The Roma Initiatives Office invites interested nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to apply for funding to advance the rights and integration of Roma.
More than two decades after the start of the transition to democratic institutions and market economies in Central and Eastern Europe, there is a consensus that there has been no major breakthrough in achieving the integration of Roma. For some Roma, the situation is even worse than before, with many new challenges in terms of the financial crisis, increased social tensions, rising anti-Gypsyism and Roma policies that generally lack clear funding commitments, realistic time-frames, reliable ethnically-disaggregated data, and indicators to measure progress.
The current advocacy approaches and capacities of Roma organizations and citizens groups have had limited results. This is compounded by a lack of renewed vision, weakened civic activism, brain drain, and little or no public recognition of the critical voices of Roma.
At the same time, there is also cause for hope. The situation of Roma is more visible than ever. There is no longer any doubt that it presents the major human rights challenge for Europe today.
Also, among Roma civil society, there is a critical awareness of the need to move forward in a new way. Roma civil society has started identifying the major challenges and lessons learned from the previous twenty years.
NGOs registered in the following countries are eligible to apply: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain.
While we wish to support quality projects in all eligible countries, the Roma Initiatives Office plans to allocate the majority of its resources for this call in its current focus countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia.
The purpose of this call is to support responses to the challenges faced by Europe's Roma and to strengthen the foundations of hope. It focuses on organized advocacy for changing the policies, regulations and practices that perpetuate the exclusion of Roma. To realize such change, projects should generate strategic capacity among Roma NGOs, organizations from the broader civil society and grassroots constituencies. This may mean changing or advancing a new policy, or ensuring enforcement of an existing one.
Potential applicants should focus on one or more of the following priority policy areas:
- Elections, with a focus on voter protection
- Ending anti-Gypsyism and discrimination
- Transparency and accountability of public spending on Roma integration
- Rights of Roma women
- The right of Roma to adequate housing
- Employment and income generation for Roma
- Rights of migrants including internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, returnees, asylum seekers and migrants of Roma origin
Applicants will be encouraged to consider using a wide range of advocacy methods and tools, such as: voter empowerment, coalition building, community organizing, litigation and legal advocacy, traditional and social media, research and policy analysis, the use of existing demonstration or pilot projects, and the use of arts, culture and sports as platforms for constituency building.
Interested organizations should first consult the attached guidelines which include: an overview of the main challenges and sources of hope framing this call; key policy areas; main methods and tactics; targets and constituencies; budget amounts and contributions, and assessment criteria.
Interested organizations should submit a concept paper using the attached template. Concept papers must be submitted online.
Only organizations whose concept papers are approved during the first stage of pre-selection will be invited to submit full proposals. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not mean that the project is approved for funding.
Approved projects are expected to start no earlier than July 2013.