Slovak NGO fund launched
About €6.9 million is set aside to support the Slovak civil society, making Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway the biggest contributors to Slovakia’s non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector.
With the aim of strengthening the development of Slovakia’s civil society, the Slovak fund for NGOs was launched in Bratislava on 25 February 2013. More than 170 representatives of Slovak NGOs attended the launch. The demand for places was triple the capacity of the conference venue.
The event was opened by Harald van Rees Rotler, Chargé d’Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy. In his speech, Mr. van Rees Rotler stressed the importance and vital role of the Norwegian civil society sector. He also said that the model of implementing public funding established by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the three donor states, during the previous round of the EEA and Norway Grants was highly appreciated by the Slovak NGO sector.
Filip Vagac, Plenipotentiary for the Development of the Civil Society, represented the Slovak government at the event. Mr. Vagac said that the experience in implementing the grants in Slovakia can be used in programming activities of a part of the funds provided by the EU for NGO development in Slovakia in the 2014-2020 period.
The NGO Fund in Slovakia has two programme operators, the Open Society Foundation, which operates the Democracy and Human Rights programme, and the Ekopolis Foundation, which operates the Active Citizenship and Inclusion programme in partnership with two other foundations, the Children of Slovakia Foundation and the SOCIA-Social Reform Foundation.
Calls for proposals launched
- The Open Society Foundation launched an open call for proposals in the Democracy and Human Rights programme. The projects will be selected in a two-step procedure, with the first deadline for letters of intent for project proposals by 25 March 2013 and the grant application deadline on 10 June 2013.
For further information, please consult the full text of the open call on the website of the programme operator here.
Organisations promoting democracy, good governance and transparency, human rights, gender equality and anti-discrimination can apply for funding. Some €1.87 million in grants will be distributed. At least 10% of the eligible expenditure is to be dedicated to support children and youth at risk.
- The consortium led by the Ekopolis Foundation launched an open call under the Active Citizenship and Inclusion programme with a deadline for applications of 30 April 2013. The areas of support are active citizenship, environmental protection and climate change, children and youth, and welfare and basic services. The call will distribute over €1.6 million in grants.
The text of the open call can be found here.
- To strengthen bilateral cooperation between NGOs from the three donor states and Slovakia, the fund operators launched two open calls for bilateral fund applications in their respective programmes.
The text of the open call for bilateral fund grant applications in the Democracy and Human Rights Programme can be found here.
The text of the open call for bilateral fund grant applications in the Active Citizenship and Inclusion programme can be found here.
Strengthening bilateral ties
During the conference, representatives of Slovak NGOs had the possibility to attend presentations by Norwegian NGOs interested in project partnerships in the fields of child poverty, promotion of children’s and adolescent’s mental health, alternative ways of life, sustainability development in communities, gender equality and investigative journalism. The available bilateral fund can be used to create mutually beneficial partnerships.
Lillian Solheim from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee explained the role played by her organisation in facilitating partnerships between entities from Norway and the beneficiary states. Ms. Solheim encouraged Slovak NGOs to seek Norwegian partners who can provide expertise and training to partners from Slovakia.
An interview with Ms. Solheim in which she speaks on the Committee's role in matchmaking donor and beneficiary state organisations can be found here.
Find out more about partnership opportunities and register as a partner organisation on the Council’s NGO Norway website which can be accessed here.
Read more about the Slovak NGO fund on the Grants' website.
Photo credit: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bratislava