WHO WE ARE:

The Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND) has as main objective the responsible and effective involvement of Romanian civil society and Government in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

To this concern, FOND is partner for the Romanian Government and the MFA in their process to implement the policy for international development cooperation. The platform’s strategy involves supporting and developing awareness campaigns targeted both for the general public and for the public institutions involved in programming and giving assistance for development and relief. Moreover, FOND tries to work in close contact with organizations and local experts from the older and newer EU member states.

In order to achieve all these objectives, FOND aims to develop its members’ capacity and to establish the framework for dialogue and real partnership with all the relevant national governmental institutions and European actors.

FOND members are nongovernmental organizations active in various fields in Romania which are committed to transfer the expertise accumulated in the transition period to developing countries in the neighborhood and in the Global South.

Some of the most important Romanian NGOs involved in development work (Caritas Romania, Save the Children Romania and World Vision Romania) are all members of FOND and are part of well established European NGDO networks.

Various Romanian NGOs and FOND members are already involved in cross-border and regional projects and programmes in the Balkans, as well as in Moldova and Ukraine.

Most of FOND members are interested and capable to work in the following fields: Development Education, Education and professional training, Democracy and Good Governance (including Human Rights and Child Protection) and Health, mostly in neighboring countries (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine).

GENERAL INFORMATION:

FOND completed the process of legal registration on 23rd March 2007. The creational process of the platform dates back from early 2006. Since 2005, around 30 Romanian NGOs have been constantly involved in early development cooperation capacity building activities, carried out with the support of TRIALOG.

On October 16th, 34 organizations willing to become members of the platform officially committed to create FOND. At the establishing Assembly, the platform’s status and it’s steering body were approved. In 2008, three other organizations adhered to the platform. FOND counts presently 37 organizations.

Most of the 37 NGOs are interested in developing projects in the following sectors of interest within development cooperation: Development Education, Education and professional training, Democracy and Good Governance (including Human Rights and Child Protection) and Health, in neighboring countries (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine).

FOND is partner for the Romanian Government in the process of implementation of national policies on cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The Romanian NGOs benefit of the experience in projects already developed in Romania; this experience may be transferred in action abroad. These organizations have been for a long time actively involved in partnerships both with European NGOs, and with NGOs from the countries benefiting from the development assistance.

FOND ACTIVITIES:

FOND has three Working Groups:

1. MOLDOVA – GEORGIA WORKING GROUP

2. DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION WORKING GROUP

3.POLICY/ADVOCACY WORKING GROUP

On 16 October 2007, the Civil Society Development Foundation, in partnership with the Romanian Development Cooperation Platform (FOND) and World Vision Romania organized the seminar „Romania’s Contribution to the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest. The event was funded by the European Commission within the framework of a program implemented by UNDP (UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre and UNDP Country Office in Poland) with the purpose to organize 12 simultaneous debates on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and development assistance in all new EU Member States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czeck Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The event aimed to bring the MDGs and Development Cooperation into public attention, to increase the awareness of public authorities, civil society and individual citizens on the importance of this topic

The event gathered members of the Romanian Parliament, Romanian Government officials, representatives of the international community and non-governmental organizations to discuss both European and national development policies as well as development assistance policiy of Romania as a new EU donor country. The contributions ranged from political aspects of Romania’s contribution to the achievement of the MDGs, to a preview of the soon to be released 2007 National MDG Progress Report and to the specific efforts of civil society to contribute to various MDG targets.

On 22 May 2007, in Bucharest, the Civil Society Development Foundation in partnership with World Vision Romania, within the framework of FOND Working Group Moldova – Georgia organized the seminar „Georgia Seminar, priority country in Romania’s development collaboration strategy. Opportunities and challenges for Romanian NGOs” (Bucharest,). The meeting, attended by representatives from non-governmental organizations and academia, had as main objective to work out a first evaluation of Romanian civil society involvement opportunities inside the national development cooperation policies and the European Neighborhood Policies towards Georgia. Representatives from the Georgian Embassy, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Romanian Ministry for Development participated at this meeting.

On 28-29 June 2007, in Iasi, the Civil Society Development Foundation in partnership with ProWomen organization, within the framework of FOND Working Group Moldova – Georgia organized the seminar „Civil Society and development cooperation in the Republic of Moldova in the context of European Neighborhood Policies”. The meeting, attended by 40 representatives from non-governmental Romanian organizations and from Republic of Moldova, had as main objective to establish a first contact between FOND members and civil society organizations from Moldova. Discussions were focused on increasing the assistance level in the Romanian development cooperation and European Neighborhood Policy framework for Moldova, by involving the Romanian and Moldavian civil society in the programming, implementing and evaluation process. At the end of the meeting a common declaration was elaborated by the representatives of the Romanian and Moldavian civil society, through which they ask the Romanian authorities to speed up the establishment of development cooperation policies towards Moldova and to support an active involvement and participation of the civil society in this process.

SHORT HISTORY:

In 2006, the Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC) has managed to secure a grant from USAID/World Learning in order to support capacity building activities for FOND. Consequently, in the period August 2006 – July 2007, FDSC is implementing the project „Partnership for development cooperation and humanitarian aid”.

A series of info-seminars on development cooperation started to be carried out in different regions of Romania in October 2006, with the aim to cover all the territory of the country by the end of June this year.

In November 2006, a workshop dedicated to development cooperation was organized within the National NGO Forum, the most important annual event of the Romanian NGO sector. More trainings for member NGOs and FOND board members will be provided throughout 2007.

Since 2005, with the support of TRIALOG, more than 200 Romanian NGOs have directly received information on European development cooperation and humanitarian aid, development education and European NGDO activities. In 2007, TRIALOG continues to provide support for capacity building activities for Romanian NGOs.

Some of the most important Romanian NGOs involved in development work (Caritas Romania, Save the Children Romania and World Vision Romania) are all members of FOND and are part of well-established European NGDO networks. FOND members are organizations active in various fields in Romania and are committed to transfer the expertise accumulated in the transition period to developing countries, in the neighbourhood countries and in the Global South. Various Romanian NGOs and FOND members are already involved in cross-border and regional projects and programmes in the Balkans, as well as in Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

FOND members are already participating in various European networks of NGDOs. Representatives of PATRIR are participating in DEF and DEEEP. FDSC participates to CONCORD’s WG Enlargement and to CONCORD’s AidWatch.

TIME FOR ACTION:

In October 2006, the Romanian Parliament adopted the Law No. 404/2006 on financing the development assistance within the national policies for development cooperation. The law establishes the financing framework, from the state budget, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the national assistance for development.

The financial fiche provides a 2007 allocation of 32 million euros for bilateral assistance programmes in the three priority countries (Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Georgia) and also for Iraq and Afghanistan. We are also considering initiating projects in the African continent. Yet, these budgetary provisions legally instituted were not included in the 2007 budget draft, discussed within the Parliament in December 2006. Consequently, in 2007, despite the assumed commitments, Romania has not provided any budget for development and humanitarian assistance. The MFA tries to ensure application of the Law No. 404/2006, through the first 2007 budgetary adjustment.

In order to develop a sustainable partnership relation with the public authorities in implementation of efficient policies for development cooperation, the Romanian civil society member organizations of FOND support the following elements:

  • The allocation, starting with 2007, of a budget for international development cooperation and the fulfillment of the international commitments taken by Romania, according to the provisions of the Law No. 404, adopted by the Parliament in October 2006.

  • a transparent programming process of the policies for development cooperation by the Romanian MFA and supporting a positive framework for consulting the interested civil society organizations, including the NGOs from the target countries.

  • – Consultation of civil society by the Romanian MFA when creating the financing mechanisms for development assistance programmes, in order to ensure the participation of NGOs in implementing the programmes, in order to establish a real partnership and take into account the fact that both the civil society and the public authorities share the same objective: a positive external action of Romania, based on efficient and competitive allocation of resources in order to gain a maximum impact in the field of international development cooperation;

  • – Support for civil society organizations capacity building by the Romanian authorities and by the relevant European bodies, in order to allow civil society to become fully capable to initiate and implement development cooperation projects;

  • A stronger involvement of the Romanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Parliament of Romania in supporting the activities of NGOs, active in the field of development education and also in the field of (in)formation of the public opinion on the importance of increasing the public awareness on matters such as the problems the poorer countries are facing with, on the importance of the way they influence us, and on the positive or negative effects that each of our citizens has in this respect.

  • – FOND aims to develop collaboration with the representatives of European Commission, Foreign Policies Commissions of the Romanian Parliament, with the Romanian MEPs in order to support the involvement of Romania in the European development cooperation policies.