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

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 

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 For more information about FOND activities, please visit the platform’s website 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

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