Launch meeting: New solutions to old problems

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

On 17-18 September 2020, the project team gathered online for the launch meeting of the project New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration.

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • To learn more about the expectations and roles of partners
  • To introduce the Project Market and prepare for the selection of good practices
  • To discuss capacity-building needs of the partners to support developing the training and coaching activities
  • To introduce the common advocacy objectives of the project and start reflecting about national advocacy for better bottom-up funding
  • To get to know the EEA/Norway grants and its expectations towards our project
  • To publicly launch the project

The meeting started with a short recap of the aim of the project and the different work packages and continued with presenting the roles and expectations of partners, an introduction of the EEA/Norway grants & Fund Operator and their expectations towards our project.

We also had an introduction of the Project Market and Peer to Peer partnerships and of good practices in general (What makes a good practice? What are our criteria? What do the partners already have in mind?)

The first day of the launching meeting also targeted the capacity-building side of the project, so we had an introduction to the work package – communication & presentation training, learning academies, individual coaching, transparency criteria, project management toolkit.

On Friday 18th September we met to discuss the advocacy work package  – funding research, national advocacy meetings, European meetings.

Also, we shared national funding situations and related national advocacy objectives and partners ( what are we working on already, who are our national partners, what are our aims?)

We also had an introduction to communication work package – project website, information sessions, social media campaigns, story-telling, project video, crowdfunding. In this session we discussed the communication requirements for partners and brainstorming on ideas to promote the project.

We also tackled the risk management: What can go wrong in the project and how can we deal with possible challenges.

The  launching meeting ended with a short evaluation and suggestions for improving future meetings.

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.

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!