Thursday, 18 December 2014

The TRIALOG Experience in a Booklet

After almost 15 years of TRIALOG, partners and team members have undertaken a process of reviewing and analysing the experiences of the project. During the so called “systematisation” they tried to see the underlying processes that have accompanied the project’s evolution, relived pivotal moments in the history of TRIALOG, and evaluated the collaborations that have resulted from TRIALOG’s efforts. All these elements give a sense of what has been achieved and the way in which TRIALOG has contributed to newer EU members’ integration into European development policy and practice.

Download the outcomes of the process, which are summarised in the booklet “TRIALOG in the enlarged EU: 15 years supporting civil society to engage in development” (PDF).

The booklet is a journey through the TRIALOG experience from its beginning to the fifth project phase, starting in 2012. It provides insights into the context in which the project was embedded. Project activities are described and analysed according to the three main areas of TRIALOG’s work:
  • “European Integration of Development CSOs from the Enlarged EU”, 
  • “Platform Building Support” and 
  • “Capacity Building for Development CSOs”. 
A special focus looks at the contribution of TRIALOG to “Networking”, “Learning and Empowerment” and “Advocacy” in EU13. At the end of this journey you will find the lessons learnt. Finally, case studies of selected development CSO platform in EU13 countries illustrate more practically how TRIALOG contributed to their establishment and the CSO sector in the region.

Representatives of EU13 development CSOs and platforms, as well as the CONCORD president and TRIALOG project manager speak in our new video about their TRIALOG experience. Watch the video online.

Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

Policy Digest: European Year for Development 2015

Every year since 1983 the European Union (EU) has chosen a theme that gains high publicity and focus. The aim of the European years is to raise awareness about the issue, organise cross-border events and actions, and to bring the specific topic closer to European citizens. The year 2015 will be the European Year for Development. This policy digest will look at various aspects of the EYD.

Firstly, the main issues to be discussed during the EYD will be outlined. Secondly, the messages civil society actors and EU hope to get across the union will be explored. Thirdly, civil society action plans for the year on European level will be addressed. Fourthly, practical info about EYD plans in some of the Central, Eastern and Southern European EU member states – the so called EU13 counties – will be presented.

Download the Policy Digest EYD2015 here (PDF).

This and more Policy Digests are available on the TRIALOG website.


 Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Last Partner & Strategy Meeting during TRIALOG V

Between the 3rd and 4th of December 2014, TRIALOG partners met in Sliema, Malta, for the last Partner and Strategy meeting of the current TRIALOG phase.

The Partner Meeting on the 3rd of December was an excellent opportunity for TRIALOG partners to review together the successes and challenges encountered since their last meeting in December 2013. As TRIALOG in its current formula is coming to an end, partners and consortium members jointly looked at ways forward and how to make the best out of the last project year in TRIALOG V, particularly in the context of the European Year for Development – the perfect time to remind national governments and citizens why development work is important and the significant role the CSOs play in this context.
After looking back at the most recent experience in platform building – the Croatian NDGOs platform – CROSOL, partners, together with guests from Serbia and Macedonia, explored ways of using the rich TRIALOG experience and expertise in building and supporting national NDGO platforms, in support of CSOs from accession and candidate countries in the Western Balkans.

On the 4th of December, participants had the chance to get some insights from the experience of two national platforms: LAPAS (Latvia) and SKOP (Malta).
Inese Vaivare from LAPAS shared with the TRIALOG partners some of the lessons learned while preparing for the implementation of the Presidency project (as Latvia will hold the presidency of the EU Council in 2015), but also general insight gathered over the years by LAPAS, as a national platform. From her perspective, the presidency project is a great opportunity for a national platform to raise awareness on issues of priority, as well as to invest in the future, but with this opportunity comes the challenge of maintaining the relations and links as well as new staff brought in for the project beyond the project duration.
SKOP, on the other hand, proposed a question to the partners: how to keep members engaged? The conclusion of the discussion emphasised the need to justify the relevance of the platform for its members – if member organisations can identify a clear benefit from being part of a platform, they will remain engaged. The practical ways and mechanisms of showing the relevance of a platform for its members remain still an open question.

The second half of the Strategy meeting was dedicated to discussions on the European Year for Development. A panel discussion was organised with representatives of the Maltese MFA and MEUSAC (Malta-EU Steering & Action Committee), as well a TRIALOG platform representatives from Croatia and Czech Republic. The questions addressed to the panel were connected to the challenges in the implementation of the EYD2015, as well as what success would look like at the end of the year. In terms of challenges, Pavel Pribl from FoRS (CZ) highlighted the fragmentation of the different actors involved, as well as the different understanding of the issues connected to development cooperation. This was also seen as a challenge by Mr. Vanni Xuereb, representative of MEUSAC. For him, the challenge of all stakeholders working together during the EYD is the most exciting challenge concerning the year. A huge success at the end of the year would be, as expressed by Gordan Bosanac (CROSOL – HR), if the development cooperation policy would be as strong as the austerity measures and migration policies.

Photo: TRIALOG, Experience sharing Western Balkans group

Information provided by Iulia Jolley-Socea, TRIALOG

New HORIZONT3000 Director: Welcome Erwin Eder

On 1 December 2014, Erwin Eder took over the management of HORIZONT3000, the lead agency of TRIALOG and one of the largest development NGOs in the Austria. The economist looks back at 20 years of experience in development cooperation and disaster relief. He worked with Caritas Austria for many years, where he managed projects in South East Europe, West Africa and South Asia. For the past eight years he has been the director of DKA, the Catholic Children's Movement of Austria which carries out around 500 projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The TRIALOG team sends a very warm welcome to Erwin Eder and is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.






Photo: HORIZONT3000/ Erwin Eder
Information provided by HORIZONT3000 and TRIALOG

TRIALOG Call for External Evaluator

The external evaluation during this final year of TRIALOG V is foreseen to address the achievements of the project and find recommendations related to options for the future sustainability of TRIALOG partners.

The evaluation is planned for February and March 2015.
Deadline for submission of offers is 14 January 2015.
Please find more information on the Terms of Reference here.

For submission of offers and additional questions, please contact Rebecca Steel-Jasińska

Information provided by TRIALOG

Organisation of the Month from Latvia: homo ecos:

homo ecos: is one of the youngest organisations in the LAPAS family, having joined LAPAS in 2013. Since then, homo ecos: has proved its activism and creativity not only in relation to green issues but also development, and has been given the possibility to implement a Food Security campaign during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

homo ecos: is an environmental organisation that unites people in Latvia and abroad who care for balanced progress that suits both human beings and the planet we live on. homo ecos: is a future society, which does not lavish the Earth’s resources, but rather knows how to both use resources mindfully and how to preserve them for next generations. homo ecos: educates, involves, inspires and encourages those who care for the needs of future generations.

For inspiration on actions for climate change, zero waste, green lifestyle, green packaging and sustainability initiatives check homo ecos: website.

Especially highly recommended activities:
- Activism workshop – when art meets activism
- library and green floor activities 
- Maisbergs campaign against ever growing mountain of (food) packaging


Photo: homo ecos:
Information provided by LAPAS

Organisation of the Month: SOS Malta

SOS Malta came into being in 1991, after the tragic exodus of Albanian refugees to the shores of Italy and Malta. Throughout the 1990's SOS Malta was active in Albania and Kosovo, working in Palliative Care, Education, and Community Development. In 2004, SOS Malta formed part of the Malta Tsunami Humanitarian Mission to Sri Lanka, where it set up a fully operational clinic in Matara, Sri Lanka, offering immediate medical relief to over 3000 persons. The SOS Malta medical team also visited local displaced people in the camps to offer medical aid and other essential commodities. SOS Malta also sought to provide recovery and sustainable livelihood assistance, and managed to help over 600 families in various villages by rebuilding their income-generating activities.

In recent years, SOS Malta has focused its long term development interventions on aspects of water-related poverty, livelihoods and food security within countries like India, Sri Lanka and Uganda. In 2009, SOS Malta, began to work in Uganda for the first time with the support of Malta's Official Development Assistance. SOS Malta implemented a rainwater harvesting (RWH) project as an entry point to community development in the Masaka District of Namagoma, Uganda. In 2014, SOS Malta has begun a project focused on youth empowerment and employment setting up a training centre in integrated agriculture and candle making for young unemployed people in the district to enable income generation and food security for the future. These young people will be equipped with practical and informal skills such as leadership to enable them to set up their own trade and cooperatives. and secure a future for their families.

SOS Malta also seeks to raise awareness about development issues in Malta. Since 2002, SOS Malta promoted initiatives aimed at creating awareness about the Millennium Development Goals and development issues. SOS Malta has been involved in a number of EU Funded European Level Development education projects as well as engaging in dialogue and awareness raising on development issues at national level.

For more information about the various humanitarian, development and development education projects which SOS Malta has been involved in, please see www.sosmalta.org

Photo: SOS Malta, First Trainees Recruited for the project "Youth Engage Building Skills and Creating Opportunities for Young people in Uganda" Best .

Information provided by SKOP, Maltese development NGDO platform

AidWatch Report Launch in Cyprus

On November 28, CYINDEP (Cyprus Island-Wide Development Platform), held a roundtable discussion in Nicosia, on the occasion of the publication of the 'AidWatch Report 2014'. This report aims to inform about the contribution of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to development countries by the Members of the European Union.

The keynote speakers of the event were Fotis Vlahos from the Greek Development Platform (PLATEAU), Demetra Hadjiyiannis, Liaison Officer of CYINDEP, and Cristiana Tzika, representative of the Department of Development Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and International Economic Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the two-hour discussion, the speakers had the opportunity to inform participants about the action of CYINDEP, the concept of sustainable development, the results of the AidWatch Report and the action of the MFA on the above issues. Mr. Vlachos highlighted that only four EU countries have managed to reach the expected 0.7% ODA, namely Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and the UK, while official statistics foresee that most EU countries will fail to carry out this goal in 2015. Mrs. Tzika, from her part, spoke about the difficult economic situation of our country, this being the main reason why the country has failed to reach the required 0.7%, as well as the fact that unfortunately the MFA is prioritising other issues such as the Cypriot problem. She also noted that the official proclamation of 2015 as the European Year Development, will offer an opportunity for the MFA to promote the concept of sustainable development and European policy and action in this direction in the Cypriot public, as well as their aim to strengthen relations and cooperation with civil society and the Cypriot development NGOs.

Photo of the event: CYINDEP

Information provided by Demetra Hadjiyiannis Liaison Officer for CYINDEP 

CYINDEP Collaboration with the MFA and MoEC for EYD15

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU decided to designate the year 2015 as the ‘European Year of Development’. On this occasion, CYINDEP has collaborated with both the MFA and The Ministry of Education and Culture on drafting the application for EYD2015 National Work Programme.
Several meetings where held with representatives of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the MFA and CYINDEP Board in order to compile the application with realistic goals based on a series of cultural events, lectures, workshops and other awareness-raising events throughout 2015.

The application proposes a documentary festival which will feature documentaries on global issues such as sustainable development, food security, trade, poverty, women and girls. As part of this event, there will also be a film competition in public and private schools where students will be called to produce short films concerning development and the role of the EU as a global actor in development debate. The winners enrolled in upper secondary education will receive as prize an educational trip to Brussels where they will visit EU institutions and lower secondary and primary education students will receive laptops and projectors for their schools.
Other activities include: four high-profile public lectures at different universities across Cyprus where there will be one guest speaker for each lecture; a young journalists competition where participants will be called to write articles around six areas related to international development. The best articles will be also awarded and published in local press. Thus, by drafting and proposing a series of activities for EY15, CYINDEP will have the role of the National Beneficiary, and its role will become really important among CSOs around the island. Also, through its communication with national stakeholders, CYINDEP will gain credibility and recognition amongst key figures of development.

For more information, please contact Demetra Hadjiyiannis.

Information provided by Demetra Hadjiyiannis, CYINDEP

News from the Slovak NGDO Platform

At the Members´ Assembly of the Slovak NGDO Platform that took place on 11th November 2014, the members discussed the application of the Code of Conduct on Ethics and Responsibility of the Slovak NGDO Platform. The Code entered into force at the spring Members´ Assembly. As some of the articles needed further discussion and clarification, guidelines to the Code were prepared. They are a lively document that will regularly be updated based on the needs of the member organisations. The Commission for Ethics and Responsibility consisting of 5 representatives was elected at the Members´ Assembly. In case of a complaint submitted, the Commission will meet and review the compliance of an organisation with the minimum criteria of the Code.

The Code of Conduct in the Slovak language can be found here.

On 14th November 2014, the Slovak NGDO Platform organized a workshop: Monitoring and evaluation of development projects and programmes.
At the workshop, the trainer Braňo Tichý, presented the terminology and reasons why it is useful to do monitoring and evaluation. He explained how to work with indicators, outcomes and results of the projects. Participants had an opportunity to get to know the ways of monitoring and evaluation of other organisations. They received some practical advice on how to get prepared for a project evaluation. The Strategy on monitoring and evaluation of bilateral development cooperation has been adopted recently by the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs was presented during the workshop by the MFAE. The events were supported by TRIALOG as part of the Capacity Building Plan.

Development Day 2014 
On 14th October 2014 the Slovak NGDO Platform organized the Development Day 2014. More than 20 Slovak organisations met at the Stará tržnica in Bratislava and presented their work to the visitors. The Development Day 2014 provided space to present the campaign ŽI FÉR for a life in a fairer world. The programme offered interesting programme for schools such as the workshop “Where does my breakfast come from?”.
Throughout the day interactive activities were available at the stands of the Platform´s members and other organisations present. During the Development Day of Slovak actors and projects carried out in the field of development cooperation and global education were presented. Part of the programme was the development cuisine, photo exhibitions and a discussion on policy coherence for development “When one hand gives, but the other one takes away”.
The programme was concluded by a benefit concert and awarding the winners of 4th annual photo contest Human Rights in Development Cooperation. The event was organized under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska. Organisation of the Development Day 2014 was supported by SlovakAid and the EU. It was an introductory event before the beginning of the European Year for Development 2015.

In the photo: Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák visiting the Development Day 2014. More pictures from the Development Day 2014 can be found here.


Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, Slovak NGDO Platform

News from the Latvian NGDO Platform LAPAS

While planning the activities for the upcoming EU Presidency in 2015, the Latvian development CSO platform LAPAS also organised capacity building activities for its members and advocated for Post-2015 issues at national level.

From education to campaigning
While Latvian NGOs have a wide and good experience in global education, campaigning on development has not been much practiced so far. In the light of upcoming DEAR projects to be implemented by Latvian NGOs and the European Year for Development 2015, with support from TRIALOG, the Latvian platform LAPAS organised a training event on campaigning for its members. The training covered a wide range of issues such as a new communication strategy for LAPAS, debate on link between personal and organisational values, review of best practice stories from Red Jackets – the platform of best exporting brands in Latvia – as well as theoretical and practical perspectives from ActionAid global. The participants found the training inspirational and have planned ways of improving their own informational and awareness raising campaigns.

National Advocacy for post2015
On November 3 2014, the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation organised a National Workshop to discuss post2015 issues. A wide range of stakeholders – development and green NGOs, academia and experts, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development, gathered to present opinions on postMDGs and postRio+20 processes and to discuss about national and European perspectives. As a result, a National Advocacy plan will be drafted, including positions on all key areas in post2015 (which will be available also in English). The event was organised with the financial assistance of the European Union, under the programme SD2015 implemented in partnership with CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Stakeholder Forum and UNDESA.



Photo of the national advocacy event: LAPAS
Information provided by Inese Vaivare, LAPAS

AidWatch on Czech ODA in 2013

In its recent analysis of Czech Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2013, FoRS – Czech Forum for Development Cooperation, the platform of Czech NGOs and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), presents several positive developments such as the accession of Czech Republic in the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD as the first EU 13 country, the successful completion of the Czech ODA system transformation, the set-up of a system of evaluations of development projects, the implementation of over 300 development projects for about 17 600 EUR in partner countries, as well as the confirmation of sector and geographical priorities as a result of a mid-term review of the Czech ODA strategy or a stable high public support for development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. On the other hand, FoRS also mentions a series of challenges such as the failure to meet the governmental commitment to provide 0,33 % GNI on ODA by 2015 despite economic recovery in 2013 (this proportion actually decreased from 0,12 % in 2012 to 0,11 %), unfavourable increase of the proportion of multilateral aid vs. bilateral aid (73:27), the continued lack of a concrete roadmap to fulfil Busan commitments on development effectiveness and a lack of monitoring of the Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) principle as well as of a political commitment and strategy to improve the different policies.

FoRS also makes efforts to ensure that the Czech ODA is not affected by immediate political and economic interests and that it maintains eradication of poverty and inequalities at its core task. Considering its limited budget and capacities, the Czech ODA should be as effective as possible.

The FoRS AidWatch 2014 (only in Czech) is available here, but the main issues are contained in the Czech country page in the new CONCORD AidWatch 2014.

Contact person at FoRS: Marie Zázvorková

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS

First Evaluation of Evaluations of Czech Development Projects

Recently, the complex evaluation of evaluation reports of projects carried out as part of the Czech Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the period 2012-2013 has been completed. The evaluations were commissioned by the Department of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Apart from assessing the quality of 20 evaluation reports according to the international OECD-DAC criteria and cross-cutting principles of Czech ODA, this so called meta-evaluation also aimed at assessing the system of evaluations of development projects according to the internationally recognized evaluation criteria recommended by the Czech Evaluation Society: utility, feasibility, correctness and accuracy. The main goal of the meta-evaluation was to identify difficulties and shortages of the system of evaluations of development projects and present concrete recommendations and measures for its improvement.

FoRS - Czech Forum for Development Cooperation - welcomed this process for which FoRS had been advocating for a long time, as well as the inclusion of two of its representatives in the so called reference multi-stakeholder group with an advisory and supervising role. Nevertheless, in its joint position on the final report, FoRS presented several critical issues, namely a lack of linkages between the obtained data and recommendations as well as a mixture of conclusions based on the data and personal opinions of the evaluators in the final report; an insufficient inclusion of views of the implementing teams; the lack of a list of good practices and issues to be avoided by future evaluators; and lack of addressing the actual use of the recommendations in the evaluation reports.

Contact person at FoRS: Marie Zázvorková.

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer

Czech CSOs Cross-sector Partnership for the EYD 2015

An important cross-sector cooperation among development NGOs and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) associated with the platform FoRS, environmental CSOs (platform Green Circle) and educational CSOs has started during preparations for the European Year for Development 2015. Three joint working groups have been established. Two of them - key competences and innovative awareness raising - aim at attracting the attention of general public and political representation towards development cooperation and global problems and the third one focuses on the identification of a possible Czech contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its reflection in the official positions. This joint input will also contribute to the activities of European and global NGO networks (CONCORD and Beyond2015).

The first joint outcome of this cross-sector partnership are recent “starting points” for discussions about the global development post-2015 agenda that were submitted to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They include a CSOs´ joint vision of the world where all human beings enjoy equal right to a secure, decent and full-fledged life without putting in danger boundaries of our planet. Apart from striving to fulfil the MDGs even after 2015, these CSOs will also strive for changes in diverse areas such as energy sector transformation, education towards global citizenship, the right to participation in decision-making processes and accession to justice, protection of biodiversity, tax justice, better gender equality as well as more disaggregated statistics.

In addition to this CSO cooperation, FoRS also aims at increasing dialog and cooperation with the private sector, especially with the Czech Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Platform of Entrepreneurs for International Development Cooperation.

Inspirational background information on this process is gathered in a publication prepared this year by Petr Lebeda, director of Czech think-tank Glopolis, member of FoRS, called “Road to integrity and confident Czech Republic: Opportunities not only for environmental and development organizations after the year 2015” (in Czech available here). English summary and recommendations are available here.

Contact person at FoRS: Marie Zázvorková.

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS

“Peace Culture”: Peer Learning among Bulgarian Students

During October and November 2014, students from different schools in Sofia have been participating in a project implemented by the Youth Section of the United Nations Association in Bulgaria and Sofia Municipality. The project involves four schools in the capital. The students’ mission is to teach their classmates on subjects such as human rights, tolerance, non-violence and peace culture.

All the 25 volunteers participated in a 2-day initial training focused on the subject of human rights at school. The knowledge was passed on to the youngsters by the members of the Youth Section of the United Nations Association in Bulgaria using interactive learning techniques such as World Café, games, etc. After the initial training, students divided in teams and with the help of the UNA Youth Section members they starting visiting their schoolmates’ classes. This part of the project lasted from the beginning of October to the middle of November. The task of the students was to simply teach other youngsters about peace culture. The techniques implemented allowed the knowledge on a certain subject to be acquired by the students avoiding the barrier of formal teaching. The one teaching is no longer “the teacher”, it’s the students themselves who are passing the knowledge on to their classmates. With the help of a series of interactive games used during the process, the students make their own conclusions and definitions on basic terms, related to serious and popular subjects.

A second training was held for the 25 volunteers, this time on the subject of “Communication techniques”. This session helped them in the final stage of the project when students presented their results during an event they organized themselves. Their main task was to interpret in a creative way the subjects of human rights, tolerance and non-violence in front of a certain public. The event was held on 2nd of December 2014 at one of the most popular halls of the Sofia University. The project “Peace Culture” is implemented by the Youth Section of the United Nations Association in Bulgaria and is funded by the Strategy of Sofia Municipality for physical training and sports. It’s also supporting the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Sports for 2018.

For more information, please contact Elitsa Akseva at BPID.

Information provided by BPID, Bulgarian Platform for Development Cooperation

More of the same or radical change? Options for the successor to the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2010-2015

The arrival of the new European Union (EU) leadership team in late 2014 provides an important opportunity to accelerate support for gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights. The EU’s Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development 2010 to 2015 (GAP) runs to December 2015 and discussions are underway on what its successor should comprise.

In a recent publication, the ODI (Overseas Development Institute) proposes three options for a successor to the current Plan. However, the success of all three options will depend on certain preconditions being in place: resolute leadership; enhanced gender analytical, including sector-specific, capacity; an informed, sensitive and courageous approach to political dialogue; full use of the menu of development instruments and modalities; meaningful engagement with civil society; and coherent policy-making. What are the three options and what kind of shift is needed in the EU approach you can read here.

Source: Overseas Development Institute

CONCORD Guide to European Funding Instruments 2014-2020

This report aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the instruments and programmes (both thematic and geographic) used by the European Union (EU) in its development cooperation. It highlights the roles played by civil society in policy dialogue on these instruments and programmes, and in their implementation.

CONCORD has been actively engaged with both the EU's institutions and its member states, monitoring and influencing the negotiations on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 with a particular focus on the development-related instruments and programmes. The report also includes CONCORD's comments on the 2014-2020 programming process.

Click here to download the report.



Source: CONCORD

New AidWatch Report: EU will miss historic aid pledge in 2015

Launched in Paris on 20 November 2014 at the OECD, the ninth CONCORD AidWatch report 'Aid Beyond 2015' finds that:

• Despite growing humanitarian and development challenges, such as the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, EU aid is off track to meet the 0.7% aid target in 2015 with a funding gap of €41billion.
• Only 4 EU countries are meeting aid targets: the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg.
• Aid budgets are increasingly being used to cover migration costs.

Read more and download the report from the CONCORD website.

Source: CONCORD

Winter Enrolment Open: International MA in Peace & Conflict Studies in Istanbul

Hacettepe University Peace & Conflict Studies International MA is now accepting applications for the Winter - Autumn 2015 MA programme. The programme is held in Istanbul at the campus of Bosphorus University in cooperation with Hacettepe University - Turkey's top ranked university.

Students in the programme include adult practitioners and professionals, UN staff, diplomats, professionals and staff of NGOs, security forces, and others working in their communities, countries and internationally with peace, conflict and development issues. The programme is one of the leading programmes in the world today combining academic excellence and rigour with professional commitment to preparing students and alumni to make a difference in the world.

Deadline for applications: December 25, 2014.
Starting date: end January 2015.
To enroll or for more information please visit www.peace.hacettepe.edu.tr or write to peace@hacettepe.edu.tr 


Source: Hacettepe University

Ending the Exaggeration of Aid: A Modest Proposal

The current rules for what counts as official development assistance are a mess. With the rules as they are, donor countries can in theory borrow at today’s low interest rates, lend at significantly higher rates to the developing world, make a profit, and still count it as aid. Owen Barder and Stephan Klasen from the Global Center for Development propose how to clean them up.

Read more here.


Source: Global Center for Development

Development is Thinking Ahead: A World on its Way to Sustainable Development Goals

Paul Engel, the Director of the European Centre for Development Policy Management, and Anna Knoll, Policy Officer for the Strengthening European External Action Programme of the ECDPM, reflect on the post-2015 discussions so far, taking a bird’s-eye view of what has happened and in what context the post-2015 discussions are taking place.

If you’re interested in, but relatively new, to the post-2015 debate this ECDPM briefing note is a must-read. The report is available for download here.

Source: ECDPM

DCR 2014: Mobilising Resources for Sustainable Development

The Development Co-operation Report (DCR) is a yearly report by the OECD Chair of the Development Assistance Committee that addresses important challenges for the international development community and provides practical guidance and recommendations on how to tackle them. The launch of the OECD’s 2014 Development Cooperation Report comes just as United Nations coordinated Financing for Development (FfD) negotiations begin, a process which will culminate in agreement on a financing framework to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in July 2015.

The report and the event therefore aim to help shape proposals to be taken forward to the UN FfD process. Read the report here.


Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network E-Mail Alerts no. 305

Better Policies for Development 2014: Policy Coherence and Illicit Financial Flows

Every year, huge sums of money are transferred out of developing countries illegally. The OECED ‘Better Policies for Development 2014’ report shows that coherent policies in OECD countries in areas such as tax evasion, anti-bribery and money laundering can contribute to reducing illicit financial flows from developing countries.

The report looks at the role of PCD in the Post-2015 Agenda, the link between illicit financial flows and development, as well as ways of monitoring PCD. In Chapter 4 of the report - How are OECD countries promoting policy coherence for development? – two EU13 countries are presented as case studies, among other countries: Poland and Slovenia.

To read the report, please click here.

Source: OECD

DEEEP Funding Opportunities 2015 Launched

DEEEP launched two funding opportunities to support national, regional and European capacity needs of CONCORD members represented in the DARE Forum and beyond:

Because we want to strengthen capacity of our members and members of members, because we want to encourage innovative initiatives in development education, because we believe DEEEP is a mechanism that has to answer your needs with adapted answers, we are proud to launch our 2015 calls with this perspective and we hope you will find them useful tools for your organisation/platform.

Both calls are launched at the same time so you can apply to the programme that suits best your ideas and needs. Find all the information (guidelines, forms, documents) in the respective links below:

a. The national seminars - up to 8 seminars supported
b. The sub-granted projects - up to 3 projects supported

Deadline is 2 February 2015.

Information provided by DEEEP

UN Democracy Fund Annual Proposal Window Open

The United Nations Democracy Fund annual proposal window is now open. UNDEF invites civil society organizations engaged in promoting democracy to apply for funding for projects to advance and support democracy.

Applications are accepted only during the annual proposal window which is open to 31 December 2014. Only on-line proposals during this period, in either English or French, will be accepted. UNDEF projects are two years long. Applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100,000 US dollars and a maximum of 300,000 US dollars. Read more about the application process and materials and apply here.

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network E-Mail Alerts no. 305

Friday, 31 October 2014

Serbia: Preparing for a new role in development?

Our new “Country Paper Serbia” looks at the current state of Serbian civil society and its involvement in development issues.
We at TRIALOG, decided to look at the situation of Serbian civil society in the context of the future enlargement of the European Union. Serbia applied to become an EU member in 2009 and started the actual negotiations in January of this year. As part of the accession process, the development cooperation and humanitarian aid provided by Serbia will have to be negotiated between Serbia and the EU. Serbia will have to adopt the EU acquis and set up national structures and legislation.

In the past, accession negotiations have sometimes underestimated the task of preparing a new EU member state to make the transition from being a recipient of aid to becoming a donor as Serbia will have to in the coming years. Development cooperation and humanitarian aid cannot be treated simply as a box ticking exercises at the end of the accession negotiations. All kinds of stakeholders, from state officials and politicians to civil society and the general public have to be engaged in this process in order to achieve legitimacy and support for the country's new role.

We find it encouraging that the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn stressed during his hearing before the European Parliament that he realises "the necessity to prepare new members of the EU thoroughly for their future responsibilities" and the importance of "ensuring that all criteria is met". As recent declarations indicate that the EU will not admit any new members in the coming five years, TRIALOG considers this commitment to the quality of the reforms process more important than ever. Civil society organisations in Serbia, as well as in other EU candidate countries, must become fully engaged in the formation of the countries' donor systems and strategies and capacity building opportunities have to accompany this process.

The Country Paper shows that Serbia's involvement in development and humanitarian aid to date has been limited and that it is more focused on its own development, as an ODA recipient. This experience as an aid recipient could be useful though in terms of the institutions, frameworks and practices it has developed.

We also see that the most recent 15 years or so have contributed to a vibrant civil society sector that has an established working relationship with the authorities, despite some challenges in legal and financial terms. The expertise developed in Serbia's post-conflict years related to reconstruction and transition to democracy has provided CSOs with valuable experiences that could provide important contributions to development cooperation. The Paper ends with a number of recommendations for Serbian government and CSOs as well as European partners. These include making sure CSOs are properly involved in the accession process, encouraging both the governmental and non-governmental sides to engage with one another. The importance of capacity building is also highlighted here, as is the promotion of development education and awareness raising in Serbia.

Download the country paper and a one-page summary here.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

Exchange.Our.Experience: "NGO Networks: Chances and Challenges"

Together with HORIZONT3000 and the Austrian development NGO platform Global Responsibility, TRIALOG organises this exchange event to discuss the benefits and challenges of NGO networks.

Date: 27th of November 2014, 16.30h
Venue: C3 Centre for International Development, Sensengasse 3, 1090 Vienna

At this occasion, TRIALOG will launch the outcomes of its systematisation process. The booklet presented includes an overview of TRIALOG's 15 year history and lessons learnt in the fields of NGO platform building, capacity building and integration into European NGO networks.

More information and subscription here.


Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

The Festival of Opinion Culture – Let's label unethical and harming products!

The Festival of Opinion Culture, held in Paide, Estonia this summer, joined over 4000 people with different backgrounds and interests. The two-day festival inspired by similar events in the Nordic countries, was an open platform for the discussion of society and culture. Everyone was welcome to listen, participate and exchange opinions about issues relevant to them and to Estonia.

Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ) had an opportunity to coordinate the Worldwide Stage and discuss interesting topics, such as Estonian relations with Asia; why our buying habits matter; humanitarian crises and refugees; and whose responsibility it is to make the world a better place. Among the contributors to the stage were experts from Tallinn and Tartu universities, writers, entrepreneurs, civil society representatives and politicians.

The fascinating debate about consumption – who makes our clothes and lays our dinner table, led to some unexpected suggestions. One of the participants came out with an idea to instead of labelling the fair trade and ethical products with positive tags, label the unethical and harming products with negative ones. As a result, the buyer would know which harmful activity he or she supports when buying the product and could make a decision according to the knowledge and his/her values.
A common viewpoint among the speakers was that consumers have to demand more information about the products and their origin. If they do not start doing it more loudly, the production continues moving to countries with weak gov
ernance, where human rights and environmental questions are ignored.
On the positive side, the new European Union procurement directive was introduced as a good method to promote fair trade, ethical and ecological products. This directive allows public sector to prefer these goods even if they are more costly. Private sector should follow the lead and replace the out-dated thinking that cost effective is always the best option.

Photo credits: AKÜ, Word Stage discussion.

Information provided by Katrin Pärgmäe, AKÜ

Croatian NGO Platform Members Show Solidarity for Hungarian NGOs

To show their support and express solidarity with the Hungarian activists, on 23rd of September 2014, members of the Croatioan development CSO platform CROSOL protested in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Zagreb.

„Stop harrasing the activists!“ was written on a big banner in Croatian and Hungarian language. With that act, CROSOL warned about the recent raids staiged by the government of Victor Orban against associations for protection of human rights and fight against corruption in Hungary. Activists, lead by Gordan Bosanac from Centre for Peace Studies, planned to give the protest letter to Hungarian Embassador Iván Gábor, in which they strongly oppose the oppresion of Orban's government. The staff of the embassy did not give them the chance to personally turn in the letter, so they put it in the mail box.

A week before this protest, CROSOL held a press conference on the same manner, in order to inform the Croatian public about the problem in Hungary. The press conference took place in front of the House of Europe, just before new Croatian MEPs were represented. They also advocated among the Croatian MEPs not to vote for Tibor Navracsics who was a candidate for the European Commission, and to have in mind that he was in fact a minister in Orban's government and as such – directly responsible for violations of freedom and human rights.

Read more on CROSOL Facebook page and website.


Photo credits: CROSOL, Gordan Bosanac being interviewed during the solidarity action.

Information provided by Gordan Bosanac, CROSOL

Accelerated Reform Process of Hungarian Development Cooperation

The first proper development cooperation strategy of Hungary was approved in a government decree on 27th March 2014. Though the strategy itself treats the question of neccessary transformative measures of the current institutional and legal backgroud of development cooperation in a very general manner, the decree itself sets out concrete tasks and deadlines in this regard for the government. These include the creation of the first legal act regulating this policy field, the preparation for establishing a government implementing agency and an intergovernmental coordination body, all leading to a strenghthened role of the MFA.

Not much has been done though since April when there were general elections in Hungary. After a couple of months of uncertainities and constant changes, in the end of September the processes for developing the new law, the new agency and the intergovernmental coordination body have been radically speeded up. Social consultations have been initiated in a more or less timely manner and are taking place in multiple rounds and on top of that numerous NGO proposals have been already incorporated into the text of the draft law, for which NGOs have been pushing for about 10 years.

But these promising developments are happening against the backdrop of the new focus of foreign policy announced by the new minister: promoting trade and investment interests of Hungary, which is reflected in the new name of the ministry as well: Ministry of Foreign Affaires and Trade (in Hungarian Trade comes first...). Therefore NGOs are yet only moderately optimistic and it is still too early to judge whether Hungarian development cooperation is setting out to a new direction NGOs also envisage. In case of „yes” it will be a proof of the saying: if there is a will there is a way.

For more information please contact Reka Balogh or Peter Rohonyi of the Hungarian development CSO platform HAND.


Information provided by HAND.

A Glance at Official Development Assistance and Global Education Policies in Lithuania

Lithuanian Development Education and Cooperation Network of Non-governmental Institutions - Association LITDEA, has recently released two publications on Lithuania’s development cooperation activities. One is on the topic of Lithuania’s Official Development Assistance in 2012-2013 and the other on the situation of Global Education in Lithuania.

Lithuanian Official Development Assistance in 2012-2013 monitoring report 
Lithuanian Aidwatch report 2012-2013 provides an overview of the activity of Lithuania‘s Governmental institutions in the area of Development Cooperation in 2012 and 2013. This review is the first attempt to present not only the statistical data but also a broader perspective, a more extensive analysis and the vision of NGDOs in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Official Development Assistance in 2012-2013 monitoring report in both Lithuanian and English can be find here.

Global Education in Lithuania: Challenges and opportunities
The policy paper ‘’Global Education in Lithuania. Challenges and opportunities’’ provides a review of the Global Education concept, prerequisites for its implementation and description of the current situation in Lithuania. It also includes the proposals for a successful development of Global Education activities in Lithuania. The Policy paper in both Lithuanian and English can be find here.

The publications has been produced implementing the project ‘‘Quality Partnership for Development-EU Presidency project for the Lithuanian EU Presidency, 2013“ financed by the European Commission and co-funded by the Development Cooperation and democracy promotion program of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.

For more information please contact Agne Baleisyte, Liaison Officer of Lithuanian Umbrella LU


Information provided by Agne Baleisyte, LU

Workshop on ECHO Framework Partnership Agreements in Slovenia

On the 1st of October 2014, a regional workshop on ECHO (European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department) Framework Partnership Agreements was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Slovenia and the development CSO platform SLOGA, in Ljubljana.

The aim of the workshop was to inform non-governmental organisations about the possibility of becoming a partner organisation of ECHO, by signing a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) that would enable organisations to implement humanitarian aid actions. The workshop was opened by Ambassador Mitja Štrukelj, general director of the EC Directorate for International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance. Representatives of Slovenian NGOs, as well as participants from Hungary and Croatia took part in the workshop which was led by Ms. Reka Dobri from ECHO. In her presentation, ECHO’s history, work, mandate and sectors of intervention were introduced to the participants. Explanations on the application process, selection criteria, partnership criteria and procedures that are required for concluding the FPA followed. The second part of the event consisted of bilateral meetings between representatives of Slovenian NGOs and the representative of ECHO held in the office of Sloga Platform.

Photo credit: SLOGA, participants during the workshop.

Information provided by SLOGA

Hungarian Government Against NGOs

A few months ago the Hungarian government started a hostile process against independent civil organisations whose work is mostly related to the field of democracy development, anti-corruption, human rights and gender. The situation escalated with police investigations in several NGOs offices and suspensions of tax numbers which affects those 4 foundations who manage the EEA/Norway NGO Grants. The investigations are lately extended to cover the Swiss NGO Grants, too.

Not only the Hungarian civil sector, but about a thousand foreign organizations have also raised their voices from more than 15 European countries with e-mail and petition initiatives, protests and articles in the name of solidarity and support. Below we present links to some of the best summaries and documents to share the whole story.
The first two represent a shorter and a more detailed timeline that show the main events of the attacks by the government which goes back to 2013.
The next document gives an explained brief about the overall Hungarian situation starting with the new constitution.
We also added the public statement made by Amnesty International including some background information too.
We attached 3 more links, one of them contains the so called black listed Hungarian NGOs undertaking activities that don’t fit the government’s vision and the other includes different news which were published on the website of Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last but not least it is important to share an initiative of NGOs from across Europe with the aim to get EU leaders attention and support for Hungary.

We would appreciate any help or forwarding these links to your partner organisations, decision-makers, EU officials and other NGOs and institutions to give a stronger voice and support for the civil society with regard to these issues.

Link-list:
1. http://helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/Timeline_of_gov_attacks_against_Hungarian_NGOs_20140921_SHORT.pdf 
2. http://helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/Timeline_of_gov_attacks_against_Hungarian_NGOs_20140921.pdf
3. http://helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/Hungary_fact_sheets_20140921.pdf
4. http://www.amnesty.eu/content/assets/Doc2014/eur270042014en.pdf
5. http://blacklistedhungarians.eu/
6. http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/search.html?quicksearch=hungary&id=87067
7. http://www.esurveyspro.com/Survey.aspx?id=ed23ae97-2927-4f60-874f-1313f9a30958

For further information please contact Gyöngyi Laufer from the Hungarian development CSO platform HAND.

Information provided by HAND.

Capacity Building Seminar for Serbian CSOs

Coalition for monitoring of development assistance „Aid Watch Serbia“ held two capacity building seminars for representatives of Serbian civil society organisations on planning and monitoring of development assistance in Serbia.

The first seminar was held from 5th to 8th of April 2014, while the second seminar was held from 24th to 27th of September 2014. On both seminars participants had the opportunity to learn more about the basic concepts related to official development assistance, programming and monitoring process of ODA through interactive sessions and presentations.
Experts from Slovenian and Croatian national platforms presented the elaboration process of annual aid watch reports and also provided information on platform building. Experts from Macedonian Centre for European Training (MCET) presented reports on the implementation of the Youth in Action program in Macedonia, a report on the implementation of the IPA program 2007-2013, as well as the report on Community programs and its results in Macedonia.

This was the first time ever that capacity building seminars on these topics were held in Serbia and both seminars gathered around 50 CSO representatives from the whole country. The seminars were implemented as part of project “Towards active participation of CSOs in the process of programming of international development assistance" supported by Foundation for an Open Society Serbia.

"Aid Watch Serbia" coalition is a non-formal association of civil society organisations from Serbia interested in improvement of the effectiveness and transparency of development assistance sent to Serbia, but also in other kinds of development programs intended for citizens of Serbia. The coalition was established in March 2013. For more information please visit www.aidwatchserbia.org or contact Petar Djurovic.

Photo credits: Aid Watch Serbia, Participants during a seminar with EU13 development CSO platforms.

Information provided by Aid Watch Serbia .

Training of Multipliers on Global Learning in Romania

From October 15–18, Assistance and Programs for Sustainable Development – Agenda 21 Romania, organised the first part of the" Facilitating Global Learning" training, dedicated to members of non-governmental organizations.

The course aims at developing the participants’ key competences on global learning, motivating and preparing them for getting involved in and facilitating educational activities in the field of global education. 16 NGOs from all over Romania participated at this event.

The second part of the training will take place in March 2015. During this time, participants will put into practice the knowledge and competences acquired in the first part by organising and developing global learning activities addressed to their target groups. The training is part of the project "Facilitating Global Learning - Key competences of members from European CSOs"which is implemented by a consortium of organisations from Germany, Portugal and Romania and is co-financed by the European Commission.

For more information please visit www.agenda21.org.ro or contact Monica Cugler, Project coordinator for Romania.

Photo credits: Agenda 21, training participants stand up to take action against poverty.

  

Information provided by Agenda 21

Global Campus Summer School & Interactive Activities on Global Social Justice in Malta

In 2014, KOPIN started this academic year’s continuation of the Global Campus project with the project’s first Summer School on Development issues in Malta, as part of the ‘Educate’ component, in the form of a three-day intensive course - from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September.

The Course began with an introductory session held on Campus on Development by University Professor and Development Education expert Colm Regan, while on Saturday 13th, Ms Marcelle Bugre from the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants facilitated the discussion on migration and development at the Marsa Open Centre - the biggest residential centre for male refugees and asylum seekers in Malta - where students heard the stories of migrants residents participating and gained a better perception of the reasons why people migrate.
Finally, on Sunday 14th, with KOPIN member and Environmental expert Irene Mangion as facilitator, the students attended the last session on Sustainable Development the Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre to learn about Malta’s biodiversity as well as the initiatives and projects behind it and the impact of Sustainable Development measures around the World in terms of Human Rights as well.

During the six days of the Freshers’ Week held at University of Malta between 1st and 8th October, KOPIN interns and student volunteers facilitated three activities as part of the ‘Inspire’ component of the Global Campus Project. The activities focused on development, migration and fair trade issues as a way to creatively inform students about what is happening at the national level and abroad, bringing into light the need for development education in Malta. The stand itself harbored information about additional projects KOPIN has participated in, as well as the Global Campus project, the Video Competition open to students and the upcoming DegreePlus Course starting in late October. Students were also given the chance to sign up to receive more information on the various issues presented as well as participating in the petition regarding the demand to the University decision-makers to offer students more opportunities to learn about social justice and development issues.

Overall, the feedback of the student to the activities and to the information provided was positive, as the majority stated that the activities were informative, and these increased the interest in Global Social Justice issues.

For more information about KOPIN or the Global Campus project, visit KOPIN’s website or Global Campus website, or contact the organisation via email at globalcampus@kopin.org.

Photo credits: KOPIN; stand of the Global Campus project at the University of Malta.

Information provided by Maria Di Domenico and Morri Sands, KOPIN

New EU Leadership – Newer Member State Leaders and Development Cooperation

New European Commission leadership – the president of the Commission and its college – will take up their duties next week on 1 November 2015. Two immensely important portfolios for international development will be held by Commissioners from the newer EU member states for the next five years.

Naven Mimica from Croatia – the newest EU member state – will take up the job of the Development Commissioner. He previously held the post of Commissioner for Consumer Protection in the last Commission and was at the heart of Croatia’s EU accession negotiations. He did not face a tough hearing in front of the European Parliament where MEPs determined he is fit for the new post. Some NGOs have, however, already criticised Mimica for not having visions for development .

Another important portfolio for development in the new Commission – Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management – will be held by Christos Stylianides from Cyprus. He is a previous spokesperson of the Republic of Cyprus and politician in the Cypriot parliament. He was elected as an MEP in the European elections in May 2014.

As a result of the European elections in May the new European Parliament has also started its work; MEPs have been assigned to different committees and new roles have been agreed upon. In the Development Committee – the group of MEPs directly addressing development cooperation issues – there are seven members from the newer EU member states out of 27 MEPs in total. Namely, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică and Cristian Dan Preda from Romania, Karol Karski and Bogdan Brunon Wenta from Poland, György Schöpflin from Hungary, Davor Ivo Stier from Croatia and Anna Záborská from Slovakia. The Romanian MEP Christian Predra has also been tasked with the important role of being the European Parliament rapporteur for Policy Coherence for Development. The Croatian MEP Ivo Stier has become the Political Coordinator for his political group – the European People’s Party – on issues related to the development committee.

Civil society organisations will keep a close eye on these and other new EU leaders in the area of international development.


Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Is Civil Society Development in the Enlargement Countries becoming increasingly important to the European Commission?

With the Enlargement Strategy 2014-2015 and the country Progress Reports recently being published, Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) has for the 6th time analysed how the European Commission has treated the issue of civil society development and assessed the progress made in the Enlargement countries.

In short, the European Commission is starting to use more clear, strong and focused language in highlighting the importance of a developed civil society in enlargement countries. Also for the first time EC has unified its approach towards the issue: there is now a separate civil society section within the political criteria in each country report. Considering this, and what are the key messages to the Governments and how they are delivered, it seems civil society development is becoming a necessary component for achieving sufficient fulfillment of the Political criteria - thus, a possible benchmark for negotiations.

The full analysis by BCSDN can be found here.


For further inquiries please feel free to contact Ms. Biljana Stojanoska of BCSDN.


Information provided by BCSDN

Aid Programmes hit hard by EU Budget woes

Europe's unpaid bills are accumulating, and with them fears for development aid and humanitarian aid. Jacek Dominik, the European Commissioner in charge of the budget, has also raised the alarm. In a speech on 24 September, the Polish Commissioner said that the debts of the Financing Instrument for Development Cooperation (DCI) had accumulated to a value of "14 million euro since July". The strain on the 2014 budget is in danger of becoming even worse in 2015, as member states have proposed significant cuts to the European Commission budget. NGOs have responded to the cuts with disbelief, particularly as the External Action Service does not account for a very large proportion of the total EU budget.

Read the full article here.

Source: Euractiv

The EU Commission’s Private Sector Communication

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) discusses the recent EC Communication on working with the private sector for development. The analysis looks at the different actors targeted by this communication and what roles are foreseen for these actors. Among other things, the Communication is clearly also for Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs, Civil Society Organisations CSOs and other development actors who see themselves as representing different beneficiaries of EU development policies. This includes organisations working with firms in multi-stakeholder partnerships as well as cooperatives, both in some ways ahead of the EC in thinking about working with the private sector, as well as those CSOs more inclined to be suspicious of the private sector as a ‘development actor’.

Click here to read the full article.

Source: ECDPM

The 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum 2015 in Riga, Latvia

The 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum is organised in the context of Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Eastern Partnership Platform 4 'Contacts between people'.

The Forum will bring together about 200 participants: young persons active in youth organisations, youth workers, researchers, ministerial representatives, representatives of business field (unions, employers’ organisations, job services etc.), representatives of formal education, young journalist willing to spread the word about the 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum.
Additionally, the Forum will showcase and further develop the Eastern Partnership and Erasmus+ Programme countries’ joint youth cooperation. The Forum will provide space to discuss and recommend steps to be taken as regards young people’s employability in this context.

Application deadline is 2 November 2014.
You can apply online here.

Before you apply you should check with the NA of your residence country if it is involved in this particular project and would be ready to support any candidate.


Source: Salto Youth

North-South Centre of the Council of Europe - e-learning course on the Intercultural Dimension of Global Education

This global education online learning course is designed for education practitioners, social workers, civil society, youth activists, as well as policy and decision makers, local authorities and intercultural cities. The course has been designed to complement the Global Education Guidelines, a pedagogical tool for educators and policy makers to understand and implement Global Education, and share with a wider audience concepts and approaches promoted by the North-South Centre’s Global Education programme.

The deadline for submitting the complete application is 3 November, 2014.
Details on the application process and the application form can be found here.


Source: North-South Centre - Council of Europe

Global Education Week 2014: Food Security and Food Waste

Whilst in many parts of the world food is scarce, in Western industrial nations a great deal of faultless food gets thrown away in the trash. What some have in abundance, lacks for others. Estimates show that about a third of the worldwide produced food ends up in the garbage without being consumed. This has consequences not only for the climate and the environment, but also causes hunger and food insecurity in the countries that export the raw materials. In those countries you often encounter extreme inequality in the access to food products.

This year’s Global Education Week (from the 15th to the 23rd of November 2014) will address this issues and the implications that food waste has on a global scale. The aim of the European week is to introduce topics on Global Learning to educational institutions and other organizations.

In Germany, the World University Service coordinates the Global Education Week and supports the various actors of Global Learning and Development Education by promoting their activities on www.globaleducationweek.de. There you can also find a calendar of events with seminars, workshops and other activities on the issue of food security and food waste. In addition to that we provide a list of relevant school materials and background information on the matter.

For further information, please contact the National Coordinator of the Global Education Week in Germany: Word University Service.

Information provided by Word University Service 

Aid Transparency Index 2014 published

The 2014 ATI results follow the trends observed in previous years. A lead group of organisations are making significant and continuous improvements to the information they publish on their current aid activities – and many others have taken steps towards improving their publication in 2014 – but the majority have not made significant progress and continue to lag behind.

The top ranking agency is the United Nations Development Programme (91%), followed by 2012’s top performer the UK Department for International Development (88%), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (87%), which held the number one position in 2013. As in 2013, China takes the last place. The average score for all organisations still sits disappointingly low at 39%, and there is an increasing gap emerging between the organisations at the top and those at the bottom of the ranking.

Apart from Czech Republic and Estonia, who were rated “Poor”, all the other EU13 countries scored “Very Poor”. See more here.


Source: ECDPM

Save the Children publishes “Leaving No One Behind: Embedding equity in the post-2015 framework through stepping stone targets”

By 2030, we could live in a world free from extreme poverty in which all children have equal chances to survive and reach their full potential in life. For this to happen, mechanisms to ensure that disadvantaged groups are not left behind by progress must be embedded in the post-2015 global development framework. Stepping stone equity targets are one such mechanism. These would serve as interim benchmarks across all goal areas to ensure that disadvantaged groups are on track to achieve final targets and are catching up with more advantaged groups. By 2030, no post-2015 target should be considered met unless it is met for all.

Read the full publication and recommendations from Save the Children here.


 Source: Save the Children UK - www.savethechildren.org.uk

Taking Care of Business: The impact of big business on people living in poverty

Businesses, as part of society, must be open about their impacts on society, the environment and human rights; and should be held to account for their activities.

This paper examines what is meant by the term 'business' and what big business looks like. Furthermore, using the experience of SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) partners in Colombia, the paper explore the role of big business and its impact on people living in poverty and on our planet making suggestions on the kind of good practice needed and how this can be promoted.


The paper can be downloaded here.



Source: CIDSE

The 2014 DATA Report: Fighting Poverty and Financing Africa’s Future

ONE’s 2014 DATA Report: Fighting Poverty and Financing Africa’s Future continues its longstanding tradition of holding leaders to account and monitoring both donor and African government commitments on development finance.

"Official development assistance rebounded in 2013, but most donors have not made good on their aid commitments, and are not channeling a high enough proportion of aid to the poorest countries," the report indicates. Apart from looking at donor countries and assessing their performance in financing for development, the report also indicates that most African countries do not fulfill their own pledges. Finally the report offers 11 specific recommendations to improve public finance for development beyond 2015.

The full report is available for download here.

Source: ONE

News from CONCORD

CONCORD wants to inform European decision makers about CSOs vision and perspective on development. Therefore the confederation organises the first #DevWorkshop on 5 November at the EU Parliament in Brussels, including a Development Fair to showcase policy work and key information. Find out more about recent activities on CONCORD in their latest newsletter.


Information provided by CONCORD

Outcome of the High level Ministerial Meeting on Peace and Capable Institutions in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The meeting, chaired by H.E. Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, brought together ministers and permanent representatives of g7+ countries and other UN Member States, together with representatives of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding and other partners to consider the issue of peace and capable institutions in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Among the main messages during the panel discussions, it was highlighted that the nexus between peace and development has long been evidenced, but has not been operationalized through the international development agenda and that we now have a chance to rectify this to ensure that the Post-2015 framework is transformative and does not leave anyone behind.

Source: g7plus

Partner Request of ASPEm: Europe for Citizens Project focusing on Balkan and Mediterranean Region

ASPEm, an Italian NGO which supports active citizenship is looking for a lead agency and/or partner organisations to submit a project under the EU Programme "Europe for citizens". The project will aim at the integration of vulnerable and marginalised groups through the promotion of culture and arts. ASPEm preferably looks for partners from the Mediterranean or Balkan region.

More informationand contact details here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

Partner Request of TERA: Europe for Citizens - European Rememberace

TERA Maison de l’Europe de la Charente (TERA-MDE 16) is a non-profit organisation from France involved in non formal education and in international cooperation projects. TERA-MDE 16 would be glad to cooperate with you within a future project under the “Europe for Citizens” Programme, Strand 1 - European Remembrance.

More information and contacts here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

STEP Beyond Travel Grants for Artists and Cultural Workers

STEP Beyond Travel grants fund up and coming artists and cultural workers – giving priority to individuals up to 35 years and/or in the first 10 years of their career – to travel between EU and countries bordering the EU.

The travel grants support individual artists and cultural workers travelling across borders in a wider European space, to explore, network and set up new collaborations. They also see the travel scheme as a tool for professional development, ranging from planning, fundraising and application to payment procedures. Eligible travelers should present a well-prepared travel itinerary and have a clear plan of activities, with at least one committed partner or host in the destination country.

Funded travel should represent a starting point for continued collaboration and the resulting projects should have some impact on the local/regional arts and culture scene and/or policy-making. STEP Beyond Travel Grants are only meant for contributing towards international travel ticket expenses. Grants range from €250 to €700 depending on the country you are departing from and the country you will travel to. Application:

There is no deadline for this grant scheme, so you can apply at any time but at least one month before your planned travel. The selection process takes up to one month.

Before applying please read the application guidelines here carefully.
Apply online here.


Source: Edu-Active

The Catholic Relief Services' International Development Fellows Program (IDFP)

The IDFP gives people who are interested in a career in international relief and development an opportunity to increase their overseas experience and gain exposure to our programs. Each year, CRS places approximately 20-25 Fellows with our country programs overseas. Assignments are for 8-12 months, starting in early September. Specific job responsibilities vary greatly from one country to another depending on the country program's focus (Agriculture, Health, Peacebuilding, Education, Microfinance, or a combination of these).

APPLICATIONS CLOSE MONDAY, DECEMBER. 1

Click here for more details.


Source: Catholic Relief Services

Thursday, 25 September 2014

EU13 CSOs’ Participation in EC Funded Projects in the Last Decade – Where do We Stand?

This summer at TRIALOG we looked systematically at the level of participation of EU13 civil society organisations (CSOs) in different European Commission (EC) funding schemes, namely in Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) projects, in development cooperation projects in the Global South and projects in the area of humanitarian action.

Three papers were published:
A Decade of EU13 Civil Society Participation in European Development Education and Awareness Raising Projects, June 2014
A Decade of EU13 Civil Society Participation in European Development Cooperation Projects, July 2014
A Decade of EU13 Civil Society Participation in European Humanitarian Actions, August 2014

To mark the 10 year anniversary of EU enlargement in 2014, we looked back at the last decade. The studies were put together on the basis of publicly available information from EC websites and databases, and supported by a questionnaire sent to EU13 CSOs.

The findings revealed that EU13 CSOs have been quite successful in securing EC DEAR grants while the implementation of EC development cooperation and humanitarian action projects has been extremely limited. EU13 CSOs lead the implementation of 14.1% of the budget of EC DEAR grants between 2004 and 2013 – the EC did not meet its aim to allocate 20% of the budget for DEAR grants to EU10/12 CSOs, but came close to achieving the aim in some years. However, 88% of the DEAR projects included at least one partner from EU13 which shows a large extent of partnerships between EU13 and EU15 CSOs.

Analysis of some of the most important EC development cooperation programmes (e.g. Investing in People, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and others) revealed extremely limited participation of EU13 CSOs in these project schemes. Out of the 3921 grants analysed, only 30 were awarded to EU13 CSOs, representing 0.75% of the grants analysed.

Within the last ten years, only 42 European humanitarian projects were implemented by five different EU13 CSOs coming from four different countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. During 2004-2012, EU13 CSOs managed to obtain only 0.41% of the total funding for humanitarian operations awarded by DG ECHO to CSOs. 99.59% of the funding was awarded to CSOs from the EU15 and European Economic Area countries.

Among the EU13 group there were considerable differences noticed in terms of implementation of EC funded grants. Czech CSOs implemented the most projects in all three categories. Hungarian CSOs also implemented a considerable amount of DEAR and development cooperation projects as did the Polish CSOs with DEAR and humanitarian action projects.

The studies identified numerous issues that pose difficulties for EU13 development CSOs to participate to a larger extent in the EU-funded project schemes. They include the big sizes of the project grants and inability to raise co-financing for the projects; lack of experience in managing such large scale projects; limited “field experience” in the Global South and ability to identify partners for the projects.

Some recommendations from the study to address the current situation are for the EC to encourage and open up opportunities for EU13 CSOs to partner up with EU15 and non-European CSOs for implementing joint development cooperation projects on the ground or to implement humanitarian action e.g. through junior partner schemes; Member States to ensure predictable and reliable co-financing schemes for EC projects for national CSOs; Different stakeholders, including from civil society, European institutions, national governments to have a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the role and participation of EU13 CSOs in implementing European development cooperation and humanitarian assistance projects with the view to find solutions for the current extremely low involvement of EU13 CSOs in these programmes.

Download the Studies from our website.


Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Policy Digest: Food Security

Get an overview on the different terms related to food security. Which EU policies have the biggest effects on food security? How are CSOs active in this field?

Food insecurity is a double-edged sword as it is both the cause and the effect of poverty, which means that solutions to this problem are also diverse. It is an inherently global challenge and we in Europe must also take action by supporting policies that enhance agricultural productivity and increase food availability, especially for smallholder farmers, so that we can achieve hunger reduction even where poverty is widespread.

This policy digest looks at three main issues: firstly, different terms related to food security are explained; secondly, EU policies that have one of the biggest effects on food security are explored; thirdly, CSO activities in this field are highlighted.

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Information provided by TRIALOG