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

Launch of the European Year for Development in Romania

The European Year for Development was launched in Romania on the 17th of February 2015, under the title “Storytelling – Power to the People in International Development”. The event was organised by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP – Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia, as implementer of this campaign in Romania in partnership with the NGDO platform FOND Romania.

The opening session benefited from the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, the Chief of the Representation of the European Commission to Romania, Angela Filote, and FOND President, Olivia Baciu.

Mr. Bogdan Aurescu underlined the importance of development cooperation in the current geopolitical context and mentioned that in essence international development is defined by solidarity, dialogue and responsibility. In order to give more weight to the development cooperation policy, Minister Aurescu mentioned the draft law on development cooperation initiated by the MFA (currently in the process of being adopted) that will equip the policy with the necessary resources.

In the spirit of storytelling, Ms. Angela Filote shared her experience in working in developing countries, in order to raise awareness on poverty in the world and encouraged actions through development cooperation initiatives. In addition, Ms. Filote highlighted the value of volunteering in development organizations in Romania and abroad, as an individual effort to land a hand to developing countries.

Ms. Olivia Baciu underlined in her speech that the European Year for Development 2015, an initiative of CONCORD, is a crucial moment for raising awareness and bringing development cooperation on the public agenda. Moreover, she emphasized that development means working together, making connections between people, ideas and activities and learning from each other.

Following the opening session, there were several interventions from Romanian practitioners in international development and journalists documenting development issues. Moreover, the event had special guests: Ms. Lina Ben-Mhenni, blogger and activist nominee to the Nobel Peace Prize, and Ms. Libby Powel, initiator of “On our radar project” – a project giving people from developing countries the opportunity to act as local journalists and report of issues of interest to them.

More information about the event can be found on the ROAid Facebook Page.

In the photo: speakers panel at the EYD launch.


Information provided by FOND Romania.

News from the Slovenian NGO Platform SLOGA

Recently, representatives of SLOGA discussed future funding for NGO networks with state representatives, they met with a delegation of ministries from Western Balkans countries to present development and humanitarian projects of NGOs and to foster cooperation with NGOs from respective countries. The platform organised a workshop for member organisations to discuss challenges of field work in developing countries and SLOGA representatives discussed development issues with the Maltese President during her visit in Slovenia.

President of Malta in Slovenia: Dialogue with NGOs represents a key for exchange of good practices
The President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, has met with representatives of Slovenian development NGOs during her official visit to Slovenia at the end of February 2015. They discussed challenges of international cooperation, the development agenda and ensuring respect of the human rights. NGOs welcomed the initiative of the Maltese President for the meeting as an example of good practice of dialogue with civil society.
A lot of time was devoted to the question of migration and how to effectively ensure support and integration of migrants. The number of migrants in Slovenia is a lot smaller in comparison to Malta, while Slovenia represents only a transitional country for the majority of migrants. Everyone involved acknowledged the need to change the Dublin Convention.
Development aid was also discussed in the meeting, which goes hand in hand with the European Year for Development 2015. Malta has a better track record when it comes to the meeting of internationally agreed commitments on official development assistance, since it allocates 0,19% of its GDP to ODA. Bilateral assistance is mostly being carried out through NGOs. Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. George Vella has highlighted the cooperation of representative of Maltese network of NGOs – SKOP – in the selection process of the projects that are financed by the Ministry, which ensures transparency of the procedure as well as higher level of accountability of the NGOs in the implementation of the projects.
Director of SLOGA platform Marjan Huč highlighted a very successful regional cooperation with different Maltese NGOs. Joint key challenges are ensuring of development policy coherence and strengthening the field of global education. He also pinpointed the increasingly present practice of the European Commission to finance exclusively bigger projects, which tends to paralyse the NGO sector in newer EU Member States. Lastly, he welcomed the support of Maltese public for development cooperation, which accounts for the highest percentage in the EU.
President Coleiro Preca has assessed that a lot has still to be done on the issue of awareness of the wider public with relation to the international development cooperation. This is based on the fact that development NGOs do not receive a lot of public support, even though they are essential for targeting inequalities in the world. She also perceives the dialogue with NGOs as a perfect opportunity to exchange experience and good practices, since NGO are the ones that possess specific, expert-based knowledge and experience.

Thematic NGO networks consult with State Secretary on possible future financing 
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia hosted consultations with representatives of thematic NGO networks on 11 March 2015. NGO sector in Slovenia remains under-financed and under-staffed, since it employs less than 1% of total population of employees. The purpose of the consultation was to improve cooperation between the ministries and the thematic NGO networks, to provide better conditions for NGOs and to review options for inclusion of financing for thematic NGO networks into the ministerial implementation plan of the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014–2020. Consultations were hosted by State Secretary Tadej Slapnik, who has endorsed the efforts of NGO sector and thus opened the discussion between representatives of NGOs and ministries. As part of consultation SLOGA has also talked with the representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the possibilities of ensuring financing of the platform or transfer of public services to SLOGA. The consultations represent a good basis for future discussions on the topic.

SLOGA hosted a meeting of foreign ministries representatives from Western Balkans
On 17 March, SLOGA hosted a meeting with representatives of ministries for foreign affairs from Western Balkans countries. Aim of the meeting was to present development and humanitarian projects of NGOs and to foster cooperation with NGOs from respective countries, especially in the field of global education and awareness-raising. The visit was supported by German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Workshop about challenges of field work in developing countries 
On February 12, SLOGA platform organised a workshop to strengthen NGO capacities working in developing countries. The workshop was held by Dr. Anica Mikuš Kos, president of Slovene Philanthropy, and Vahida Huzehrović from Slovene Philanthropy. The trainers have extensive experience in working in ODA recipient countries which were shared with workshop participants. Aim of the workshop was to enable exchange of experience among participants and to strengthen and improve the ability of participants for field work in developing countries. The trainers initially presented specifics of development and humanitarian projects’ implementation. They continued with describing motives and characteristics of individuals who decide for field work in developing countries and how to train the individuals for field work. They also touched upon relationships – not only within the project team, but also with the recipients of the Official Development Assistance. The workshop closed with a lively debate on most common challenges in project implementation.


Photo courtesy of SLOGA: Meeting with Western Balkan states representatives and GIZ.

Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA 

Workshop on Systemic Change for Czech NGOs

The Czech national platform FoRS organised a one-day workshop on the concept of systemic change for its members, especially those working in development education and awareness raising (DEAR) area.

The workshop was led by trainers from a Georgian NGO Civil Society Institute and took place in mid-March in Prague in the framework of a DEEEP grant. The goal of the event was to generate awareness of the different perspectives of system actors, the complexity of a system and how it can be mapped. The trainers used tools of the Springfield Center Making Markets Work for the Poor Approach such as the M4P lens and strategic framework.
The participants had thus an opportunity to become more sensitive about their own influence and potential, as well as to identify that systemic change and participatory approaches are essential for sustainable development and that this ‘new’ systemic thinking can be translated and applied in every civil society organisations sector and intervention. They could also learn to translate this approach into project design and implementation.

The participants finally discussed a practical use of the approach of systemic change during a follow-up meeting of FoRS DEAR working group and plan to organise an advocacy seminar, also with the suppport of a DEEEP grant, where systemic change would have an important place.

Contact person: Adéla Stiborová (adela.stiborova@fors.cz)


Information provided by Marie Zázvorková, FoRS Liaison Officer

Watch out - TTIP!

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between European Union and United States of America – TTIP’s purpose is to harmonise to the greatest extent possible transatlantic rules, regulations and standards on food and consumer product safety, environmental protection, biotechnology and toxic chemicals management, financial services and banking, domestic regulation of services, pharmaceutical patent terms, and many more areas of public policy. In other words, it is about to create the largest market in the world between the largest economies on our globe.

It would be an excellent idea but the negotiations are hidden for the public and according to leaks there are worrying aspects: TTIP includes a mechanism called - Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS is not a court but it may allow corporations to sue states. What does it mean? Let’ see examples that already happened:
1. Philip Morris vs. Uruguay and 2 billion $ for Tabaco company for anti-smoking legislation.
2. Vatenfall vs. Germany and 3,7 billion $ for decision to withdrawn from nuclear energy.
3. Lone Pine vs. Canada and 250 million $ for shell gas exploitation ban.

In this context, TTIP is gathering large numbers of protester across the Europe. In bottom-up pan-European opponents gathered almost 1 600 000 (!) signatures against this agreement. Polish organisations also contribute to the pan-European movement “Stop – TTIP” (almost 400 organisations in EU).

This topic became popular in Poland after Jacek Żakowski published the article “Letter of 50 mln to 500 mln” referring to famous letter published on the ecologist.org signed by 57 mln of American citizens, NGOs and trade unions addressed to citizens of the European Union.

There are 66 Polish organisations gathered in movement “Uwaga TTIP!” (Watch out - TTIP). Its leader – Global Responsibility Institute – member of Grupa Zagranica - conducts a series of meeting, foras, contribute to media in its information campaign about TTIP. On 18 April, Polish organisation will join the transatlantic action, warning against threats of TTIP.

Information provided by Artur Kacprzak, Grupa Zagranica

Free Course for Maltese farmers on Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture

In the months of March and April 2015 KOPIN is organising a training course for farmers and all those interested in issues related to climate change and sustainable agriculture. In four sessions, experts in the fields of pests and diseases, water management and soil and nutrients will present the challenges posed by climate change on the one hand, and suggest possible solutions on the other. The course is part of the EU co-funded project ClimATE Change and will be implemented with our partner Koperattiva Rurali Manikata.

This course seeks to address everyday challenges faced in Maltese fields, particularly in the context of the islands’ already severe water scarcity that is expected to intensify as a result of climate change. It also aims to inform farmers (both professional and amateur) about the impact extreme weather episodes could have on the Mediterranean region and how one can adapt to them.

Our first speaker, who opened the course on 10th March, was Dr. Antoine Vella, an expert in pests and diseases with a long career at the University of Malta. Mr. Malcolm Bor
g, lecturer at the MCAST Agribusiness Institute, who specialises in water management, will facilitate the sessions on 24th March and 23rd April. Horticulturalist Dione Caruana will address the vast topic of soils and nutrients on 14th April. All sessions will start at 6pm and end at 8pm in the Parish Hall of Burmarrad. Participation is free of charge.

More information on this course as well as a detailed programme can be found on the Facebook page event: KORS B’XEJN GHALL-BDIEWA – FREE COURSE FOR FARMERS.
For more information contact info@kopin.org 

Article provide by Robert Kuenzl, intern at KOPIN, Photo taken by Irene Mangion from KOPIN

European Parliament Development Committee discussing financing for development: Watch live

European Parliament Development Committee discussing financing for development, budget support, migration, EU-Africa relations, tax.

The agenda of the discussion will include:
  • Financing for Development -EU Budget support 
  • Presentation by Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director General, European Commission DG DEVCO 
  • The nexus between development and migration -EU-Africa relations - Exchange of views with Nick Westcott, Director for Africa, EEAS -Tax avoidance and tax evasion as challenges for governance, social protection and development in developing countries. 

The event, taking place on 31 March and 1 April 2015, can be watched live or as a recording after the event here.

Source: European Centre for Development Policy Management newsletter

International Development Training Programme in Hungary: Summer 2015

Artemisszio from Hungary provides a training programme in the field of international development, intercultural communication and migration during summer 2015:

COURSES:
  • Culture in Healing, Healing in Cultures, 22nd – 26th July 2015 Budapest:  Communication, cultural difference, holistic approach; For: medical care Doctors, nurses, psychologists, birth attendants, and other health professionals 
  • Stories from the Field. Intercultural relations in international development, 4th – 7th August 2015, Budapest: International development, humanitarian aid, intercultural communication; For: Aid workers, professionals of international NGOs, volunteers 
  • Art, Migration, Adaptation, 24th-28th August 2015. Budapest: Art, migration, adaptation; For: Trainers, teachers artists, social workers, youth workers 

Find more information here or contact Diana Szántó at trainings@artemisszio.hu


Information provided by Artemisszio

Development Education Online Library launched by DEEEP

A new online library  has been recently launched on CONCORD/DEEEP website. This online source of information and knowledge sharing gathers hundreds of books focused on Development Education, Civil Society, Development and much more. For each resource, you can download the pdf version or you are welcome to consult it in the Brussels office. Enjoy the browsing!


Information provided by DEEEP

Public-Private Partnerships: Benefiting or hindering international development?

On the 18th March, the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) hosted a side event in New York to promote the report “Why Public-Private-Partnerships don’t work”. The report assessed the impact of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) actually undertaken in rich and poor countries. These global case studies show that there is no evidence that PPPs are cheaper or more convenient for governments in the long-term.

Click here for more on this and further suggested readings.


Source: Global Policy Watch

OECD Publication: Geographical Distribution of Financial Flows to Developing Countries 2015

This publication provides comprehensive data on the volume, origin and types of aid and other resource flows to around 150 developing countries. The data show each country's intake of official development assistance and well as other official and private funds from members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), multilateral agencies and other key donors. Key development indicators are given for reference.

The publication can be read online or downloaded as PDF here.

Source: OECD

OECD online consultation on Youth Well-being

From 30 March – 8 May, Wikiprogress will be conducting an online consultation on Youth Well-being to gather ideas about how governments and other social actors can better improve well-being outcomes for young people. The findings of the consultation will be presented at the OECD Forum in Paris in June, and a report of the consultation will be made widely available for policy makers, foundations, CSOs and others in the Wikiprogress network.

If you would like to be part of the discussion, you can pre-register here.

Source: OECD Civil Society Newsletter

Nominations Now Open for $30,000 2015 Peace Education Prize

The El-Hibri Foundation awards an annual Peace Education Prize to an outstanding scholar, practitioner or policymaker. Established in 2007 by Fuad and Nancy El-Hibri, the Prize recognises individuals and organisations for their noteworthy or influential contributions to the field of peace education. The Prize carries a $30,000 award and is presented at an annual event in Washington, D.C.

The nomination form is accessible here from March 16th to May 17th, 2015.

Source: Peace and Collaborative Development Network

CIDSE vavancy position ‘Campaigns Officer’

To support the implementation and smooth running of their Joint Action campaign, CIDSE is looking for a Campaigns Officer.

Link to the job description (PDF to download).

In a nutshell: 
He/she will have to organise the flow of essential information among the network and wider groups; to cooperate closely with CIDSE staff involved in the campaign and under the guidance of the project coordinator; to support the development of campaign tools including some communications tools; to report on the project progress and budget; to undertake event management including logistics especially in Paris at the occasion of the climate UN negotiations - COP21 (December 2015).

The position is full-time, part-time is possible with a minimum 75%. The position is until 31/01/2016 with possibility of extension depending on funding availability.

Information provided by CIDSE

United Nations University PhD Internships

The internship gives registered doctoral students an opportunity to utilize the resources and facilities at UNU-WIDER for their PhD dissertation or thesis research, and to work with UNU-WIDER researchers in areas of mutual interest. Applicants must be enrolled in a PhD programme and have shown ability to conduct research on developing economies. UNU-WIDER only receives online applications for the PhD Internship Programme twice each year.

Deadlines for submission of applications are 31 March and 30 September 23:59 EET each year.

More information on the application process can be accessed here.

Source: United Nations University UNU-WIDER

Vacancy: PhD Researcher - The Multi-Level Governance of Immigration and Diversity

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is calling for applications for one full-time doctoral researcher in migration, cultural diversity and citizenship policies. Within a broader multi-level governance framework, PhD projects could explore any of the following sub-themes:
• the politics and policy of free movement in the EU
• the politics and policy of de-radicalization in the EU
• mainstreaming immigrant integration across policy levels and policy sectors
• migration and cultural diversity policy making in multi-level states (e.g. Belgium, Germany, Spain, UK, Italy)
• new actors and institutions in immigration and cultural diversity

Deadline for submitting applications is April 30th. More details are available here.

Source: Institute for European Studies

Thursday, 26 February 2015

EU13 initiate lobby on European Union DEAR funding criteria for small organisations

The platforms of the EU13 recently joined forces to draft a letter to development Commissioner Mimica about their concerns related to development education and awareness raising (DEAR) funding from the European Commission (EC). Concerns raised by the group relate to the trend for fewer larger projects being funded and the impact this has on smaller organisations that are unable to access funds for the vital work they are doing. The letter gathered great support from colleagues in the EU15 - 12 of them signed on to the letter, as well as the co-chairs of the two relevant CONCORD working groups: FDR (funding for development and relief) and the DARE Forum (Development Awareness Raising and Education Forum). As well as smaller organisations becoming less able to access the funding, larger organisations are also facing problems under the new funding structure - having to take on additional responsibility and workload for larger projects with a greater number of partners. Gordan Bosanac from Croatian platform CROSOL presented the letter to the Commissioner during a meeting on Friday 13 February 2015 and all who signed are committed to continuing their advocacy work to bring about change in the funding situation.

Read the letter here

Photo courtesy of CROSOL:Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica and president of CROSOL Gordan Bosanac.


Information provided by TRIALOG

Alternative fundraising for CSOs – TRIALOG V Training of Multipliers

Between 17 and 19 of February, 13 Liaison Officers from the EU13 TRIALOG project partners gathered together in Vienna for another Training of Multipliers – the last ToM organised as part of the TRIALOG project.

This year the training event was focused on two alternative funding sources available to CSOs: corporate fundraising and online fundraising. Additionally, complementary to the topic of online fundraising, social media and data visualization were addressed towards the end of the three days.

Day one of the ToM was dedicated to exploring best practices in corporate fundraising, applying the business model generation canvas to the work of the platforms, developing a fundraising pitch and simulating a fundraising meeting. The day was very interactive and the participants enjoyed walking in the corporate shoes. Stephan Kropf from the Fundraising Verband Austria was the resource person for the day.

Day two was led by Florian Engel from More Onion, an organisation specialised in consulting and working with nonprofits on online fundraising campaigns and ecampaigning in general. Florian walked the participants through the Donor Journey and presented a number of online fundraising tools and models, concluding the day with some tips and tricks on data visualization.

The last day of the ToM provided the space for exchange among the Liaison Officers, one of the more pressing issues to discuss being the joint advocacy steps aimed at influencing the EC decisions with regards to the criteria for the next DEAR call in 2016. Before closing with the evaluation of the whole three days, a short session on Social Media provided the LOs with some advice on effective ways of using social media, social media goals for nonprofits, how to build an audience and engage with fans on Facebook.

The TRIALOG team would like to thank all the participants for their positive energy and active engagement in the ToM!

In the photo: Liaison Officers and TRIALOG team members


Information provided by Iulia Jolley – Socea, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer

European Year for Development 2015 opened in Slovakia

On 28th January 2015 the opening of European Year for Development took place in Slovakia. The event was opened by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák, who highlighted the engagement of Slovaks working in development cooperation and stressed the results of the most recent Eurobarometer, in which 79 % of Slovak population agreed that development cooperation is important. Minister Lajčák also appointed the ambassadors of EYD: Adela Banášová, a fan favourite of Slovak TV and radio audiences, Michal Hvorecký, a Slovak writer, and Marián Čaučík, the director of Dobrá novina (Good News campaign).

At the opening event of the EYD, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Slovakia, Dušan Chrenek, underlined the European achievements within development cooperation, but also expressed a need to limit the consumption lifestyle of our society and to lead a more conscious life thinking of the impacts in other parts of the world. Throughout the year, the ambassadors of the EYD will communicate its main messages calling for a fairer world, justice and global responsibility.

The Slovak NDGO Platform, as the national beneficiary of the EYD project, together with its members and partners, has prepared activities to raise the public awareness on development cooperation and interdependencies in the world. Among prepared activities there are a drawing competition for primary schools, a photo competition for amateurs and professionals, a stand focused on EYD topics at the summer festival Pohoda, the Development Day and the international conference Development and Democracy.

More information on prepared activities can be found online.

The opening of EYD was followed by awarding of “The Volunteer of the Year”. The award in category the Volunteer of the Year SlovakAid was given to Ivana Uličná for her engagement in education projects in Kenya. The award in the category the Best Project was given to Dobrá novina of eRko, a fundraising campaign for the projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The event was organised by CARDO, the Slovak NDGO Platform and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Photo courtesy of Jana Birošová: Minister of the Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák awarding the Volunteer of the Year in the category SlovakAid.

Information provided by Andrea Girmanova, Slovak NDGO Platform

Lauch of the European Year for Development in Croatia with European Commissioner Mimica

On 13th of February 2015, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Vesna Pusić, opened the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015) in the Coratian Parliament. On that occasion two round tables were organised, where civil society representatives together with government representatives shared experiences of Croatian development cooperation and development aid.

Once again, the Platform CROSOL was presented, and board president Gordan Bosanac explained the projects that CROSOL is going to implement as a part of the EYD2015. After the official part, the president of CROSOL had a meeting with Commissioner Mimica, where he explained the challenges that small European platforms are facing with regards to the changing conditions in the next „Development education and awareness raising - DEAR calls“. The European Commission (EC) is giving funds through DEAR calls, but only for big projects and to „big players“ which means small platforms and organisations do not have sufficient capacities to apply or implement this kind of projects.
CROSOL and other EU13 platforms started an advocacy initiative in order to change that, and they are asking the Commission to give also smaller grants. Their request got approval from other, bigger EU platforms, and eventually the letter that had been written for Commissioner Mimica was signed by 25 European development CSO platforms.
Commissioner Mimica agreed that there should be equal opportunities for smaller and biger platforms, he has promised that he will personally take attention on what is going on with the call and its criteria, and that the call has t
o be open towards potential "consortia of small NGOs". He agreed that more administrative burden on the EC should not be barrier for awarding more grants. The letter was also given to Minister Vesna Pusić, to representative of the EC in Croatia and to MEP and member of the Development Committee of the EP Davor Ivo Stier.

Read the lobby letter here.

Photo courtesy by CROSOL: Commissioner Neven Mimica and CROSOL President Gordan Bosanac.

Information provided by Ela Naranđa, CROSOL