Challenge to target and include disadvantaged citizens such as Roma in the local development strategies for Rural and Urban areas

28 April 2015

ERGO Network in cooperation with the Romanian Ministry of EU Funding, the World Bank and the European Foundations Center is organizing today (28thApril, 2015) a working meeting “Challenge to target and include disadvantaged citizens such as Roma in the local development strategies for Rural and Urban areas”.

The meeting is exploring the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) tool, that  is a promising tool for investing in inclusion of disadvantaged citizens, such as Roma. CLLD promises to be different from other EU funding, because its objective is to give ownership to the beneficiaries, with a special focus on marginalized communities. This should be done through capacity building, empowerment, full transparency and sharing of the decision-making power. These underlying principles and specific rules governing makes CLLD approach extremely interesting and important test ground for local development approaches that act out an explicit empowerment dimension. Therefore, ERGO Network invested to support and capacitate (pro-) Roma NGOs to become involved in CLLD initiatives to safeguard that the CLLD strategies effectively reach out to Roma.

ERGO Network sees much potential for CLLD in both urban and rural contexts for such integrated approaches. To support the successful implementation of CLLD –and other integrated approaches such as ITI - in EU member states, ERGO has done some case studies to learn from experiences with integrated approaches in the past programming period, with a specific focus on the participation of Roma communities in strategy planning and implementation. The findings are included in a synthesis paper with recommendations for managing authorities and local authorities and stakeholders to design effective local strategies able to address Roma exclusion.

Many actors encounter difficulties to plan the implementation of the tool due to its complex nature. However, there are a great number of guiding documents1 made by the EC, World Bank and others that provide practice-based insights local investment funds that can be used to programme CLLD (and other integrated approaches) in order to ensure an efficient outreach to Roma.

At the meeting we are discussing the challenges faced by them in planning of calls for proposals and the selection of strategies and interventions by taking a closer look at the existing guiding documents, while enhancing an exchange between the participants. In a line with the aim to – we are moving from paper to practice- using the expertise of the different participants exploring what needs to be in place for the planning of the implementation process for CLLD and other integrated strategies so that they will effectively targeting disadvantaged citizens such as Roma.

 

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1 EC: CLLD - Guidance for Public Authorities (June 2014, esp. Especially Chapter 4), EC: CLLD - Guidance for Local Actors (May 2014, esp. Chapter 3.3,  and § 3.4, World Bank: Elaboration of Integration Strategies for Urban Marginalized Communities in Romania (May 2014) and World Bank: Handbook for Improving Living Conditions of Roma (2014) and World Bank study  “Equality of Opportunity – A Fair Chance for Marginalized Roma”

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