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Open Society Foundations;
The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI) studies and reports aim to build a comprehensive and detailed picture of the extent of early childhood provision and services, available to Romani families. The studies have been carried out in five countries—Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia—and endeavour to identify the major obstacles that Romani families face in accessing high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood care and education. More generally, the studies and reports deliver data and information about communities that are often ignored or misrepresented by official statistics, government policies, ministerial strategies and plans for spending.
As previous studies carried out by Open Society Foundations have shown—No Data—No Progress, 2010—the lack of reliable data hampers any attempt to measure the impact of government or international NGO intervention. Planning services and allocating resources to Romani communities are the consequence of "guesswork" rather than knowledge and careful study. The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion reports present a distillation of the most recent and reliable data to be had, in these circumstances, drawn from the actual communities themselves, through interviews and focus groups. Government strategies, policies and action plans are all assessed in this context; what has been the effect of the initiatives aimed at improving the economic and social position for Romani families, in these countries?
This Overview Report draws upon data from the five country studies, carried out by Romani and non-Romani researchers working together, to present what are the themes and topics of most relevance to families and young children in settlements and neighbourhoods across central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. A profound lack of equality of access and services, beset by numerous obstacles, characterizes the overall picture, for Roma. The numbers of Romani children that have access to good quality, early childhood education and care provision or who can participate in community and home-based learning programmes, remains minimal in comparison with the surrounding, majority populations.
The desperate need for Romani children to be able to access, at least for two years, high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood education and care services and benefit from effective home visiting and community-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes, is a particular theme throughout the report. This is a minimum requirement that the partner organizations (UNICEF, Open Society Foundation's Early Childhood Program and Roma Education Fund) advocate for at national and international levels, if progress is to be made in improving education outcomes for Romani children.
The scale of the changes that need to be undertaken in order to provide equal opportunity for Romani children and families requires that national governments and international institutions (such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Union's Parliament) act, following the recommendations that these reports deliver.
Open Society Foundations;
In the early post-Soviet period, Czech authorities, unlike their counterparts in some former Eastern Bloc countries, turned away from repressive drug policies and developed approaches to illicit drugs that balanced new freedoms with state authority. The end of Soviet rule meant that drug markets and the use of a wide range of new drugs attained a magnitude and visibility not previously known to Czech society.
From an early stage, some pioneering health professionals with expertise in drug addiction saw that the new drug situation would require greatly expanded services for drug users and collaboration between civil society and government to achieve this expansion. They were able to influence the new government and steer it toward drug policy that would define drug use as a multisectoral problem, not an issue for policing alone.
The report A Balancing Act: Policymaking on Illicit Drugs in the Czech Republic traces the development of drug policy in the Czech Republic from the post-Soviet period to the present day. The report examines the impact of the Czech Republic's evidence based approach to drug policy, compares the country's path on drug policy to that of its neighbour Slovakia and discusses challenges to maintaining this approach in the future.
Watch a video produced by the Rights Reporter Foundation based on the fin
Presently, the culture of open discussion seems to be threatened in an increasing number of countries. In Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE's) democracies, recent political developments appear to jeopardize progresses made in the past. Against this background, this study aims at shedding light on the dynamics of CEE'scivil society and gives a brief overview of the status quo and recent developments that directly affect civil society.
The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts. The inclusion of expert assessments on civil society aims at giving a voice primarily to practitioners. Therefore, the study included an online survey in each participating country, addressing CSO representatives operating in various fields of activity.
More than two decades have passed since nonprofit and third-sector researchers "discovered" Central and Eastern Europe as an area of scholarly interest. After the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain, scholars noted the emergence of new civil society actors and were curious to understand the role these actors would play in their societies. Since that time, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has experienced intensive periods of transformation, conflict and renewal. This study is guided by the intention to develop a better understanding of the current state of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, the diverse pathways of its development, and its possible future trajectories.
Open Society Foundations;
In this report, commissioned by the Open Society European Policy Institute, the author, Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, sets out to provide a shadow report to the European Commission on the practical implementation of the EU Roma Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies between 2011 and 2016.
The report is based on desk research and 27 responses to a questionnaire distributed to active Roma and pro-Roma civil society organizations in nine countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It focuses primarily on the European dimension of the design and implementation of the EU Roma Framework, providing a critical overview of its relevance for the process of implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies in member states.
The report finds that although the very existence of the EU Roma Framework is an achievement in itself and represents a turning point for Roma communities in Europe, by design, it has several major shortcomings. It concludes that post-2020, the EU Roma Framework should be maintained but should undergo a substantial reform that will reorient the current policy design. The recommendations for the EU Roma Framework reform post-2020 are detailed in the report.
This study covers 47 programmes relevant to Roma inclusion in 12 countries, with a focus on the countries with the largest share of Roma (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia). The study included a review of literature and programme documentation, interviews with stakeholders in the focus countries, and online questionnaires and telephone interviews with Donor Programme Partners and authorities in the other countries. The cut-off date for data collection was March 2015.
Center for Strategy and Evaluation Services;
The EEA Grants in the current period have been allocated to programmes defined at national level, instead of to individual projects. These programmes have been implemented according to the Regulation and after a process of negotiation between the donors and the European Commission and then between the donors and the beneficiary countries. This negotiation has concerned, first, the Memorandum of Understanding and, second, the specific Programme Agreements. The process of negotiation and of preparing open calls for proposals has taken significantly longer than expected. This has led to severe delays in the allocation of funds and significantly reduced the time available to implement projects. However, there is broad support for the programme-based approach, as it could further improve the strategic focus and simplify the management arrangements. Given the time and effort that has been expended in setting up the programme-based approach, consideration should be given as to whether this approach should be retained for the next period. Stakeholders from the donor and beneficiary countries should consider whether negotiations can be concluded much more easily the second time round and whether programme management capacity can be retained. Where this is the case, the programme-based approach should be continued. There would be potential benefits from extending the end-date for completing expenditure and/or extending the programme period from 5 to 7 years. Monitoring indicators are appropriate, although many outcomes do not easily lend themselves to measurement and quantification. Qualitative reporting therefore remains important alongside monitoring of quantitative outputs.
Association of Social Gerontologists;
A publication called Aging in the Social Space is a compilation of studies, which deal with theoretical understanding and empirical solutions, learning about problem spheres, specifying content parallels of social, legal, economic, moral and ethical views on senior issues in society, which are closely related to each other and are interconnected.
This publication focus on the case study of Poland. It is supposed to provide a multidimensional view of old age issues and issues related to aging and care for old people in society. We believe that it is natural also to name individual spheres, in which society has some effect, either direct or indirect, within issues concerning seniors. Learning about these spheres is the primary prerequisite for successful use of social help to seniors in society.
The work elaborates a very important topic of our time, this is of an aging population, which many countries with their established social, political, legislative, health and other systems are not prepared for. The authors compared the global data on the aging of the population with information relating to the aging of the population in Poland.
"This publication consists of two large chapters with subheadings. In the first part the authors describe the elderly in social area and in the second part of a social policy relating to older people. The first part explains the different concepts and presents a new paradigm, which refers to the phenomenon of active aging. The second part presents the analysis of the aging population in selected major cities and presents documents and strategies necessary for further development of the quality of life of elderly people. The case studies technique enables the authors the identification of a number of factors and in-depth analysis of researched topics for each city. Theoretical bases complement to the research findings of other authors and adds their findings."
Doc. dr Bojana Filej, the Alma Mater Europaea – European Center, Maribor, Slovenia
"The publication, in my humble opinion, can be dedicated primarily to researchers of social gerontology topics, primarily students from the humanities and social sciences. Given the systematic increase in the number of people from abroad studying in Poland (including the Erasmus program) this book can also be used as teaching material to courses on subjects such as: geragogics, social gerontology, social pedagogy and sociology."
Prof. dr hab. Jan Maciejewski, the University of Wrocław, Poland
European Commission (EC);
This report provides a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the contributions that foundations make to support research and innovation in EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. Over the last 25 years, the role of foundations as supporters of research and innovation in Europe has grown significantly in scope and scale. However, the landscape is fragmented and, till now, largely uncharted. Little is known about the vast majority of such foundations, their activities or even their number, and information about their real impact on research and innovation in Europe was very limited. A team of national experts in the EU 27 (and Norway and Switzerland), led by VU University Amsterdam, has therefore been commissioned by the European Commission to study foundations' contribution to research and innovation in the EU under the name EUFORI. This study helps fill this knowledge gap by analysing foundations' financial contributions, and provides useful insights into the different ways they operate. It also identifies emerging trends and the potential for exploring synergies and collaboration between foundations, research-funding agencies, businesses and research institutes.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts. (Edition translated from English to Chinese)
The EEA Financial Mechanism (2009-2014) have committed € 160,4 million to support seventeen NGO Programmes in sixteen countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain. The overall objective of the EEA Grants NGO Programmes is strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development in each of the beneficiary countries. As of 30 of June 2014, 957 projects in total of € 53,793,561 have been supported mainly in the fields of democracy, citizen participation, human rights, social justice and empowerment, sustainable development and provision of basic welfare services. The mid-term evaluation of the NGO Programmes funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism (2009- 2014) is an independent formative evaluation. Its objective was two-fold: 1) to assess the progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes, and 2) to inform policies for the next financial period. The main purpose of this evaluation was to provide an expert independent mid-term assessment of the contribution of the EEA Grants 2009-2014 to the NGO sectors in the beneficiary states operating NGO Programmes. The evaluation was of dual nature: (1) of a formative evaluation to identify progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes and (2) of a forward oriented strategic review to inform policies for the next financial period.
Open Society Foundations;
Since 2010, the Open Society Think Tank Fund has supported projects that propose new uses of data for advocacy and target non-traditional stakeholders, to develop challenging and complementary information sets for broader application in the policy sphere, and to use data sets to challenge commonly accepted facts in a given policy field. The Fund assisted think tanks with bringing these data sources to light; enhancing their usefulness by expansion, maintenance, and use of this information; integrating such enhancements into their daily routines; and promoting a new culture of presenting policy research findings and thus reaching untapped audiences.
The Data Matters presents highlights and successes of projects supported between 2010 and 2013, illustrating how data matters in the everyday lives of citizens of many countries. This portfolio is offered as inspiration for members of NGOs, think tanks, and advocacy organizations who are focusing on using data for informing discussion on policy cha