In January 2009, the European Commission – DG EuropeAid funded-project entitled Helpdesk platform and support to New Member State (NMS) Non State Actors/Local Authorities in the Development Sector was launched by punto.sud together with its four implementing partners (FoRS – Czech Forum for Development Co-operation from Czech Republic, AID 24 – Hungarian Baptist Aid from Hungary, Apel Service from Romania and People in Peril Association from Slovakia) and two Associates (Caritas Polska from Poland and Support to Life from Turkey).
Over a period of two years, the project sought to improve access to information, methods and best practices on EuropeAid grant contractual obligations to Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in NMS, thereby helping them to strengthen and broaden their international cooperation capacity. At the core of this effort were three main activities, or tools: a helpdesk, a website and a series of training sessions. These tools could provide needed support for organizations in Eastern Europe, as well as in other countries, working with DG EuropeAid.
Indeed, a preliminary needs analysis carried out by punto.sud revealed that organizations throughout the EU – including, but not limited to, NMS – need assistance in planning and managing EC, and more specifically, EuropeAid projects.
In an attempt to address the needs and tackle the difficulties facing organizations throughout the EU, with a focus on NMS, the project designed the three tools for support and capacity building mentioned above. These tools are meant to be complementary and act as synergetic elements of a broader effort, as expressed in the specific objective: “Access to information, methods and best practices on AIDCO programmes contractual obligations guaranteed to New Member States NSA/AL wishing to strengthen and enlarge their cooperation.”
Each of the tools contributes to the project’s objective in its own way, providing for the different needs of users. The helpdesk offers day-to-day support to all organizations working with EuropeAid, both at headquarters and field level, by replying to queries on administrative, legal, financial and procedural aspects of preparing and managing EuropeAid-financed actions.
Secondly, the website contains information on upcoming trainings, downloadable documents, access to the manual “Il Trenino” and information related to all stages of the project cycle. Lastly, the training sessions are aimed at capacity building mainly in NMS, with a focus on EuropeAid funding modalities and project management.
Project main results
Two components formed the project development plan.
The first and main component included the establishment of the Helpdesk-platform and the running of the networking activities. Its main outcomes can be summarised as follows:
- A dedicated helpdesk website devoted to facilitate the planning and management of AIDCO projects established for the entire life time of the project and after (the website was updated after the project ending and it is still online. See here).
- An helpdesk service created to support NMS organisations/platforms with a working team daily available to answer to questions, requests for models or advice to better deal with the design/management of EC funded development projects (the helpdesk is still available at this email address)
- A comprehensive manual on administrative and contractual obligations of EC funded development projects (the Trenino – last updating September 2011) produced and shared among all interested organisations, decreasing the risk of misunderstanding of rules and procedures.
The second component guaranteed a specific capacity building action envisaged for the staff of NMS organisations. Its outcomes are the following:
- 9 training sessions delivered in partners countries and in Italy;
- 12 specific projects run by NMS organisations screened, supported and monitored (hands-on);
- Helpdesk platform and networking.
Main project activities
Component – Helpdesk
- Design, preparation and tool development for the website specialised in AIDCO-programme support;
- Establishment of a permanent punto.sud team for delivering the day to day support to target organisations;
- Preparation and distribution of the “Trenino” guidelines for AIDCO programmes;
- Launch and promotion of the website & helpdesk services.
Component – Capacity building
- Organisation and delivery of 9 training/workshops for NMS organisations;
- Hands-on delivery to 12 projects submitted/implemented/concluded by NMS organisations.
Title Helpdesk platform and support to New Member State (NMS) Non State Actors/Local Authorities in the Development sector
Country Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Turkey
Donor European Commission – DG EuropeAid
Budget Line Non State Actors and Local Authorities
Reference Number DCI-NSA/2008/155-602
Sectors civil society, learning & training
- FoRS – Czech Forum for Development Co-operation – Czech Republic
- HBAID – Hungarian Baptist Aid – Hungary
- APEL Service – Romania
- PiPA – People in Peril. Associates- Slovakia
- STL – Support to Life – Turkey
- Caritas Poland – Poland
Overall project value EUR 386.045
Proportion carried out by punto.sud 64%
% of donor’s funding 75%
Dates (start/end) January 09 – March 11
- NSA/LA from NMS