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

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.


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.


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 or write to 

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