Regional Meeting with Local Action Groups on Roma

Regional Meeting with Local Action Groups on Roma

On 15 June 2017 in Ploiesti City, ERGO member “Center of Resources for Social Inclusion CRIS” organized the first Regional Meeting with representatives of 7 Local Action Groups (LAGs) from South-Muntenia Region and South-Est Region in Romania.

The aim of the meeting was to present Roma interests in the LAGs territories and their specific handcrafts in order to identify potential beneficiaries from LAGs territories and to build new relationships with local authorities. The participants agreed that in order to increase the capacity of LAG teams to better work with and for Roma and to increase the number of Roma as beneficiaries in the measures of Local Development Strategies, LAGs animation is very much needed.

As an outcome of the meeting CRIS will develop a recommendation letter regarding the effective participation of Roma in accessing, implementing and monitoring Local Development Strategies of LAGs.

Stakeholder Workshop ‘Building-up quality of life in the local area’

Stakeholder Workshop ‘Building-up quality of life in the local area’

On May 16 Eurofound organized a stakeholder meeting on the topic ‘Building-up quality of life in the local area’. Dr. Ileana Rotaru from Nevo Parudimos and ERGO member presented the perspective of Social hubs in rural Europe: social inclusion and Roma integration.

Between 2017 and 2020 Eurofound will carry-out exploratory research on ways to build up quality of life in the local area, whether urban or rural. In particular, it seeks to investigate two questions:  a) what physical and social factors in the local area are of particular importance for people’s quality of life? and b) what can be learned from initiatives to enhance quality of life in the local area?

Our input to the meeting was that Roma communities cannot be forgotten when the ‘local dimensions’ of quality of life is targeted  in this project. We stressed the necessity of including Roma in different types of initiatives and policies aiming to improve quality of life.

Present at the meeting were Mr. Tadas Leonikas from Eurofund, Eurofound Research Manager Mr. Hans Dubois, different stakeholders from EU state members and municipalities and  European Commission representatives:  DG EMPL (Unit: Modernisation of Social Protection Systems), DG SANTE (Unit: Health determinants and inequality) and  from DG REGIO (Unit: Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development).

“The inclusion of the Roma community was encouraged and evaluated through a system of indicators developed by the ERGO Network”* – a story of success

“The inclusion of the Roma community was encouraged and evaluated through a system of indicators developed by the ERGO Network”* – a story of success

Our Bulgarian member organisation Integro analysed the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) process and Roma inclusion therein.

In Bulgaria the implementation of the CLLD in the 2014-2020 programming period started within the Rural Development Program 2014-2020, a successor of the LEADER approach. During the current period, the budget for implementation of local development strategies is significantly higher – so that it is expected that two times more local development strategies will be funded.  With the help of ERGO Network’s quality audit tool, Integro analysed Roma integration in local development strategies and local action groups, and identified four steps that are important to take when wanting to improve Roma access to the CLLD programme.

 

 

 

Roma Regional Meeting on Roma community development in Romania

Roma Regional Meeting on Roma community development in Romania

Nevo Parudimos, as a member of ERGO Network, organized a working meeting on the 14th of September in Timisoara on the theme of „Local Development Strategies and the role of Roma NGO’s in their implementation”.At the meeting participated Roma NGO’s from 3 counties of the Western Region of Romania (8 representatives). They expressed their interest in collaborating with the Local Action Groups (LAGs) management team in order to apply for the calls on the Strategies’ social measures targeting the Roma communities. They underlined the need for special training in order to be able to apply for LAGs call and to be built their capacity of implementing these projects as the need for active measures is well-known and could be a priority in certain situations. The Comunity Local Led Development  process was explained by the Nevo Parudioms’team and the LAG’s activity within their area of interest (the LAGs where the Roma NGO’s have their activity).

The participants’ NGOs  have also shown  their interest and commitment to attend and be involved within  Roma Forum platform and activities.

More info about Nevo Parudioms here.

Social inclusion of Roma in rural areas through CLLD process

Social inclusion of Roma in rural areas through CLLD process

Better integration of Roma people in rural areas is not only a social, but also a demographic and economic issue. The European Roma Grassroots Organization (ERGO Network) has been working actively to use bottom-up/ partnership-based approaches (such as LEADER/CLLD) as a tool to engage Roma people more actively in shaping the future of their rural areas.

CLLD can offer opportunities for Roma communities to participate in developing and implementing Local Development Strategies (LDSs). From case studies we conducted in 2014[1], however, we know that Roma involvement is not obvious. Also, the monitoring and evaluation of LDSs mostly takes a narrow quantitative approach, neglects the perspectives of beneficiaries and fails to analyse why Roma communities very often hardly benefit from them.

ERGO Network’s Quality Audit addresses these shortcomings. The Quality Audit is a tool to involve Roma communities in the monitoring of CLLD, which at the same time strengthens their voice in the process, and to evaluate the quality of LDSs, both in terms of participation and results. The Quality Audit has two aims:

  1. To assess the quality of CLLD local development strategies;
  2. To empower local groups and create/strengthen accountability mechanisms at local level.

The Quality Audit provides data for shadow monitoring and – as it is a multi-year effort – also the opportunity to follow the process from start to finish. It will thus allow us to formulate recommendations for the next programming period.

Secondly, the Quality Audit strengthens the position of Roma communities at local level and empowers local activists. It introduces a comparative measure for how Local Action Groups (LAGs) perform in each phase of the CLLD process. By sharing the outcomes, activists and local NGOs stand stronger in their negotiations or their participation in the CLLD process. Conducting the QA also enhances the knowledge of communities and activists of the process, which further strengthens their position. The QA also evaluates LAGs and LDSs against some of the formal criteria set for CLLD by the European Commission: it thus strengthens accountability mechanisms at local level.

The Quality Audit exists alongside the ERGO Network Local Scorecard: this is an online tool where local activists can rate how well their locality is doing in terms of Roma inclusion. The QA is a much more in-depth evaluation focusing specifically on CLLD, providing a deeper level of analysis. The tools are complementary however; activists conducting the QA can also use the Local Scorecard – which gives a less in-depth, but also more general picture of the state of Roma integration in their locality.

The first synthesis report of the Quality Audit in 2016 will soon be published by ERGO Network.

Here you can download overviews of the participating organizations:

 Czech Republic

 Bulgaria

 Slovakia

 Romania