EaP CSF Re-granting 2016

Working Group 1
“Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability”

Success stories
Project: Security Alert on the EU's Eastern Doorstep
Implemented by Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development with the following
partners: Foreign Policy Association (Moldova), NGO Promotion of Intercultural Cooperation
A major achievement of this project was the comprehensive presentation of security expertise within
the EaP CSF. It brought together civil society actors from across the six EaP countries, helping shape
both the new security subgroup of EaP CSF WG1 and the emergence of a coalition of think tanks working
on security across the region. Well-received policy papers were developed, including: six country
studies, the policy paper Security Alert on the EU's Doorstep: Strategies for Strengthening
Security in the Eastern Partnership Countries and the additional post-NATO summit paper Time for
a New Security Architecture for NATO and Eastern Neighbours. “The project went beyond producing
classic policy papers by, for example, building into the pre-NATO Summit paper the perspectives of EU
security experts through interviews, thus creating wider international buy-in to the paper’s conclusions
and recommendations,” says Jeff Lovitt, the co-author and author of two of the policy papers.

The Working Group invested in extensive advocacy
efforts for the promotion of the policy papers, including
at the Warsaw project event hosted by the Polish
Institute of International Affairs on June 21 in Warsaw.
On the same day, the event ‘NATO's Open Door Policy
in Warsaw and Beyond’ was organized by the German
Marshall Fund where the policy papers were presented.
Following the Warsaw event, the project outputs were
promoted at the Warsaw Summit Experts' Forum—
NATO in Defence of Peace: 2016 and Beyond, held on
the margins of the NATO Summit on 7–9 July 2016.
Furthermore, the 28-29 July EaP CSF Tbilisi conference Security Challenges of the EU’s Eastern
neighbourhood served as a regional platform to present the project results.
Additional important lessons from the project included “…the need in a time of international political
certainty for a clear NATO strategy, with strong diplomatic support from the EU, that provides reassurance
in the EU and its neighbours, backed up with effective deterrence capability – a strategy that draws on the
experience of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in the face of hybrid warfare, and on their vital potential
contribution to NATO’s enhanced maritime mission in the Black Sea,” added Jeff Lovitt.

Project: Update on Public Administration and Local Governments Reforms in Eastern
Partnership Countries
Implemented by ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy (EU) with the following
partners: Community Finances Officers (Armenia), Centre for Support for Economic Initiatives
(Azerbaijan), Lev Sapieha Foundation (Belarus), Centre of Strategic Research and Development
of Georgia (Georgia), Institute for Urban Development (Moldova), CCC Creative Centre (Ukraine)
This policy-oriented project delivered a comparative study offering solutions and recommendations on
how to improve the functioning of public administrations and the decentralization of decision-making
for the well-being of the population. “Public administration performance lies at the heart of good
governance and mirrors the level of democracy the society has achieved,” says Nino Tvaltvadze, the
project manager.
The comparative study contained an examination of recent developments in Public Administration and
Local Governmental structures as well as territorial reform in each of the EaP countries, an analysis of
progress achieved in the implementation of reforms, their articulation in legislative and regulatory
documents, as well as how they are implemented in practice. 69 respondents from central and local
authorities as well as policy experts contributed to the study to show the concrete gaps concerning the
day to day enforcement of certain legislation. The comparative part of the study was presented in a
section on ‘Common Trends’ which included an evaluation of the level of decentralization as well as the
progress of Public Administration reform in the Eastern partnership region. This comparative study
will be widely distributed within the EaP CSF and ALDA networks and advocated on national and
international levels.

EaP CSF Re-granting 2016
Working Group 2
“Economic integration and convergence with EU policies”

Success story
Project: Empowered Women for Social Integration
Implemented by Martuni Women’s Community Council (Armenia) with the following
partners: Migrant Families NGO (Moldova), Office for European Expertise and
Communications (Belarus)
This project, implemented in Armenia,
Belarus and Moldova, supported the
entrepreneurial ambitions and skills of
women in local communities. “It is
important that women feel more
confident and see that a change to their
role in society is possible. They don’t have
to be just housewives or mothers, but
independent earners and representatives
of their communities. We help to discover

new talents and encourage other women to believe in their ideas,” says Svetlana Simonyan,
the project manager.
In Armenia, two entrepreneurial ideas received funding within the project framework.
Being closely linked to the development of community life, the first focused on the
development of tourism by widening the scope for guesthouse services in regional
communities. The second introduced a new phenomenon to the community - food delivery
service. The project beneficiaries have profited from new expertise and their businesses
have already started to flourish. In Moldova, four small businesses operated by women
were opened and new jobs created. Furthermore, three existing businesses were
significantly strengthened. The beneficiaries are receiving free counselling on their small
businesses’ development from the project partner.

How the needs of a community empowered Oksana to start a small business
As an activist who cares about the varying problems within
her local community in Belarus, Oksana Bernatskaya
began her work by conducting a participatory needs
assessment. She conducted a series of meetings with people
of different ages. The main problem identified by the
community members turned out to be how the local children
can spend their free time in the village. Consequently,
Oksana started to organise different festivals for people in
her community, and supporters and volunteers ready to help
started flocking in.
As Oksana launched new recreational activities for local
children and their families, she came up with an idea for a
new business. She found an empty premises that had not been used for a few years, and
renovated it with the help of other activists. The new place became a space for different
educational, sport and leisure activities for local children, teenagers and their families.
Oksana registered her organisation ‘Ecolife Leisure Centre for Children and Adults’ and
received a government subsidy to purchase its equipment. Today, more than 30 children of
different ages attend activities at the centre on regular bases. The centre currently offers a
wide range of courses in IT, programming, journalism, filmmaking or foreign languages,
and has the potential to expand further.
Thanks to Oksana’s participation in EaP CSF 2016 Regranting project Empowered Women
for Social Integration, she has been able to show determination and commitment for
turning her ideas into reality, and in doing so has managed to build a successful business
and live the life of her dreams.

EaP CSF Re-granting 2016
Working Group 3
“Environment, climate change and energy security”

Success stories
Project: Promotion of paludiculture wetlands of the Black Sea region for carbon
sequestration, sustainable development and community-based renewable energy
Implemented by Environment People Law (Ukraine) with the following partners: NGO Agricola,
(Ukraine), Cross-border Cooperation and European Integration Agency (Moldova), Caucasus
Green Area Union (Georgia)
The main aim of the project was to promote the
sustainable management of wetland resources as a
means of reducing carbon emissions, supporting
sustainable rural development, and generating
community-based renewable energy in the Black Sea
region. The field visits and workshops were conducted
at the Lower Prut Scientific Reserve (Cahul, Moldova),
Lake Kagul in the lower Danube floodplain (Odessa,
Ukraine), and Kolkheti National Park (Samegrelo and
Guria regions, Georgia).

“At all three sites, some economic activities were already
carried out, including for livestock, the production of
construction materials, biomass energy, ecotourism, sport
fishing and sphagnum moss cultivation. A presentation of
information about such activities among stakeholders
during the project workshops showed that there were
opportunities to expand the range of economic activities
for the benefit of both local businesses while improving
environmental conditions,” says Professor Oleg Rubel,
the project manager.

The project deduced that of the three areas studied only
the lower Danube floodplain in Ukraine had significant
potential for biomass generation for renewable energy
production. Other sites were more suited to organic
farming, horticulture and ecotourism. These results
proved that naturally wet soils are best used when wet,
not drained, and that drained areas can be refilled in
order to restore lost ecosystems as a low cost means of
combatting climate change scenarios. Moreover, the
project consortium secured funding for a follow-up
project titled ReedBASE, which will be implemented in
collaboration with the Michael Succow Foundation and the government of Germany.

Project: Implementation of waste management policies in EaP countries according to
the Association Agreements
Implemented by National Environmental Center (Moldova) with the following partners:
International Business and Economic Development Center (Georgia), “Good Deeds” (Ukraine)
This project combines information campaigns targeting citizens with
policy work identifying the problematic issues in the implementation
of waste management policies, offering selected stakeholders with
tailored recommendations and best practices. The knowledge gained in
one EaP country as a result of the project will be shared with other
partners. “For example, experiences of working directly with managers of
apartment buildings or office blocks on waste management issues will be
disseminated from Ukraine to Moldova and Georgia,” says Ina Coseru,
the project manager.

The waste management legislation in Moldova requires further look
Although the new law on waste management was
adopted with great difficulty in Moldova, the means for
carrying out environmentally friendly waste incineration
in the future is still unclear. The procedure is not
stipulated in the legislation and waste continues to be
burnt in urban settlements and in the countryside. Only
the incineration of medical waste is regulated. “A lot of
waste is produced in Moldova, and if the leftover waste
after recycling is stored in landfill, we are still talking huge
volumes,” says Ina Coseru. There is a need to lobby for improvements to the current legislation on
waste management regarding the safe incineration of non-recyclable waste.
Besides proposing further amendments to the law, including a
ban on the use of asbestos, the project promotes dialogue
between local authorities and the population. The active
engagement of citizens in local waste management
infrastructure is necessary, as currently this is practically nonexistent and would be time-consuming to implement. It is also
important to support businesses and start-up companies that
will recycle different types of household waste. “The reform of
existing institutions and processes so that they are
environmentally friendly is one of the most important
obligations stemming from the Association Agreement with the EU. Without this reform, any new
environmental legislation adopted will not be effectively implemented,” concludes Ina Coseru.

EaP CSF Re-granting 2016
Working Group 4
“Contacts between people”

Success story
Project: Communities, Classrooms and Civil Society: Sharing experience and developing
regional approaches to addressing the rights and needs of children with disabilities in
Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine
Implemented by HealthProm (UK) with the following partners: Belarusian Children’s Hospice
(Belarus), Partnerships for Every Child (Moldova), Charity Fund Early Intervention Institute
The aim of this project was to support the existing
regional commitment to the rights and needs of children
with disabilities and to aid the development of regional
approaches to this end. “Too often, professionals working
in this area do so in isolation, without the benefit of a
regional knowledge exchange. This project addressed this
challenge by promoting the exchange of experiences, skills
and innovation by multi-sectoral professionals working for
people with disabilites in each country,” says Lauren
Foster Mustarde, the project manager.

How to overcome exclusion by sharing experiences regionally
The project culminated in a Regional Forum called ‘Perspectives from multiple sectors working with
children with disabilities in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine’, which took place in Kiev, Ukraine, 22 23 November 2016. This was an innovative event that brought together a small group of professionals
from different sectors in each country, with the aim of sharing their experiences and regional
approaches to addressing the rights and needs of children with disabilities. It provided a unique
opportunity to share innovations in health and social services, inclusive education, advocacy and
partnered working between civil society organisations and local governments in each country.
Participants included medical providers, education specialists, civil society organisations, advocates and
representatives from local governments. The main objective of the event was to facilitate the exchange
of regional practice and approaches to common challenges working in various sectors related to child
disability. The participants shared their local expertise in several key areas related to child disability
including early intervention, paediatric palliative care for children with severe disabilities and
community-based services for children with special needs. The topics such as partnered working
between civil society and the government, disability-related advocacy and parental engagement were
also addressed. As a result, a network of professionals across the three EaP countries was established.

EaP CSF Re-granting 2016
Working Group 5
“Social & labour policies and social dialogue”

Success story
Project: Advanced Reforms, Advanced Civil Society
Implemented by Armavir Development Center NGO (Armenia) with the following partners: Bureau
of social and political developments (Ukraine) and Research Intellectual Club "Dialogue of
Generations" (RICDOG) (Georgia)
This project assessed how social service
systems work in Armenia, Georgia and
Ukraine; which institutions are responsible for
providing social services; how far the
decentralization reforms extend to social
services; and what advantages and
disadvantages exist in each country. “Georgia
has always had a centralized social service
industry, and local governments play only a
small role. Local people must apply to the
central government to receive any kind of social service, and despite the Ministry of Health, Labour and
Social Affairs having regional departments, the system is not effective,” says Bakar Berekashvili, the
project expert. Conducted using surveys and field interviews, the final comparative report provided an
overview of existing social services and institutional set-ups in all three countries. The project has
already raised interest among the responsible stakeholders both at a central and local level and the
results and recommendations are feeding into the decision-making processes.

The system of decentralised social services needs to be improved in Armenia
At the heart of ongoing reforms of the social
services in Armenia is a need to invest in a
decentralised system and improve its
implementation. NGOs play an important role
within this reform. However, a number of
NGOs receive state funding from the social
protection budget on a non-competitive
basis. The programmes implemented by the
NGOs co-financed by the state are
conventionally considered as decentralised.
Unfortunately, “the mechanisms for the state
funding of NGOs providing social services is arbitrary and creates unequal conditions in the field”, says
Naira Arakelyan, the project manager.
The monitoring conducted within the project revealed that the procedures for releasing information
about organizations that were granted funding, as well as for the submission of reports by the
implementing organizations and for their publication by the funding body are not defined. Building on
these findings, the Armavir Development Center recommended to the Ministry of Labour and Social
Affairs that grants be provided on a competitive basis only and to create a common platform for
publicizing the relevant implementation reports. These recommendations were mirrored in the 3rd
Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership initiative for Armenia. As a result, the Ministry of
Labour and Social Affairs has already taken the first steps to introduce criteria for the competitive
distribution of grants. The results of the monitoring were also presented and discussed with the
representatives of the Social Protection Network, which consists of 40 NGOs and governmental
organizations working in the sphere of social services.