Thursday, 25 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download the Studies from our website.


Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

Policy Digest: Food Security

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

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

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

Download here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

What does the future hold?

After fourteen years, TRIALOG is entering its final year of the fifth phase of the project. It’s an exciting time. CONCORD is designing the strategy that will take it from 2016 to 2022 and together with DEEEP and CONCORD, TRIALOG partners are discussing what should happen once the current project phase ends.

If you watch this from a distance, it might seem that everything is under control, and running smoothly. It is, but there is one thing missing: you! If you have not skimmed the questionnaire or heard feedback from the CONCORD General Assembly; if you have not discussed your platform’s vision of CONCORD’s role in the future or have central elements you want to highlight related to thematic focus or membership issues; if you feel strongly about your place in the European context in the coming years, then we want to hear from you.

It is not too late and there are a number of ways you can still get your organisation and platform involved in designing our joint future. Submissions are still being accepted by the strategy task force based on the questionnaire that was circulated early in the year, and in addition:
• The EU13 platforms will meet in Prague on 23 October 2014: The day will be divided between the CONCORD strategy and the TRIALOG future plans.
• CONCORD’s second semester event will take place in Brussels on 17/18 November 2014 and will be strongly focused on the strategy.
• All of TRIALOG’s project partners will come together for the Annual Partner and Strategy meeting in Malta on 3/4 December 2014 where the broader issues related to the final year of the project will be discussed, judged in the broader context of the CONCORD strategic plans and the lines being developed for continuing TRIALOG’s wok after October 2015.

If it is not clear to you how you can contribute and ensure CONCORD is the confederation in which you will find your place as a member, your work will be supported and you will be able to link your national level work to, then get in touch. Members of the team will be happy to hear from you.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska

Organisation of the Month: A.R.T Fusion, Romania

A.R.T. Fusion is a nongovernmental organisation from Romania which was set up in 2005, out of a desire to make a change. Their mission is to create social change by making people in the community take responsibility. They are currently conducting activities which can be divided along two main dimensions: social responsibility and global responsibilities.

Through the global dimension of the organisation, A.R.T Fusion wishes to enhance the level of active participation in global issues among people. They consider that citizens need knowledge and abilities to understand, participate and interact critically with our global society as citizens empowered on a global level.

 From this desire of a world made of responsible global citizens they developed in 2013 “The Global Education School”, a pilot project that aimed to raise the level of global responsibility and global citizenship among the youngsters from Bucharest. They created a team of global education facilitators, which implemented global education workshops, with focus on consumerism and sustainable lifestyle, in high schools from Bucharest. The results of this project were a team of 10 global education facilitators, around 500 youngsters which participated in global education workshops, a curriculum with activities on global education for high schools and a global citizenship self assessment grid. In October 2014 they will start the second edition of “The Global Education School”, this time with a bigger team of global education facilitators and a bigger impact.

They also implement two international projects on global education financially supported by European Commission through its Program “Youth in Action”, action 3.2: “You are part of this world, be part of its future” and “Animate the global change”. Both of them are implemented in partnership with organizations from Africa and Europe. “You are part of this world, be part of its future” aims to create a team of global education multipliers, which will contribute to developing a community of global citizens back in their countries. At the end of this project A.R.T. Fusion will have also developed a curriculum with activities for global education and a movie about global citizenship. “Animate the global change” is a project on street campaigning as a tool of raising awareness on global issues. The participants took part in two training courses on street campaigning and global education and in September - October 2014 they will implement a street campaign on global issues, like consumerism, child labor, sustainable lifestyle, etc., back in their countries.

For more information about A.R.T. Fusion’s projects you can contact them at office@artfusion.ro and oana.mucea@yahoo.com and visit their website http://artfusion.ro 

Photo credits: A.R.T Fusion “Animate for Social Change” training course in Brasov, Romania 

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia – FOND, Romania

News from the Latvian CSO Platform LAPAS

The Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation – LAPAS, recently organised three events on global interdependencies. One was on the topic of food security and the other two were addressed at youth and focused on their role in local and global development.

Workshop “Food Security – from Global to Local” 
LAPAS organised the training “Food Security – from Global to Local” in Riga from 6-7 August 2014. The participants represented a wide range of staleholders – non-governmental organisations, government institutions, research institutes, food producers and green organisations, all working with food issues and haveing an interest in the topic. The training, which was financed by TRIALOG and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the was let by Britta Schweighöfer, former Secretary General of the FIAN International Section Germany (www.fian.org). The first day was spent on clarifying concepts, case work and examples, the seond – in debates about local perspectives. LAPAS will continue to work on food security and organise an informative campaign during the Latvian EU Presidency between January and June 2015.

Youth training “From personal to global – role of youth at global level”
On the way to the Latvian Presidency and European Year for Development 2015, LAPAS in close cooperation with Latvian Youth Council, organised a training for youth activists “From personal to global – role of youth at global level”. The event took place on August 23-24 in Malpils, Latvia. The participants – more than 15 young activists from NGOs, were trained on development issues and also gave their input in preparation of the youth event “Think Global, Act Local”. LAPAS expects that majority of participants will work as activists and volunteers within 2015. The event was financed by TRIALOG project and co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Youth event “Think Global, Act Local”
LAPAS and 10 of its member organisations, on September 21
organised the youth event “Think Global, Act Local”. The event was planned and organised by young people – more than 40 volunteers from LAPAS member organisations. It was an interactive journey through 6 stations around Riga: “Development Moment”, “Safe Meeting”, “Eco Human”, “Volunteerism”, “Presidency” and “Musical Glocalization”. The event was part of Youth Month organised by Riga City Council. LAPAS perceives this event as intriductory event for youth involvement in 2015 as the information on opportunities within Presidency and EYD2015 was explained, avents were promoted and supporters with their contact information gathered.

Photos by LAPAS: Participants of events 

Information provided by Inese Vaivare, LAPAS

Hungarian Police Raid NGOs

On Monday 9 September 2014, Hungarian police raided the offices of Norway-backed NGOs Okotars and Demnet, escalating the government’s campaign against civil society. Norway reacted by saying the moves were "unacceptable" and represent "harassment" of civil organisations. Police said the action was taken because the NGOs were suspected of embezzlement and unauthorised financial activities. It follows similar raids on NGOs in June.

Across the EU, CSOs expressed their solidarity with Hungarian NGOs. For example the Croatian CSO platform CROSOL handed out solidarity letter to MEPs and organised a protest in front of the Hungarian embassy in Zagreb.

Read more on the situation of Hungarian CSOs here and about the activities of CROSOL here.

Source: CONCORD and CROSOL

Make Chocolate Fair! Launches European Chocomobile Tour

3 months, 14 countries, 10.000 km
From August to October 2014 – the Chocomobile Tour 2014 is visiting people from Italy to Finland and Germany to Slovenia to mobilise for an immediate stop of exploitative child labour, improvement of working conditions and fair payment for workers and farmers in the cocoa production. Already more than 50 NGO´s in all over Europe joined already the petition of the MCF! Campaign.

The Chocomobile Tour offers Join-in actions, an exhibition, movies, information sessions and lots of fair chocolate: In Austria, the Chocomobile will stop in Vienna, Graz and Linz.
• Blog of the tour with an overview of all tour stops, reports and photos: tour.makechocolatefair.org
• Website of the campaign: www.makechocolatefair.org 

Source: Südwind

Lithuanian Kolping Society Shared Experience with Development Education Experts from the Global South

As a representative of Lithuanian Kolping Society and Kolping University of Applied Sciences, Vytautė Eismontaitė, took part in the International Conference “Educational Institutions for Development- down to Earth and Close to the People” organised by HORIZONT3000 in Vienna. Development education experts from partner organisations and universities in the Global South, participants from the development cooperation community in Austria and representatives of CSOs and universities from EU13 discussed the significance and role of educational institutions for the sustainable development of the Southern countries, especially for people in peripheral regions.

Ms Eismontaitė shared good practices as well as successfully implemented projects and methods while spreading and promoting development education and cooperation in Lithuania. During the recent 10 years, Kolping University of Applied Sciences was one of the few higher education institutions in Lithuania, which actively worked with development issues and organised development education projects. Since 2007 Lithuanian Kolping Society was actively involved in preparation of materials, coordination of projects and implementation of development education seminars, summer camps and small scale researches.

Sharing experience and making new contacts with education institutions from the Global South promoted the generation of new ideas how Kolping University of Applied Sciences could contribute and engage more in development education and cooperation issues. One of the possible future cooperations includes knowledge transfer in ecotouri
sm from Kolping University of Applied Science to Ugandan higher education institutions. Such kind of project could contribute to awareness raising how ecotourism could be developed in the area of Central Africa.

For more information on the conference please visit the online platform KnowHow3000.
For more information on Lithuanian Kolping Society and Kolping University of Applied Sciences please contact Vytaute Eismontaite at vytaute.eismontaite@kolping.lt

Photo credits: Vytautė Eismontaitė at the HORIZONT3000 conference , Lithuanian Kolping Society

Information provided by Vytautė Eismontaitė , Lithuanian Kolping Society

Volunteer Activities in Flooded Areas in Serbia

In June 2014, the action for cleaning Obrenovac, which has been organised by the crisis committee #United (#Udruzeni), started with the renovation of the local school and kindergarten. Direct aid to this renovation action also arrived from two international organisations: Global Solidarity Association from Poland, whose volunteers arrived directly in Obrenovac to put hands on the renovation, and People in Need from the Czech Republic, which provided necessary building material and translated the manual ‘’Elimination of damage after floods’’ into Serbian language; the manual is available online and it was handed out to the citizens of Obrenovac and Paracin.

The President of the European Comission Jose Manuel Barroso visited the primary school "Jovan Jovanović Zmaj" in Obrenovac, later on June 29, where he affirmed that the EU will continue to support Serbia, not only in the upcoming weeks, but for months and years.

Also in June, a multiethnic group of young men and girls (Albanians, Bosnians, Roma and Serbs) from South Serbia provided their help in action for cleaning Paracin in the frame of the “YouthBuild” program. Together with the Student Organisation of Paracin, they helped cleaning public institutions, schools, as well as private properties. Participants in the “YouthBuild” program have been acquainted with this type of activities, since they had implemented several successful local actions in their local communities, such as renovation of schools or cleaning of parks and river branches.

The "YouthBuild - Educated and Active Youth" program is conducted by Civic Initiatives and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Caritas Luxembourg Foundation, YouthBuild International, the city of Vranje and municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo. During the past five months, the girls and young men attended training events in order to become prepared for the labor market, with a special focus on civic activism, human rights, development of entrepreneurship and leadership skills. "These young people have shown that effort, work and engagement in the local community are never unnoticed. I believe that their effort and enthusiasm should be supported and rewarded in order for them to continue to provide a positive example for the complete society’’, said Maja Stojanovic, Executive Director at Civic Initiatives.

For more information please contact Višnja Filipović, PR Manager of Civic Initiatives at visnja@gradjanske.org

Information provided by Višnja Filipović, Civic Initiatives

“Give a Damn, use that Cam!” - Global Campus Amateur Short Film Competition for University Students

On the 16th of July, the Maltese NGO KOPIN, in the framework of the EC co-financed project Global Campus has launched a video competition for students enrolled at the University of Malta. The aim of the competition is to raise awareness among University students about issues related to the Millennium Development Goals, Global Social Justice issues and sustainable development by asking them to create a 2-minute long video through which they will be able to express their views about these topics.

The prizes are tempting – the winner gets a trip for two to Ethiopia, where they will be linked up with local development NGOs to get a better understanding about development work on the ground, while the second and third prize winners will receive books vouchers. Students have plenty of time to create the video – the deadline for submissions is the 17th of October 2014. A total of 6 videos will then be selected by an international jury and put on Facebook for a second round of voting through the public. Videos can be filmed using any equipment including mobile phone, webcam or amateur video camera, and no professional recording devices are required.

More information on the Rules and Terms & Conditions, as well as the Application Form to be submitted alongside the video can be found here.

Contact person at KOPIN: Federica Di Giulio, federica.digiulio@kopin.org

Article provided by Anete Svence and Silvia La Rosa (Interns at KOPIN)

New EU Development Commissioner: Neven Mimica

Croatian Commissioner-designate Neven Mimica would replace Andris Piebalgs from 1 November 2014. The European Commission for 2014-2019 is set to have Neven Mimica as Commissioner for 'International Cooperation and Development', pending approval from the European Parliament. He will be joined by new Commissioners for Humanitarian aid as well as a new Foreign Policy chief.

CONCORD talked to the media saying that the future development Commissioner must make sure development does not become "second best" to foreign policy interests in the new institutional setup.

Find more information here.

Source: CONCORD

EC Study on the Uptake of Strategic Evaluations in EU Development Cooperation

Every year, EuropeAid produces 10 to 12 ‘strategic evaluations’ dealing with countries, regions, themes or aid modalities. As their name suggests, they adopt a broader perspective than project and programme evaluations, which are of a more operational nature. Strategic evaluations are interested in the overall relevance and coherence of EU interventions. They have a dual objective to provide accountability and promote learning. Most importantly, they seek to generate knowledge to help decision-makers to improve development policy, programming and practice.
In order to address these questions, EuropeAid commissioned an ‘uptake study’ with two very clear objectives: (i) to collect evidence of the translation of knowledge from strategic evaluations into EU development policy and practice, and on that basis (ii) to make recommendations for strengthening uptake in EuropeAid and the wider EU external action system.

The study can be read here.

Source: European Commission

Report on the European Union’s Development and External Assistance Policies

The European Commission launches the 2014 annual report on the European Union’s development and external assistance policies and their implementation in 2013. The report outlines the actions of the European Union in 2013 designed to contribute to poverty eradication and sustainable development worldwide. Apart from looking back at EU’s successes and its contribution to global development in 2013, the report also looks ahead.
Referring to the European Year for Development 2015, the authors of the report state: “This would be an ideal opportunity for the European Union to inform its citizens about the added value of EU development cooperation and to demonstrate the results that the EU has already achieved. It can also highlight the unique ability of the EU to draw on the combined strengths of its Member States, in terms of fighting poverty and championing development, peace and prosperity all across the world and achieving even more in the future.”

The full report is available here.

Source: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre

Beyond 2015 Copenhagen CSO Conference, 13 – 14 November

The Beyond 2015 Copenhagen CSO Conference will be a key moment for global civil society to take stock of progress on the creation of the new Post-2015 framework and influencing the final stage of negotiations, raising the ambition and ensuring that governments are committed to an ambitious, transformative agenda which tackles the key issues of our time; inequality, environmental sustainability, poverty eradication, human rights, peace and security and participation.

To find out more and to apply for participation at the Beyond 2015 Copenhagen CSO Conference, please click here.

Deadline: All interested applicants must send the application form as soon as possible, and latest by 26th September 2014 (Midnight ECT).

Source: Beyond2015

AidEx 2014 – Brussels, 12-13 November

AidEx is a major international conference and exhibition for humanitarian and development professionals of all stripes. Held annually in Brussels, the event brings together different voices whether they be NGO fieldworkers, the public and private sectors, long-established thought leaders or brand new start-ups. AidEx encourages organisations to network with one another, connect with suppliers and attend topical sessions to facilitate discussions on the current challenges they face. It’s also a great place to establish important, durable business relationships. Find out who will be crowned king or queen of Aid Innovation and who will win the coveted Humanitarian Hero of the Year Award at the AidEx prestigious awards ceremony.

This year the theme will be ‘Innovation in Aid & Development’. Dialogue sessions will be held with experts to question and understand what innovation is, whether its application is feasible in the aid and development arena and where future trends will lead us.

Receive your free entry by registering today.

Source: AidEx

Council of Europe – World Forum for Democracy

From 3-5 November 2014, the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy - an annual gathering of leaders, opinion-makers, civil society activists, representatives of business, academia, media and professional groups - will debate key challenges for democracies worldwide. The insights gathered during the World Forum meetings inform the work of the Council of Europe and its numerous partners in the field of democracy and democratic governance. The SWFD 2014 will engage with young people and with decision-makers and opinion-formers in a reflection on current patterns of exclusion and involvement and will explore new ways of engaging young people in re-visioning the democratic arenas of today.

Deadline for applications: 1 October 2014.
Click here for more details and registration.

Source: Council of Europe

Youth Forum “New Generation for EU Enlargement”

From 25 – 30 October 2014, the Youth Forum “New Generation for EU Enlargement” will take place in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia. This Forum is organized by the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) of the University for Peace established by the United Nations, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) and Youth Association of Serbia (OSS), in cooperation with Euroregion Nisava and Euroregion Drina. Applications are open for youth between 20 and 30-year old, who have studied or are working in the following fields: cross-border cooperation, politics and diplomacy, economics, culture, media, tourism, sports, peace and conflict resolution.

Deadline for submitting applications: 29 September 2014.

More details, detailed agenda and application form are available here.

Source: Edu-Active

Eastern Partnership: Young Leaders Forum at the European Parliament – apply now!

The Eastern Partnership-EU Young Leaders Forum will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels on December 8-11, 2014. The Forum – attended by young leaders from both the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries – consists of several round tables where participants discuss among themselves or with Members of the European Parliament, representatives of other EU Institutions or experts and external guest speakers.

The deadline for applicants is 10 October. To read more, click here.

Source: EU Neighbourhood Info Centre

Conflict and Disaster Reporting: Does the Public Still Care?

How are humanitarian organisations working with media outlets to help generate interest and understanding of the crises affecting millions of civilians around the world? Join the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) as they examine the current state of conflict and disaster reporting and how humanitarian agencies can work with the media to raise awareness and much-needed funds. If you are unable to attend you can also watch the event live.

Date of the event: 23rd of October 2014
Registration can be done here.

Source: Overseas Development Institute

CSOs Organise Festival to Extend Cultural Exchange Between Serbia and Kosovo

On June 26, at the Media Center in Belgrade, press conference was held on the occasion of announcement of the first festival under temporary name "Mirëdita, dobar dan!", which has been initiated by Civic Initiatives, Center for Practical Policy from Belgrade, and Integra from Pristina, together with partnership support of ForumZFD for Western Balkans and the Foundation for Open Society from Pristina. The Festival will annually initiate meetings and cultural exchange between scenes of Belgrade and Pristina, in order to improve social, political and cultural relationships between Belgrade and Pristina. After the press conference, a round table was held regarding intended contributions of the Festival regarding improvement of mutual cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo, as well as the following steps which are to be taken in establishment of an essentially new and quality relationship. Maja Stojanovic, Executive Director at Civic Initiatives, pointed out that this festival is primarily organized in order to extend the cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo outside individual, isolated initiatives of a narrow circle of people and the civil sector.

The festival was held for the first time from 19-21 September 2014 in Belgrade, with additional four events to be held during the following year, of which two will be held in Serbia, and two in Kosovo. The festival is further planned to be held every year in June.
For more information please visit the Facebook page or contact Višnja Filipović, PR Manager of Civic Initiatives at visnja@gradjanske.org

 Information provided by Višnja Filipović, Civic Initiatives

BCSDN Published the 1st Monitoring Matrix Regional Report on the State of Civil Society in Enlargement Countries

Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) presents the 1st-ever Regional Report on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Enlargement Countries, developed in partnership with ECNL. The Report summarises the key findings from 8 country reports in the Western Balkans and Turkey, prepared by using the Monitoring Matrix Toolkit which guided the monitoring of the civil society enabling environment progress in the countries.

The main aim of the Report is to identify the key common issues across the region, in order to highlight the priorities for intervention on regional level, and to support efforts of CSOs, public authorities and the EU in the creation of a more conducive environment for civil society.
The Report was initially presented on 27 May 2014 at the EU policy workshop in Brussel.
 The presentation was accompanied by a panel discussion on “What is the environment in which CSOs work, and what can the EC and Governments do to improve it”, featuring Andris Kesteris, Principle Advisor for Civil Society and Media of the DG Enlargement, Marina Skrabalo, EESC Members/GONG, Gjergji Vurmo, BCSDN Board member/Albanian CSO Task Force and Oliver Henman, ENNA/NCVO. The workshop gathered over 40 representatives of the EC, European networks, experts and civil society from the region.
The project is funded by the EU and supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy.

For further information please contact Tanja Hafner Ademi at tha@balkancsd.net or Ilina Nesik at ins@balkancsd.net.

Information provided by Ilina Nesik, BCSDN

Our Collective Interest: Why Europe's Problems need Global Solutions and Global Problems need European Action

As the new EU leadership team prepares to take office in Brussels, four leading European international development think tanks have joined forces to call for a global perspective in European policy-making. They argue that the EU’s ambitions for its own citizens – for prosperity, peace and environmental sustainability – cannot be divorced from its global responsibilities and opportunities. A collective effort is in our shared interest.

This report identifies five global problems which will shape the future of the EU and the world, and where the EU has a comparative advantage to act. Which are these four challenges and how can the EU contribute to addressing them.

Read more and download the report here.

Source: Overseas Development Institute

CSOs Losing the War against Poverty and Climate Change?

In the last 40 years an explosion of growth in civil society has been witnessed. Currently there are up to 4 million charities in India, 1,5 million in the US 81,000 international NGOs and networks, 90% of them launched since 1975. This should be music to our ears, yet Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, CIVICUS secretary-general, openly expresses concerns in a letter published in the Guardian. According to him, the institutionalisation and professionalisation that has accompanied this exponential growth has some serious downsides, stressing the corporatisation and bureaucratisation of CSOs. In this letter he discusses the need to re-energise and rediscover civil society and to make sure CSOs evolve “to be more open, agile and accountable to those they seek to serve”.

Read the full article here.

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network

New Report Examines Tools to Measure Environment for Civil Society

How enabling is the environment for civil society in your country – and how do you measure it? An increasing number of tools have been developed to answer these questions. In the latest issue of Global Trends in NGO Law, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) examines eight assessment tools that seek to measure civil society’s enabling environment.

The report compares these tools by objectives, methodologies, outputs, key dimensions and indicators, data sources, geographic scope and frequency of publication. The tools examined offer a wealth of information about the current state of civil societies’ enabling environments.

Click here to read the report.

Source: The International Center for Non-for-Profit Law

Migration and the Post-2015 Development Goals

In a blog post for the Center for Global Development, Michael Clemens examines the current debate on the SDGs and the Outcome Document of the UN Open Working Group and the place of the “migration” issue within this debate.
Mr. Clemens is optimistic about the references to migration as a way to “reduce inequality within and among countries”, but he also admits the “this progress is vulnerable. Over the next few months, UN negotiations all over the globe will take a knife to the Open Working Group’s 17 goals and 169 targets. Much will be cut, much will be compromised. But negotiators must not compromise on migration. Policymakers in the last few years have reached a broad consensus that migration, if properly regulated, can be a massive force for global development poverty reduction. If policymakers allow migration to slip out of the final set of goals, they’ll miss a big and rare opportunity for constructive influence.” This is where civil society around the Globe can play a crucial role, to make sure momentum is not lost and that policymakers are pressured to keep migration on the agenda.
Finally, Mr. Clemens also suggests amending the text of the draft SDGs, which currently overlooks “the immense power of cross-border migration to reduce global inequality among people.”

Complete article available here.

Source: Center for Global Development

Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2014

How much is spent on humanitarian assistance? Is it enough? Where does it go? How does it get there and what is it spent on? Knowing who is spending what, where, and how is an essential first step in ensuring that resources can best meet the needs of people living in crises – yet this information is often hard to access.

To answer these questions, the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2014 uses unique methodologies to gather and analyse data to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of global humanitarian financing.

Click here to read the report and the summary infographic.

Source: Global Humanitarian Assistance – A Development Initiative