives and policy-makers, educational institutions, civil society organizations, local councils and other stakeholders with the aim to advocate for a National Strategy on Development Education and Awareness Raising, in the build up for the “Beyond 2015” process, 2015 as the EU Year for Development and the 2017 Presidency of the Council of the EU held by Malta.

Malta should separate money spent on maintaining detention centres from genuine aid. This is one of the main points that emerged from SKOP’s multistakeholder roundtable on development and development education that was held in Malta on the 17th of October. A point that was reiterated by members of civil society, speakers Stefano Moncada (University of Malta)
and Darrin Zammit Lupi (Photo Journalist), and Minister for Sustainable Development Leo Brincat. Minister Brincat also pointed out the clear link between climate change and development. He made clear that on this is pivotal issue, that is likely to be on top of the next EU meeting for environment ministers, there is still a gap between funds pledged and those actually delivered.
Representing CONCORD’s working group on Development Education and Awareness Raising (DARE Forum), Mr. Coertjens shared the ideas and questions the Forum has on the issue of Development Education. In a rapidly changing world, he insisted on the importance of maintaining key principles when dealing with development education, principles such as the fact that values are being promoted, the idea of active and global citizenship, and the human rights-based approach.
The roundtable also gave space for Mr. Underwood, from the Beyond 2015 EU Steering Group, who outlined the work of the Steering Group so far and the way forward. After a period where the group was gathering views and opinions from multiple levels of society, it is now time to take the process to a political, interstate level, especially at EU and UN institutions.


In the photo: Panel with the Minister for Sustainable Development Leo Brincat


Information provided by Paola Prinzis, SKOP

News from the Latvian CSO Platform LAPAS

Post-2015 Discussions in Latvia

In June, the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation organised a debate on the post-2015 – discussions, priorities, involvement by NGOs and othe rrelated issues. Participants of the debate reflected different aspects of the important issues.
The material including viedeos of the presentations are avialable online:
-European development commissioner Andris Piebalgs – about current status and content, HLP report and role of NGOs – video
- René Mauricio Valdés (UNDP) – about global consultations, main discussions, role of NGOs and challenges – presentation and video
- Rilli Lappalainen (The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU Kehys) – EU involvement, role of EU civil society, Experience of Finland – video and presentation
- Ana Kalin (Slovenian NGDO platform Sloga) – global perspective and view of Slovenian NGOs, why local should be linked to global – presentation and video
Petr Patočka (Prague Global Policy Institute – Glopolis) – global context, EU context, Chezh context, new development and NGO context, EU-12 context– presentation and video
- Hanna Hansson (CONCORD Sweden) – involvement of Sweden in global process, dialogue between state and NGOs, Beyound2015 campaign, involvement of Swedish NGOs – video
- Inese Vaivare (LAPAS) – is economic growth development, solutions for development, challenges of new framework – presentation and video.

All materials of the conference are available for your further use on the LAPAS website.

Photo: Panel during the Post-2015 Debate


Capacity building in LAPAS

The year 2013 marks an important point for the capacity development of the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation - LAPAS in a way to prepare a small platform for an important role with the Presidency of the EU Council in 2015 approaching. With the support of the European Social Fund and TRIALOG, a wide range of activities are being implemented such as:

- Training for members on e-tools, communication and project management
- Face-to-face meetings with each member on their engagement strategy and mapping of results for a better cooperation within the platform;
- Development of a members’ data base including basic information on organisation, projects and experts, available in 3 languages – English, Russian, Latvian; - Strategy trainings on international developments (in partnership with Glopolis), national development paradigm and financing of development;
- Regular meetings by members on development education, Presidency project, food security, humanitarian aid; - External communication of success stories in regular events calles “Stories from LAPAS”.
- In January 2014 a conference on development will be organised.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assessing the growing capacity of LAPAS, has provided a direct grant for the implementation of several additional acitivities such as research on projects in Central-Asia, a web page on post-2015 and other.


Information provided by Inese Vaivare, LAPAS
 

News from the Slovak NGDO Platform

The 15th annual European Global Education Week took place from the 16th to the 24th November 2013, at the initiative of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. This year´s topic was Go for a Sustainable Life Style.

In Slovakia, the Global Education Week was coordinated by the Slovak NGDO Platform. Together with its members it organized several discussions at schools and universities around Slovakia. Discussions took place in Bratislava, Trnava and Košice. Development volunteers and workers shared their experience from developing countries. Global Education Week promotes school activities in EU member states with a specific focus on how to overcome poverty and social exclusion. A discussion for broader public with development volunteers was part of the 14th film festival One World organized in Slovakia by People in Peril association. Information Centre of Global Education (Libraria) run by the Slovak Centre for Communication and Development was present at the books fair Bibilioteka.

On 18th November the Slovak NGDO Platform organized a seminar Development Cooperation after 2013. The seminar focused on the presentation of the national and European AidWatch report 2013 and the presentation of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. Participants of the workshop discussed the opportunities and the challenges for the next period regarding the level of development assistance and the tendencies across the EU to cut the development budget. They were introduced to the modifications coming with the new MFF, they were presented new instruments and opportunities for the future financing.
The seminar was organized as part of the CONCORD subcontracting scheme.


Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, Slovak NGDO Platform MVRO

CYINDEP sets off with a new Strategy for 2013 – 2015

The Cyprus island-wide NGO platform CYINDEP has prepared a dynamic and solid ‘Strategic plan’ for the Platform for the period 2013 – 2015, which is already under implementation. CYINDEP has managed to lay down its overall goals which aim to ensure a long-term sustainability for the Platform.

The Strategic Plan’s goals are: Sustainability; Contextualisation of Global Issues; Shape Policies and Decisions; and Promote Cyprus as a Regional Hub for MENA Region. The process for developing the Strategic Plan, which has been supported by TRIALOG, had already started in June with a survey, which was conducted among CYINDEP members, assessing their capacities, needs, interests and vision for the Platform.

Following the survey, through a series of internal workshops the Board of the Platform along with interested members, worked with the aim of developing a new vision, mission and strategy for the Platform.
Under Sustainability, CYINDEP’s priority areas are Partnership Alliances and Networks, Capacity Building Activities (part of which will be implemented through the TRIALOG Capacity Building) and Membership.
The second goal which is Contextualisation of global issues prioritises to bring the European debate to local level, identify topics and people to revive passion and reflect on the development debate and think of a new paradigm.
The third goal is to Shape Policies and Decisions by holding policy and decision-makers accountable, while building relations with them.
Further, CYINDEP will be working towards influencing the ODA strategy of CyprusAid, as well as the Post-2015 position.
The final strategic goal aims to Promote Cyprus as a regional hub for MENA Region by increasing its partnerships and alliances outside Cyprus, promoting the ‘hub’ idea to government and other stakeholders and promoting Cyprus as a learning lab for civil society working in a ‘frozen conflict’.


CYINDEP is very optimistic and confident that this new start will help the sustainability of the Platform and strengthen its capacity and impact at the local and EU level.

For more information please contact Sophia Arnaouti, Policy Officer Sophia.arnaouti@cyindep.org


Information provided by Sophia Arnaouti, CYINDEP
 

CYINDEP member reports from the UK about “Bringing Innovation back to Development”

Bond, the UK membership body for organisations working in international development, organised the extremely successful conference “The Shock of the New: Bringing Innovation back to Development” on Tuesday 5th November 2013 with attendance from over 300 organisations, including CYINDEP.

The programme centred on the theme of innovation included sessions on humanitarian aid in crisis, engaging Diaspora communities, the public heart and mind on international development and what we want post 2015.

The initial keynote address was given by Theo Sawa, Chief Executive of African Women’s Development Fund. She spoke of innovation as the ability to tackle problems struggled with for generations by seeing a different way of acting, cooperating and finding solutions and emphasised that “the most exciting innovation Bond members can do is their partnerships”. In addition, innovation brings young people into the conversation and enables wider discussion and participation. ‘Crowd Funding’ was mentioned as an exciting innovation and the roles of women were underlined, not as a new innovation, but as one which needs to be supported. Theo Sawa also engaged in discussion with Jeff Raikes, CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Larry Elliot, Economics Editor from The Guardian.

There was praise that the UK became the first G8 country to meet the 0.7% aid target. However, it was acknowledged that aid must be accompanied by better policies in order to remain effective. This message also resonated during the discussion on Millennium Development Goals Post 2015. Challenges of integrating sustainability and development agendas were explored with particular focus on inequality.
The final keynote address was given by Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of ODI. He spoke of the need to form a strategy and have an implementable framework with systems underpinning it, in order to deliver a more cohesive agenda for global change. Public engagement and global cooperation is needed for post 2015 to be effective, an agenda of “no one left behind” and a common vision and set of values.

For more information please contact Umran Avni at umranavni@yahoo.co.uk

Information provided by Umran Avni

Estonians Shop for a Fairer World

Victoria Tampoka Nyaabila is a widow with 5 children. She lives in Kongo village, northern Ghana on the edge of the Sahara desert. There are hundreds of widows like Victoria tolling a few acres of land and making ends meet. Victoria, however, is an exception. She is the best basket weaver in the village who has been able to secure independent livelihood with her basket weaving skills, and pay for the education of her five children.

The world famous Bolga baskets are a hot commodity thousands of miles from Kongo. These are sold in Tallinn, Estonia in a PopUP shop set up by an Estonian NGO Mondo. A temporary shop is open til the end of the year, and offers clients handicraft and fair trade products made by women and disabled people of the communities it works in Africa and Afghanistan. Besides baskets, the shop offers unrefined shea-butter from the same Ghanaian community, handicrafts by Kenyan and Afghan women and youth with special needs from Uganda.

On weekends, the NGO Mondo invites people to attend chocolate making workshops or drink a cup of Fairtrade coffee while listening to special guests. Each product has a story to tell, each euro made will be reinvested back into the communities Mondo works with. NGO Mondo is a leading development cooperation organization in Estonia. It aims to strengthen independent economic livelihood of rural women of Ghana, Kenya, Afghanistan, and people with disabilities in Uganda.

The PopUp shop helps to increase funds for Mondo support program to provide skills training for women and setting up ethical supply chain based on fair trade principles for local markets and for Estonia. So when in Tallinn in December, stop by at Mondo PopUp shop in Telliskivi Loomelinnak, a biggest center of creative industries in Estonia. NGO Mondo welcomes you – teretulemast! - to shop for a fairer world!

For more information on NGO Mondo please visit www.mondo.org.ee  

Photo: Entrance to the shop by NGO Mondo.


Information provided by Katrin Pärgmäe, Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation
 

Global Campus – Students for Global Justice

In the framework of its Development Education and Awareness Raising project Global Campus – co-financed by the EU – KOPIN held two Film Festivals at the University of Malta in  October 2013 and introduced a University course on development cooperation.

During the events, documentaries and short movies from all over the world have been projected, dealing with topics such as migration, child rights, climate change and sustainable use of natural resources and gender issues, among others. Following the two events, on the 23rd of October KOPIN successfully started the implementation of the course Global Campus – Introduction to International Development Cooperation at the University of Malta. The aim of the introductory course, targeting university students from all faculties, is to give them the instruments to better understand the main topics related to global development and citizenship, helping them to actively engage and get involved in local projects and/or initiatives which will actively contribute to eradicate poverty and promote justice, human rights and sustainable ways of living.

The project aims at raising awareness among University students on Global issues, in order to develop a deeper understanding of the concept of Global Citizenship and become more involved in the development of a Global Society.

More inforamtion on the KOPIN website.

Information provided by Federica Di Giulio,  KOPIN     

Global Citizens Movement for Change

In November 2013 DEEEP organized two mayor civil society events to start building a global citizens movement for change.

Global Conference
During 2 days, 200 active citizens from all over the globe gathered in Johannesburg to start "Building a Global Citizens Movement for change". In a participative and inclusive process, the conference was a space for questioning instead of giving answers. In this overwhelming atmosphere of engagement and radical change, the initial intention of the Declaration has been replaced by the "Johannesburg Compass: questions and orientations". This text aims to express the questions of this diverse and complex movement and it will evolve in parallel. The conference is a continuous work in progress and we want active citizens to be on board for at least the next 2 years through several activities (other global conferences, seminars etc.).

Therefore, DEEEP created an online platform which will be the digital touch point for the participants but also for a broader audience. We invite you to visit movement.deeep.org for further information or to contact Tobias Troll at tobias.troll@concordeurope.org  if you want to be engaged in this process.


Research Conference
For the first time, researchers, academics and global educators had the opportunity to meet and discuss the "hot topics" in global justice in the framework of the conference "Global Justice through Global Citizenship". This conference co-organised by DEEEP/CONCORD, PULSE, HIVA CIDIN, EADI and NCDO which took place last week in Brussels, was a frank success. Gathering 200 participants, the 25 workshops were the occasion to discuss various topics and challenge current global issues such as the engagement with the private sector, the challenge of evaluation, the online education or the youth volunteer programs.

For more information and outcomes, please visit the DEEEP platform or feel free to contact Amy Skinner at amy.skinner@concordeurope.org.




Photo above: Graphic from the Global Conference
Photo below: Graphic from the Research Conference.

Information provided by Helene Debaisieux , DEEEP

EU announces future commitments for development with Central Asia

Around €1 billion will be available for Central Asia in the new EU budget, it was announced on 20 November 2013. This amount includes the bilateral allocations for Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and regional allocations and multi-country funds, to support the region’s efforts on sustainable management of natural resources, socio-economic development, including education, and regional security.

The announcement was made at a ministerial meeting between EU and Central Asia countries, and speaking about the funds, Andris Piebalgs said: “Governance and inclusive and sustainable growth for human development will be the two key pillars for the next seven years of development cooperation with Central Asia, with a particular focus on the poorest and the most fragile countries."

Read the EC Press Release here.


Source: CONCORD EU Monitoring Newsletter, 21.11.2013

Development Actors Gathering in Slovenia

Two interesting events are coming up in Ljubljana, Slovenia in early December 2013: The International Conference on Migrants as Development Actors – A New Way Forward and the Regional Conference on Global Education with a Partnership Fair.

The Regional Conference on Global Education TIA – There is an Alternative ( 4 and 5 December) organised by the Slovenian CSO platform SLOGA in cooperation with the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Slovenia will focus on concepts of global education, global citizenship and national identity throughout the region of South Eastern Europe.

Programme available here

For more information, please contact SLOGA at conference@sloga-platform.org  


The speakers at the conference Developing developers: Migrants as development actors – A new way forward on 5 and 6 December 2013 will be experts from governmental and non-governmental sector in the field of migration policy and development co-operation. They come from Austria, Belgium, Ghana, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The panel discussions will be questioning various concepts of development cooperation in relation to migration issues and open the way for further discussion with the present audience. At the event, the Central European Manifesto on Migration and Development, a strategic document that contains recommendations for improving the understanding of the concepts of development cooperation and migration as a key element in this concept, will be presented as well.

Programme available here.  

The event is an activity of the international project CoMiDe - Consistency of Migration and Development Policy, carried out by Vienna Institute for Development and Cooperation, Austria; Südwind Agentur, Austria; Society Development Institute, Slovakia; Co -operation for the Development of Emerging Countries, Italy and the Peace Institute, Slovenia. The project is partly funded by European Commission, DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid.

More about the project: http://www.comide.net/  

On 5 December the programe will finish with a Partnership Fair: Bridging the gap with participants of both events. For easier organisation we are kindly asking you to confirm your presence at the CoMiDe conference and / or partnership fair to Maja Ladić: maja.ladic@mirovni-institut.si 

Information provided by Maja Ladić Peace Institute www.mirovni-institut.si  

The DEAR Call is Open

The EC published its 2013 Call for Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development: Raising public awareness of development issues and promoting development education in the European Union (DEAR) with the reference EuropeAid/134863/C/ACT/Multi.

You can find all relevant documents on the EC website.

Deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 30th of January 2014.

We wish you all the best for preparing your projects. Maybe you are still searching for partners, then a look at the Partner Requests of European NGOs published on our website could be helpful: http://www.trialog.or.at/partner-search-for-joint-projects.


Information provided by TRIALOG

Study on Global Dimension in Formal Education: Practitioners’ View

In November 2013 the Study about Development Education Aspects in Social Sciences giving an insight in the situation of the development education in 13 different countries in Europe was accomplished.

The report about the main conclusions and results summarized in the Study was published and promoted in an international conference „Global dimension in education and future possibilities” on November 14, 2013 in Riga, Latvia. The Study and the conference is part of the project “Global dimension in Social Sciences subjects in Formal Education”. The project is implemented by the Education Development Center (Latvia) in cooperation with Leeds DEC (United Kingdom), Mondo (Estonia) and The British Council Latvia with the financial support from the European Union.

Report on the presence of global dimension in the social sciences subjects contains the outcomes of the in-depth study of situation in Latvia, Estonia and the United Kingdom; the role of global education in formal education was assessed in these countries, regulatory documents, which define the mandatory curriculum, learning materials were evaluated and the opinions of education policy experts and teachers were identified. Alongside the in-depth research, the report also includes descriptions of the situation in development/ global education in other states of the European Union: Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia, the best practice examples are also included. The added value of this Study is that it is done by non-governmental organisations, actively involved in the field of development/global education, and experts of the non-governmental sector, having both academic and practical experience.

The full report can be downloaded here.

More about the project “Global Dimension in Social Sciences Subjects”: www.globalaizglitiba.lv  


Description of the picture: Report's dissemination event in Latvia: conference "Global dimension in education and future possibilities", November 14, 2013 Riga, Latvia

Information provided by Linda Ugaine, Project “Global dimension in Social Sciences subjects in Formal Education”

2013 ATI: More is Not Enough When it Comes to Aid Info

Information about aid spending is steadily becoming more available, but it also needs to become more useful, concludes a report released by Publish What You Fund. The results show there is a leading group of organisations that publish large amounts of useful information on their current aid activities. For the first time, a U.S. agency – the Millennium Challenge Corporation – ranks top, scoring 89%, more than double the average score.

The Aid Transparency Index (ATI) report is the industry standard for assessing foreign assistance transparency among the world’s major donors. For the first time, it not only assesses what information is published, but also the usefulness of that information. David Hall-Matthews, Director of Publish What You Fund, said: “Open data and transparency are becoming fashionable watch words, but we’re checking if donors are really delivering, looking beyond high-level commitments and long-held reputations. The ATI ranking shows that no matter how many international promises are made, no matter how many speeches there are around openness, a startling amount of organisations are still not delivering on their aid transparency goals. We will continue to encourage organisations to release more data – but more is not enough. We also want to make sure that the information is useful.”

More information: http://ati.publishwhatyoufund.org/

Source: CONCORD EU Monitoring newsletter 24/10/2013

Partner Requests for Joint DEAR Projects

The EC published the NSA LA Call: Raising public awareness of development issues and promoting development education in the European Union with the reference EuropeAid/134863/C/ACT/Multi on 19th of November. You find all relevant documents for the "DEAR Call" on the EC website.

Deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 30th of January 2014.

On the TRIALOG website you find Partner Requests of various organisations, here are the latest ones:

• Global Initiative on Psychiatry – Sofia (GIP-Sofia) is looking for partners, preferably from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, to develop a project in the frame of the DEAR Call. Although the mental health is the main focus of work of GIP-Sofia, there is a lot of experience in global education and global development through EU funded projects.

• dance4life is an international initiative comprising of the dance4life foundation in Amsterdam, and local partner organisations across five continents. dance4life is willing to apply as a lead applicant for the DEAR EU call and is looking for partners from other eligible European countries who work in the field of education, advocacy and awareness raising in the field of health and education, preferably in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

• People in Need (Czech Republic) with its Visegrad partners from Poland (PAH), Hungary (Demnet) and Slovakia (PDCS) are looking for partners from Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia or Latvia to take part in a project to be submitted under the 2013 DEAR Call. The key theme of the project is business and development.

• The Italian Network against AIDS is interested in participating, as partner, in projects to be submitted to the 2013 NSA LA DEAR Call, on the following key themes: fight against HIV/AIDS and the other pandemics, global health.

• Global Nature Fund (Germany) is looking for partner organisations from different EU Member States to submit a DEAR project under the title "The true cost of European consumption and production”, focusing on reducing the negative impacts of European consumption on developing countries.

• Eight NGOs from France (Le Partenariat), Germany (VNB), Italy (EducAid), Czech Republic (Partners Czech), Romania (Patrir), Poland (IGO), UK (Leeds DEC), Slovakia (People in Peril) are looking for an organisation that could be the leadpartner for the next EuropeAid DEAR call, on a project focused on raising awareness among students from highschool as well as teachers on globalisation and decent work.


Information provided by TRIALOG

Beyond 2015 is Recruiting an International Officer

Beyond 2015 is recruiting an International Officer to support the work of the Beyond 2015 campaign, specifically in terms of communication, translation, website and the “Supportive States’ initiative”.

The International Officer will be responsible for the translation of all relevant documents into French and Spanish, the development and maintenance of the Beyond 2015 website in three languages, the coordination of the ‘Supportive states’ initiative and the ‘Lead with the Leaders’ webinar series. S/he will also support the International Coordinator in communication with the whole campaign, and may be required to represent Beyond 2015 internationally.

For further details, please see the Terms of Reference here.  

The role may be based in Brussels, but remote working is also an option. To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to beyond2015recruitment@gmail.com by COB 6 December 2013. Please put “Beyond 2015 International Officer” in the subject line. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Policy Digest: Eastern Partnership and Development Cooperation

The last rounds of EU enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe have brought new perspectives to development cooperation policies in terms of expanding the geographic focus towards the Eastern neighbourhood. The EU and its Members States are now looking more and more at how they can support building stability and prosperity in the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Mol-dova and Ukraine.

TRIALOG published a policy digest which explores how the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative contributes to the strengthening of ties both between the constituent countries of the EaP and the European Union and the EU Members States. The emphasis is on the civil society’s role as a driving force in addressing challenges in the region and building regional cooperation at the grassroots level.

The Digest was written by Evelin Andrespok (lead author, AKÜ), Adriana Zaharia (FOND) and Mirjam Sutrop (TRIALOG).

Download the Policy Digest from the TRIALOG website.




Information provided by TRIALOG

Brussels Study Visit for Croatian NGOs 2013

Learning about European Development Cooperation Policies and Actors

In September 2013 a group of Croatian NGO representatives came to Brussels for a three-day study visit in order to learn more about European development policies and the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and different EU institutions in the development policy-making.

The study visit was very timely as the Croatian NGOs are currently in the process of developing a network and setting up a platform of CSOs interested in international development cooperation. This process is led by the Center for Peace Studies. One of the aims of such a platform would also be to engage and influence in European development policies.

During the study visit the participants received trainings and met with numerous EU officials. In the beginning of the study visit CONCORD director Olivier Consolo welcomed the participants to Brussels and discussed his views toward the changing nature of the international development cooperation sector. During the study visit many CONCORD policy officers gave insight into the content and methods of various CONCORD working groups. Zuzana Sladkova and Carlos Villota presented to work of AidWatch and Financing for Development. Lonne Poissonnier presented EU Funding opportunities for development NGOs and Sarah Kristine Johansen introduced the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) and the new CONCORD PCD Spotlight report.

The Study group met with officials from different institutions, namely form the European Parliament, European Commission, Council of the European Union and also the European External Action Service. In the European Commission, the group met with representatives of the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities Unit as well as the representatives of the Unit for Governance, Democracy, Gender and Human Rights and the Unit for Development Effectiveness. The meetings in the European Parliament with Croatian MEPs Mr. Davor Ivo Stier and Mr. Nikola Vuljanić focused on the MEP's activities concerning European neighbourhood policies and human rights. The representatives of the European Parliament Development Committee secretariat gave a close insight into the functioning and working methods of the Committee.

In the end of the study visit the participants planned their follow-up actions in Croatia, both within their organisations and jointly within the Croatian network of NGOs interested in international development cooperation.

Find the full documentation including presentations on the TRIALOG website: http://www.trialog.or.at/brussels-study-visit-for-croatian-ngos-2013

Photo: Study Visit Group in front of the European Parliament

Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Slovak Development Assistance Award Goes to Former TRIALOG Partner

In the frame of 10th Anniversary of SlovakAid, the Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák awarded former TRIALOG Partner and Advisory Group member Mr MARIÁN ČAUČÍK for cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in the area of official development assistance.

Marián Čaučík is a co-founder and former chairman of Slovak Platform of non-governmental development organizations MVRO, a key partner of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Since 1991 he has been the chairman of non-governmental organization eRko – Christian Children Communities Movement. In 2007 he became the director of the development assistance program of eRko called “Dobrá novina”. For many years it has been the most successful fundraising initiative in providing Slovak development assistance.

Mr Čaučík expressed his sincere thanks to all colleagues in the TRIALOG project who have been a great motivation and source of inspiration in the Platform building and networking activities that have resulted in the creation of the Slovak NGDO Platform and its contributions to the ODA system. As an outlook in the future he stated: “It is my wish that we can continue the dialogue with the main ODA stakeholders and contribute to similar development in other countries too.”

TRIALOG sincerely congratulates Mr Čaučík on the Development Assistance Award!

For his contribution to the creation of the SlovakAid system and trilateral cooperation between Slovakia and Canada, Mr. DAVID CHAPLIN, a Canadian International Development Agency expert and director of development program for Central European countries, received the second award.

See the video from the ceremony at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfEQVv20xsw.



Information provided by TRIALOG

Junior Liaison Officer: Paid Internship with TRIALOG

TRIALOG is currently looking for a full time trainee – Junior Liaison Officer based in Brussels (the main TRIALOG office is in Vienna), starting on 7 January 2014.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:
(-) Assisting the Liaison Officer with tasks related to supporting Liaison Officers in the EU13 platforms:
o undertaking research to contribute to policy digest papers;
o providing a contact point for queries and requests for assistance.
(-) Compiling a TRIALOG country report on Serbia with guidance from the Liaison Officer.
(-) Completing other research projects to be determined in cooperation with the Liaison Officer.
(-) Supporting the Liaison Officer with the logistical and content preparation necessary for the study visit to Brussels, planned for the 1st half of 2014.
(-) Carrying out other office support tasks as and when necessary, including attending and reporting back from relevant meetings, supporting and carrying out 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, the neighbourhood and pre-accession regions and Brussels-based advocacy work.
(-) Interest in the newer member states of the EU (EU13).
(-) 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.

Eligibility: Applicants must have the right to live and work in Belgium. EU13 applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. TRIALOG is fully committed to gender equal opportunities and cultural diversity. TRIALOG is unable to cover travel costs for applicants invited for interview, although telephone/Skype interviews are possible.

Salary: The gross salary is 751 Euro per month according to the Belgian Convention d’immersion professionnelle contract together with the covering of local travel costs. The position will last for a total of six months, including a trial period of one month.

Please send your CV and covering letter to Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG Liaison Officer, trialog@concordeurope.org by 5 November 2013. Please use ‘TRIALOG JLO’ as your title. We regret to inform that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will take place in mid- November.

Information provided by TRIALOG

Highlights From the Current Lithuanian EU Presidency

As part of its Lithuanian EU Presidency agenda, on October 8, 2013, Lithuanian National Non-Governmental Development Cooperation Organisations’ Platform (NGDO Platform) presented to the public the Lithuanian NGDO Position on Development Cooperation Policy Issues for the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The representatives of the NGDO Platform claim that Lithuania should make a significant progress in shaping a new approach to development through actual implementation of the Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). In mobilising enough resources to finance the development, however, developing countries often face a number of barriers, largely because of tax dodging by transnational companies that take advantage of inadequate international regulation. PCD is seen as a main instrument to change this practice and to achieve the desired results in a global development agenda.

As Presidency of the EU, NGDO Platform urges Lithuania to seize the historical opportunity to help developing countries during the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The full text of the Lithuanian NGDO Platform position can be found here

The importance of PCD and critical debate about issues related to post-2015 agenda will be raised in a specially developed film programme “The World of 2015”, screened during the 7th documentary film festival “Ad Hoc: Inconvenient Films” starting already on the 23rd of October in Vilnius.

Thanks to the fruitful cooperation between the NGDO Platform and the organisers of the Festival, i.e. Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, the Programme consists of 10 documentaries, some of which will travel to five cities in Lithuania followed by the educational events. Lithuanian public will be able to see the award winning “Blood Brother”, “Give Us the Money”, “Fire in the Blood”, “Solar Mamas”, “Stealing Africa” and many more films which aim to raise the important questions on why the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have not been fully achieved. Why the rich countries have failed to help those in need? Could it be that the failure was determined from the very outset of setting the MDGs agenda? Could it be that the development cooperation efforts taken were just another opportunity for certain countries to exploit the needy? What could be changed?

More information about the programme and film screenings can be found here

Public debates will continue on 21-22 November 2013 in Vilnius with the debate on aid effectiveness and PCD followed by the training for NGDO practitioners from the Baltic States and Poland.

More information and furtherupdates on NGDO Platform Presidency activities could be found at www.pagalba.org

Photo above: Cover of the Position Paper and panel during the launch of the Position Paper.
In the picture below: Lithuanian NGDO Platform presents its Presidency Manifesto. From the right: Vice Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Petras Austrevicius, NGDO Platform Board Member Ruta Svarinskaite, CONCORD PCD Coordinator Sarah Kristine Johansen, NGDO Policy Officer Giedre Birzyte.


For more information, please contact Agne Baleisyte at info@litdea.eu 

Information provided by Agne Baleisyte, LITDEA Partnership and Communication officer
 

Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation at the Black Sea

The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND organized in partnership with the European Commission and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum entitled “Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation”, taking place in Bucharest from 4-6 September 2013. The Black Sea NGO Forum is an annual event which aims to create an open space for debate, mutual knowledge and understanding, communication and cooperation among civil society representatives, Governments and international organizations active in the wider Black Sea region, with a focus on sharing good practices in various domains and success stories of regional cooperation.

This edition brought together around 180 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia and EU countries. Among the guest invited were: H.E. Niculae Idu, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania, H.E. Ambassador Traian Chebeleu, Deputy Secretary General, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Carmen Falkenberg-Ambrosio, Head of Section, Regional Programmes Neighbourhood East, Radu Podgorean, State Secretary, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Răzvan Rusu, General Director for Regional Affairs, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rilli Lappalainen, Secretary General, the Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU (Kehys).

The 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum explored the ways in which civil society can contribute to the sustainability and effectiveness of regional cooperation in the extended Black Sea area and offered the opportunity to share experience and good practices with other regional cooperation initiatives such as those of the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas.
The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops and encouraged networking throughout the event. Among the topics discussed were: child protection, good governance/ local development, youth cooperation, public administration authorities and NGOs and citizen and cultural diplomacy, financial instruments available for civil society in the Black Sea Region.
The last day of the event was dedicated to the Non-EU sub-regional meeting - CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), organized together with CONCORD - The European Confederation for Development and Relief. With this occasion, participants were informed about the principles of CSO Development Effectiveness, the areas of work of CPDE, its governance structure and working groups.

An important outcome of this meeting was the election of the CPDE representative from the Non-EU sub-region in the governance structure of the CPDE, who will contribute to the global advocacy effort towards development effectiveness. This is the first time that the Non-EU sub-regional meeting of CPDE is organized at the Black Sea NGO Forum and it is an initiative that FOND welcomes again in the future.

There are two successful results of the previous editions of this Forum- the regional coalition on child protection in the region (ChildPact, http://www.childpact.org/) and the Black Sea Youth Network.

A very important result of this year’s edition was the elaboration of “The Bucharest Statement” by the participants at the workshop “Building a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection” facilitated by ChildPact Coalition, through which the civil society and governmental representatives from 6 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Serbia) made a commitment to promote coordinated action towards strengthening regional cooperation for child protection in the wider Black Sea Region. The Statement was joined by a petition asking BSEC and its Members States to create a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection and a regional trust for children that will fund this mechanism.

You can consult the agenda of the event here: http://issuu.com/adrianaionela/docs/black_sea_forum_final_agenda_2013_w
The presentations given throughout the event are available on the FOND website at: http://fondromania.org/pagini/editia-2013.php
For more information on the Black Sea Region, please visit: www.blackseango.org

Photo: Participants of the 2013 Black Sea NGO Forum

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND, adriana.zaharia@fondromania.org

 

Poland Becomes Member of the OECD DAC

At its meeting on 22 October 2013, the DAC invited Poland to join the Committee. Poland accepted this invitation the same day in a letter addressed to the OECD Secretary General in which it pledged to fulfil the obligations of DAC membership.

More information here.

In September 2013 representatives of DAC OECD visited the country and conducted meetings both with Polish authorities and CSOs.

Grupa Zagranica, the Polish platform of organizations involved in international development cooperation, democracy support, humanitarian aid and global education, had an opportunity to express its support for Poland’s membership in the DAC OECD, but also some critical views on the Polish official development aid system.
The main points of criticism circled around the fuzziness of Polish aid strategy and inadequate evaluation of aid. In fact, although Poland indicated priority countries to receive aid, there are still no Country Strategy Papers to deliver the aid in a systematic way. Similarly, the aid disbursed is not subjected to a meaningful evaluation, which could reveal in how far it contributes to the goals set out in the Act on Development Cooperation. Not to mention, that the CSOs strongly advocate for reformulating these goals to emphasize poverty reduction and explicitly refer to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aid effectiveness principles.

Nonetheless, Grupa Zagranica appreciated the advances which Polish authorities made towards more structured aid, aligned with international good practices. Joining DAC OECD was called for by Polish CSOs since quite some time. Organizations gathered in Grupa Zagranica believe this can be a vital impulse for more effort towards improving system of development aid in Poland.


For more information please contact Magdalena Trojanek at Magdalena.trojanek@zagranica.org.pl

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica
 

Polish Development Aid – Small Progress, Key Problems Still Unresolved

Comment of Grupa Zagranica to the report ‘Polish Foreign Aid 2012’ recently published by Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Key indicators of Polish development aid are deemed highly unsatisfying by organizations affiliated to Grupa Zagranica. CSOs recognize an urgent need for fundamental changes regarding both quantity and quality of Polish aid.

Stagnation and lack of ambition
Over the last 5 years Polish aid remained at the level of 0.08-0.09% GNP. Thus, Poland has not fulfilled its international commitment to increase aid up to 0.17% GNP until 2010 and there are no signs that it would reach the level of 0.33% in 2015 as declared.

Are we helping the right people and in the right way?
Large part of Polish development aid over the last 5 years has been transferred to countries, which do not count as priority countries according to the official aid strategy documents. China is most prominent among them, receiving 148 PLN in preferential loans in 2012 (approx. 10% total Polish development aid).

See the real aid
Inflated aid becomes increasingly a concern, as ODA statistics are augmented by inclusion of various costs which cannot be regarded as genuine aid. This mainly applies to costs of refugee accommodation in Poland and costs of foreign students at Polish universities.

Poor regulations
According to Grupa Zagranica the regulations in force – Act on Development Aid, as well as Multiannual Development Cooperation Programme (MDCP) – require profound revision. In particular, mid- and long-term objectives and planned results for particular countries and for Polish aid overall need to be incorporated into MDCP in order to allow for meaningful evaluation of quality and sustainability of Polish aid.

The Polish AidWatch Report will be published by Grupa Zagranica in the middle of November.

For more information please contact Magdalena Trojanek at Magdalena.trojanek@zagranica.org.pl

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica

Czech NGOs Preparing for EU Calls for Proposals

Recently, the Czech development NGO platform FoRS organized two complementary trainings on funding from the European Union for its members and observers. The first one “Planning projects and preparing EC proposals” received financial support from the project TRIALOG V where FoRS is a partner. It took part on September 25th and 26th in Prague and was led by the trainer Greta Jensen from the United Kingdom. Over 20 representatives of FoRS members had the opportunity to learn how to prepare quality projects for the European Commission (EC), with a special focus on the programme Non-State Actor and Local Authorities in Development. The participants could also practice the main steps of the preparation process in small groups on concrete project examples. The training helped the participants to get better prepared for the upcoming application process of the EC’s Call for development education and awareness raising projects (DEAR), expected to be launched in October.

FoRS also had a unique opportunity to pilot a training on EU funding prepared by the CONCORD working group “Funding for Development and Relief” (FDR). This event called “Current and future funding opportunities from the EU” took place on October 1st in Prague and was led by Stijn De Lameillieure from Save the Children, a member of FDR and its recently formed group of trainers. About 20 FoRS members and observers took part in this very participatory and interactive training, which also very handily complemented the previous one focused on project proposal preparation. Apart from an overall information about the current financial instruments and programmes for EU external action and the new ones within the EU financial framework 2014-2020, the participants could deepen their knowledge in topics such as how the EU Delegations work and why to engage with them, how to effectively search in the EC system of call for proposals, or what are the various existing types of partners and allies in EC funded projects.

For more information please contact Marie Zázvorková at marie.zazvorkova@fors.cz.


Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS
 

Slovakia Celebrated Development Day

On 18th October 2013, the Slovak NDGO Platform organized the Development Day 2013: Slovakia has been helping in the World for more than 10 Years. Besides the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the event was also organised to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Slovak NGDO Platform and the Slovak Official Development Assistance Programme - SlovakAid.

The program of the event was intended for the general public. The morning workshops offered attractive workshops for pupils who came along with their teachers, starting from production of footballs from plastic bags which children use for example in Kenya and finishing with circus acrobatics. All day long, visitors had an opportunity to stop by at the presentation stands of the members of the Platform and other organisations and institutions connected with the development cooperation and global responsibility, and get to know more about their activities.

The day contained sessions such as the presentation of Slovak actors and projects carried out in the field of development cooperation and global education, creative workshops for children and schools, the development cuisine, development job fair conducted as a living library, a workshop with journalists, photographers and other media representatives who experienced the countries of the Global South and discussed media coverage of development issues and the code on messages and images from developing countries as well.

Photo: The winning photo story
 
Other accompanying activities of the event were screening of films on various global topics and the activities of Slovak NGDOs in developing countries, as well as the presentation of the campaign ŽI FÉR (Live Fair) for a life in a fairer world, launched by the Slovak NGDO Platform in September 2013. The programme was ended by a benefit concert with the participation of Slovak musicians and artists as well as a duo from Senegal who raised attention on the problems of people with disabilities as part of End Exclusion project. During the benefit concert the winners of the 3rd annual photo contest Human Rights in Development Cooperation were awarded by the partners of the competition and the opening of the exhibition of 30 best pictures took place.

The realisation of the event was possible also thanks to the UNDP Trust Fund within the SlovakAid and the European Commission. The Development Day was part of the Development Week which started with an International Conference “10 years of SlovakAid: A Vision of Development Cooperation for a Changing World” organized by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Pontis Foundation, and was finished by a theatre performance “Save Your African”.

More information about the Development Day is available at http://rozvojovyden.mvro.sk/.


Photo above: Stands of Slovak organisations during the Development Day, Slovak NGDO Platform Archive

Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, MVRO