News

New EU Call for Proposals: IPA-CSF Partnership Programmes for CSOs

posted 11 Jan 2012, 08:03 by Henk Visser

Support to regional thematic networks - Framework Partnership Agreements and Implementation grants
The overall objective for the Civil Society Facility (CSF) is 'To contribute to anchoring democratic values and structures, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law, thereby supporting the EU integration process.'

The purpose is to achieve: 'A more dynamic civil society actively participating in public debate on democracy, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law and with capacity to influence policy and decision making processes.'

The new Call for Proposals aims to achieve this by establishing partnerships with regional networks of CSOs to pursue shared objectives regarding good governance and the fulfilment of the political criteria for EU accession. The partnerships will strengthen CSO dialogue and the development of knowledge and experience. By bringing together representatives from different organisations in the Western Balkans, Turkey and EU, the programme will enhance CSO cooperation and understanding beyond regional and national levels.

The programme will provide for the development and implementation of around 15 long-term thematic Partnership Programmes. They will make it possible for likeminded CSOs to perform activities based on a joint strategy and agreed programme of activities.

The Partnership Programmes will be implemented through Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) with associated grants for implementation.

FPAs support the need to work with networks involving a certain number of CSO partners on a regular, stable and longer-term basis. They are a long-term cooperation mechanism between the European Commission and the CSO partners. FPAs set out the common objectives, the nature of planned actions, the procedure for awarding specific grants and the general rights and obligations of each party. FPAs do not in themselves carry any financial commitment but make it possible to work with partners in a more flexible fashion. The duration of the FPAs will be up to 48 months.

The specific grants for implementation will have an initial duration of 24 months.

The first three to six months of these grants must be used by the Lead CSO and its partners to refine their strategy and plans for implementation in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the European Commission. At the end of the inception phase, Lead CSO and its partners must produce an inception report to be reviewed and approved by the European Commission.

Towards the end of the first two years of implementation, the Contracting Authority will arrange for a mid-term review of the Partnership Programmes. It will be based on terms of reference agreed by the Contracting Authority in consultation with the partners. If the mid-term review deems the individual partnerships to be of continued relevance and effectiveness in delivering expected results or outcomes, the Commission will consider providing continued funding for up to another 24 months.
Funding for years three and four will be provided through the European Commission's budget for 2013. It will be subject to the Budget Authority’s approval of the 2013 budget and the European Commission’s adoption of a new Financing Decision for activities proposed for 2013 onwards. Continued funding will be within the ceilings of the initial grants for implementation.
Important: Applications for this Call for Proposals must set out the strategy, indicative work plan and expected results for the full duration of the FPA, i.e. 48 months. The logical framework must also cover the entirety of the FPA and should have clear milestones for achievements for the first 24 months. This is for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating progress of the initial implementation grant. The budget should only cover the first 24 months of the FPA.

More information (guidelines, application form, etc.) on the Europeaid website. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome&nbPubliList=15&orderby=upd&orderbyad=Desc&searchtype=RS&aofr=132438

EC publishes annual overview of enlargement policy and progress

posted 20 Oct 2011, 06:47 by Henk Visser

On 12 October the European Commission published its annual overview of enlargement policy and the progress made towards EU accession in the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland.

This "enlargement package" consists of a global strategy document setting out the policy's goals and prospects for the coming year, as well as progress reports for each of the (potential) candidates, assessing their achievements over the last twelve months.

This year's package also includes Commission's opinion on whether Serbia is ready to start accession negotiations, which exceptionally replaces the progress report on Serbia.

Learn more about the package and the next steps: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2011/package/citizens_summary_2011_en.pdf

Further information at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/key-documents/reports_oct_2011_en.htm

Manual on Advocacy and Policy Influencing for Social Change

posted 14 Jul 2011, 08:20 by Henk Visser

Advocacy and Policy Influencing is crucial to every entrepreneur, politician or civil society group.
 
In order to make this Manual as practical as possible the theoretical part has been supplemented with case studies and practical tools. The case studies are mostly from the work of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) from the Western Balkans and Turkey. This approach is chosen in order to complement the knowledge of CSOs about the field of advocacy and policy infuencing and to make it directly applicable in their everyday work.

The Manual is made up of five parts:

  • Introduction to Advocacy and Policy Influencing
  • Birth of the Early Message
  • Alliance Building and Action Plan
  • Implementation and Learning: Delivering the Final Message
  • Toolbox

Download: Manual on Advocacy and Policy Influencing for Social Change

Manual on CSOs and Citizens' Participation

posted 1 Jul 2011, 01:16 by Henk Visser

One of the important roles for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) both within the EU and globally is indeed the facilitation of citizens' participation in decision-making processes, whether they be at the local, provincial, national or even international level. TACSO has published for this purpose a new manual on citizens’ participation.

The Manual is made up of three main parts:
Part 1: deals with the concepts and general approaches, mechanisms and methodologies for effective citizens' participation;
Part 2: looks at citizens' participation in action, at both the local and national level;
Part 3: is a 'Toolbox' which contains checklists and examples of templates and methodologies to be used in support of citizens' participation.

It should be noted that although the primary target is CSOs, it is expected that a range of partners of the CSOs - local governmnet bodies, central government departments and other public institutions - as well as individual citizens, will all find the Manual instructive and enlightening. The range of information, methodologies and experiences shared in the Manual is also deliberately broad, so that both novices to citizens' participation and more experienced practitioners will find useful advice.

Both the Manual and contents of the Toolbox have been designed to be used as either self-directed learning guides or can be used in the context of workshops, roundtable events, or even more formal training. Thus, anyone working or volunteering with a CSO should feel comfortable using the publication. There are also plenty of references and examples of real experiences of CSOs in the region, and details of where to find information, so it is hoped that any reader will feel inspired and confident to take appropriate actions.

Here you can download the Manual on CSOs and Citizens' Participation .

International Social Innovation Competition is now open

posted 1 Jul 2011, 00:54 by Henk Visser

Naples 2.0 - Social Innovation Competition; Please note, deadline for submission is 10th August 2011.

Euclid Network' is looking for you, as part of the International Social Innovation Competition to submit an innovative idea to tackle one of the six challenges in Naples.

Euclid Network, Project Ahead and the UniCredit Foundation are the first to launch such a truly innovative project: creating a competition that calls on creative innovators from around the world to solve concrete challenges.

In the minds of people, Naples is internationally known for two things: its garbage problem and the Camorra, a "shadow big society" which, together with the absence of state, has created a stalemate that seems impossible to overcome.

Huge unemployment in the suburbs, high levels of crime, the retreat of state and an absence of corporations in areas where they are most needed, are just a few of Naples' persisting problems .

The aim of the competition is to prove that cooperation across borders and boundaries based on the real needs of people, their engagement and creativity - or simply: social innovation - can provide new solutions for society solving 6 concrete challenges identified by organisers and local organisations in Naples.

This is why we are holding a competition that selects the brightest ideas to tackle our challenges:
Challenge 1 - Turning a confiscated villa into a financially sustainable Social Business
Challenge 2 - Making an abandoned Roman bath accessible and sustainable
Challenge 3 - Creating a sustainable business plan for a volunteering organisation
Challenge 4 - Creating a sustainable business model for a non-profit organisation that works with school dropouts
Challenge 5 - Creating an innovative new method for inclusion of the young Roma population
Challenge 6 - Creating an innovative new method for recycling textile sustainably

Individuals, private and public, as well as non-profit and for profit organizations can participate by appointing a representative person.

The six winners (one for each challenge) will receive EUR 10,000 seed funding by UniCredit Foundation to transform the idea into a project and implement it. If the project is considered to be feasible by the organisers, necessary additional funds will be raised to cover the full budget and implement the project.

Save the date: the 12 finalists will be selected by 1st September 2011 and given another round of questions which they have to present at the award ceremony which will be held in Naples 23rd September. The winners will be announced by the jury after a final judging round. Please find a draft agenda attached.

Our high-profile jury will judge every application taking into account the 4 following essential criteria:
Innovation
Feasibility
Sustainability
Understanding of the context

Register now!

Deadline for submission is 10th of August.

For further information please contact:

Email: lucas.fulling@euclidnetwork.eu
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7280 4926
Or visit our website: www.euclidnetwork.eu

Debate about the Code of Ethics for CSOs in Serbia

posted 28 Jun 2011, 01:42 by Henk Visser

Civic Initiatives will organize a formal acceptance and debate about implementation of the Code of Ethics for CSOs on 29th June 2011. This Code establishes common values and set of principles important for CSO work in Serbia. Miodrag Shresta of the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund, Miljenko Dereta of Civic Initiatives and Nadezda Milenkovic as creative director of commercial campaigns will introduce their views on how to practically apply these values, to cooperate with political parties and institutions – which can be seen either as enemies or allies, the public perception of CSOs, etc.

This debate is supported by the TACSO (Technical Assistance for Civil Society Organizations) project in Serbia, financed by the European Union, and implemented by SIPU International. It is also supported within the ISC/USAID funded project “Civil Society Advocacy Initiative”.
more information at: http://www.gradjanske.org/page/news/sr.html?view=story&id=3578&sectionId=1

Manual on Developing and Managing EU-Funded Projects

posted 24 Jun 2011, 01:41 by Henk Visser   [ updated 1 Jul 2011, 02:29 ]

It can be extremely challenging for individual CSOs which are trying to understand how investment decisions are made within EU institutions and how to successfully apply for EU funding. Indeed, for many CSOs the challenge seems like an insoluble mystery, and for organisations in the Western Balkans region and Turkey, despite being geographically and, in terms of forthcoming accession, close to the EU, the EU’s funding processes can appear mysterious and at times frustrating.

To help clarify and explain this process TACSO (Technical Assistance for CSOs) has produced a Manual on Developing and Managing EU-Funded Projectsl. It and the accompanying Toolkit is aimed at assisting CSOs in the Western Balkans and Turkey to understand the process of accession to and subsequent successful management of EU funds. It is not a comprehensive guide to EU funds nor a guarantee of success when making applications for them. It is, however, intended to show CSOs how they can become both more effcient and more effective in accessing and managing EU funds.

The Manual is made up of three sections: frstly, this introduction which explains the nature of EU funding and the specifc opportunities in the region; secondly, a section describing how CSOs can navigate their way from the very beginning of the process of identify funding opportunities to the very end, where they’re reporting on funds spent; and thirdly, a brief section to explain how to use the accompanying Toolkit, and fnally a glossary of terms and references.

Download: Manual on Developing and Managing EU-Funded Projects

Croatia: Public Call for Co-financing of EU projects for Croatian CSOs

posted 24 Jun 2011, 01:29 by Henk Visser

Public Call for Proposals for co-financing civil society organisation’s projects contracted within the European Union Programmes for 2011

This Call is open for registered Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with a status of an NGO, which are active in Croatia and are applicants in the project contracted with the European Commission or an executive agency.

This Call is open for registered Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with a status of an NGO, which are active in Croatia and are partners in a project contracted with the European Commission or an executive agency within the scope of IPA Cross-Boarder Cooperation Programmes and IPA Multi-Beneficiary Programme.

Exceptionally, this Call is open other civil society organisations (eg. foundations, syndicates, private institutions etc) which are applicants in the project contracted with the European Commission or an executive agency.

The co-financing request can be made for projects contracted with the scope of the following calls and programmes, which capacitate civil society development:
  • IPA 2008 – I. component
  • IPA 2009 – I. component
  • IPA 2009 – IV. component
  • IPA Cross Border Cooperation
  • Europe for Citizens
  • Youth in Action
  • PROGRESS
  • Health
  • European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) – centralised calls at the national level
  • IPA INFO centralised calls at the national level
  • Multi-Beneficiary IPA.

Co-financing can be request for projects:
1. which have the signing of a contact with the European Commission or another executive agency as a prerequisite for the start of implementation of project activities and have been contracted:

a. in the final quarter of 2009 or during 2010, and whose activities
Take place predominately during 2011
Take place at least 6 months in 2011;

b. during 2011;
2. which require an official publication of results (not signing the contract) by the European Commission or another executive agency for the start of activities. The results need to be published in:
a. in the final quarter of 2009 or during 2010, and whose activities
Take place predominately during 2011
Take place at least 6 months in 2011;

The Request for co-financing can be made by filling in this form Request for co-financing of civil society organisation's projects contracted within the European Union Programmes for 2011 , which can be posted as a paper version or on a CD/DVD.

Along with the Request it is necessary to include:

- Copy of the Contract signed with the European Union or one of the executive agencies
OR
- Certificate of the official publication of tender results by the European union or an executive agency in the form of a website print-out
- Copy of the Financial Plan of the project
- Copy of the Operational Plan
- Copy of the Logical Matrix (if applicable)
- Copy of periodic reports, which have been sent to the contracting body (European Commission or an executive agency) up to the point of submitting the Request
- Copy of the approval of the final report (which have been granted by the executive agency by the time of submitting the request)
- Copy of the financial support agreement from another fund/source of financing (if financial support has been assured)

The Request for co-financing, along with all the supporting documentation and with a note REQUEST FOR CO-FINANCING needs to be sent by mail to:

Ured za udruge Vlade RH
Radnička cesta 80/V
10000 Zagreb


Within the calendar year 2011 the applicant organisation can have a maximum of 3 projects co-financed. A co-financing agreement is concluded once only, regardless of the duration of the project implementation.

Requests for co-financing will be evaluated by the Committee named by the Head of the Office for Cooperation with NGOs. Before the evaluation, the Committee will determine whether the applicant has kept all financial records and has clear accounts, whether he fulfils all contractual obligations in a timely manner for all previously approved support and financial measures from national or international sources. The Committee delivers its opinion regarding the compliance with the set-out criteria to the Head of the Office for Cooperation with NGOs who makes the Decision on co-financing, which then serves as the basis of the Contract which the applicant signs with the Office.

The award procedure and payment of the co-financing funds for civil society organisations contracted within the scope of European Union Programmes for 2011 is conducted in accordance with rules available here.

The Public Call is open until 31st December 2011.

VAT Guidelines prepared by TACSO

posted 21 Jun 2011, 06:44 by Henk Visser   [ updated 24 Jun 2011, 00:31 ]

The VAT Guidelines have been posted on the TACSO Web page: http://tacso.org/documents/reports/?id=4923

YES organises STARTUP Weekend

posted 21 Jun 2011, 05:32 by Henk Visser

 
Startup Weekend is intense 54 hours event and its primer focus is creating desktop, mobile or internet based solutions which could be transformed into productive business. During the weekend we are going to create a panel of people from different backgrounds with different knowledge – mostly software developers, graphic designers and business people – economists in order to create productive applications with commercial strategy for its implementation. It’s a non-profit and social event which primer objective is to boost and encourage the young people to start and create their own business and to accept the entrepreneurship and innovation as a new path for success.

The participants are going to have 60 seconds to make a pitch and after exposing their ideas they are going to create a team for the best ideas. Afterwards the teams are going to develop the idea into a prototype (product or service) which could lead to starting a company or working project. At the very end of the weekend the teams are going to present (demonstrate) their business model in front of the judges and potential investors. The best teams will be rewarded in order to put their idea into a final shape of a profitable business.

This event is going to be organized in Skopje for the first time, but this same event has already been organized throughout 110 cities around the world and became a successful ground for making startups. Only last year, this event resulted in creating more than 850 new companies. The event is going to be held during the weekend 24-26.06.2011.

For more information please visit http://skopje.startupweekend.org/

The participants are going to have 60 seconds to make a pitch and after exposing their ideas they are going to create a team for the best ideas. Afterwards the teams are going to develop the idea into a prototype (product or service) which could lead to starting a company or working project. At the very end of the weekend the teams are going to present (demonstrate) their business model in front of the judges and potential investors. The best teams will be rewarded in order to put their idea into a final shape of a profitable business.

This event is going to be organized in Skopje for the first time, but this same event has already been organized throughout 110 cities around the world and became a successful ground for making startups. Only last year, this event resulted in creating more than 850 new companies. The event is going to be held during the weekend 24-26.06.2011.

For more information please visit http://skopje.startupweekend.org/

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