• Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide
    Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide
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    Client

    Oxfam Italia – Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide

    Purpose

    Catalys was commissioned to undertake final evaluation of the EC DEAR project, Table for Nine Billion: promoting Europe’s role in growing food and climate justice worldwide.

    We produced two reports of the evaluation; a full report which encapsulates the key achievements of the project; and a summary report of the conclusions drawn from the findings for a wider audience.

    Oxfam Italia required an external final evaluation, firstly to fulfil its obligations to the EC and secondly because the client and partners were keen to learn the lessons in key areas of the results achieved from March 2014 to February 2017. Our final evaluation identified how partners can improve their collaboration and effectiveness in delivering project results.

    We had a defined methodology in place to allow us to execute a transferable and transparent evaluation. We established the baseline which constituted a process review, performance review and stakeholder analysis. This was then used to inform the creation of an evaluation framework which set out core questions. Fieldwork was then conducted which was composed of workshops, interviews and surveys with partners and stakeholders. Data collected through the fieldwork were then compiled and the qualitative and quantitative results were evaluated. From this information we then delivered our report.

    Outcome

    Overall the evaluation found that the Table for Nine Billion project has has been successful in achieving its expected results. The project was achieved its main communications targets, which is central to its role as an education and awareness raising project, particularly with its principal target group, European citizens.  It was also able to identify positive policy impacts, for example and campaigns such as advocacy for food security in Burkino Faso and the international campaign for land rights.  One unanticipated benefit was that less experienced partners found the experience of participating in a transnational partnership project particularly valuable, as they were able to learn from partner organisations with similar goals and many decades experience.

     

    More info: https://www.slowfood.com/sloweurope/en/progetti/table-for-nine-billions-promoting-europes-role-in-growing-food-and-climate-justice-worldwide-2/

     

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  • Evaluation of South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESEP) 2012-2016
    Evaluation of South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESEP) 2012-2016
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    Client

    SEE Change Net (SEECN)

    Purpose

    Catalys produced a comprehensive evaluation for the South East Europe Sustainable Energy Project (SEESPEP), an association composed of 17 CSOs working to move energy legislation and policy of South East Europe towards EU 2020 targets, with adherence to the Energy Community legal framework.

    The aim of our evaluation was to assess the results of the project and offer strategies that would seek to shape future activities.

    The evaluation documents and analyses the implementation and development of the project in the period of 2012-2016, with emphasis on the latter half of this timeframe.

    The project commenced in the December of 2012, operating in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

    The project’s first term ended in the later months of 2013 before SEESPEP was successful in a bid for a further 2 years funding.

    Outcome

    The Ministerial Council of Energy Community in October 2016 in Sarajevo, adopted a decision expanding the current scope of environmental acquis.

    Also, two new directives were introduced by decision to the extent they relate to energy: Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive and the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive.

    As a first step towards its full application in the Energy Community, the Ministerial Council adopted a non-binding recommendation on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a Mechanism for Monitoring and Reporting GHG Emissions and for reporting other information at national and Union level relevant to climate change.

    The project effectively delivered the intended outcomes with regards to building capacity and influencing policy. CSOs as well as all other stakeholders involved recognised the growth in capacity. Energy Community impacts, regional investments and national achievements are also clear.

     

     

     

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  • Final evaluation of the project Development of the ENV.net in West Balkan and Turkey: giving citizens a voice to influence the environmental process reforms for closer EU integration
    Final evaluation of the project Development of the ENV.net in West Balkan and Turkey: giving citizens a voice to influence the environmental process reforms for closer EU integration
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    Client

    ENV.net & punto.sud

    Purpose

    Catalys was commissioned by ENV.net to provide an objective and evidenced assessment and evaluation of the network’s outputs, impact and the process of delivery.

    The ENV.net network was established to provide an open and constructive dialogue between environmental NGOs and national authorities in The Western Balkans and Turkey. This involved seeking to offer citizens the platform to influence environmental reforms in the prospective EU integration process.

    Working within the framework set by The Civil Society Facility (CSF), ENV.net developed a strategy to help strengthen the role of civil society in the EU enlargement process.

    The evaluation project was composed of a preliminary analysis of relevant documentation and literature. After preparing the research tools and analysis for the evaluation, we conducted field work with all network members and many wider stakeholders across The Western Balkans and Turkey.

    Outcome

    In meeting the needs of the client, the evaluation provided the following outputs. It has:

    • Used the learning from the evaluation to inform development of the next stage of the ENV.net, i.e., a successful application for follow-on support was made based on the findings of the evaluation and the new network commenced operation in 2017;
    • Built capacity of ENV.net participants and partners in relation to project effectiveness and impact and in evaluation in general; and
    • Reviewed the effectiveness of punto.sud in its administration / management role.

    ENV.net has been successful in establishing a platform for capacity building and knowledge sharing which is relevant and effective for those involved in environmental advocacy and engagement of CSOs in the environmental elements of the accession process. Some activities have been targeted directly on Chapter 27 negotiations and where the CSO representatives are already engaged with this process, such as in Serbia, this connection is apparent.

     

     

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  • Happy Birthday to….us
    Happy Birthday to….us
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    Today we passed a significant milestone – it is our 5th birthday.

    That means 5 years of some of the most fascinating local development projects across Europe and most recently in the Caribbean too.

    Although we have majored on evaluation, from equality impact assessment to fisheries programme evaluation, that is far from our “sole” focus. Some of our biggest projects have been in innovation strategy for the University sector and for regions and Rural Development programme development.

    We have met some great people along the way, many of whom we continue to work with today. Indeed amongst our 44 projects undertaken to date, the majority are repeat business. When a client gets to know us they like us!

    Which causes us to reflect – what has been the secret of our success? Well firstly, we know, although the work we do requires specialist technical expertise; it is first and foremost a people business. This means having the right people in the Catalys teams to face the client. It also means understanding the client and what they need and what they can do. We work hard on this, and think it is part of the reason that people like us.

    We would like to sign off our birthday message with a big thank you to all those who have shown faith in us and our message building capacity for local development through building the capacity of people.

    Those repeat clients – Slow Food, UNDP, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, University of Wolverhampton, Belgrade Open School and Cornwall, Ceredigion and Dumfries and Galloway Councils.

    We have worked with some great associates whose skills and capabilities have added immeasurably to the Catalys family, particularly, Arwel, Dylan, Alex, Jo, Stephen, Carol, Blanca, Sanela, Jasmina, Amela, Nikola, Ivana and Tajana.

    Special mention also to Good2Great, NRM Interface and Alpha Design and Marketing who have all assisted us in our development.

    Looking forward, this is no time to rest on our laurels. The future of local development is uncertain, particularly in the UK in the light of Brexit. What is certain is that innovation for local development will continue to be needed by communities across the territories where we work, what is less certain is how this will work in future. We will continue to be available to our clients and engaged in the policy debates that matter, so that we stay relevant and accessible and help to develop approaches to local development that work.

    Thank you to you all.

    Nuala, Ian, Alex, Mary and Callum.

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  • CSO focus in diverse 2017 Summer school in Croatia
    CSO focus in diverse 2017 Summer school in Croatia
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    This year we will again be collaborating with EPIC to deliver the summer school.  Catalys’ contribution will be to lead a session on the challenges and lessons regarding the development of CSOs in South East Europe. We will be using our experience from evaluating DG Enlargement’s Civil Society Facility (CSF) programmes in the region, together with programmes run by EC DEAR and DG ENV.

    Course Agenda – June 7th – 10th

    The summer school pays reference to the seismic changes that have rocked the political and financial establishment in Europe and the United States in recent months. In an emerging age of populism, resurgent nationalism, and ever-growing Euroscepticism, what challenges lie ahead for the future of the European project. The final agenda of the course might be subject to change in order to take on board any latest EU developments. However, we can anticipate that the following topics will be addressed.

    • Brexit and New Models of European Integration
    • Civil Society and the Move towards a West European Model
    • Economic and Monatary Union and the Persistent Debt Crises in Southern Europe
    • Enlargement in the Age of Euroscepticism
    • Migration
    • Energy and EU’s relationship with Russia
    • The Future of Global Trade after TTIP and TTP

    The course in not targeted toward one specific sector, and is therefore open to representatives from public administrations, business, law, finance, the media, or non-governmental organisations at national, regional and local level. The course is also suitable for students. The course will take place at the four star Senses Resort (www.senses.hr).

    To register your interest, or if you would like more information, please get in touch by sending an email to Andreas Staab at staab@epicseminars.com.
    You can also contact us on (+44) 208 444 7970.

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  • Summer School’s Growing Partnership – and Postponement
    Summer School’s Growing Partnership – and Postponement
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    We are delighted to inform colleagues that the summer school’s supporting partnership has grown to include two new partners. However, the process of bringing new partners into the course will take a little time.

    European Education Forum – will support the programme through the Europe for Citizens Programme, which encourages citizens’ participation in the European Union, by developing understanding of the Union and promoting intercultural engagement at the Union level.

    EDIC (Zadar) – is the European Information Centre in Zadar which provides information about the European Union, its policies and opportunities and promotes civic engagement.

    The logistics of bringing new partners into the partnership and reflecting their ideas also means that we cannot run the summer school at the planned time in September and will now look for a mutually acceptable time later in the year.  We will be in touch with all those who have made bookings and participants will be offered places at the later course.

    The summer school is also supported by the LEADER Network of Croatia (LMH), Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Business School (UK).

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  • Green Council consulting NGOs in Bosnia on the case for a state level Agriculture Ministry
    Green Council consulting NGOs in Bosnia on the case for a state level Agriculture Ministry
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    This week sees an intensive series of consultations in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the case for an Agricultural ministry at the state level led by led by Sanela Klaric (president) and Selma Osmanagic Agovic of the Green Council (www.green-council.ba).
    The project is looking at the progress to date in comparison with other countries in the Western Balkan region and discussing whether the interests of rural communities and farmers would be better served with an agricultural ministry at the state level.

    Currently, the national agricultural responsibilities are carried out by the Agricultural and Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations.  With many of the competences regarding Agriculture and Rural Development carried out at the “entity” level; the entities being the ethnically defined “Muslim/Croat Federation” and the “Republika Srpska”; established as part of the post war rapprochement.

    The consultation is debating whether more progress would be made with a stronger and more focused agricultural ministry at the state level; as, when compared to the progress made in neighbouring countries such as Croatia, relatively few forward steps are evident in Bosnia.  Ultimately, it is the farmers and rural citizens who are losing out, as the funds that are intended for them are not available in Bosnia; whilst those same funds have been available in Croatia since 2007; meaning that each farmer in Croatia has on average had access to nearly €2,500 per head that has not yet been made available in Bosnia.

    The first consultation was held in Buna, near Mostar, with the second day held at Foca, today 21st.  for news of the progress of the consultation, check out the following http://green-council.org/odrzan-prvi-konsultativni-sastanak-u-okviru-projekta-zasto-nam-je-potrebno-drzavno-ministarstvo-poljoprivrede-i-ruralnog-razvoja-u-bih/

    Catalys provided underpinning analysis – which is available from info@catalys.org on request; and will soon be available from our www.catalys.org/publications.

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  • Cardigan Bay FLAG Evaluation
    Cardigan Bay FLAG Evaluation
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    An evaluation of the Cardigan Bay Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG).  The FLAG has been supported through the “Animation, Communication and Evaluation Project”, which has an investment value of £108,359 and is funded through the Welsh EFF programme 2007-13.

    This evaluation will:

    • Provide an objective and evidenced assessment of the FLAG’s outputs, impact and the process of delivery;
    • Use the learning from the evaluation to improve delivery;
    • Build the capacity of staff, FLAG members in relation to review and evaluation; and
    • Review the effectiveness of the Lead Body.

    Given the client’s requirements and the wider context we are proposing a methodology that uses a mix of approaches, so that we can provide a rounded view of the FLAG’s achievements and “tell the story”:

    • Provide a robust picture of outputs and impacts;
    • Provide the opportunity for Stakeholders to share their views
    • Use approaches, such as Social Return on Investment and Partnership self-evaluation to gain the fullest possible picture of the outcomes of the FLAG Project
    • Run workshops with a cross section of stakeholders to ensure that internal and external views of the FLAG are understood and given due weight.

    Commissioned by:

    Ceredigion County Council Link

    Funded by:

    EC EMFF Link

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  • Bosnia’s €1.5bn Pre-accession funding at risk
    Bosnia’s €1.5bn Pre-accession funding at risk
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    The shocking possibility is that EU funding amounting to €1.5bn could be lost to Bosnia if no agreement is reached between the political (ethnic) parties.

    The following article is taken from today’s Dnevni Avaz:

    If the 10th September this year, BiH does not reach agreement with the European Union (EU ) , it could lose the right to financial assistance in the amount and in excess of 1.5 billion KM , “Dnevni Avaz ” .

    That day , however, is scheduled meeting of the Monitoring Committee of Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina , which will decide whether there will be continued implementation of projects from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA ) in our country or those of the 2014th was to be abolished , confirmed unofficially for our paper source close to the EU .

    Measures and activities

    Provided that the projects sponsored by the Union of teaching is ” a clear political agreement on the measures and actions, including the approval of relevant projects ,” and an agreement on how to further implement the projects get the green light of the EU. The problem is that so far, everything went very hard and several projects had already been suspended .

    – No one can call into question our commitment to helping BiH. We have seen it so many times so far proven . Here we have invested billions of marks. But we still have to have a secure mechanism to protect EU taxpayers’ money . Only if there is a clear agreement that will allow us in every moment of verifying on the ground to implement agreed , EU funds will continue to be available to Bosnia and Herzegovina – the attitude of the EU Delegation in the country.

    IPA funds realized from the 2007th year . For BiH since 2007th to 2013th allocated more than 600 million.

    For funds from the IPA 2 funds from the 2014th by 2020. , the amount of assistance for BiH is not yet specified . One reason for this is the fact that the money from the first package of IPA assistance is spent. That evil is Gode , the EU has in the past two months , due to the inability of the BiH authorities to agree , had to suspend projects worth about ten million.

    indirect aid

    – We are in the last five years has implemented more than 300 projects in BiH worth over 300 million euros. In the process of implementation is still more than a hundred projects. But now you face the danger not only to you and other planned projects suspension but you do not get anything out of the IPA second We no longer have neither the time nor the patience to wait that you agree . The global economic crisis and the money can not wait. If you do you will not, I will take it for a second – it was said , ” Avaz ” at the EU Delegation in BiH.

    It was explained to us that in order for Bosnia and Herzegovina from the IPA 2 projects should be allocated at least 600 million euros. In addition, the IPA is not the only instrument of direct EU aid our country . With him , is currently being implemented and programs funds EIDHR ( European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights) , IFS (Instrument for Stability ) . If BiH lose access to IPA funds, automatically loses and help from the other two funds.

    An additional problem

    To make matters does not come alone , indicated by the fact that it meant the suspension of aid to BiH from all other European institutions – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to the European Bank in Frankfurt. By default , the money that had been planned for Bosnia and Herzegovina from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund , in the best case would be frozen until the situation in the country improves.

    Taken together , the lack of IPA 2 funds grew to the loss that would be measured billion marks .

    – We have repeatedly warned of the dangers of falling behind BiH to neighboring countries . While you’re fighting and you keep talking about something you do not, other countries in the region are working hard and introduce quality standards of the EU and thus attract potential investors and increase their economic growth. Blocking reforms not only political but also economic weight – stand out in the EU .

    project Implementation

    To show its effectiveness in the past in BiH , the EU Delegation to emphasize that the work on the reforms in our country to be realized in full or begin implementation of 700 projects.

    – Of these, 300 completed projects in various segments of the economy and life. An additional 300 projects were approved , and another hundred in the final stage of approval. Disunity among politicians has led to the June and July we start to suspend the project , which is open to a very dangerous precedent . Time for a deal is running out , and our patience – warn the EU .

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  • Rural Development CSOs get active to address Bosnia’s rocky road to accession
    Rural Development CSOs get active to address Bosnia’s rocky road to accession
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    Citizen led conference ups the stakes on the institutional deadlock in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Wednesday, Sarajevo, 26th June 2013.  Catalys, joined Green Council and over 65 representatives of BiH institutions; Parliament, donors, media, business and NGOs to call for a State level Ministry of Agriculture to help clear political roadblocks to investment in agriculture and rural development, as well as to help the path to EU accession.
    The conference reviewed the findings of a 5 month research project undertaken by the Green Council (http://green-council.org/); supported by the Centre for Civic Initiatives, Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) and USAID). The researchers looked at the evidence to determine the case for a state level Agriculture Ministry, the legislative basis for the unsatisfactory status quo, and the relative merits of the alternatives currently under consideration.  The research also compared progress in BiH with that in Croatia over the past decade; during which time BiH has achieved as much progress in 12 years as did Croatia in their first 12 months of the accession process.
    The following piece covering the conference also appeared on the Alterural site:
    A greater place for CSO’s in rural development policies
    In Bosnia, after a long silence, CSO’s participation in public life gradually emancipates from political arenas as lately seen with the tragic case of baby Berina and large demonstrations in Sarajevo. It is a struggle to draw the conditions for greater involvement of civil society in public policy. In rural development issues as well, the citizens themselves are the most legitimate to identify their own needs, and contribute to the development of the most appropriate responses to the challenges of tomorrow. This begins with most basic individual rights and goes to much technical issues such as the integration to EU. The 28th of May in Ilidža was held a conference to enhance the ACoRD project „Alliance for Common Rural Development“ in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This is a project funded by the European Union from pre-accession programmes to support the civil society development. It is implemented by the Agency for Cooperation, Education and Development (ACED) as a lead organization in partnership with REDAH, Nesto Vise, LAG Una-Sana and European partner ELARD. This forum is considered as a very positive preliminary step for CSOs to organize the debate on technical fields to improve advocacy. This was significantly the same conclusion focusing on the role of citizens during a conference organized by the “Green council” NGO under the auspices of USAID in Sarajevo on the last 26th of June.

    Given the lack of political will and lost available funds, the role of civil society will be decisive for the future. The objective of the event was to present the result of a research on the question: ”Why does BiH need a state Ministry of agriculture, food and rural development?”. For rural tourism stakeholders and Alterural, it is essential to participate to these forums and develop exchanges. Indeed, the sector particularly targets family agriculture and possible diversification strategies in the Bosnian Countryside. The support to a sustainable Rural tourism can indeed be an important and dynamic element of local rural economies. It also emphasies the role and involvement of active local NGOs in rural areas.

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