Jan 01

Awareness raising seminars in the areas of non-discrimination and equality targeted at civil society organisations

Within the framework of this project, Human European Consultancy and the Migration Policy Group (MPG) designed specific training materials, organised several national seminars and designed dissemination activities for NGOs in order to help strengthen their capacity to deal with non-discrimination and equality.


The main purpose of the project was to improve the impact and effectiveness of civil society organisations with regard to the implementation of equality and non-discrimination legislation and policy. The intention was to achieve this by conducting a series of national awareness-raising seminars in 32 European countries, covering the discrimination grounds of race and ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation and discrimination on multiple grounds. Gender-related aspects were mainstreamed into all activities.


This project was a next step in supporting civil society to become more effective in its role in combating discrimination. It drew on experiences from earlier training projects carried out by Human European Consultancy and MPG, 'Mapping capacity of civil society dealing with anti-discrimination (2004)' and 'Anti-discrimination and diversity training (2006)'.

A team of international coordinators designed the training manual, with the general part of the manual being based on material produced for two previous training projects. The first two sections were devoted to a description of the EU legal framework and Section 3 provided an overview of the role NGOs can play in combating discrimination. In preparation for the design of the specific modules (Section 4), a needs assessment was carried out and the specific results were fed into the seminar design and further development of the module design. The topics resulting from the needs assessment were a mix of issues related to content and capacity building. The seven modules are clustered in Section 4:

  1. Collecting information and planning action: how NGOs can start strategic planning by matching information to action.
  2. Monitoring: NGOs will have a greater understanding of what strategic monitoring and equality impact assessment is and will be able to design and plan monitoring projects.
  3. Advocacy: NGOs will increase their knowledge and skills to use advocacy to combat discrimination through more effective implementation of laws and development and application of policies promoting equality.
  4. Partnerships: helping NGOs to gain a better understanding of the process of building partnerships.
  5. Media: understanding the role of the media as a tool for social change in raising awareness in the areas of non-discrimination and equality.
  6. Situation testing: gaining knowledge and skills to organise and conduct situation testing, to identify who might wish to try it and to discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
  7. Codes of conduct: promoting codes of conduct as tools intended to create a non-discriminatory environment, particularly in employment relations, as well as in access to goods and services.

During the train-the-trainers seminar in Antwerp on 24-26 May 2011 the national facilitators were familiarised with the training material and training approach and received training on the specific modules relevant to their country.

The national teams produced national context material. This material and the training manual in the national language were used in the national seminars. In all countries two rounds of national seminars were scheduled. The first round was organised in September-November 2011 and the second round for January-March 2012. In total, around 1,187 participants, mainly NGOs, received training. Each coordinator was responsible for five to seven countries and had contact with the national teams on a regular basis and visited the country in advance of (or during) their national seminar.


To download the English version of the training manual only, please click here.

The training manual is also available in the national languages for the following countries. Each downloadable file also includes a document on the national context:  AT, BE [FL], BE [FR], BG, CY,CZ, DE, DK, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LT, LV, MK, MTNL, NO [part I]-[part II], PL,PT, RO, RS, SE, SI, SK, TR, UK.

Main findings

Participants largely assessed the seminars as relevant to their work and to have matched their needs and level of understanding. Most participants believed that they would use the information and skills acquired at work, for future cases and projects, in the creation of a working strategy, when sharing information with colleagues or partners, in lobbying and advocacy, in monitoring activities, in implementation activities, when providing assistance to victims, in their relations with the media, when establishing partnerships and in awareness-raising campaigns.

All participants agreed that the materials distributed were relevant and useful. The manual combined theory with practice, by having numerous practical examples or exercises, and introduced interactive methodology. The modules were also evaluated very positively and among the participants who commented on the modules, the media module was most frequently mentioned (among the other specific modules designed for this project, e.g. monitoring, codes of conduct and situation testing).

The project was completed with a closing event on 20 April 2012. At this seminar the results of the project were shared between the 109 participants. The vast majority of them found the closing event very useful and expressed great expectations of the project follow-up which sought to ensure the sustainability of the knowledge and skills acquired.

On the basis of the lessons learned, conclusions were drawn to enhance the sustainability of the project. During the closing seminar recommendations were made to:

  • conduct more trainings targeting various key actors;
  • develop models for mentorship and coaching of NGOs; and
  • establish a specific anti-discrimination platform/portal including the collection of relevant information and data.


Awareness-raising seminars in the areas of non-discrimination and equality targeted at civil society organisations (2010 - 2012)

In partnership with the Migration Policy Group (MPG)

European Union Member States, Macedonia (FYR), Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia

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