New Solutions to Old Problems

New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration

Over 1 million Euros allocated for Roma civil society empowerment

A new project of our network has been approved for funding through the EEA and Norway Grants for Regional Cooperation: New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration (2018-1-0697) focuses on the priority sectors social inclusion, youth employment and poverty reduction and started in August 2020.

The project brings together ERGO Network members from EEA/Norway Grants beneficiary states, in total 11 partners or one third of all ERGO members! While the project will be led by Nevo Parudimos from Romania, other partners are coming from Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

The ERGO Network secretariat will support the overall coordination and management of the project and will lead on its EU advocacy activities.

“New Solutions to old Problems” (NSOP) aims at supporting Roma communities in adapting and implementing inclusion and empowerment projects that have already been tried and tested successfully by other partners. At the same time we want to create a more favourable environment for bottom-up approaches to Roma integration, breaking the vicious circle of cynicism that ‘nothing can be changed’.

There has been progress in identifying the causes of social exclusion of Roma, but when it comes to designing solutions, we face a general paralysis on how to tackle the multi-layered challenges. Top down approaches – developed far from the communities – leave little room for innovation. Practitioners agree that grassroots approaches work and bring good results for social inclusion and human rights, but most donors are still reluctant to support such small-scale initiatives.

The results of the project will be partly tangible, partly intangible and are linked to the three work packages Peer2Peer Partnerships, Capacity-Building and Advocacy:

  1. Promoting community-led projects:
  • 10 projects based on community needs that have been identified as good practices in other organisations are adapted and implemented
  • 20-30 good practice examples of local Roma inclusion and empowerment projects are identified and disseminated with ideas for adaptation and upscaling
  • Roma community organising and Roma civil society promoted through film and story-telling
  1. Increased capacity of Roma CSOs:
  • Staff of Roma CSOs trained in project and organisational management
  • Toolkit on project and organisational management for CSOs published
  • Transparency and accountability criteria implemented by CSOs
  1. Favorable funding environment:
  • Study on importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion produced and disseminated
  • Analysis of funding programmes on Roma inclusion conducted and disseminated
  • Donors more aware of the importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion

Check out the project website for more information and follow our facebook page for updates!