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.


Report: Funding of bottom-up approaches – ERGO Network

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