EVALUATION ON IPA SUPPORT FOR ROMA IN WESTERN BALKANS AND TURKEY

31 July 2015

EVALUATION ON IPA SUPPORT FOR ROMA IN WESTERN BALKANS AND TURKEY

DG NEAR has presented the findings of the evaluation of IPA funding for Roma in the Western Balkans and Turkey. ERGO network has participated in two consultation meetings and warmly welcomes the conclusion and recommendations. The report gives an excellent insight in how IPA programmes fails to reach out to Roma if Roma are not explicit but not exclusively targeted.

 

Some basic findings are: The total IPA budget in the period was €9.000.000.000, of which €119.000.000 was spend for Roma, thus 1,2% of the budget. Serbia dedicated 4% of the IPA funding to Roma, while in Albania, Bosnia and Turkey it was less than 1%. The bulk of that money –over 50%- was spent on displacement and housing. Support for Civil Society was less than 2%, while 3% was spend on Anti-Discrimination. The conclusion is that IPA funding was not reaching Roma, we they consist 5,5% average of the population in the region and knowing their needs are more severe.

 

The evaluation has a number of interesting conclusions about the role of Roma Civil Society organisations: that Roma organisations are not sufficiently involved in IPA programming, project implementation and monitoring, that they are rarely involved as key partners except for community participation components and that they are supported mostly focused on service delivery. The conclusion is that the IPA programme missed the opportunity to invest in Roma Civil Society to give them the role to keep governments accountable to achieve the much needed sustainable reforms.  

 

Another interesting conclusion is that international organisations play a key role, but that in many cases it hampers the development of national organisations to advocate for the interest of Roma and keeping governments accountable. Intergovernmental organisations do not have to apply for funding, they can negotiate directly with the Commission and EC, while NGOs have to apply and often the competition with non-Roma NGOs is strong.

One of the recommendations of the report is that for each of the enlargement countries a strategic approach should be drafted how to develop the capacities of civil society organisations.  The goals of these strategies should emphasise:  i) the role of civil society in advocacy and accountability,

ii) Sustainability of civil society organisations, and iii) the role of civil society in service delivery and project implementation. Therefor it proposes to create grant schemes that take into account the need for building capacities of newly established grass-roots organisations as well as well-established organisations and having small grants (<10,000 EUR) for grass-roots CSOs, medium size grants (10 – 90,000) and larger funds available for longer term actions and re-granting – ideally over a medium to long term (4-7 years) specifically for CSOs working for Roma inclusion.

 

This confirms the standpoint of ERGO Network that dedicated funding for capacity building and organisational support of Roma NGOs, networks and local groups is needed to ensure they can take ownership for the policies, programmes and projects targeting them. Also, ERGO would recommend to do the same kind of evaluation on the spending of EU money in the within the EU, at least in those Members States with a large share of Roma.

Download the full report and executive report here: Thematic Evaluation on IPA Support to Roma Communities: Final Report, 2015, Thematic Evaluation on IPA Support to Roma Communities: Executive Summary, 2015

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