Friday, 31 October 2014

Serbia: Preparing for a new role in development?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information provided by Rebecca Steel-Jasińska, TRIALOG

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

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

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

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

More information and subscription here.


Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

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

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

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

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

Photo credits: AKÜ, Word Stage discussion.

Information provided by Katrin Pärgmäe, AKÜ

Croatian NGO Platform Members Show Solidarity for Hungarian NGOs

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

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

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

Read more on CROSOL Facebook page and website.


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

Information provided by Gordan Bosanac, CROSOL

Accelerated Reform Process of Hungarian Development Cooperation

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

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

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

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


Information provided by HAND.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Information provided by Agne Baleisyte, LU

Workshop on ECHO Framework Partnership Agreements in Slovenia

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

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

Photo credit: SLOGA, participants during the workshop.

Information provided by SLOGA

Hungarian Government Against NGOs

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

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

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

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

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

Information provided by HAND.

Capacity Building Seminar for Serbian CSOs

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

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

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

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

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

Information provided by Aid Watch Serbia .

Training of Multipliers on Global Learning in Romania

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

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

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

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

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

  

Information provided by Agenda 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information provided by Maria Di Domenico and Morri Sands, KOPIN

New EU Leadership – Newer Member State Leaders and Development Cooperation

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

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

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

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

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


Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

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

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

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

The full analysis by BCSDN can be found here.


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


Information provided by BCSDN

Aid Programmes hit hard by EU Budget woes

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

Read the full article here.

Source: Euractiv

The EU Commission’s Private Sector Communication

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

Click here to read the full article.

Source: ECDPM

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

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

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

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

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


Source: Salto Youth

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

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

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


Source: North-South Centre - Council of Europe

Global Education Week 2014: Food Security and Food Waste

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

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

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

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

Information provided by Word University Service 

Aid Transparency Index 2014 published

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

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

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


Source: ECDPM

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


The paper can be downloaded here.



Source: CIDSE

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

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

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

The full report is available for download here.

Source: ONE

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

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

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

Source: g7plus

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

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

More informationand contact details here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

TERA: Europe for Citizens - European Rememberace

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

More information and contacts here.


Information provided by TRIALOG

STEP Beyond Travel Grants for Artists and Cultural Workers

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

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

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

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

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


Source: Edu-Active