The Roma were and still are marginalized in society. On the other hand, national governments and international organizations are trying to overcome segregation, stigmatization and marginalization of the Roma and try to fully integrate Roma into society. But still the Representatives of state institutions, representatives from Local self-governments and representatives from Roma community in Republic of Macedonia having a general agreement that active networking can be a potentially effective instrument for changing the situation in a positive direction and establishing mechanisms for involvement of Roma CSOs and Roma representatives, and significantly improving their impact on policy and decision-making processes.

Roma CSOs network as an active actor in policy making for Roma in Macedonia had a range of activities across different projects for Roma integration. The general conclusion is that it is necessary to strengthen their capacity to manage different projects that are programmed into IPA and other EU funds.
On the initiative of Association for Roma Rights from Stip, InSoC – Initiative for Social Change from Skopje, and “Mesecina” from Gostivar has initiate the project “Roma CSO Network – Roma Community’s Response“ for straitening the capacity of Roma NGOs to be more effective their participation in public policy making process directed towards Roma in Macedonia. During these process it was agreed that joining forces would bring new quality of management and influence from Roma CSO networking and contribute to active participation in processes of decision-making and implementation of OFA related policies, Strategy for Roma and Roma CSOs to be part as a stakeholder of national and local level in consultation on policy making. As tools project will use media events, policy brief and direct meetings with the Roma community through roundtables. The project will last 18 months and will target customers from 10 Municipalities in the country.

Overall goal of the project:

Contribution towards strengthening of the impact of Roma CSOs in the process of policy making and implementation of OFA related public policies regarding social inclusion, minority rights and combating discrimination against the Roma community in Macedonia.

Objectives of the project:

  1. To establish and actively promote a Roma CSO network as a service for the Roma community to participate and influence decision and policy making, at the local and national level
  2. To strengthen the capacities of the Roma CSO network for advocacy, awareness raising and effective participation, to become an active partner in policy making and implementation of policies targeting Roma, at the local and national level.
  3. To establish mechanisms for regular dialogue and participation in regular monitoring and evaluation of legal and strategic frameworks in the country, aimed at the Roma community.

Activities:

1. Web platform for the Roma CSO network;
2. Project Promo campaign;
3. Round-tables;
4. Assessment;
5. Policy briefs;
6. Research;
7. Workshops;
8. Sub-granting;
9. Final closing Project conferences;

Expected Results:

  • Networking opportunity for establishing channels of communication between CSOs and key stakeholders at the local level in addressing issues of concern for the Roma community, the design of public policy related to the Roma community, as well as to provide significant stakeholder input.
  • Ensuring visibility in attracting wider support for the CSO network and attracting more CSOs to actively engage in the network
  • Surfacing the key challenges that the CSO network, and the project overall is trying to address.
  • Direct involvement of CSOs in awareness-raising and outreach activities with key stakeholders and the Roma population.
  • Significantly contribution in ensuring that enhancing progress in Roma-related policy-making in the country is coordinated and achieved.
  • Influence in the State and local self-governments to adopt the State and Local policy on issue related to Roma integration.
  • Transparency of the project implementation and implementation activities.
  • Networking opportunity for establishing channels of communication between CSOs and key stakeholders at the local level in addressing issues of concern for the Roma community, the design of public policy related to the Roma community.
  • Involving all key stakeholders in the design of Roma-related policies fosters cooperation and dialogue among actors, as well the round-tables will serve to actively promote the Roma CSO network as a service for the Roma community to actively contribute to policies and decisions that directly affect them, both at the local and at the national level.
  • Field information as a tool for writing policy brief.
  • Information, conclusions and recommendation about involving all key stakeholders in the design of Roma-related policies fosters cooperation and dialogue among actors in terms of Roma integration in Republic of Macedonia.
  • Providing climate of participation and contribution will ensure that the most effective policy solutions are taken into account and proposed for implementation.
  • Outline the issues of critical importance, as well, will provide the necessary urgency to identify Roma related issues.
  • Advocacy for accelerated Roma inclusion in society.
  • Increased influence for faster and affirmative treatment of the Roma needs at local level and accelerating the processes of integration of Roma in the society.
  • Conclusions and recommendations for accelerated integration of the Roma in society.
  • Tools for effective advocacy for integration of Roma in Republic of Macedonia.
  • Opportunity for better integration according the extent of the implementation of this agreement, from the political, constitutional-legal, state representatives, budgetary, language of communicating and Roma issues directed to integration in society.
  • Strengthened capacities of the Roma CSO network,
  • Providing applied knowledge on how to effectively conduct and execute an awareness-raising campaign,
  • Strengthened capacities how to successfully implement various advocacy strategies.
  • Improving networking capacities.
  • Promoted the broadest possible dissemination of project activities, strengthened capacities of smaller local organizations whose capacities are especially vulnerable and will be improved and strengthened.
  • Creating local network for improving the situation of Roma
  • Generating joint projects to improve the situation of Roma at the local level.
  • Introduction to the functioning of local institutions and missions of local NGOs working on issues related to Roma.
  • Financial support (sub-granted) 10 grants to civil society organizations in cooperation with local institutions to implement projects that will be aimed at improving the socio-economic status of the Roma community, actions for networking of multiple stakeholders and implementation of activities of local policies adopted and relate to the integration of Roma in the municipality.
  • Improving opportunities for Roma integration at local level.
  • Opportunities for greater implementation of local action plans for Roma and other mainstream activities.
  • Strengthened networking capacities of Roma CSOs for establishing networks of communication and cooperation for improving the overall participation of the Roma community in policy and decision-making processes,
  • Contribution to the general debate on the overall inclusion of the Roma community in wider public processes, as well as in policy and decision-making, their impact on socio-political affairs, both at the national and local level.
  • Improving the opportunities for establishing partnerships across sectors, provided a platform for CSOs, local and national authorities.
  • Initiative for activists to share information on the prevailing legal and strategic frameworks in the country.
  • To make efforts to influence to the state institutions to adopt EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020 in the public policies for Roma in Republic of Macedonia.
  • Building opportunities for project generation facilities and fundraising.

Outputs:

  • Web platform of Roma CSOs in Republic of Macedonia.
  • List of announcements of opportunities for fundraising.
  • Information on public policies that are targeted to faster integration of Roma in society.
  • Address book Roma civil society organizations
  • Research studies
  • List of donors and international organizations.
  • List of involved participants in the media and press campaigns.
  • List of shared recommendations and measures taken in the media campaigns.
  • List of stakeholders participants.
  • List of topic in the media campaigns.
  • Shared information about Roma NGOs network and opportunity for mutual cooperation for integration of Roma.
  • At least 20 list with urgent actions and measures to be taken for exceeding the gaps in the vulnerable points that affect the Roma and prevent and heal the sensitive segments that locks the process of inclusion and participation of Roma in the society.
  • At least 20 list of participants (local, national and institutional level) that are directly and indirectly involved in the process of Roma inclusion.
  • Assessment of involving all key stakeholders in the design of Roma-related policies fosters cooperation and dialogue among actors for faster integration of Roma in Republic of Macedonia.
  • Policy briefs in four topics as a tools for advocacy for Roma faster integration in Republic of Macedonia.
  • At least 120 representatives from local institutions and CSO’s from Skopje, Bitola, Gostivar, Kičevo, Kočani, Kumanovo, Prilep, Štip, Tetovo and Vinica participants acquired with training on: 1. Decentralization of local self-government, 2. Mainstream local public policy, 3. Advocacy and tools for advocacy. 4. Networking on local level, 5. EU opportunity for found rising ad 6. Project generation facility and project cycle management.
  • At least 10 policy briefs for advocacy on local level,
  • At least 6 framework for project in topic related on Roma inclusion.
  • 3 unformal network from the CSO’s participants for Roma issues.
  • At least 15 project proposals on local level in the field of improving the socio-economic status of the Roma community, actions for networking of multiple stakeholders and implementation of activities of local policies adopted and relate to the integration of Roma in the municipality.
  • Recommendations for adoption into the Macedonian Strategy Policy towards Roma, with the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020
  • Forecasted resources (e.g. number of staff, equipment, travel, services etc.): International travel expenses, domestic participants travel expenses, conference accommodation, conference food and refreshments, conference speakers, conference venue, conference equipment, participant’s supplies, translation, interpreters.

Project Team: