Study on Roma Inclusion under the EEA and Norway Grants

Study on Roma Inclusion under the EEA and Norway Grants, May 2013, Sofia

Study report evaluates also The Community Bridge-building project implemented by ETP Slovakia in 2009-2011.

„The Community Bridge-building Project of the Civic Association ETP Slovakia is one of the most impressive cases of applying an integrated approach to community development. For about two years it developed 12 community centres – long-life learning communities.

They applied a set of integrated services “from the cradle to the grave” in the 12 municipalities in Central and Eastern Slovakia. This included educational activities for children and their families, employment training, courses and support services; social services and cases, training of professionals in a variety of aspects related to inclusion and fighting poverty. The 12 centres dealt with and resolved and documented 94,652 cases of over 1200 people; provided 11,508 employment support services to socially excluded citizens; on the job retraining to 2,167 people and housing construction and refurbishment training to 1,731 people. Though there is no data of how many of them got jobs thanks to the support provided, the project helped in increasing their skills and potential for employability.
Project involved Roma staff, and had effective partnerships with local authorities. This, together with the long-term record, high capacity and commitment of the two project promoters, are among the key factors for their success.“

(page 27)

„A good example for sustainability is the already mentioned The Community Bridge-building Project of the Civic Association ETP Slovakia. Out of the 12 community centres that were created under the EEA and Norway Grants, six have already been refinanced through the Swiss Development Agency (SDC). Options to finance the other four centers have been actively explored. Activities have stopped in only two centres where after the local elections the new mayor considered the centre as an unneeded burden and engagement.. As outlined in the interviews, the commitment of the Local government is a very important factor for the success of the centres and their sustainability. The design of the ETP model is based on a careful selection of the Municipality and reaching a written agreement where the Local Government provides premises and covers the running costs, while the ETP ensures the equipment, staff, experts and trainers. The centres stay as a structure of the NGO, not of the Municipality. But if there is a well prepared partnership with shared commitment, the ownership of the centre is also shared. Evidence for this is the case with the ETP centre in Moldava-nad-Bodvou. In order to bridge the gap between the end of the EEA and Norway financing and ensured new funding, the municipality has hired the ETP local coordinator at different positions in order to keep the center alive.“

(page 32)