Monday, 28 September 2015

Why is TRIALOG ending?

TRIALOG is a project that was developed in the year 2000 to address the upcoming situation of 10 new European Union member states with new responsibilities in many areas, including development cooperation. The project aimed to support civil society organisations to work together more effectively, form national platforms where there were none, and integrate into the European system of development policy and practice.

Fifteen years on, all 13 of the countries that have joined the EU since 2004 have national platforms that are members of CONCORD, the European confederation. There are murmurs of discontent from organisations in countries that no longer consider themselves ‘new’ and even the term ‘EU13’ prompts backlash from those who consider themselves more properly identified as one of the EU28. TRIALOG is a project that has served its purpose – achieved many of its objectives and established a community of partners who will continue to work together long after the project ends.

This is not to say that the kind of support that TRIALOG has provided over the years would not be welcomed if it could be continued in some of the partner countries, and indeed others around the EU. That is why we have worked with CONCORD, through the members, to ensure the new strategy safeguards as many areas as possible where TRIALOG work will be missed. Space for member exchange and peer learning is a large part of the new strategy, and will take forward many lessons learned through TRIALOG’s fifteen year experience (collected together in our systematisation process). Our tools have been written down and can be consulted through CONCORDnet.

We also hope to share this experience with partners in the Western Balkans in the future.

Thanks from the TRIALOG team must go to all those who have supported and actively participated in TRIALOG’s work over the past fifteen years. We look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.


Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

TRIALOG bids Farewell

Two weeks before closing fifteen years of the project, the TRIALOG team, lead agency HORIZONT3000 and CONCORD brought together partners and friends to celebrate their joint success.
On Monday 14th September 2015, TRIALOG partners from the national platforms of the EU13 countries and other consortium members came together a final time within the framework of TRIALOG, to discuss the end of the project. The group exchanged information on current and future priorities as well as the measures that have been taken with CONCORD to ensure a smooth transition into the new strategic framework. In the 2016-22 CONCORD strategy, a new focus is on member engagement and part of the operationalisation discussions happening now are focusing on inclusion and ensuring smaller members are as engaged in CONCORD work as possible.

Partners were then joined by members of Austrian civil society for an exchange on the Sustainable Development Goals and how different organisations intend to work within the new framework in coming years. The discussion kicked off with an input of Jakob Mussil of the Austrian platform Global Responsibility and member of the European Taskforce of the Beyond2015 campaign. Most platforms have started to think about how to engage with the goals’ implementation and many are focusing on advocacy towards their government and capacity building among their members on the goals and how to work with them.

The evening reception paid tribute to TRIALOG’s achievements, history and staff, past and present with speeches of one of the founders, Robert Zeiner via video message, CONCORD president Johannes Trimmel, longterm advisory group member Grzegorz Gruca of Polish Humanitarian Action and HORIZONT3000 director Erwin Eder. In a TRIALOG quiz Rebecca Steel-Jasińska and Ulrike Bey of the TRIALOG team checked how much people in fact knew about TRIALOG. The mood was a little sad that an era comes to an end but at the same time very proud of what we accomplished.

We thank all those who came to celebrate with us, and we look forward to seeing you again in the post-TRIALOG world.


Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska and Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

New Policy Digest: Climate Change and Development

European media is full of titles such as “Record summer temperatures”, “Hottest July days on record”, “Weather records across Europe” – and then there are daily reports on intensifying floods, fires and droughts. These events are disturbing the everyday life of people and influencing how food is produced, for example, all around the globe.

In December 2015, Paris is hosting a climate summit where 196 countries – literally, the whole world – will meet with one single goal: to sign a new global agreement on climate change. Climate change and the intergovernmental negotiations around it are multifaceted and complex. This Policy Digest will aim to address the following key themes in a clear and simple manner: how climate change and development cooperation are interlinked; what risks the world’s poorest countries are facing; the process, key issues negotiated and the expected outcomes of the Paris conference; what the EU is bringing to the negotiating table; and how civil society organisations are engaging on the topic before and after the Paris conference.

Read the new TRIALOG Policy Digest here.



Information provided by TRIALOG

Organisation of the Month: Bankwatch Romania

2015 is the European Year of Development, the EU’s flagship campaign to promote its objectives and activities in the field of development cooperation. As the sustainable development goals replace the Millennium Development Goals at year’s end, EYD is intended to raise awareness about Europe’s role in areas like education, health, agriculture, access to energy, resilient ecosystems, equality. But where the Commission’s actions miss the mark, we’re there to connect the dots.

Bankwatch Romania together with a coalition of twenty civil society groups from 17 countries across the continent, members and partner organizations of CEE Banwkatch Network, is campaigning for ‘Catching the Train of Development’ and providing a critical understanding of Europe’s approach to ‘development’.
The campaign focuses particularly on the role of public and private sources of finance and the problematics of financial tools such as public-private partnerships, blending and using ODA (Official Development Assistance) to leverage private finance. Focused on campaigns in priority countries for Romania – nuclear energy in Ukraine, oil and gas in Tunisia and hydro-power in Georgia, Bankwatch Romania works to reduce the environmental and social impact of projects financed through European public financial institutions (European IFIs) such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank.
Some of these bring to surface inconsistencies between the development goals of the EU and policies in the sectors of energy, extractive industries, transport and agriculture. Bankwatch Romania works to make IFIs accountable, transparent and participatory in the projects they are financing. Furthermore, Bankwatch Romania seeks to build collaboration with Romanian NGOs and Romanian public institutions towards a more thorough analysis of the impact on development goals in priority countries of public multilateral funding and private investments from Romania.

To learn more about the projects monitored by Bankwatch and the activities of the „Catching the train or development” campaign please visit www.bankwatch.org.

„Catching the train of Development” campaign is funded by EuropeAid and is part of a 3-year project: „Financing development and developing finance for EYD2015: a Pan-European campaign to align European investments in developing countries with the post-2015 MDG framework and the EU policies that promote sustainable growth and poverty reduction”.


Information provided by Bankwatch Romania

Are you too a #GlobalNeighbour?

An awareness raising campaign "You too are a global neighbour" is being launched in these days by SLOGA, NGO Platform from Slovenia. The goal is to raise consciousness about international development cooperation and importance of global solidarity in the European Year for Development 2015. SLOGA is addressing questions such as: "What is international development cooperation and who are the actors involved? Why is cooperation important? What are the results of such global policies and what is the input of European Union and its member states? How can individuals join the common journey towards sustainable development and global solidarity?

Actions involved in the campaign include educational events, promotional materials and policy papers. Besides, they are organizing a web movement, through which they will collect photos of individuals who consider themselves #GlobalNeighbours.

Are you a #GlobalNeighbour? Join their campaign, take your photo with the printed slogan below and share it on your Facebook or Twitter profile! Don't forget to use #GlobalNeighbour and #EYD2015 hash tags!


Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

Czech CSO platform FoRS participated in “Czech Development Week”

From Monday 14th till Friday 18th of September, FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Cooperation actively engaged in a series of events showing sustainable development-related topics to and discussing them with the public, as part of the platform´s contribution to the European Year for Development.
The week started with the launch of The World’s Best News newspaper 2015 on September 14th in Prague and other Czech towns, with a support of up to 80 volunteers. The following day, FoRS and the Environmental Centre of the Charles University in Prague organised the discussion “Democracy in Education through a Dialog of Actors” in the framework of this year´s international Conference Forum 2000. The discussion focused on the various social actors´ points of view and deliberative processes that influence education in the contemporary world.
On September 17th, FoRS as well as several member organisations participated in the happening called Czech Development Day organised by the Czech Development Agency under the auspices of the prime minister with the aim to showcase the Czech development cooperation to the broad public. This “action” week was concluded by a panel discussion “New tendencies in evaluations and presentation of their results”, where civil servants, evaluators, practitioners from NGOs and other development actors had the opportunity to share their experience and opinions with international experts as well as representatives of the European Commission and the Czech Development Agency.

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer

Advocacy on Humanitarian Aid and response to influx of refugees in Slovenia and other activities of SLOGA

Over the last months SLOGA is intensively involved in a dialogue with different government officials on the topics of humanitarian aid and Slovenian capacity for a response to an influx of refugees moving on the so called “Western Balkans route”. SLOGA participated in the consultations on the preparation of Guidelines on international humanitarian assistance of Republic of Slovenia in July 2015. The meeting was aimed at exchanging views and suggestions regarding the content of the Guidelines, which should be prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the coming months. Apart from that a lot of efforts were concentrated on the question of the growing refugee crisis in the wider region. SLOGA is very active coordinating a huge coalition of NGO’s in Slovenia, which is responding to the refugee crisis in terms of advocacy, planning the distribution of humanitarian aid, questions of integration etc. This coalition also sent an open letter to the Prime minister of Slovenia which sparked a direct dialogue with the Government. Operation Center was established, where a representative of SLOGA is also present. The aim of Operation Center is to coordinate response between different actors, and to share information and good practices among them. Apart from ongoing dialogue and advocacy a huge pressure on Government was also exerted before the meeting of the Council of EU for Justice and Internal Affairs.

Promoting international development cooperation and raising awareness
SLOGA intensified its efforts to promote international development cooperation to general public in Slovenia not only with its »Global Neighbour« campaign. SLOGA also organized several events which were aimed at promoting international development cooperation. Thus, several panels and group discussions (called Skuhna Talks) were organized on the topics of positive consequences of migration, gender equality and the role of youth. Aforementioned campaign and its messages were also presented and different workshops were held on several international events such as World Schools Debate Academy in Kranjska Gora, MUNSC Salient: Youth Conference on Global Matters 2015 in Ljubljana, AidWatch platform event in Serbia, and United Nations Summer School in Ljubljana. We also joined the World’s Best News project organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and distributed best news on development cooperation in Ljubljana. SLOGA was also present on several public events with the aim to present both the role and work of the platform and its projects as well. Therefore, SLOGA took part at Šuštarska nedelja in Tržič and Bivak festival in Ljubljana. Part of SLOGA’s efforts there were also to gather signatures for petition for a European Year of Social and Solidarity Economy 2018 as a part of Challenging the Crisis campaign.

LADDER Activities 
SLOGA took part in training in Zagreb, held between 21 and 24 July, which offered the participants a deeper insight into the concept DEAR and connected it with the existing development issues. In the end everything was combined in creation of a DEAR strategy. The aim of LADDER (Local Authorities as Drivers for Development Education and Awareness Raising) project is to improve the functioning of local authorities in the policy areas of global learning and raising awareness, with special emphasis on neighboring EU Member States. Within LADDER project SLOGA also contributed to a joint call to EU ministers before the meeting of the Council of EU for Justice and Internal Affairs, which called for an urgent, comprehensive, coordinated and humane response to the migration crisis in the European Union and its neighborhood. Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

Hungarian NGOs lobby for SDGs in the national development strategy

Along the adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, HAND Association targets – through a mini-project financed by the Beyond 2015 campaign – the implementation process in Hungary to ensure that these goals are built in the national framework. Our aim appears essential as there seems to be no clear plan for dealing with the issue on government level.

While during the summer we aimed at the public by raising awareness on international development issues at festivals that attracted hundreds of people, in September we try to draw the attention of both government and parliamentary decision makers to the need of adopting the SDGs into the national strategy and implementation plans and to communicate the recommendations of Hungarian NGOs how to best do it. Therefore, a proposal package about the most important steps for national implementation has been elaborated. It also formulates suggestions for the revision of the national sustainable development strategy. The proposals will be discussed not only among our member organisations, but at a wider scale of NGOs before having it published and presented for decision makers.

In the past months we have managed to reach a higher appearance in several media, as well we used social media extensively (Facebook and Twitter). We intent to put more emphasis on our media activities in regard to build political leadership. Hopefully after the UN General Assembly there will be much more supporters of the implementation process both on the side of decision-makers and in society.

Information provided by Timea Gedeon, HAND

News from FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Cooperation

FoRS present at and preparing for the Addis Ababa, New York and Paris summits
As a preparation for the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Cooperation together with its member organisation Glopolis, launched a media brief at a breakfast for journalists on July 8th, presenting the main issues and putting them in the national context. The brief criticises the lack of the participation of a Czech government´s representative (especially the absence of a representative of Ministry of Finance in the delegation) in Addis Ababa, as well as the insufficient amount of Czech ODA (0,11 % GDP, i. e. one third of its commitments). FoRS was represented in the official national delegation to Addis by its Executive Board President from Glopolis, who contributed to the final Czech position, which recognised importance of domestic resource mobilisation for sustainable development and encouraged the international community to elaborate more on the international tax reforms at the global level. FoRS also supported the participation of a journalist writing for a national renowned weekly magazine contributing thus to raise awareness of the Czech public on global development issues. FoRS is now preparing for the UN summit in New York. Here, the platform will be represented in the official national delegation led by the vice-prime minister and will send another participant in side-events. FoRS will also provide an input for the Czech vision on SDGs to the Czech government, especially on the topics related to the development cooperation. In addition, since last year, FoRS has been engaged in a dialogue of development, environmental, social, educational, NGOs working with migrants and other Czech NGOs about a joint vision and requirements for the Czech Republic implementation of the Agenda 2030. As to the December climate summit in Paris, FoRS cooperates with the association of environmental NGOs, Green Circle.

FoRS discussed the refugee crisis 
Current critical refugee crisis and its insufficient and inadequate attention at the national level woken up a huge interest from FoRS members to discuss the situation and to search for ways of joint action. This debate took place on August 26th and the participants –members of FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Cooperation as well as NGOs specialised on migration in the Czech Republic- shared their experiences, opinions and good practices. They identified several concrete topics of concern and of interest in cooperating, e. g. to work on proposals for more system solutions addressed to national policy and decision-makers, to improve ways of communication with haters and the media, to exchange experiences with the discussion about migration in schools, to include foreigners living in the Czech Republic in policy and decision-making processes and to make proposals on how to address migration in the framework of development cooperation.

Photo by Michaela Lenc, FoRS: debate on refugee crisis

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer


Latvian Development Platform LAPAS looks back at the country’s EU Presidency

The first half of year 2015 marked the time of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. It gave opportunities to Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS) to cooperate actively with other European platforms and civil society organisations working in the field of global development, to accumulate knowledge and experience, talk to wider audiences about the challenges and opportunities of development and to advocate for aid quality and effectiveness in the Parliament and ministries in Latvia.

Priorities of LAPAS within the Presidency project were divided into four parts: developing and applying the approach of glocalization to sustainable development; choosing responsible food consumption as a topic to improve the understanding of interconnectedness of global and local dimensions; promoting the non-financial means of implementation for post-2015 agenda and highlighting the important role that the new donors can play in global sustainable development.

The full text of the Manifesto of LAPAS is available here.
In a report, all materials that have been produced within the EU presidency project by LAPAS are made available. Download the report here.


Information provided by LAPAS

DEEEP Grand Finale event – Learn and celebrate

How best can we employ development education and awareness raising as a tool to address systemic transformation challenges? The last big conference under the DEEEP project will be the perfect opportunity to take stock of “The Best of Global Learning” from 28-29 October in Brussels.

Based on the ‘Art of Hosting’ methods and highly participatory appreciative enquiry, the Grand Finale event, organised jointly with EUCIS-LLL, will harvest 12 years of DEAR experiences from all around Europe. It will allow participants to positively inquire their experiences and learn from each other’s as they have probably never done it before.

At the end of this learning journey, you will be invited in the evening to celebrate collectively the biggest achievements of the DEEEP projects and let these key moments revival in a convivial and festive atmosphere. Join the event to learn and celebrate!

Full programme available here.

Registration is open until October 14th.

Information provided by DEEEP

CONCORD Spotlight Report 2015: #ForfairEurope

This year’s Spotlight Report „Investing for Development?“ takes a close look at the impacts of the EU’s investment regime on food security, the right to food and land governance in developing countries. The peport reveals that the dominance of the corporate private sector-led approach in both the European Union’s (EU) investment regime and development cooperation framework adversely impacts the food security and the livelihoods of small-scale food producers, women in particular, in developing countries.

Download the report here.






Source: CONCORD

Global Synthesis Report 2015: The State of Development Cooperation, CSO Enabling Environment and CSO Development Effectiveness

Published by the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), this report is a global synthesis drawing on contributions from 23 selected country CSOs (incl. 4 European ones: Albania, Czech Republic, Germany and Spain) on the current state of development cooperation, CSO enabling environment, and CSO development effectiveness at a country level. The outcomes will feed into the work of the CPDE platform, as well as on the work of its member CSOs around the world, galvanising future policy engagement initiatives at global and country level.

Download the report here.


Source: CSO Partnership





Development Co-operation Report 2015. Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action

The OECD Development Co-operation Report 2015 explores the potential of networks and partnerships to create incentives for responsible action, as well as innovative, fit-for-purpose ways of co-ordinating the activities of diverse stakeholders. The report – Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action – looks at a number of existing partnerships working in diverse sectors, countries and regions to draw lessons and provide practical guidance, proposing ten success factors for post-2015 partnerships. A number of leading policy makers and politicians share their insights and views.

Download the report here.











Source: OECD

Friday, 26 June 2015

TRIALOG at the European Development Days in Brussels

This year’s European Development Days (EDDs) took place in Brussels on 3-4 June and focused on the themes of the European Year for Development. Thousands of participants engaged in discussions around the following topics during the panel and working group events:
• Our world – Creating sustainable growth within the limits of our planet. 
• Our dignity – Developing a shared vision of universal and fundamental rights.
• Our future – Each of our policies can make a difference & we are all actors in development.

Civils Society representatives from around the world were engaged as active speakers and contributors in many of the events. CONCORD together with the European Year for Development Civil Society Alliance and Action 2015 had a Lounge space at the event where numerous discussions and interactive activities took place. For example, the Latvian development CSO platform LAPAS introduced their research on the role of new donors in development and the glocalization board game there. TRIALOG organized an interactive quiz “How well do you know Central and Eastern European development CSOs?” and shared the experiences form TRIALOG Systematization process.

In case you are curious how well you know civil society organisation from the EU13 countries, take this fun quiz with 10 questions!

In case you missed this year’s EDDs, take the opportunity to watch some of the videos from the discussions or listen to the podcasts.


In the photo: Participants during the TRIALOG session with Rebecca Steel-Jasinska and Mirjam Sutrop at the EDDs.

Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Organisation of the Month: Documenta from Croatia

Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past was founded in 2006 by Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights Osijek, Centre for Peace Studies, Civic Committee for Human Rights and Croatian Helsinki Committee with an attempt to encourage the process of dealing with the past and establishing factual truth about the war and to contribute to shifting of the discussion from the level of dispute over facts towards a dialogue on interpretations. The key reason for making this attempt was the silence and falsification of war crimes and other war-related events in the period from 1941 to 2000, which has influenced the recent past of Yugoslavia, as well as post-Yugoslav societies.

Since its establishment, Documenta contributes to the development process of dealing with the past on individual, social and institutional level, with a mission to build sustainable peace in Croatia and the region. This tasks is being conducted by deepening the dialogue and initiating a public debate on public policies that encourage dealing with the past, collecting data, publishing research on war events, war crimes and violations of human rights, and monitoring war crimes trials at the local and regional level as a contribution to the improvement of court standards and practices in the war crimes trials.

In order to achieve its goals, Documenta cooperates with its founding organizations, associations of families of the missing people, other civic initiatives, governmental institutions, international institutions and organizations, institutions of state and local government, academic institutions, religious groups, the media and other interested individuals. Structure of Documenta’s programs consists of three units: Public dialogue and public policies, Documenting, Improvement of court practices and standards.

In April 2015, Documenta published data they gathered as part of the research "Human loses in Croatia 1991 - 1995" (Ljudski gubici u RH 1991 - 1995. godine). They started this research in 2009, focusing on Western Slavonia region in Croatia, they interviewed 6150 people, gathered 25 000 documents and made a digital database. The data they presented had a great public response, and they will continue with this research which is important for the process of reconciliation in Croatia.

For more information please visit the website www.documenta.hr

In the photo: Vesna Teršelič and Slaven Rašković during their presentation of the research, taken at Human Rights House in Zagreb.

Information provided by CROSOL

Eventful Spring of European Year for Development in Slovakia

During the months of April and May, messages of the European Year for Development (EYD 2015) – “Our world, our dignity, our future” – have been spread by the Slovak NGDO Platform and its member organisations also throughout Slovak regions.

Among huge variety of topics, the issues of poverty and decent life were discussed with the Slovak public during an urban event called “Good Market”, which took place on one of the historic squares in Bratislava. In cooperation with the EC Representation in Slovakia, the Platform organised a public discussion CAFÉ EUROPA hosted by the ambassador of the EYD, an internationally acknowledged writer Michal Hvorecký. The Millenium development Goals were thoroughly discussed by the representatives of academia, government and NGOs. Bratislava also celebrated the annual Day of Europe, where the goodwill ambassadors of the EYD and 9 member organisations of the Platform presented their activities. The audience had an opportunity to see the television spots and also to participate in the debates with EYD ambassadors, together with two journalists who visited Kenya with the aim to report on the coherence betw
een non-development policies and development goals.

At the end of April, the Minister of the Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák officially met the goodwill ambassadors Adela Banášová (TV show host, ambassador for the campaign ŽI FÉR), Marián Čaučík (director of the Good News Campaign of eRko, ambassador for SlovakAid) and Michal Hvorecký (writer, ambassador for EuropeAid). One of the most visible outcomes of the meeting was a joint statement of the ambassadors, namely Marián Čaučík, who presented the plea to increase funding for bilateral development cooperation in order to come closer to the Slovak commitment of reaching 0,33% ODA/GNI by 2015. The EYD 2015 was present also in Banská Bystrica and Košice during the Africa Day celebrations organised by Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia, in cooperation with other NGO partners.

More information on the activities of the EYD in Slovakia can be found at www.err2015.zifer.sk.


In the picture: TV spot of Adela Banášová and its young spectators during the Day of Europe in Bratislava. Photo: Slovak NGDO Platform, May 2015 

Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, Slovak NGDO Platform

Seminar on “Global Education and the European Year of Development 2015” in Slovenia

On 2 May, the Slovenian Development NGO Platform SLOGA held a seminar titled “Global Education and the European Year of Development 2015”. Participants were discussing about the meaning of global education and its essence in their personal context. This was followed by an exchange of good and bad practices and evaluation of the performed activities.
The second part of the first seminar was dedicated to activities in the field of global education in the context of European Year for Development 2015, finding synergies and preferably greater participation and cooperation of NGOs in the field and a group evaluation and reflection of the seminar.

For more information, please contact Adriana Aralica at SLOGA.


Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

SLOGA and CROSOL started a joint project as a part of EYD

In June 2015, the CSO platforms of Croatia - CROSOL, and Slovenia - SLOGA started activities as part of the ARSICRO project, financed by CONCORD, to mark the EYD - European Year for Development 2015.

In the Croatian city of Rijeka a whole day showkitchen event took place on 17th of June including an art show and a cook book promotion. Asylum seekers together with volunteers were cooking the meals from their home countries – Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal. In the evening, citizens of Rijeka could try their meals and hear their life stories.

The second showkitchen event happened in Zagreb on 20th of June. The chefs this time were from Ethiopia, Iran, Senegal, Algeria, USA and BIH, some of them were just visiting Croatia, some of them are living here with their family, and some are asylum seekers. In the evening meals were presented in the center of Zagreb together with the cookbook. The citizens could taste hummus, falafel, baba ganush, two types of rice, Ethiopian shirou and fir fir and Croatian traditional cake.


 In the photo: showkitchen group in Rijeka. 

 Information provided by Ela Narandja, CROSOL

News from the Maltese Development NGO platform SKOP


Social Justice in the Streets of Valletta 
The Development Education and Awareness Raising Working Group (DEAR WG) within SKOP worked in an awareness raising campaign that produced a series of informational banners that helped promoting messages of social justice within the general public. 2015 is a crucial year for global social justice as it is the target year where the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) should be met. The international community is gearing itself for this process to culminate in an evaluation of the results achieved and adopting a new strategy for the next 10 years: the SDGs Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover as 2015 is the European Year for Development, this campaign provides the unique opportunity for a broad public discussion to take place about meaningful civic engagement on human rights, environmental sustainability and social cohesion.
The banners were set up along Republic Street, a strategic point and one of the busiest streets of Valletta for a whole week in May. The messages on the banners addressed three main target groups: youth, professionals and families while tacking important topics such us, water, gender, health, youths, fair trade, climate change, migration and food security. The project has been funded with support from the VO Fund managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS). 

Training Programme for Educators on Development 
With its seminar programme, the Maltese Development NGO platform SKOP, aimed at raising awareness among a group of educators and train them to become multipliers on development education in non-formal settings. The programme was delivered in 15 sessions of two hours each, including face to face training and personal jour
nal writing. Through this exercise the participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own awareness about global issues. The format of the seminar included lecturing, whole group discussion, small group workshops and journal writing. The training seminar tackled significant issues such us: Sustainable Development, Consumption, Development and Migration, Climate change, Ethical approaches to development and Children's’ Rights in the Broader Context of Human Rights.
This seminar enhanced the skills of a group of educators to be able to work on a global education campaign with children in a non-formal setting, thus stimulating a more active participation of the Maltese society in global social justice. Moreover it also contributed in creating synergies and reinforces links among different groups in society that will be working together for systematic change and global justice.

In the picture: Street banners of the awareness raising campaign, photo: SKOP.

Information provide by Paola Prinzis Liaison Officer at SKOP.

News from the Slovenian Development NGO Platform SLOGA

Many events took place around the topics of cultural diversity, volunteerism and a new development agenda post-2015 over the past two months in Slovenia. The “Week of Africa” offered many occasions for intercultural dialogue, SLOGA promoted its work and visions at the “Happy Day of Volunteerism” in Ljubljana and organised a panel on »Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States« before the official start of European Development Days in Brussels.

Week of Africa 
SLOGA organized in cooperation with various Slovenian NGOs and other institutions the Week of Africa, commemorating the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the Africa Day. Various activities have taken place between 20 and 31 May. The Week of Africa started with a show called Diaspora*, that took place in the cultural center in Velenje. This show has taken the audience into the world of multiculturalism, in which we are witnessing both the beauties of diversity as well as intolerance and discrimination.
A panel titled “To live intercultural, a challenge or a problem?” was organized on 21 May, the day of intercultural dialogue, at Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. The panel was composed of Eyachew Tefera, president of the SLOGA Board, and Faila Pašić Bišić, ambassador of intercultural dialogue. Workshops on intercultural dialogue and the role and importance of human rights were conducted by the volunteers of the United Nations Association of Slovenia at the primary schools in Videm and Ptuj.
An intercultural evening was held by Slovene Philanthropy, spiced up by the a-capella gospel choir Bee Geesus, ambassador of the project of Humanitarian association ADRA Slovenia. The role of youth in intercultural environments was also tackled during the Week of Africa. So called ‘young global neighbors’ - young people originating from other countries but currently living in Slovenia – have presented their experiences in meeting with a new culture and their perception of multiculturalism.
Another colorful event contributed to the overall image of Week of Africa. A football tournament for peace and unity was organized on 24 May in Ljubljana. Aims of this traditional event are to strengthen the body and mind to overcome diversity, and the promotion of integration and social inclusion of vulnerable groups in society. The Week of Africa ended with international ‘global picnic’, which was escorted by a rich program and various workshops that were intended for individuals, families and particularly children.
The Week of Africa was coordinated by SLOGA platform in cooperation with Slovenian national commission for UNESCO and with financial contribution of European Commission.

Round table on partnerships and implementation of new development agenda 
SLOGA platform, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Brussels, organized a panel titled »Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States« before the official start of European Development days. Panel was composed of H. E. Mr. Matjaž Šinkovec, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Cabo Verde, the African Union and Ambassador Designate to Ethiopia; assistant professor Dr. Draško Veselinovič, President of the Board of Slovenian Business and Research Association; and Mr. Eyacehew Tefera, President of SLOGA Board. Panel was moderated by Dr. Sabina Lange, lecturer at the European Institute of Public Administration – EIPA. Panelists talked about challenges and opportunities arising from new development agenda, priorities of Slovenia in the field of development cooperation and negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, the opportunities for the private sector in the new development agenda and also the role of civil society in both implementation of the agenda as well as design of country’s priorities.

Happy Day of Volunteerism 
The Happy Day of Volunteerism took place in the centre of Ljubljana at Prešeren square on 9 June. Overarching slogan of the National Week of Volunteerism, organized by Slovene Philanthropy within which the Happy Day of Volunteerism took place, was “All generations, all colors, all knowledge. With love.” SLOGA took part in this event and promoted its work and vision, the work of its member organizations, and also launched the campaigns within two of its projects, Challenging the Crisis and You Too are a Global Neighbour.

Meeting with NGOs on the topic of human rights in Slovenian foreign policy 
On 4 June, SLOGA attended a meeting organized by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with NGOs on the topic of human rights in Slovenian foreign policy. The aim of the meeting was to include NGOs in the process of preparation for the 29th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.


In the photo: SLOGA stand at the Happy Day of Volunteerism.

Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

News from the Polish NGDO Platform Grupa Zagranica


Poland no longer includes spending on refugees in their ODA 
Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided not to include spending on refugees in Poland in the Official Development Aid reported for 2013. For years this has been an advocacy objective of Grupa Zagranica, the Polish NGDO platform. CONCORD’s yearly AidWatch report counts in-donor country refugee costs, together with debt relief, interest on loans, tied aid and in-donor country spending on students, as inflated aid. Poland and Ireland are the only two OECD DAC member countries that did not report in-donor spending on refugees as ODA in 2013. In-country refugee spending amounted to less than 2% of Polish ODA in 2011 and 2012. Nevertheless, Grupa Zagranica sees this decision as a success and congratulates Polish MFA on the progressive step in their ODA reporting.


PCD in Polish Impact Assessment Guidelines 
Every official regulation in Poland needs to be analysed in terms of its potential impact on economy, society and environment before being submitted to the parliament for debate and enactment. Impact Assessment is a common practice in EU countries, further encouraged and supported through the ‘Better Regulation 2015’ programme. The recent update of the Impact Assessment (IA) guidelines opened an opportunity for the integration of policy coherence for development (PCD) approach in the Polish legislative process. Following a focused advocacy action of Grupa Zagranica the new guidelines include a question relating to the potential “impact on social and economic development of priority countries of Polish development cooperation”. Grupa Zagranica plans further activities aiming at supporting the implementation of this element of the IA guidelines.

For more information, please contact Kasia Szeniawska, Policy Officer at Grupa Zagranica. 

Sources: For ODA http://goo.gl/FkTmdt and PCD http://goo.gl/sdv7be

News from the Czech NGO Platform FoRS

FoRS-Czech Forum for Development Co-operation has recently organized a couple of events for its members as well as other entities. The first one -workshop on private fundraising- was supported by TRIALOG and was organized in cooperation with Czech Fundraising Center on May 12 – 13. FoRS members learned advantages and disadvantages of corporate fundraising, different forms of support from private companies as well as the necessary steps to suceed in establishing long-term cooperation with these entities. There was also space for discussion about possible ways of cooperation in fundraising, especially from individual donors, within the platform FoRS.

The following two events were supported by DEEEP4 EC grants. The workshop „How to jointly promote changes: advocacy workshop not only for development education and awareness raising“ (May 21, 2015) was organized for FoRS members and their partners to help DEAR practitioners to enhance their own policy and advocacy capacities. The participants could better understand the importance of advocacy and its relation to their own work and learn how to effectivelly plan and carry out advocacy activities related to NGOs´ topics from concrete examples of good advocacy practice of Czech NGOs. They could also discuss opportunities for joint advocacy work at the regional and national level as well as what to do in case of limited capacities for advocacy work. The outcomes of the discussions about the joint advocacy work were recorded and will be used for the following work of the FoRS Working Group gathering the DEAR practitioners.

The national seminar „Vision for Education: Open Gate for Debate“ (June 4, 2015) was held within the European Sustainable Development Week and its participants from NGOs, academia, public administration and businesses could discuss a recent open document - vision for education for our common future. It was prepared by a working group of representatives of NGOs, universities and other entities in the context of the finalization of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as current debates on reforms of the Czech educational system. According to this document, in a interconnected and rapidly changing world it is increasingly evident that education does not only mean preparation for a concrete profession, but should also provide young people with skills, which would help them live a successful life and at the same time will contribute to sustainable development of the society as a whole. Thanks to this event the discussion with the business representatives has been started and some of them have also expressed their willingness to participate more in the further process associated with the promotion and implementation of the vision.

Photos are available here.


Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer

First Annual Assembly of the Croatian Platform CROSOL

On 22nd of May 2015, CROSOL Platform held its first annual assembly in Zagreb.

Present were 17 members, 16 full members and 1 observatory member. Two members changed their membership status from observatory to full: OBRIS and Autonomous Women's house Zagreb. The assembly voted on a new statute that will improve the work of the Platform and its bodies. The Platform also welcomes five new members: ADRA, M.A.R.E., Institute for Development of Education, MIRamiDa Centre, Odraz and Zivi Atelje Dajhl Kralj.











In the photo: participants of the annual assembly of CROSOL.

Information provided by Ela Narandja, CROSOL

CIDSE echoes the Pope’s Call for Global Solidarity

CIDSE, the international alliance of Catholic development organisations warmly welcomes the Pope’s encyclical “Laudato si’” on Care for our Common Home, whose open tone and bottom-up approach paves the way for dialogue with all the people of goodwill to identify solutions to the current ecological crisis and address inequalities.

The work carried out so far by many civil society organisations to fight for justice was not unnoticed by the Pope, who wrote: “We cannot fail to praise the commitment of international agencies and civil society organisations which draw public attention to these issues and offer critical cooperation, employing legitimate means of pressure”. The encyclical also reinforces the spirit of transformation and “rethinking development” that runs through CIDSE’s work: based on St Francis’ understanding of the creation as our common home, the text makes a call for a transformational change that allows all human beings to live in dignity and that requires responsibility to be taken up at all levels: internationally, locally and individually.

CIDSE will further discuss and analyse the messages of the encyclical during the conference: ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’ taking place in Rome on 2-3 July 2015. The conference will bring together Church leaders, Decision Makers, Scientists as well as a wide range of representatives of Catholic and civil society organisations from different regions of the world.

Read the CIDSE Press Release here and find more information on the conference here
TRIALOG lead agency HORIZONT3000 is part of the of CIDSE network through the Austrian member organisations KOO.

Source: www.cidse.org

Czech NGOs assess their implementation of CSO development effectiveness principles

Since 2011, Czech NGOs associated in the platform FoRS carry out an annual self-assessment based on FoRS Code on Effectiveness. The number of participating organizations is increasing – this year it reached 33 NGOs (77 % of the membership) and FoRS secretariat. FoRS members assessed their performance in 5 areas linked to the 8 Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness: Grassroots Knowledge, Transparency and Accountability, Partnership, Respect to Human Rights and Gender Equality and Accountability for Impacts and their Sustainability. On average, 94 % responses were positive –Absolutely yes or Mostly yes (on a 4-point scale).

In addition, FoRS self-assessment questionnaire both inspired a similar self-assesment process of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and got inspired by this latter offering its members to share concrete examples of good practice, challenges and lessons learnt. The whole self-assessment process is a very valuable moment for NGO reflection, it facilitates exchange and learning. FoRS will use its outcomes to design capacity building activities for its members to support them to improve their practices.

Contact persons: Marie Zázvorková (marie.zazvorkova@fors.cz) and Adéla Stiborová (adela.stiborova@fors.cz)

Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer

2015 Annual Conference of the Czech Evaluation Society (CES)

In June 2015 the fifth year of the Conference was held. Czech evaluation society has been organizing the conference together with Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague and since 2011 has become the most important evaluation event in the Czech Republic. Each year more than 100 participants attend approx. 15 lectures of the Czech and foreign speakers, carefully selected by the Conference Steering Committee; this year 110 participants took part at the Conference.

Usually the opportunities, prospects and alternative routes of future development of evaluations are discussed; recently the presentations on improving the utilization of evaluation reports or applicability of Capability Approach were given. Substantial attention is also paid to evaluation methodology and its advances. That is why the current contributions focused among others on outcome mapping and harvesting and behavioral approaches in evaluations. Further on, new methods and techniques in evaluation like e.g. most significant change technique or photovoice strategy were appreciated by the participants.

There were also other activities related with the CES Annual Conference. First, it was the poster session for those who wanted to present the case-study or evaluation that used unique design or inquiry that might inspire others. Another activity was the “bookstore” when it was possible to obtain actual evaluation literature, e.g. on impact evaluations or on local development initiatives. Furthermore, recent issues of the Czech peer-reviewed journal on evaluations (Evaluation Theory and Practice) were available. Satisfaction survey conducted among participants, shows that 93 % were overall satisfied (50 % very satisfied) whereas most of the participants expressed their satisfaction with professional level of the lecturers (96 %) and significance of the lectures (93 %). Response-rate in this inquiry achieved 49 %.

About Czech evaluation society (CES) 
CES is a non-profit, non-governmental and independent organization staffed only by volunteers without any paid employees. The main goal of CES is to associate individuals and institutions interested in evaluations. Members of CES are driven by their concern in building evaluation capacities within the Czech Republic, in increasing awareness about evaluations among relevant target groups, in improving reputation of evaluations as well as in advancing professional skills of practitioners and commissioners. CES represents the platform supporting cooperation with international associations and networks of evaluators, especially with NESE (Network of European Evaluation Societies), IDEAS (International Development Evaluation Association) and FoRS (Czech Forum for Development Co-operation).

Contact person: Jiri Remr (remr@czecheval.cz)

Photo from the conference.

Information provided by Jiri Remr, President of the Czech Evaluation Society

Norms over Forms: Civil Society Development in the Enlargement Process

On 4th June, 2015, the Balkan Civil Society Development Network BCSDN organized a debate at the European Parliament to present the state in which civil society operates in Western Balkans and Turkey, and how the accession process can promote a more enabling environment for its development.

The debate “Norms over Forms: Empowering Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkey” was hosted by Ms. Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA) and co-chaired by Ms. Venera Hajrullahu BCSDN’s Board Chair both speaking about the value and importance of the civil society for the reform and accession processes in the Enlargement countries. Following the presentation of the regional state of play, as presented in the Monitoring Matrix Regional Report for 2014, representatives of BCSDN member organizations discussed the specific challenges faced in each country.
The debate finished with a strong message delivered by Ms. Lunacek, who stated that governments should not see civil society as opponent, but rather as ally, whose criticism can improve their work, strengthen the democracy and support the accession process.

More information here.

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network, Email Alerts No. 319

Civil Society in the Balkans Calls for More Inclusion in the Accession Process

At the 5th Civil Society Western Balkans Forum of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 2nd and 3rd June, 2015, in Belgrade, participants acknowledged that despite some challenges, the perspective of EU accession will have significant impact on the Western Balkans.

This was underlined during four thematic sessions of discussions with representatives of CSOs from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. Social partners and CSOs are essential partners in improving transparency and inclusiveness in the EU accession process. Participants therefore called on governments and EU institutions to strengthen the dialogue with CSOs and to improve access to information.
The Forum ended with the adoption of a final declaration which will be forwarded to the national authorities in the region, the European Parliament, the European Council and other institutions.

More information is available here.

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network, Email Alerts No 319

Training: EU Project Management

finep - forum for international development + planning – invites you to a training on EU Project Management. The training targets NGO staff members working in development who want to apply for EuropeAid funds and would like to acquire the necessary skills and know-how to make the application a success.

The training modules are tailor-made for the practical needs of NGO staff and held in English. Participants will understand funding principles, guidelines and contractual obligations of EuropeAid and will approach the following challenges step by step:
• Defining the characteristics of a coherent project logic and a good logframe
• Drafting a well-structured proposal and budget
• Understanding key aspects of a successful project implementation, in line with EuropeAid regulations.

Dates: 21-25 September and 16-18 November 2015
Venue: Berlin
Deadlines for application: 31st August 2015 for module 1-3 and 30th October for module 4.

Further information and application here.

Information provided by finep: www.finep-akademie.eu 

Transformative Communication: Seminar for the Development Sector

DEEEP/CONCORD DARE Forum is organising a two day seminar “Why justice matters?” - transformative communication for the development sector on 13 and 14 October 2015 in Brussels.

This seminar targets communication officers but not only. Two persons from the same organisation will be invited to discuss communication matters as a transversal issue of their strategy. Do you feel that your communication about development is loosing its juice and consistency? This seminar will guide you out of the dark communication tunnel full of old-fashioned images and stereotypes and show you transformative practices for effective communication in the development sector.

The “Why justice matters” seminar will be focused on
• Empowering participants to talk about transformative communication at their organisational and members’ level
• Introducing a toolkit to participants (theory, practices and resources) necessary to apply transformative communication back home
• Exploring the narrative landscape and creating a common mapping of the frames we know, experiencing and practicing.

If you are interested in taking part in this seminar, please register until 21st July via this form.

Before registering, we recommend you to read the concept note and follow the guidelines for participants here.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Helene Debaisieux, DEEEP Communication Officer.

Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2015

The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2015 shows that poverty and vulnerability to crises are intrinsically linked and that international humanitarian assistance continues to go predominantly to long-term recipients. This emphasises the need to build resilience, address the underlying causes of crisis and meet the long-term needs of people affected by crisis. For this to happen, a shared responsibility between humanitarian, development, climate change and other actors is critical as is the mobilisation of other resources beyond humanitarian assistance.

More information here.

Source: Global Humanitarian Assistance

2015 EU Aid Transparency Review

The end of 2015 is also the deadline donors set themselves to fully implement the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard, which allows for the publication of timely, comprehensive and comparable information on development finance. With just over six months to go until the deadline, the 2015 EU Aid Transparency Review shows that despite a critical mass of donors now publishing information to the IATI Standard, the EU as a whole is off track from meeting its aid transparency commitments and that the lack of transparency by major European donors is hindering development outcomes in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Download the report here.

Source: Publish What You Fund

CONCORD News

Introducing new CONCORD members and including recent activities as well as the new CONCORD Annual Report, that provides an overview of CONCORD activities and successes over 2014, financial information and membership updates.

Read the CONCORD newsletter online.

Information provided by TRIALOG.

APPEAR- Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education & Research for Development

Call for academic partnerships, preparatory funding, master’s and PhD scholarships APPEAR encourages professionals and higher education institutions in the addressed countries and in Austria to share their knowledge and experiences with each other, to design innovative projects targeting the objectives and expected results and to improve the general standards in higher education, research and management. Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2015.

More information here.

 Source: Newsletter of the Austrian development CSO Platform Global Responsibility

Thursday, 28 May 2015

TRIALOG Academic Breakfast Discussion – Trends Across the EU13 Region

If you are coming to Brussels for the CONCORD General Assembly, make sure you are there in time for the TRIALOG event immediately before - 9.15-10.45 on Wednesday 10th June 2015.

As a final event of the TRIALOG project, we are gathering academics (Dr Simon Lightfoot from the University of Leeds and Fabienne Bossuyt from the University of Ghent) specialised in EU13 development policy and practice and representatives of the national platforms from both EU13 (Inese Vaivare from LAPAS) and EU15 (Hans Zomer from DOCHAS) countries to look at the contribution EU13 civil society organisations have made to European development approaches over the past decade.
 The speakers will be guided though the discussion by Éva Bördős from Hungary, who will be standing in the CONCORD board election later in the day.

An event agenda will be available shortly on the TRIALOG and CONCORD websites. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information please contact Rebecca Steel-Jasińska at Rebecca.TRIALOG@concordeurope.org


Information provided by TRIALOG

New Policy Digest: European Neighbourhood Policy Review

What is the current European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) about? Why is the ENP review taking place? What are the main elements of the ENP under review? How are CSOs engaged in the ENP review?

The changing political and societal environment in Europe’s neighbourhood has prompted the European Union to reassess its policy towards its neighbouring countries to the East and South of its borders. European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker has tasked the new Commission to come up with a proposal for a reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy by November 2015. Governments, public authorities, civil society, think tanks, social partners, business, academic communities and other relevant stakeholders from both the neighbourhood and the EU are now invited to take part in the consultation process until the end of June 2015 in order to draw up a revised ENP.

This Policy Digest will address different aspects of the ENP review. Firstly, it will look at the background of the ENP as well as why and how its review is taking place. Secondly, some elements of the ENP that are under review will be discussed. Thirdly, special attention will be paid to CSOs’ opportunities to participate in this review process.

Download the Policy Digest here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

TRIALOG Partnership Fair 2015

TRIALOG hosted the fifth and last edition of the Partnership Fair between 4th and 6th of May 2015, in Vienna, Austria. The event brought together over 100 participants, experts and facilitators from all over Europe, including Western Balkans.

This year’s Fair took place in a special context. While previous editions were organised in order to generate project ideas and partnerships in the view of upcoming Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) calls for proposals of the European Commission, this year the Fair had a broader focus, as no DEAR call is foreseen until the start of 2016. This greatly influenced the format of the Fair, as well as the backgrounds of the participants, leading to a more diverse group of participants, and therefore a more diverse outcome in terms of project ideas.

The first day of the event was dedicated to an exchange of experiences in working with donors (input from Lucina di Meco), a discussion with two donors attending the Fair: Barbara Konzet from the Austrian Development Agency and Jiří Sýkora from the Visegrad Fund, followed by an input on the funding landscape for development cooperation projects, delivered by María-José Pérez (consultant from Haynes-Perez Associates). The day ended with the Marketplace, a space for participants to present their work, their experiences and to interact with one another.

The following two days were dedicated to the generation and consolidation of project ideas and partnerships, a process guided by Friedbert Ottacher, with the support of three other facilitators. In the end 15 project ideas were defined, to be further elaborated by the participants after the event as commitments were made with pre-partnership agreements. Project ideas range from development of employment possibilities for migrants, entrepreneurship for women in Ukraine, best-practice in volunteering, as well as teachers to teachers learning for Global Education, an educational project for Kenyan High Schools, projects on ethical and sustainable consumption, or slow fashion. Funding possibilities mainly explored for these projects are Erasmus+, DEAR and other EuropeAid funding lines.

The report of the event, a list of funding options and presentations held at the Fair are available here.


Information provided by Iulia Jolley-Socea and Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG

Organisation of the Month: Integra Foundation, Slovakia

In March 2015, Ten Senses received a prestigious award Via Bona Slovakia of the Pontis Foundation in the category “Fair player in the market” for its macadamia nuts project. Ten Senses was founded and is co-owned by the Integra Foundation, a member of the Slovak NGDO Platform. Sixty one companies from all around Slovakia competed for the awards.

Ten Senses Africa is one of the Integra’s key social enterprises. It owns and operates a macadamia and cashew nuts processing factory in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and employs almost three hundred women from a nearby slum. They purchase nuts from local farmers and process them for export to Europe and the North America.

The aim of the macadamia nuts project is to enhance living conditions of the farmers in Kenya. Ten Senses has achieved it by adopting Fair Trade principles. Kenyan farmers often used to sell their products at very low prices, because they were not aware of the market conditions. Various brokers misused their lack of knowledge which resulted in existential problems of the farmers. Fair Trade has improved their situation by securing higher income and long-term contracts. As a result, the farmers have more money for food, healthcare and education for their children. The macadamia nuts project secures a stable income for more than 1500 farmers in Kenya. In average, one of them takes care of four other people. Thus, thousands of Kenyans benefit from this project.

The Integra Foundation also focuses on education for African children. Slovak donors support almost four hundred children and orphans in Kenya and Ethiopia with the ‘Long Distance Adoption’ project. This enables them to attend school, cover living costs and healthcare.

The Integra Foundation carries out a public collection to help people in need in Iraq and Nigeria as part of its humanitarian aid activities. It cooperates with partner humanitarian organisations (MedAir in Iraq, Tear Fund in Nigeria), which have emergency teams on the ground in the partner countries; deal with all practical issues and inform regularly about the situation. Integra is an active member in the Integral Alliance, which allows it to respond to humanitarian crises wherever in the world they happen.

More information about the Integra Foundation can be found at www.integra.sk/en/ 


Photo Description: Children from St. Anna´s School in Kenya. Photo: Peter Vrbinčík, Kenya, 2012 

Information provided by Slovak NGDO Platform and Integra Foundation.

EU-13 Advocacy on DEAR – Radio Show by CYINDEP

Over the past two years the changes that occurred to the EC-funded DEAR Programme have affected the capacity of small NGOs and especially from the EU13 countries to participate, thus posing great challenges to their sustainability. The EU13 National NGDO Platforms with the support of TRIALOG have been jointly and individually advocating for the improvement of the DEAR Call in order to allow different capacity organizations to equally benefit from this funding programme.

As part of this effort, the Cypriot radio show Let’s Go Global  hosted Rebecca Steel-Jasinska, Project Manager of TRIALOG, to demystify this complicated policy issue and discuss how civil society can contribute to a constructive dialogue with the European Commission and work together to improve the future rules of the programme. The hosts of the show, Annagrace and Sophia, both civil society workers and members of the Cypriot NGO platform CYINDEP, took the opportunity to present the situation at the local level. They explained the difficulties faced by NGOs in Cyprus, a country where civil society is still young and was traditionally focused around peacebuilding due to its political problem. Currently, with a financial crisis that affected all aspects of the society and the main donors having withdrawn from the country, local NGOs are facing challenges in surviving.

You can listen to the radio show here.

Let’s Go Global is a fortnightly radio show hosted by CYINDEP at MYCYradio, the first multi-lingual web radio in Cyprus. The show focuses on issues around global education, development cooperation, social justice, sustainable development, peace, and many more. Even though the title of the show reveals its global direction, this is always done through the lens of the local experience and encourages actions at the community level that can contribute to positive global change.


Information provided by Sophia Arnaouti, CYINDEP

News from the Slovenian NGO Platform SLOGA

SLOGA, the Slovenian NGO platform for development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, has recently produced two short films as a part of their awareness raising efforts. Additionally the platform organised capacity building for its members and participated in consultations of the MFA on the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit.

Cartoon and documentary on development cooperation
SLOGA produced a cartoon designed for children and youth, which was prepared in collaboration with INFODROM – children and youth daily show on RTV Slovenia. The second film is a documentary called 'We are all part of the same world', which portrays chosen projects of Slovenian humanitarian and development NGO's working in Africa and Western Balkans. SLOGA aims to use this documentary to bring development projects closer to the Slovenian public. This project was financed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.

Second workshop focused on relations in humanitarian and development field 
On April 21, SLOGA platform organised the second workshop to strengthen NGO capacities working in developing countries. The workshop was held by Dr. Anica Mikuš Kos, president of Slovene Philanthropy, and Vahida Huzejrović from Slovene Philanthropy. The workshop focused on relations in humanitarian and development field, such as relations within the project team, relationships with our counterparts in developing countries, relations with volunteers, with recipients of development aid, as well as relations with donors or financers. The workshop built on participatory and human-rights based approach as basic principles of work in the development and humanitarian field. The workshop concluded with a lively debate.

SLOGA participated in consultations for the World Humanitarian Summit
At the end of March, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised consultations with NGOs active in humanitarian aid. The meeting was part of a preparation process for the World Humanitarian Summit with the purpose to include NGOs in the process of preparations for the Summit which will be held next May in Istanbul. The meeting was also attended by a SLOGA representative.


Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

The 10th edition of FOND General Assembly

The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND organised the 10th edition of its General Assembly from 30th of March to 1st of April the in Bucharest. This anniversary edition was a special one that focused on the results achieved by the platform so far in development cooperation.

The first day was dedicated to finalising the new FOND strategy for the next 5 years. The priorities set up refer to:
• strengthening FOND members’ capacity to design and implement projects in development cooperation and global education,
• raising awareness at national and international level,
• influencing public policies at national, European and global level,
• ensuring the multi-annual financial sustainability of the Platform.

The second day focused on activity reports and main results achieved by the Platform in the last year, including its projects: the 7th edition of the Romanian Development Camp and Black Sea NGO Forum (Kyiv), TRIALOG V project and the World Wise Europe Project. FOND staff presented to the members the opportunities for 2015, brought by the current projects and activities implemented by the platform, especially in the EYD context. The members reflected on their contribution regarding the implementation of the new FOND strategy.

The second day also included a special session on the partnership with the Romanian MFA. Mr. Radu Podgorean – State Secretary and Mrs. Doina Doroftei – Head of the Development Assistance Unit congratulated FOND on its active involvement as a partner and presented the MFA action plan for this year. The main priority will be the adoption on the new development cooperation law, which is planned for the second part of this year. Mrs. Anca Stoica – Romanian ODA Project Manager at UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia presented the new call for proposal launched by MFA/UNDP for CSOs in the EYD context and also the national EYD action plan.

This General Assembly also voted for a new Board (2015-2017) having as members: President Natalia Budescu – Association for Cross-border Cooperation “Lower Danube Euroregion”, Vice – President Cristina Rigman – Pro Vobis, National Resource Center for Volunteering, Stefania Mircea – Save the Children Romania, Anca Ciuca – Foundation for Democratic Change, Stefan Cibian –ARCADIA, The Romanian Association for International Cooperation and Development, Raluca Manaila – AUR, The National Association for Human Resources Specialists, Anemari Necsulescu – Habitat for Humanity Romania. 
3 new member NGOs active in sustainable development, social economy and youth (Bankwatch Romania Association, React Association, Romanian Youth Movement for Democracy) adding up a total of 39 members and a stronger voice of the Romanian NGOs in development cooperation.
esource Center for Volunteering, Stefania Mircea – Save the Children Romania, Anca Ciuca – Foundation for Democratic Change, Stefan Cibian –ARCADIA, The Romanian Association for International Cooperation and Development, Raluca Manaila – AUR, The National Association for Human Resources Specialists, Anemari Necsulescu – Habitat for Humanity Romania. In addition, FOND welcomed

The event was organized within the project “Supporting Romanian NGOs in Development Cooperation” financed from EEA grants – for more details visit eeagrants.org. For more information about FOND activities, please visit the platform’s website www.fondromania.org and Facebook page.


Photo provided by FOND: Board members.
Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND

Round Table: Access to Development Education for All (EADEA)

On 23-24 March the international Round Table of the project “Access to Development Education for All”,was held in Brussels. It was attended by Ms. Valentina Auricchio, Head of Sector for DEAR at EuropeAid, and H.E. the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bulgaria in Brussels Mr. Veselin Valkanov. The participants from all project partner countries and interested NGOs and stakeholders discussed the project products and results and assessed it as highly successful and encouraging the active inclusion of the target group of blind experts and students as drivers for positive change.

The last activities of the project to follow are two national Round Tables in Bulgaria and Estonia, and two Development Weeks to be held in two specialized schools for blind students in Bulgaria in Sofia and Varna.

For more information, please visit the website of the project www.eadea.eu/the-project/


Photo by EADEA, participants dufing the round table in Brussels.

Information provided by Alya-Nedyalka Veder, EADEA Project manager

Round Table: Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States

The Slovenian development NGO platform SLOGA, together with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Brussels are organizing the round table “Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States”, held before the start of the European Development Days.

It will take place on 2 June at 6 pm at the Embassy of Slovenia in Brussels (Rue du commerce 44). The round table is organized as part of TRIALOG project.

Please find the invitation here.


Information provided by SLOGA

Thursday, 26 March 2015

TRIALOG Partnership Fair 2015: Application open

TRIALOG is now accepting applications for the 5th edition of the TRIALOG Partnership Fair on Development Cooperation. Deadline for submitting applications: 17th of April 2015.

TRIALOG will host the 5th edition of the Partnership Fair between the 4th and 6th of May 2015 in Vienna, Austria. This year’s Fair will represent a meeting space between donors and CSOs, an opportunity to exchange information about donors’ plans and priorities and civil society’s views on needs in the local context, as well as a partnership development event.

The Fair will facilitate partnerships, cooperation, learning and exchange at an international level for joint projects. Key actors engaged in the global efforts aimed at achieving
justice and equality and contributing to poverty eradication (donors, representatives of the European Commission and CSOs) will contribute either as speakers, facilitators or participants.

Over 100 CSO representatives are expected to attend the event. To facilitate the preparation prior to the Fair, TRIALOG has prepared for the applicants a list of funding options around which projects can be planned during the Fair. Representatives of all the listed foundations and funding institutions have been contacted and invited to take part in the Fair. However, their participation has yet to be confirmed; therefore TRIALOG cannot guarantee their presence at the event.

More information about the format, the focus and the aims of the Fair is available in the full description here.

Partnership Fair Agenda will be made available closer to the time of the event. Look out for updates on the TRIALOG website.

Who is expected to apply? All European CSOs looking to find new and strengthen existing partnerships with other CSOs and plan joint projects. Also, CSOs wishing to exchange with donors and learn about funding opportunities.
Download application form here


Information provided by Iulia Socea, TRIALOG

Development Education in the Focus: TRIALOG Study Visit to Brussels

The annual TRIALOG Study Visit took place on March 2-5 in Brussels. This year’s focus topic was Development Education and Awareness Raising. The group gathered 18 participants from EU13 member states civil society organisations. Out of the participants three were members of national development CSO platform secretariats (SKOP, SLOGA and CROSOL) and 15 members of CSOs active in national platforms.

The main goals of the Study Visit were to increase familiarity with EU institutions and their role in development cooperation, reflect on EU processes related to development education and awareness raising and understand important current processes in EU development cooperation policies, such as the discussions around the sustainable development goals. Over the course of the preparatory meetings, guest visits and the external meetings the participants had a chance to gain an insight into the development cooperation institutions, CSOs and advocacy campaigns taking place in Brussels.

During the 4-day Study Visit the participants met with the director and the head of advocacy from CONCORD, representatives from VSO International, ActionAid and Oxfam and were introduced to the European Year of Development. Furthermore, participants took part in meetings with representatives of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Development, European Commission DG DEVCO- EuropeAid where the issue of access to EC DEAR funding was raised, the European Parliament Development Committee Secretariat and representatives from the European External Action Service and Economic and Social Committee. The group was also hosted in the Latvian Permanent Representation to the EU in order to understand the tasks involved in holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

As every year, half a day was devoted to leaving space for participants to hold meeting with their MEPs, MEP assistants and representatives in Brussels. These meetings allowed participants to enhance contacts and raise issues important for Platforms and their organisations. On the final day of the Study Visit the participants made their follow up plans on how to disseminate knowledge and information gained in this Study Visit upon return to their countries, and how to get further involved in local advocacy and policy making efforts.

TRIALOG is looking forward to new activiti
es of the participating organisations resulting from the Study Visit.

Have a look at the TRIALOG Study Visit Photo Album on Facebook and the documentation of meetings on our website.

Information provided by TRIALOG

Organisation of the Month: People For Change, Malta

The People for Change Foundation (PfC) was created in 2007 and has since been working in the field of migration, integration, anti-racism and human trafficking in the European Union, in addition with on-the-ground legal and policy research in Malta. Guided by its vision of a just, fair and inclusive society, PfC promotes and works on the basis of a multilateral process of bringing together different actors and stakeholders, methods, and approaches - activism and research; policy and practice. In so doing it aims to foster an inclusive process that allows different groups and interests to come together to create a cohesive and understanding society.

In recent months, PfC has worked on a series of projects and research initiatives with various European and International organisations, including ASSESS: Integration of Vulnerable Migrant Groups, which looks at the monitoring of integration of vulnerable migrant groups – women, children and trafficked person, and separated children in Europe. Best practice was a study on the durable solutions for unaccompanied children in Malta.

In addition to these projects which have a comparative and transnational focus, PfC has implemented a number of national projects in Malta, including the publication of the second annual Malta Human Rights Report and the launching of the Malta Human Rights Library, the largest and most comprehensive repository of human rights documentation in Malta. At the end of 2014 PfC also launched “Report Racism Malta” to address the under-reporting of discriminatory incidents by creating an easy-to-use mechanism for communicating incidents of racial discrimination. “Report Racism Malta” provides a confidential, independent and safe avenue for reporting incidents to individual victims and witnesses of discrimination and racism, and offers guidance and support in cases that may be taken forward and remedies accessed.

For more information about the various activities and reports issued from the People for Change Foundation, please visit www.pfcmalta.org


Information provided by Paola Prinzis, SKOP

Slovenia: Cultural Bazaar on European Year for Development 2015

For the past decade, arts and cultural education has been an important area of learning in terms of global, European and national concerns. The aim of the Cultural Bazaar, organised jointly by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO, CMEPIUS as well as numerous Slovenian cultural institutions, is to provide information on cultural events taking place throughout Slovenia and stimulate interest in the arts and cultural education.

Within the scope of the Bazaar, numerous lectures, workshops and panel discussions were held. Cultural Bazaar was organised on 18 March 2015. This year, one of the topics addressed at the Cultural Bazaar was the European Year for Development 2015. SLOGA platform was promoted by various publications, and some member organisations participated at thematic workshops and round tables. The aim of the activities was to bring the development issues closer to teachers and youth.

Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA