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.

(-) 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

Slovak AidWatch Report

In July 2013 a national Slovak AidWatch Report on Development Assistance in 2012 was issued by the Slovak NDGO Platform. The report deals with quantitative and qualitative aspects of Slovak official development assistance. It provides a comparison with previous years and other EU12 countries, analyses territorial and sectoral priorities.

The report also includes sections devoted to aid transparency and policy coherence for development. The last part offers recommendations for the future direction of the Slovak development cooperation.

The report can be accessed at the website www.mvro.sk or directly here.

The press release related to the report can be found here (in Slovak only).

Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, MVRO

New CONCORD Director: Seamus Jeffreson

.We are pleased to announce that newly appointed CONCORD Director Seamus Jeffreson has now started his position as of 1 October, which will include a two month handover period in the Secretariat with outgoing Director Olivier Consolo until December. TRIALOG says thank you to Olivier and wishes him all the best for his future.

Seamus has 20 years’ experience in EU international development and humanitarian work in strategy, programme development, analysis and reporting, project management, technical assistance, training and representation. He joins CONCORD following working for 8 years in Ethiopia and the Middle East with various NGOs including the International Medical Corps, CARE, Trocaire and Cafod. He has also worked in Brussels for several years working on Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including some time at the European Commission.

Seamus is strongly committed to civil society as a collective force for positive change. He is eager to get to know the confederation better, its diverse needs and capacities. During the handover period and later this coming winter, Seamus looks forward to meeting many members in person, and will for this purpose travel to several national platforms and meet the members based in Brussels.

TRIALOG sends a very warm welcome to Seamus Jefferson and is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.

Photo: Seamus Jeffreson, CONCORD

Source: CONCORD Member to Member newsletter, 1 October 2013

Humanitarian Congress Organized by Czech NGOs and Academia

The Humanitarian Congress is a unique event organized by a group of NGOs already for the second time, this year on 11 October 2013 in the Czech town of Olomouc. The congress is organized by several Czech NGOs, academic institutions (ADRA, Caritas Czech Republic, College of Social Work in Olomouc, Czech Red Cross, Diaconia ECCB – Centre of Humanitarian and Development Aid, Diocesan centre of Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc, Médecins Sans Frontières, People in Need, Sts Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology) and the platform of Czech development NGOs FoRS.

The congress was open to the wide range of audience; it brought together leading experts from humanitarian, non-governmental and international organizations, universities and media. The Humanitarian Congress is also an international platform for the exchange of information, experience and ideas related to humanitarian help. Czech and foreign practitioners and researchers from a multitude of backgrounds presented their experiences and concerns through a series of panel discussions and workshops. Discussion topics included: Resilience: New Paradigm Or the Old One in a New Suit?, Syria – Humanitarian Aid In Armed Conflict, New Technologies, Development Of Humanitarian Aid In European Context, Sudden Onset Versus Slow Onset Disasters, Czech Humanitarian Aid and others.

The use of new technologies in the humanitarian practice
The seminar Use of new technologies in the humanitarian practice took place on the occasion of the second Humanitarian congress. Over the last 10 years new technical possibilities have emerged, like Geographic Information System (GIS), satellite remote sensing, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), mobile phone applications, etc. Much of this knowledge is available at academic institutions and companies. How can we identify synergies, how can we apply them in the field, where they could make a real difference? These specific topics and questions were discussed at this seminar, for example GIS – satellite technology, disaster mapping, groundwater exploration, surface; mobile phones – technology & application, added value for aid organizations and UAV – presentation of UAV’s, application, perception.

More information about the program and speakers can be found here.
The videos from the panel discussions will be also uploaded here soon.

Contact person: Adéla Stiborová (adela.stiborova@fors.cz)
Photo: Panel during the Humanitarian Congress, FoRS

Information provided by Adéla Stiborová, FoRS

“Bucharest Statement” on Regional Cooperation for Child Protection

ChildPact, the Regional Coalition for Child Protection in the wider Black Sea area, hosted a special panel at the Black Sea NGO Forum (Bucharest, 4-6 September 2013). Government officials from six ChildPact countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Serbia) and civil society representatives discussed the ChildPact’s proposal to build a Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Child Protection in the region and agreed that regional cooperation is an important factor in achieving the next level of progress in child protection reforms.

Codrin Scutaru,Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly opened the panel, providing an overview of some recent developments in the Romanian system of child protection. He acknowledged the partnership between Government and NGOs: “I am very concerned about child poverty, the most dangerous kind of poverty. NGOs have given us models for child protection. The state has a duty to find adequate answers to our lessons in child protection”.

At the end of the event, the “Bucharest Statement” to express the commitment and determination of involved stakeholders in taking co-ordinated actions towards the strengthening of regional cooperation for child protection was adopted.

You can read the Bucharest Declaration here.
You can watch a video about the event here.
For more information about ChildPact, please visit the website www.childpact.org.

Contact Persons:
Roxana Todea, Press Officer, todea.roxana@gmail.comor
MirelaOprea, ChildPact Secretary General, mirela_oprea@wvi.org.

Photo: Panel during the Black Sea NGO Forum, Child Pact

Information provided by Roxana Todea, ChildPact

Prevention of and Fight Against Child Trafficking in Malta

On the 25th of September, KOPIN organised the second multi-stakeholder roundtable on the prevention of and fight against trafficking of children in Malta, in the framework of its project Catch&Sustain. The meeting was held during the morning at Europe House in Valletta, and saw the participation of different stakeholders, among which UNHCR and Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs MHAS.

An analysis of existing guidelines and recommendations on detection, empowerment and data collection of child trafficking cases in Malta was presented by Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci from People for Change, followed by the presentation of the “Destination Unknown Campaign (DUC)” for the protection of children on the move, organised by Terre des Hommes International Federation.

For more information on DUC, please visit http://destination-unknown.org/ or contact Federica Di Giulio at federica.digiulio@kopin.org.

Article provided by Federica Di Giulio, KOPIN

Organisation for Friendship in Diversity Summer Camp in Malta

OFD is a youth run Maltese NGO that seeks to promote the value of cultural diversity and build relationships across different backgrounds to foster respect, and understanding. This summer for the fifth consecutive year OFD has organised a children's summer camp which is free of charge and open to children from all backgrounds. An international group of approximately 70 children between the ages of 3 and 12 from Maltese, migrant, and refugee families enjoyed 2 weeks packed with creative, play and educational activities, organised by over 35 volunteers and other NGOs that OFD contacts to extend the remit and reach of its work.

Giving the children space to make friends, learn and play together, OFD also succeeds in connecting youth with the issue of migration, and introducing families through the interaction of their children. An interesting photographic exhibition documents the activities of the summer camp. The activity is supported by the Youth In Action Programme and the Embassy of the United States in Malta together with a number of local sponsors and partners.

For more information please contact Alba Cauchi at alba.cauchi@gmail.com

Photo: OFD Summer Camp 2013

Article provided by Alba Cauchi, OFD

A.R.T. Fusion hosted “Act for What You Believe” Training in Romania

Between 30 September and 7 October 2013 A.R.T. Fusion organized at Gura Diham (Busteni) the second training course within the “Act for What You Believe” project which aims to develop advanced competencies in forum theatre methodology. The project is financed through Youth in Action Program of European Commission.

National teams from Bulgaria, Ghana, Romania, Slovenia, Tanzania and Uganda had implemented their practice phase based on forum theatre tackling relevant social problems from their communities. Now they will sharpen and deepen their competencies in order to have even a higher impact in their countries and to become independent forum theatre practitioners.

After a couple of months allocated to the practice phase the multipliers looked eager to reconnect with the intercontinental network of forum theatre. Based on the learning needs analyse in this training they:
- Shared their experience from the practice phase
- Discussed about the biggest challenges and learning points
- Developed facilitation skills for preparatory exercises in Forum Theatre, evaluation and impact assessment skills of forum theatre
- Reflected on their own performances and bring improvements to them
- Took part in an open space where any Forum Theatre aspect of their wish could be discussed
- Upgraded their data base of exercises and forum theatre games
- Developed an action plan for the second part of the practice phase.

Following this training, until the end of November, each country team will put in practice their upgraded competencies by improving their performances or develop new plays. Each partner practice phase experiences will be included in a manual of working with forum theatre method in intercontinental context and a movie of best practices.

For more information about this project please contact A.R.T. Fusion team at art_fusion_romania@yahoo.com  

Photo: A.R.T. Fusion Workshop 2013.

Information provided by Andreea Tudorache, ART Fusion

Water Summit in the City of Baths

The Budapest Water Summit (BWS) took place in the Hungarian capital, also famous for its public baths, between 8th and 11th of October, 2013. Many water-policy related actors from relevant UN bodies through important civil society and business actors to specific country high level representations gathered at this occasion in Budapest.

With the MDGs coming to an end soon, and as climate change clouds get darker and darker it was high time for BWS „envisaged as a policy forum to facilitate consensus building amongst stakeholders concerning water and sanitation policy goals.” Besides the plenary discussions (focusing on five key areas- check pages 4-5 here), there were forums on : Science’s, Youth’s, Business Leaders’ and Civil Society’s, plus a Philantrophy Roundtable and a Water and Sanitation EXPO.

Supported by NGOs and academics, WHO and UNICEF already defined targets and indicators for the „post 2015” goals on access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Their visions for 2040 are: „• No one practices open defecation; • Everyone has safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home; • All schools and health centers have water, sanitation and hygiene; • Water, sanitation and hygiene are sustainable and inequalities have been progressively eliminated.”

Hygiene issues are very hard to put on the table. No wonder, male majority was overwhelming at this Summit too. Gender perspective gains more and more weight, but it should be incorporated cross cuttingly into all water issues. I would certainly challenge everybody to look deeper into water issues. As a quick starter here is a proposed indicator for measuring improved drinking-water services: „Percentage of population using an improved source with a total collection time of 30 minutes or less for a roundtrip including queuing.” People queue for water, one in three will not have access to a toilet by 2015 and a child dies every 20 seconds due to water related problems. Sometimes I would like to see all participants of events like the BWS, myself included, queueing for a soap and a handwash, only for about ten minutes, few times a day, again and again!

Information provided Péter Rohonyi – Eisenhower Fellow, DemNet   

Brainstorming with the EC on IPA Civil Society Support: Converging Views

On 25 September, BCSDN in partnership with ENNA organized a brainstorming workshop at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on IPA civil society support for the financial period 2014-2020. As a basis for discussion, the analysis of the IPA Civil Society Facility (CSF) support 2007-2011 commitment was presented and a panel discussion on 4 issues: CSO capacity-building, grant-making, support to grass-root and informal citizens’ initiatives, and support to networks were discussed.

The main findings of the analysis show that while the European Commission has evolved its support towards the need of civil society in enlargement countries, further improvements are needed to live up to the basic principles of the IPA CSF, i.e. 2% of IPA to be directed to support for civil society and have grants (sub-grants) as the dominant aid modality of support. Moreover, the need and the value of institutional support (operating grants) for CSOs and especially network-building as well as the need to have CSOs as main actors/implementers of assistance have been highlighted as the two main novelties that should be introduced into the new programming cycle.

Nicola Bertolini, speaking on behalf of the Commission, concluded the workshop with a promising entry to the consultations for IPA 2014-2020: “the real time to make us think about this is now” and “we share the majority of your comments made”. The full Agenda as well as the Background Paper for the workshop can be found by following the links. The full report of the workshop will be available in the coming days.

Source: BCSDN  

Cooperation Between Public Administration and Civil Society in Serbia

On 2nd October 2013, the presentation of the draft regulation on the standards of cooperation between public administration and civil society and the participation of CSOs in decision-making processes was organized for the representatives of the governmental institutions, independent institutions, and CSOs in Belgrade. Ivana Ćirković, Director of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, emphasized that this document is the product of the comparative analyses of the mechanisms and methods of cooperation between governmental bodies and CSOs, in the context of regional and European experience and practice. Participants had general positive comments on the draft of the document and number of constructive suggestions. After collection of all comments and suggestions the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society will publish the final text of the Regulations.

Source: BCSN Newsletter E-Mail Alerts nr. 279, October 2013

Albania and the European Union – No Time to Depart from the ‘Carrot and Stick’ Approach

In an article published on 16 September, 2013 policy analyst Corina Stratulat and policy analyst as well as Balkan Civil Society Development Network BCSDN board member Gjergji Vurmo argue that the smooth handover of power, in combination with Albania’s recent strides to meet EU conditions, should help to reboot and upgrade the country’s relationship with the Union. To meet its end of the bargain, Brussels should now reciprocate by dovetailing the expected reward of ‘candidate status’ by the end of the year with a better calibrated conditionality for Albania. The article further explores the sticks and carrots within the context of this relationship. This leads the authors to conclude that the case of Albania highlights at present the fact that to keep the enlargement ball rolling, real engagement is needed both from the aspiring Balkan countries and the EU itself. They further conclude that the ‘carrot and stick’ policy remains a tried and tested approach and ask whether the Union hold up its end of the deal.

The full article is available here.   

Source: BCSDN   

There is an Alternative: Development Education Conference for South Eastern Europe

The Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA, in cooperation with the North-South Centre, is organising a regional conference on Global Education (GE) for South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean in Ljubljana from 4-5 December 2013.

Under the title TIA - There is an Alternative, concepts of global education, global citizenship and national identity throughout the region of South Eastern Europe will be discussed. The goal is 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.

Framework of the Conference: The Conference is a follow-up event of the second Global Education congress held in Lisbon in September 2012 and part of three regional seminars. Having the five areas of work covered by the GE Congress strategic recommendations as a frame-work, each seminar should assess the GE overall situation and the impact of existing national GE strategies.

The time of crisis has opened a window for a serious re-thinking of the ways in which states, societies and people deal with global challenges. This tipping point represents a tipping point for global education as well. The policies and principles that were developed in the past no longer serve a truly sustainable and equitable future and the plurality of voices in GE debate grows daily. For global education to be effective it is particularly important to speak a language that is shared with its target groups in their cultural and historic background. The participants will be invited to co-create policies and principles of GE that have a particular value for the countries from the region. Inspiring GE practices will serve as guidelines and inspiration.

Participants: Approximately 60 people are expected to attend the seminar from the following target countries:
a) Main target EU NMS countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Slovenia
b) Western Balkan Countries members to NSC - CoE: Serbia, Montenegro
c) other NGO representatives from other NMS

Conference Language will be in English and there will be no translation provided. Travel and Accommodation costs for limited number of participants will be covered – NGO participants from group a) and b) could apply for travel and accommodation costs reimbursement, while the participants from group c) for accommodation only.

For the coverage of those costs as well for any other information, please contact SLOGA  at conference@sloga-platform.org.

Information provided by SLOGA

CONCORD Conference: EU Development Aid to 2020

CONCORD will organize a public Conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 in the afternoon of the 13th of November, including the launch of its new MFF report and a panel with key representatives from different EU institutions that have been involved in the MFF and programming process.

Over the last 3 years, CONCORD has closely followed and influenced the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, the discussion on the financial allocations and the design of the development related instruments. At the end of 2013, the inter-institutional negotiations are expected to come to an end. The programming process will approach its final yet decisive stage during which all EU institutions are expected to engage in a Strategic Dialogue on country, regional and thematic programmes, before they will be adopted and implemented for a 7-year period and help shape the Post-2015 development framework.

For this reason, CONCORD would like to assess the extent to which EU development commitments have been implemented in the final outcome documents as well as the programming process and formulate key recommendations for the EU institutions to further improve this implementation in the near and longer term future. In addition, CONCORD wants to inform development actors about the main changes, strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities for the period up to 2020.

On the 14th, a capacity building workshop will be organized for CONCORD members only, where we would assess more in-depth the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in the final outcome documents and the programming process. Deadline for registrations: Friday 25th of October 2013 Please note that seats are limited so register as soon as possible.

More information and registration here: http://www.amiando.com/TVZWWTM.html

Contact person in CONCORD is Claire Guénon des Mesnards at Claire.desmesnards@concordeurope.org

Source: CONCORD Member to Member newsletter, 1 October 2013

2013 Edition of the Lisbon Forum

The 2013 edition of the Lisbon Forum will be held on 6-7 November in the Ismaili Centre in Lisbon under the theme “Valuing civil society as actor of governance: Perspectives for the South Mediterranean”. It is organised in co-operation with Anna Lindh Foundation, IDEA and Aga Khan Development Network in the framework of the Joint EU/CoE Programme “Strengthening democratic reform in the southern Neighbourhood”.

Document of presentation here.

More information about the past editions of the Lisbon Forum: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/LisbonForum_en.asp

Source: North-South Centre of the Council of Europe Newsletter "One World, Our World", September/October 2013.   


AidEx brings together the many crucial organisations working in aid delivery, in order to discuss obstacles and together plan better strategies and implement ideas from 13-14 November 2013. AidEx is an international humanitarian and development aid event. Held annually in Brussels, it includes a leading conference, exhibition and programme for practical workshops to help professionals within the community improve the efficiency and sustainability of aid. Sadly, the number and scale of crises has increased and for the first time traditional donors are opening up to the commercial world, seeking new partnerships and assistance from business.

AidEx is an important platform, bringing together many crucial organisations both from civil society and the commercial sector, in order to discuss best practice, the challenges and the most suitable road-map for the way ahead. Your presence at AidEx will allow you to interact with over 2,000 professionals from the aid community, network with peers and engage directly with many suppliers of essential equipment and services for humanitarian disaster relief and longer-term development aid

More information and registration here: http://www.aid-expo.com/default.aspx

Source: CONCORD Member to Member newsletter from 15 October 2015

AidWatch Report 2013: European Aid to Poor Countries is Stalling

European aid to poor countries is stalling two years ahead of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals deadline, with aid cut or stagnant in 19 member states reveals the new Concord AidWatch report. The report looks at the quality and quantity of EU aid, with analysis showing that the funding gap to reach the UN target stands at €36billion.

European aid going backwards, despite unique role
The EU-27 countries delivered €50.6 billion or 0.39% of EU’s gross national income in aid in 2012, a 4% drop compared to previous year. EU aid has fallen to its lowest levels since 2007 with AidWatch projections showing that total aid is expected to remain almost stagnant at approximately 0.43% of GNI.by 2013-2014. Wiske Jult from the Belgian NGO platform 11.11.11 said: “Effective aid plays a unique role and European countries should not shy away from their role in tackling global poverty. Some countries such as Belgium however are making development aid their prime budget cuts, despite talking up global development on the international stage at the United Nations. These double standards send the wrong message to developing countries.”

EU countries that buck the trend
This report shows that several countries have substantially increased their aid, the largest relative increases being in Latvia (17%), Luxembourg (14%), Poland (14%), Austria (8%), Lithuania (8%) and the United Kingdom (7%). Those already reaching the 0.7% target are Denmark (0.8%), Luxembourg (1%) and Sweden (0.99%), and in 2013 the UK will join them, at 0.7%.

Inflated aid not reaching developing countries
€5.6 billion of EU aid was inflated and never reached developing countries, bringing genuine aid down to €45 billion or 0.35% of GNI. Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam’s EU Office, said: “Genuine aid has to reach those who need it the most rather than being used to pay off interest on debt. Playing petty politics with aid commitments means that fewer children will go to school, access to health care will become more difficult and millions will go to sleep hungry at night. EU countries must not regard their promises as expendable, but rather a sound investment for the future.”

NEW: Compare EU aid data on the special AidWatch website: http://aidwatch.concordeurope.org

Read the full report here.  

Source: CONCORD Press Release

Spotlight Report 2013 on EU Policy Coherence for Development

CONCORD launched its new Spotlight Report on EU Policy Coherence for Development on 18 September 2013 in Brussels. The report finds that Tax dodging by EU companies and other transnational corporations is costing developing countries billions in lost tax revenues each year.

More than 80 people – the biggest turn up for a Spotlight launch ever -including decision makers, researchers and CSOs joined us to debate on the crucial issues covered by the report. The Spotlight report is a coordinated effort of European Development NGOs to collect evidences of where EU policies are having a negative impact on development.

The media reported the $100bn loss that developing countries suffer through tax dodging. Between US$ 859 billion and US$ 1,138 billion escaped developing countries as illicit financial flows in 2010 alone. About half is profit shifting by TNC’s (US$ 429.5 to US$ 569 billion) = loss of at least $100bn a year in tax revenue to developing countries.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs published a statement on the report, saying that "A lot of what the EU and its Member States do in areas such as trade, agriculture, climate change or migration, to name just a few, interlinks with development and our goal of overcoming poverty worldwide."

Find the complete documentation of the event on the CONCORD website.

The Spotlight report is available here.

Source: CONCORD  

CIDSE Statement on UN Special Event 25 September 2013 Outcome Document

According to CIDSE, the Outcome document approved at the UN Special Event on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on 25 September 2013 in New York raises the right questions but answers too few of them. The document is meant to take stock of progress in implementing the goals and set parameters for the process to define a new generation of development goals by 2015.

For further details see the article on the CIDSE website or download the statement here (PDF, 173kb) prepared by the CIDSE delegation who was in New York on this occasion.

Source: CIDSE and CONCORD Member to Member newsletter, 1 October 2013

PCD Side Event during the UN General Assembly

The OECD and Italy successfully co-organised a UNGA side event entitled “Shaping coherent and collective action in a post-2015 world: How can policy coherence for development help improve global food security?” on 24 September in New York. With the overall objective of achieving global food security, the event convened high-level representatives from governments, international organisations, business associations and civil society organisations. It discussed: actions by OECD countries and emerging economies; priority areas where global, coherent and co-ordinated action is needed; and responsibilities of developing countries themselves and how advanced economies can support these efforts.

All information related to the side event is available on the PCD Platform 
Read the summary of the panel here.

Source: OECD 

Reframing the Sustainability Debate

The UK charity tve has launched a Schools Resource to engage secondary students around the world in some of the key arguments, dilemmas and debates around sustainable development. The online educational resources, which are free to download, are the final phase of Reframing Rio, an ambitious multi-media project showcasing a raft of broadcast, online and print content. A joint venture between tve, IPS and IIED, the project aims to reignite global debate about sustainable economies and communities.

The project includes Zero Ten Twenty a three-part documentary series which has followed the lives of 11 children born in 10 countries over 20 years; Life Apps, a 5-part series looking at mobile apps and benefits for poor and marginalised communities – filmed in Africa, India and Brazil; a range of youth programming as well as 140 news articles and a series of topic briefings.

The media outputs have been produced in partnership with European and developing world broadcasters, producers, journalists and young film-makers and photojournalists.

For more information contact nick.rance@tve.org.uk

Information provided by Imogen Butler-Cole, tve

Project Partnerships for the 2013 DEAR Call

The European Commission had previously postponed the launch of the 2013 NSA LA Development Education Awareness Raising (DEAR) call to October. The latest information we received was that the call has been postponed to the end of October, latest middle of November. Many organisations are working intensively on proposals and are still open for partnerships. On the TRIALOG website you find a list of “Partner Search Requests” http://www.trialog.or.at/partner-search-for-joint-projects, here the most recent ones:

Un Raggio di Luce, an Italian NGO is interested to participate, as partner, in projects to be submitted to the forthcoming 2013 EU DEAR Call, focusing on the following key themes: global education, awareness raising on citizenship, microfinance and social economy, respect of human rights, women’s empowerment and gender development issues.

The Christian Initiative Romero (CIR), a German NGO focusing on labor and human rights in the globalised industry is looking for partners – European NGOs and local authorities – in the upcoming EU DEAR Call 2013. They have two project ideas, one under the working title “Stepping up action for decent life – Fair Trade Towns promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns”. The second one on "Toys-Industry and good working conditions".

• Six NGOs from Germany (Arche nova), Italy (Centro di Volontariato Internazionale, Istituto Oikos), Slovakia (Slovak Centre for Communication and Development), Estonia (Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation) and Slovenia (Humanitas) are looking for partners, particularly an organisation that could be the lead partner/applicant, for a EuropeAid DEAR project on the issue of environmental refugees.

• The Italian Association CSV MARCHE, an experienced network of more than 400 volunteering associations is interested in participating, as partner, in projects to be submitted to the 2013 EU NSA LA DEAR Call.

AMREF Italy is interested in participating, as partner, in projects for the 2013 EU’s DEAR Call, focusing on the following key theme: Children’s Right to Health - meant in holistic terms, which also includes the Right to free expression, self-determination and creativity.

Integra Foundation from Slovakia is looking for partner organisations to establish cooperation in development projects, especially a leading partners to develop a joint project under the EU DEAR call 2013.

Artemisszió (H), Voluntariat (SL), O3V/GSP (DK) and CIE (BG) are currently partners in a EC DEAR funded project that focuses on raising the awareness of students and teachers about MDGS and related global issues through the method of school partnerships. They are looking for organisations who would like to join the project in the next phase.

The Education for Democracy Foundation (EDF) - Poland is looking for partners, preferably from Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, to apply for EU funding under the DEAR Call. The planned project focuses on awareness raising of the impact of development projects run by their national NGDOs and promoting good practices of development projects.

ADRA - Czech Republic is looking for partner organisations to realize global education projecs in the formal and non-formal education system with regards to the upcoming EC DEAR Call.

Frauensolidarität, a feminist women’s NGO in Austria focusing on women in Africa, Asia and Latin America and on development politics wants to be partner in the upcoming DEAR Call.

Information provided by TRIALOG