After the initial success of its predecessor events in 2006, 2010, and 2011, TRIALOG hosted its fourth Partnership Fair from 13th to 15th March at the Kardinal König Haus in Vienna. In all, the conference counted nearly 120 participants from 84 organisations working in the development cooperation sector (NGDOs), coming from both old and new member states of the European Union.
The Fair successfully created an arena for all of these NGDO representatives to learn, network, find partners, create joint projects and work on project proposals that are to be submitted to the European Commission in the course of the coming call on Development Education.
One of the highlights and also a novelty at the Partnership Fair was the Introductory Session by UK consultant Greta Jensen, “How to write a successful project proposal” before the actual event: This meeting provided participants with useful tips and advice when it comes to the tricky task of developing project proposals and the logical framework. After this energetic start it was eventually time for the official opening session, starring Christine Bedoya, Director of TRIALOG, Erwin Eder, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Markus Pirchner, Head of Sector DevCO D2, European Commission, and Helmuth Hartmeyer, Director Funding Civil Society, ADA.
Another highlight was, without doubt, the “Market Place”, where participants were given the opportunity to display information material of their organisations and to network intensively. The room was buzzing with highly motivated NGDO representatives trying to meet as many colleagues from all over Europe as possible and maybe already create potential partnerships.
This effort was continued during the following two days, when participants were thematically divided into so-called “Working Groups” and then spent the rest of the Fair trying to connect, find common goals in Development Education, formulate envisaged joint project proposals and, finally, sign a Pre-Partnership Agreement. In the end, not less than 15 ideas found their way into such agreements, all of them reflecting the vast diversity of development education themes discussed at the Partnership Fair. “Society in movement: rising awareness and activation for an integrated approach to water, climate change and environmental migration”, “EU Coalition for Change - An advocacy and campaign on PCD and Beyond 2015 Framework”, or “Mobilising pan-European support for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Development” may serve as good examples to demonstrate the wide range of variety of the Pre-Partnership Agreements.
Throughout the whole three days of the Partnership Fair, the spirit of collegiality and cooperation was predominant among the participants. What now remains to be seen is whether this spirit will further prevail and enable further elaboration of joint project and - in the end - successful EC acceptance of the project proposals. TRIALOG, of course, will be there, providing support to the partners in order to achieve this goal - and is looking forward to future Partnership Fairs to come!
Find the report, presentations, video statements of participants and the evaluation on our website.
In the pictures above: participants in planary, during the Market Place and during Working Groups
Information provided by Katharina Schreiber, TRIALOG