Friday, 21 June 2013

TRIALOG Study Visit on Policy Coherence for Development

All together 16 representatives from 16 different NGOs, representing 11 EU countries met in Brussels between 27th and 30th May to attend a Study Visit organized by TRIALOG. This year the main topic was Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and it was a great opportunity for all the participants to learn more about this topic.

As part of the Study Visit there was a half-day training on explaining the institutional and advocacy aspects in relation to PCD. The training has been delivered by members of the CONCORD PCD working group and it provided the participants with all the necessary knowledge to engage in discussions with representatives of various EU institutions.

One of the first highlights of the visit was the meeting with a representative from the cabinet of Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, Ms. Catherine Ray. During the 4 days the group met also the Directorates General (DG) DevCo, DG Home and DG Trade of the European Commission. A meeting with the Development Secretariat of the European Parliament and a representative from the European External Action Service (EEAS) was also scheduled in order to better understand how the institutions work on development policies and how to ensure coherent policies for development.

A meeting with representatives from the Permanent Representation of Ireland in Brussels was an opportunity to discuss their Presidency of the Council of the EU. The group further met with the Lithuanian Representation to hear about their priorities for the upcoming Presidency starting in July.

The whole Study Visit did not only provide an insight in the working structures of the EU institution, it was also informative and above all, a good opportunity to share and discuss together the activities and processes done on a national level in order to improve coherence for development.

Please visit the TRIALOG website for more information and documentation on the Study Visit. The report will be available there soon.

All photos by TRIALOG:
Above: PCD training with CONCORD
Middle: Meeting with DG Trade
Below: Meeting with MP Ska Keller

Information provided by Paola Prinzis, Maltese CSO Platform SKOP

Bulletin 2013 Published

We are pleased to announce the Bulletin 2013. This year’s issue includes a review of TRIALOG activities, especially regarding the stronger involvement of development CSOs from EU member states in the enlarged EU (countries that joined the EU after 2004). The Bulletin 2013 also highlights relevant policy processes like Latvia’s contributions to a Post-2015 Development Agenda and civil society cooperation in the Black Sea region. Challenges and chances for development cooperation in Croatia are described from a CSO perspective. Furthermore the Bulletin provides an insight to the CSO platform in Lithuania preparing for the upcoming EU presidency.

The Bulletin 2013 is available for download here.

Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD): A Powerful Instrument for Long-term Impact on Sustainable Development

The term ‘Policy Coherence for Development’ was first coined by the OECD/DAC, which worked on translating the concept into policy recommendations in the late 1990s. According to the OECD definition, policy coherence for development means working to ensure that the objectives and results of a government’s development policies are not undermined by other policies of that same government which impact on developing countries, and that these other policies support development objectives, where feasible.

This TRIALOG policy digest will look at some main policy developments concerning PCD in the EU and in other international forums. It will also address some PCD issues on Member States level and discuss the aspects CSOs can address in order to enhance the awareness and commitment to PCD.

The policy digest was written by Paola Prinzis (Maltese CSO Platform SKOP), Andrea Girmanová (Slovak CSO Platform MVRO) and Mirjam Sutrop (TRIALOG).

Download the PCD Policy Digest here.

Find more TRIALOG policy digests on topics such as Beyond-2015 Development Framework or Private Sector in Development on our website.

Information provided by TRIALOG

Estonian Development Sector Celebrated World Day

The Estonian development cooperation organisations from civil society and the public sector celebrated the World Day on June 1, 2013 with a public festival in the main square of the capital city Tallinn.

The World Day festival aims to introduce world cultures to Estonians and raise awareness about human rights and decent life for people across the globe – something every person should be able to enjoy regardless of where they were born. World Day is a free-of-charge open air event for the whole family: musicians and dancers from Estonia, Finland, Guinea, Palestine and Ukraine gave a lively concert, children were entertained with global education games and parents offered food for thought and opportunities to hear stories about decent life across the globe. The event is a chance for active people to gather information and inspiration about why and how you could contribute their time, ideas and knowledge to provide a better life for all people in the world.

The event was organised by the civil society network Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ), and funded by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission.

More information about the event from www.maailmapä and about the organisers from

More photos from the event can be found here.   

All photos by AKÜ.
Information provided by Evelin Andrespok, AKÜ

International Development Strategy of Hungary on its Way

On March 4, 2013 the Hungarian Parliament adopted the proposal of the Hungarian Committee on Foreign Affairs calling on the Hungarian MFA to develop an international development framework strategy until June 30, 2013. The Hungarian Association of NGOs for Development and Humanitarian Aid (HAND) welcomed the decision which had been for a long time one of its main policy recommendations.

During May, the MFA finalised the first draft of the proposed strategy document to be submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. HAND, based on the inputs coming from its members, submitted its reaction to the draft. The document in its current form reflects many of the recommendations Hungarian NGDOs repeatedly made during previous years. The proposed strategy, among other things, foresees the decreasing of the number of partner countries, as well it identifies a limited number of development sectors suitable for Hungarian intervention, it makes references to policy coherence and to the fundamental role that human rights should play in the formulation of the Hungarian development policy and practice.

However, in spite of all the positive elements of the proposed strategy - as NGOs expressed - it does not address the unavoidable reform of the current institutional and legal background of Hungary’s development cooperation. Though the draft makes – rather weak - allusions to the need of a stronger coordinating role of the MFA and of the adoption of a separate development law, it fails to project any specific ideas how these should be achieved. The lack of a clear vision and specific objectives in other aspects of the strategy is clearly the weakest point of the draft. Whether the recommendations of civil society have been taken into consideration will only be seen when the Committee on Foreign Affairs discussed the strategy document since there will be no further consultation prior to the meeting of the Committee on 17th June.

According to the plans of the MFA, in the future this general framework will be broken down into specific actions in form of an action plan -a process which of course HAND will closely follow again.

Information provided by Reka Balogh, HAND

SLOGA is Actively Involved in the Planning of the Future Development of Slovenia

At the government level, a preparation of the national development documents, is taking place, which will, inter alia, serve as the basis for the design of the operational programs of the new European financial perspective. The government has prepared a draft National Programme of Priorities and Investments for 2014 to 2017.

The areas of intervention in the draft document are science, entrepreneurship, green and inclusive society and an efficient public sector and the rule of law. SLOGA, the Slovenian NGDO platform, together with its members responded to the document and made the following suggestions to be included in the daft:
- the inclusion of fair trade priority
- integration of global learning
- the inclusion of international volunteering
- the inclusion of the preparation of the program of harmonization of immigrants based on their skills, gender, culture, religion, and the preparation of programs for more rapid integration into society,
- support for non-governmental sector, including NGO networks (horizontal, thematic and regional networks)
- horizontal integration of international development cooperation and respect for human rights on several priorities.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will prepare a second draft and SLOGA will actively participate in the follow-up meetings and pursue the priorities of its members.

Information provided by Mojca Krisper Figueroa, SLOGA

Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council Starting on July 1st 2013

On 1st July 2013, Lithuania will become the first Baltic state to hold the Presidency of the European Union. Taking it over from Ireland, Lithuania will build on the Irish achievements in tackling problems, guiding the Presidency at a critical juncture while EU institutions seek to conclude key policy dossiers before the European Parliament elections in May 2014 and pass it over to Greece.

Credible, Growing, Open Europe – the main priorities of the Presidency
In order to restore the EU’s economic credibility, the Lithuanian Presidency will strive to make progress towards sounder public finances as it is a key factor of strengthening the ground for financial stability. The implementation and enhancement of agreed reforms will be pushed forward. Following the strategy “Europe 2020”, Lithuania will strive to further strengthen the single market, secure growth and new jobs, particularly wider opportunities for youth employment. Better management of the single market as well as the implementation of applicable rules will also be put into the spotlight. Among other factors that remain crucial to the European economy are the Digital Agenda, more competitive industry, and better conditions for small and medium businesses, research and innovation, the agreement on the multi-annual EU financial perspective for the period of 2014-2020. Lithuania will seek progress in the implementation of EU commitment to finalize internal market for energy in 2014 and thus ensure that after 2015 no EU member state would be excluded from European energy networks. In the field of regional policy, particular attention will be paid to strengthening regional cooperation in order to ensure an effective implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Danube Region as well as sustainable regional development.

Steps for strengthening the EU as a global model of openness and security will be taken as well. Hosting the Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2013 will be key factor on closer integration of EU with Eastern Partners. Very important aspect of openness, which will be taken into account, is the enlargement process, control of the EU’s borders and much better coordination of EU energy policy, especially in the external union dimension.

The Lithuanian Umbrella (LU) of development CSOs will coordinate and implement a Presidency project. The objective of the project is to empower Lithuanian NGDOs to proactively contribute to national ODA policies in reflection to the EU agenda during the Lithuanian Presidency. Specifically a structured dialogue between civil society, Lithuanian decision makers and the EU Institutions should be facilitated. Further the capacities of LU members and other NGDOs should be improved, enabling them to contribute promoting and mainstreaming the topics being high on the EU Development Agenda and Presidencies into the national agendas during the Lithuanian EU Presidency.

For more information about the Lithuanian Presidency, events and activities contact:
Igoris Kononovas -

Information provided by Igoris Kononovas, Lithuanian Umbrella

Mid-term Review of Czech ODA Strategy 2010-2017

In spring, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has started an internal mid-term review of the Czech ODA Strategy 2010-2017 aiming, among others, at reducing the number of 14 priority countries and sectors. In a series of multi-stakeholders roundtables related to several regions, the concrete countries, sectors and aid modalities have been discussed. The roundtables on the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe (Moldova and Georgia) and Asia has already taken place, a roundtable on Africa is planned for autumn.

FoRS - Czech Forum for Development Cooperation is actively engaged in this process. Its members gather around three regions (Africa, Asia and the Balkans) in order to discuss their experience, good and bad practices and prepare joint positions and recommendations for the Czech MFA. The letter plans to present a draft proposal for modification of the current Strategy both in terms of priorities and budget in autumn. It should be reflected in the new ODA Plan for 2015 and the Mid-term Outlook till 2017.

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS

The Debate on the Post-2015 Process and the Role of Civil Society

On 7th and 8th May 2013 SLOGA, the Slovenian NGDO platform organised "The Advocacy Days". The event had a twofold purpose: in the first place, it was to start a tradition of yearly capacity building in the field of advocacy. At the same time, it was used as an opportunity to launch a debate in Slovenia on the future of the world in which we live in, namely the post-2015 framework.

The debate on sustainable development and poverty eradication, tackled during the “Advocacy Breakfast”, made sure to include the widest possible circle of stakeholders so as to ensure a broad exchange of views and experiences. In this respect, SLOGA invited Mr Ben Slay from the UNDP Regional Office in Bratislava, Ms Martina Skok and Ms Ksenija Škrilec from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Mr Gasper Jež from the Centre for International Cooperation and Development.
Mr Slay presented the case of the European neighbourhood, which does not represent the poorest countries in the world, yet offers important lessons learnt to be considered in the new framework. The representatives of the MFA stressed the importance of a universal framework that will address the global issues which can then be adapted to national needs of countries, both developed and developing. The private sector, whose position was presented by Mr Jež is of high importance in the development cooperation, however the private sector does not want to be part of formal structures and frameworks.

The fact is that the discussions on the post-2015 framework just begun. At the moment, it sets out the basic principles of the system. But there are still a lot of unknowns, which are partly the result of the experiment of combining different interrelated areas. Only time will tell if there will be among various stakeholders enough interest to make the necessary changes that will enable sustainability and tackle inequalities. The consultation showed that people and governments all too often pursue their selfish interests, which are a major cause for the state of the world today. In order to create a framework that will lead to the desired changes, it is necessary to re-consider the lifestyle and values that lead our ways of life. It also requires the inclusion of a greater number of different stakeholders in the discussion, because we are all involved in its implementation.

The “Advocacy Days” focused on two training sessions on advocacy and campaigning (basic and higher level), conducted by the Director of Action Aid Greece Mr Gerasimos Kouvaras.

Photo by SLOGA: Panel during the Advocacy Breakfast.
Information provided by SLOGA

Every Day a Journalist - One Day an NGO Worker

SLOGA, the Slovenian NGDO platform has joined a consortium of national NGO networks in a media campaign called “Every day a journalist - one day an NGO worker”, which is coordinated by the national NGO network – CNVOS. The campaign is an opportunity for various NGOs to increase their visibility in media and raise public awareness about NGO related issues and their role in society.

The beginning of the campaign was marked by the so-called press breakfast, which took place on 10th May simultaneously in seven cities across Slovenia. The press breakfast in Ljubljana was co-organized by SLOGA and attended by 7 development NGOs – members of SLOGA Platform. Together with other NGOs they presented their work to journalists and other media representatives and invited them to spend one day in their organizations.

Most of the journalists were thrilled about the idea to assist NGOs in preparation of development education workshop for school children, to prepare a multicultural catering or solve a real-life case of discrimination. The articles that will result from this cooperation will participate in a contest which will finish in the Festival of NGOs – LUPA by announcement of the best media article about NGOs.

Photo by SLOGA
Information provided by Aleš Rovšnik, SLOGA

Polish Schoolbooks Evaluated by Development NGOs

When it comes to global education, schoolbooks in Poland may turn out bitterly disappointing. The global South and its people are generally described in a language, which ranges from inept to offensive. The information touching upon global issues is in some cases unsound and worse even, in many cases it is lacking where it would be most appropriate. And all this despite guidelines on global education included in the core curriculum by the Polish Ministry of Education. Therefore, the Global Education Working Group of Grupa Zagranica (Polish NGDO platform) decided to conduct a review of textbooks used in the secondary education.

In the first instance, geography textbooks will be looked at. Geography is a subject, where the “rest of the world” is most likely discussed. Secondly, textbooks used in Civic Education classes will be reviewed. This is a subject well-suited to discuss global issues, but the opportunity to do so is often missed. At the moment, the method is being designed. On one hand, Global Education working group representatives will check in how far textbooks available match global education core curriculum defined by the Polish Ministry of Education. On the other hand, the way which the issues are presented will be evaluated. It will be considered, whether the information related to the global South is not one-sided (e.g. focusing exclusively on poverty), whether there is sufficient explanation of causes and consequences of problems described and what language is being used.

Also the pictures will come under scrutiny (basing on the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages), because very often they follow most simplistic stereotypes. This first phase of the project is foreseen to take up to one year. In the future more subjects may be considered.

Hopefully, the recommendations will be passed on to the authors, editors and decisive persons and find their way into the textbooks.

More information: Magdalena Trojanek,

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica

Mapping Polish NGOs Activity in Africa

The Africa Working Group of Grupa Zagranica (Polish NGDO platform) initiated a mapping of projects run by Polish NGOs in Africa.

There are several aims for this action. Firstly, it can enable organizations to exchange knowledge and learn from each other’s experience. Secondly, it can serve to identify areas of possible cooperation among Polish NGOs. Thirdly, it should help to recognize strengths and weaknesses of Polish developmental sector. And lastly, such an overview can show what institutional support or other inputs may be useful from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other administration units.

Currently a survey is being circulated to collect information on the projects in question. The mapping should cover activities conducted since 2008. All NGOs are welcome to participate and share. The activity is carried out in the framework the TRIALOG.

More information: Magdalena Trojanek,

Information provided by Magdalena Trojanek, Grupa Zagranica

Human Security at Community Level – Is There a Role for NGOs?

The Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation LAPAS is starting an in-depth research on the concept of human security at community level. Unless the concept of human security has been examined for long time, there is still a question on ability to adapt it at very practical level.

Looking at community level as the first stage of the creation of interdependant relations for human security of individuals, LAPAS has the intention to develop a practical tool for the widespread use for communities in Latvia and abroad. To ensure the applicability of the tool, the research includes a validation in several communities in Latvia. Besides the development of practical application, the research will examine the specific role of NGOs as formal structures in establishment human security.

The results of the research are expected at the beginning of 2014. The project is financed by the EEA Financial Mechnanism 2009-2014.

For more information please contact director of LAPAS Inese Vaivare:

Information provided by Inese Vaivare, LAPAS

CONCORD: 10 Years of Putting Members, People and Partners First

Over 200 participants from across Europe and the world gathered for the 10th CONCORD General Assembly “10 years of putting members, people and partners first” on 5-6 June in Brussels.

CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development and partner of TRIALOG, welcomed its global partners from the International Federation of NGO Platforms (FIP) for a debate on the post-2015 development framework. Many participants agreed that the new framework needs to have a greater focus on human rights and shifting the development focus away from just economic growth.

During spring 2013 a number of initiatives have contributed to the process of establishing a new political narrative for the development sector. CONCORD members, board, secretariat and associates have asked questions, debated their concerns and stated their opinions on how to establish a new ambition for the development sector.

This is a visual presentation of the process.

Following the main part of the General Assembly, many members took to the Grand Place in the centre of Brussels to talk to European citizens to hear their views on global development. CONCORD filmed a series of interviews which will be published on their website.

CONCORD was delighted to bring together many members, past and present, for a 10th Anniversary Gathering. EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, along with other guests from the EU institutions, stopped by to congratulate European NGOs on their work over the last decade.

CONCORD has published a special 10th Anniversary Publication which gathers testimonies from members and important institutional figures who have been involved in shaping Concord’s work over the last 10 years. The publication includes contributions from CONCORD's global partners and some forward looking pieces looking at the challenges for NGOs in the coming years.

Read and download the Anniversary Publication here.

All photos by CONCORD
Source: CONCORD Member to Member Newsletter from 11 June 2013

Maltese Word Fest 2013: Fair Trade for Social Inclusion

Like every year, the traditional annual “Fair Trade Fest”, organized by Koperattiva Kummerc Gust (KKG) a local Maltese NGO, took place in Valletta on 25th of May.It involved many local NGOs and stakeholders interested in cooperation and social activities.

This event focused on the theme of “Fair Trade and Social Exclusion” and has been realized with the important support of the Third World Group’s members, a local NGO.

Moreover this year fair trade was connected with other two important events: the African Liberation Day and Occupy Monsanto. The first event, organized by Migrants Network for Equality, is a steady appointment, also celebrated in different African countries, USA and UK, to commemorate the African Liberation Day and give to this continent the right consideration. The Occupy Monsanto event was a protest organized by “March Against Monsanto”, a group of organizations connected by the goal to condemn the actions of food’s genetic modification executed by the multinational company Monsanto.

During the whole day it was possible to visit the different stands organized by participating NGOs and purchase organic products at market stands. Moreover a lot of socio-cultural activities took place, like a forum on poverty and a discussion on the topic of“Multinationals and Nature: ecosystem’s destruction and poverty’s increase”. The evening ended with yoga lesson, music and dance, as well as food degustation from different countries and cultures.

Photos provided by SKOP, Maltese NGDO Platform
Information provided by Marco Vincenzo Armento (KKG) Koperattiva Kummerc Gust

Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD)

The Maltese NGO KOPIN was invited by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change as one of the observer NGOs to attend the meeting of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) held in Malta on 10-12th June 2013.

The MCSD is set up within the UNEP/MAP* framework and is made up of 21 permanent members representing each of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, as well as a number of rotating representatives from the wider community, including environment and development NGOs active at the Mediterranean level.

The main subject of the meeting was the implications of Rio+20 for the Mediterranean. The outcomes of the World Conference on Sustainable Development, especially in relation to water, sustainable consumption and production (SCP), and governance are highly relevant for the Mediterranean region. Discussions at the MCSD meeting aimed at drafting proposals that will enable the region to fully benefit from the Rio+20 outcomes and registering progress on achieving sustainable development. It also offered opportunities for exchange of experiences on sustainable development on a regional and national level, thus also providing networking and learning opportunities.

One of the documents that were at the centre of the discussion was “The Mediterranean SCP Roadmap”. This delineates a strategic process to consolidate the Mediterranean’s world’s leading role in the shift to Sustainable patterns of Consumption and Production. Plan Bleu (the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Center) presented a preliminary update on the main indicators for the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development. The report concerns the 34 priority indicators selected in MSSD to monitor the progress made by the Mediterranean countries regarding the main objectives defined for nine priority issues.
1. Improving integrated water resource and demand management;
2. Managing energy demand and mitigate the effects of climate change;
3. Ensuring sustainable mobility through appropriate transport management;
4. Promoting sustainable tourism;
5. Promoting sustainable agricultural and rural development;
6. Promoting sustainable urban development;
7. Promoting sustainable management of the sea and coastal areas and taking urgent action to put an end to the degradation of coastal zones;
8. Strengthening solidarity, commitment and financing for a sustainable development at regional, national and local levels;
9. Strengthening human capital and actors` involvement: research, training, education, awareness-raising and participation.

For any information please contact  

* UNEP is the United Nations environment programme/Mediterranean Action Plan for the Barcelona convention. The MAP is the Mediterranean Action Plan - a regional cooperative effort involving 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the European Union. Through the MAP, these Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols are determined to meet the challenges of protecting the marine and coastal environment while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.

Information provided by William Grech, KOPIN

Global Dimension in Social Sciences Subjects in Formal Education

The Education Development Center (member of Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation LAPAS) has started to implement a project aiming at the integration of development education (DE) themes across the Social Sciences curriculum, the cooperation with national educational authorities to institutionalize DE in formal education, building a network among development education experts in Latvia, Estonia, the UK and other EU countries, and – the development of methodological materials and tools for measuring effectiveness.

In March 2013, the study on the presence of global education in social sciences has been started and is looking at the situation in Great Britain, Poland, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus. The added value of the project is that it will not be limited to theoretical exercises only but will have activities at community level working with teams of teachers, students and other active community people.

The activities are implemented by the lead partner – the Education Development Center and project partners - LEEDS DEC (United Kingdom), Mondo (Estonia) un the British Council in Latvia. The duration of the project is 3 years, from January 2013 to December 2015 and it is implemented in the framework of the European Union Cooperation office „EuropeAid” with the financial support from the European Union.

For more information on the project , please visit this website.

Photo provided by IAC, in the picture: project team.
Information provided by Inese Vaivare, LAPAS

Millennium Development Goals Project Presented in Romania

The project “Millennium Development Goals Achievement. Involving high school students and educators in development education programmes and project” of the Romanian NGO APSD – Agenda 21 was presented during the 7th edition of the International Conference “Challenges of the Knowledge Society – CKS 2013”, organized by “Nicolae Titulescu” University of Bucharest, between 17th and 18th May 2013.

Ms. Elena Nedelcu, Associated Professor at the University of Bucharest and member of the national coordination team of the project, analysed the results of the project as a case study for her scientific article “Cooperation and Education for Sustainable Development in the Globalization Era” (ISSN 2068-7796). The article explores the topic of sustainable development seen as a fundamental objective of the millennium. The first part of the article offers a theoretical analysis of three main variables and the connection between them: globalization, democratization and development. The second part of the article focuses on the importance and the practice of sustainable development during the globalization era. This second part analyses the case of APSD-Agenda 21 as an example of the involvement of civil society in education for sustainable development in Romania, focusing on the activities and the results of the project.

The project is co-financed by the European Commission through the program Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development. Public Awareness and education for development in Europe.

Contact person for the project is Nina Cugler, executive president APSD-Agenda 21,at:

Information provided by FOND, Romanian Development CSO Platform

New Strategies for Learning Environments in Romania

The rising generation of students are information rich, but experience poor. Projects developed by the non-governmental organization ‘Activi pentru Viitor’ (Active for the future) address the separation of school from its community with the purpose of enabling real world experiences, collaboration and critical thinking.

In the past months, our NGO organized hands-on workshops in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) where through exploration, dialogue-orientated, learn-centred and participatory methodologies, children, together with their parents, were inspired and capable to grasp the relationship with the world around us.

While representing Bucharest city at the annual conference of the European network of science centres and museums, in June 2013, the NGO ‘Active for the future’ developed new strategies for learning environments. Our NGO aims at producing a mobile lab-on-wheels that will reach multiple areas inside and outside Romanian boarders to foster innovation and encourage communities to share their skills and expertise. By being part of this process, local actors from different cities will help develop practices that strengthen the emergence of a unified actor for change.

Photo by Active for the Future
Information provided by Miruna Amza, Active for the Future 

Looking Ahead: European Parliament Elections in 2014

The next European Parliament Elections are approaching quickly. During 22-25 May 2014 citizens of the 28 EU member states will get the chance to elect their representatives to the European Parliament during 2014-2019. The elections are an opportunity to influence those to be elected and get their commitment to helping to create lasting solutions to injustice and poverty. The elections are also a good time for mobilizing citizens to demand a Europe that deals with inequalities and poverty in Europe and outside its borders.

A lot is at stake during these elections and the new election outcomes could have serious consequence to European development policies. The political sentiments in Europe, which include strong anti-European as well as anti-immigration and populists movements, could result in election outcomes that greatly change the political landscape of the European politics. David Earnshaw, talking at the March CONCORD Policy Forum indicated that some fear that the next European Parliament will be made up of up to 30-40% of extremist, racist, populist or generally anti-establishment party groups like Italy’s Five Star Movement, UK Independence Party or the “Pirate Party”.

Many European as well as national political parties are already preparing and deciding on their election manifestos for the next European elections as well as selecting their candidates. The more active election campaign period is expected to start in January 2014. Now there is the opportunity for civil society organisations to make sure development cooperation issues are included and addressed adequately in the election manifestos. This is what many development NGOs and NDGO platforms are doing at the moment. On the European level, a European Parliament Elections Task Force has been established at CONCORD to jointly convey the European development NGOs’ messages to European politicians, citizens and the media.

For more information about the CONCORD European Parliament Election Task Force contact Sabine Terlecki:

Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Seminar on Unconventional Partnerships for Sustainable Development

On June 25th, FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Cooperation in cooperation with Glopolis, the association of Czech environmental NGOs, Green Circle and the UN Information Centre Prague organises the seminar “Unconventional partnerships and domestic transformation: Challenges and opportunities for environmental and development NGOs”.

The aim of the event is to provide space for a political reflection on global and national tendencies in the field of sustainable development and for a discussion about the key changes necessary in the Czech Republic (e. g. in terms of social capital, better governance, or green economy) and concrete ways of cooperation between NGOs and businesses.

Contact person: Marie Zázvorková,

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS

Opportunities for Regional Cooperation at the Black Sea

The Romanian NGDO platform FOND is organising a debate on “Opportunities for Regional Cooperation at the Black Sea”. The event, which will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 26th of June 2013, aims at putting into perspective how the Black Sea regional cooperation is seen at the European level and to promote civil society’s cooperation initiatives in the Black Sea Region.

This initiative represents a follow-up to the 5th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum (October 2012) and will include the presentation of a research paper on the impact of the Forum’s first four editions (2008-2011).

More information here.

To register, please contact Adriana Zaharia at

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

Call for Papers: 10 Years of SlovakAid

The Pontis Foundation would like to bring to your attention the CALL FOR PAPERS for the international conference "10 Years of SlovakAid: A Vision of Development Cooperation for a Changing World". The conference will be held on 16 - 17 October 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava.

Our aim is to stimulate a professional dialogue between governmental, non-governmental, academic and private sectors and media. The conference will give space to experts from Slovakia and abroad to search for innovative ideas and new opportunities for Slovak development agenda. The analysis of the outcomes and the new trends in the Slovak development cooperation will be focused on the topics of transmission of the transition experience primarily towards the countries of the Eastern Partnership and the Balkans, democratization challenges and opportunities in the Southern Neighbourhood and new trends in development cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa.

We would like to inform you about the opportunity to present your paper at the conference. More information about the conference topics can be found on our website.

The deadline for applications and submitting final copies of papers is August 30, 2013.

Information provided by Pontis Foundation

Report: Civil Society Transformations on the Way to the EU

The summary report of the TACSO conference "Civil Society Transformations on the Way to the EU", where TRIALOG was present is available online.

The Conference presented the experiences and challenges, which the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are facing in the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey, during the European Union (EU) accession process. TRIALOG director Christine Bedoya gave an input on TRIALOG's experience in "Linking EU and WBT through Development Cooperation".

Information provided by TRIALOG