Report: Funding of bottom-up approaches

Report: Funding of bottom-up approaches: Ways forward to support Roma inclusion

We are happy to present ERGO Network’s new Analysis of funding for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. This study sheds light on the importance of bottom-up approaches and assessing funding programmes targeted at Roma inclusion. The paper was prepared by Marko Pecak for the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network and has received financial support in the framework of the project “New solutions to old problems” funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.

The report also analyses the major variety of donors, such as EU, national governments, international organisations, state developement agencies and private foundations. It provides the comprehensive analysis and a set of recommendations to each type of the donors, which can be used to improve their performance.

This report aims to contribute to raising awareness of institutional and private donors in the importance of bottom-up approaches to strengthen Roma inclusion and empowerment. It also reflects on the challenges and discusses improvements to existing funding programmes.

The main recommendations of the report are:


  • All strategic and planning documents on Roma inclusion need to be public
  • Donors need to consider weak local governance
  • Beyond consultations. Implement participatory research methods for needs and strategic development
  • Detailed approaches with implementation plans, not general guidance, and concepts
  • More resources, funding, and human capacity, for community-led approaches

European Union

  • Any ESIF funds being managed by local municipalities should use a community-led and participatory approach
  • Good governance support should be highly recommended with any funding managed by local municipalities
  • Desk Officers, Managing Authorities, and NRCPs need specific guidance on what is CLLD and how to implement them
  • EU needs a detailed plan that defines the concepts of participation, empowerment, and bottom-up approaches and how to ensure they will be implemented
  • Monitoring Committees should be more independent, transparent, have representative from Roma community

National Governments

  • There should be a defined Roma inclusion budget with corresponding implementation plans, indicators, and monitoring system
  • Go beyond Monitoring Committee requirements
  • Develop a strong cooperation with RCM
  • Mainstream project need specific Roma inclusion targets
  • Conduct campaigns with local governments and community members on the importance of Roma inclusion to reduce the barrier of bias and antigygpsism

State Development Agencies

  • Develop approaches and priorities outside of the EU agenda
  • Should have public and detailed documents on their approach to Roma inclusion
  • Mainstream social inclusion strategies need details on how they ensure the impact on Roma inclusion 
  • Longer-term investments that use community-led and participatory approaches
  • Shift the priority of their investment from bilateral cooperation to more focus on setting inclusion agendas

Intergovernmental Organizations

  • A new long-term and collaborative initiative to be develop with a focus on community-led, participatory, antidiscrimination, and empowerment approaches
  • Develop agendas based on their organizational values not EU or other institutional agendas

Private Foundations

  • Increase transparency in their funding approaches and strategies for Roma inclusion
  • Implement measures with the goal to test alternative approaches that can be shared and scaled
  • Larger portion of funding should go to supporting community organization’s operational and human capacities. Especially, core funding.

To download the full report, please follow this link.

This report has received financial support in the framework of the project “New solutions to old problems”. The project “New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma
integration” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the
EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.

This publication has received funding from the European Union. The information contained in this publication reflects only the author’s view; and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


Roma Active Albania’s Learning Academy in Durres

Roma Active Albania’s Learning Academy in Durres

The second Learning Academy was organized by our partner Roma Active Albania (RAA) in Durres from 24-28 March 2022. The Academy was organized under the project New solutions to old problems – exchange of new types of approaches in the field of Roma integration, funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation and implemented by Nevo Parudimos association as a lead organization together with its partners from Albania, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Romania,  Slovakia and Turkey.

It gathered 24 participants from 11 countries from the European Members States, Western Balkans and Turkey.

RAA’s Learning Academy was opened by the Director of Roma Active Albania Mr. Adriatik Hasantari. He welcome the participants and guests who came from different countries and partner organizations.

On the first day of the session, the participants were introduced to each other and the leaders of the Academy explained in detail how the academy program is expected to develop in the coming days. Partner organizations such as, ERGO network Slovo 21, Otaharin, Roma, Zero discrimination, Autonomia, Nevo Paradimos, RARC and Roma Active Albania presented their work and important events of 2022.

The second part of the day was dedicated to proceeding with complaints concerning various EU institutions. This session called “How to file a complaint to the EU” was delivered by an external expert Andor Urmos. At the end of this workshop, based on their knowledge and expertise, each group presented the method on how to follow up and address issues to institutions that are dependent on the European Union. Participants also shared with each other cases when they themselves had filed a complaint to the EU institutions.

This was followed by the Project Management board game. In this game, the participants had to learn the new development method and offer their feedback. Colleagues from Autonomia helped the rest of the participants with their expertise in the field.

On the next day, the program started framing the previous day and the participants started working on the workshop: Mystery Shopping which was related to a creative method to detect and work on Roma issues.

In the second session of the day, the participants learned about advocacy on how to address Roma issues and the exploration of practices, methods, and tools on how to bring new elements to their work.

The fourth day of the program was related recall the game under “Transparency and accountability of CSOs”. It is a game developed by ERGO Network and its partners and translated into several languages. The game brings recommendations on how grassroots civil society organizations should be governed and managed in order to be reliable and accountable. Fulfilling the criteria will bring attention to the organization’s quality work. The set of criteria focuses on governance, financial management and performance. Later on the day was an open space for members to share their skills, knowledge and expertise.

The Learning Academy was closed with a follow-up and evaluation of the meeting.

ERGO logo

Rue d’Edimbourg 26

1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +32 (0)2 8931049

EU flag_low resolution

This website has received financial support from the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”

Copyright © Stichting ERGO Network 2017 . Contact us | News | Privacy Policy

Developed by Sanka Chandima Abayawardena ! SCACS Consultants and Services

April 4, 2022 – ERGO Network

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.