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Jun 02

Improvement of the situation of Roma in Romania

A review was undertaken of existing policies and programmes concerning the Roma minority. Analyses and recommendations were provided for legislation, attitude studies and opinion polls. The project provided support to the government in drafting a White paper and government programme as well as managing and monitoring a fund to support a partnership project at the regional and local level. This was complemented by awareness-raising and a European conference on lessons learned.

Aim

The two main objectives of this project were to provide the government of Romania with technical assistance in order to develop public policies to improve the situation of the Roma and to manage a grant fund of €900,000 to test these policies.   

Project

The project started with a review of existing policies and programmes concerning the Roma in Romania. Analyses and recommendations for (anti-discrimination) legislation and a government strategy and programme were made, as well as recommendations for changes and improvements. The project work programme was based on these findings, analyses and recommendations.

The work programme included provision for the organisational development of the Government Office for the Roma.

It also included support to the government in drafting a government strategy and programme, covering the following sectors: community development, housing, social security, health, economy, justice and public order, education, culture and religion, communication and civic participation and, last but not least, support to the government to create a budget for the implementation of the national strategy.

Training was provided for government officials and Roma to support the implementation of the national strategy.

An important part of the project was the management, monitoring and evaluation of a special fund of €900,000 to support partnership projects (involving both NGOs and government administration) at the regional and local level to improve the situation of the Roma. This element of the project involved:

  • preparation of guidelines;
  • publication of the call for proposals and dissemination of information package to applicants;
  • support to the evaluation committee for the evaluation of applications;
  • contracting, administering, making payments, monitoring and evaluation of funded projects.

Of the more than 300 applicants, 40 received grants (including NGOs in the social sector). Good practices from funded projects were disseminated through a publication and television documentaries.

Report(s) / events

The main reports and public events within the framework of this project were:

  • a report with case studies from the partnership fund;
  • the Strategy of the Government of Romania for improving the condition of the Roma 2001-2010;
  • two important public activities in support of the implementation of the strategy:
    • an international conference organised (and co-funded by) the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the OSCE where the government presented its strategy to 300 delegates from all 55 OSCE member states;
    • a conference in Brasov for the regional officials responsible for implementing the strategy at the local level.

Main findings

The strategy designed for the project (consisting of two main elements: a) development of a national strategy to improve the situation of the Roma and b) support for the implementation of the strategy with concrete and practical initiatives through the Partnership Fund for the Roma) was successful.

Support was provided to the government of Romania in developing the national strategy, and the policy initiatives in the national strategy were tested by the projects funded. The capacity of many Roma organisations was increased (and many new ones were established) and a number of innovative partnerships between local Roma representative groups and local authorities were developed. The experiences gained by the Fund were widely disseminated to the general public through the mass media, and to officials in public administration, in the hope that these types of projects could be replicated elsewhere.

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