Awarded candidates for mentoring program

In framework of Mentoring program, IRIS Network awarded successful candidates for the purpose of assisting in acquirement of licences for provision of social services and introducing ISO standards in CSO management system.

Since several target countries from SEE region have adopted quality standards for social services and introduced the licensing of social services, CSOs are faced with lack of resources to prepare documentation and fulfill standards in order to be able to use public funds for financing. This is influencing state-civil society dialogue at all levels and damages legitimacy, transparency and accountability of CSOs which are providing social services. Part of capacity building process of Network members is engaging of experts for specific sectors in order to consult CSOs in preparation of required elaborates and reports.

Lack of efficient management is very visible at the CSOs providing social services. IRIS members expressed willingness to introduce standards into their management system in order to raise the level of quality, reliability, safety and efficiency. CSOs will introduce ISO 9001:2015 standard into their management enhanced credibility and access to funding from the corporate sector.

Awarded CSOs for licencing program can be found here.
Awarded CSOs for certification program can be found here.

Apply for training placement in organisation Volunteering Matters in UK

IRIS Network in Cooperation with SOLIDAR is organizing second traineeship programe. The programme offers to one selected candidate the opportunity to spend 4 weeks in the premises of Volunteering matters in Ipswich (UK) and learning about volunteer led solutions to fight social exclusion and empower the most vulnerable groups (young people, people with disabilities, migrant women). The programme will start in May 2016.

As part of this placement, the Ipswich office is looking for assistance within  R.E.S.P.E.C.T. project. The project delivers domestic abuse programmes and supports volunteers to mentor families experiencing domestic abuse.

Application deadline 22.04.2016.

For more information please see the attachment.

Introducing ISO standards in CSO management system- Call for the applications

IRIS Network is pleased to announce call  “Introducing ISO standards in CSO management systemaiming to provide mentoring  services for the CSOs in process of acquiring quality management certification.

Since several target countries from SEE region have adopted quality standards for social services and introduced the licensing of social services, CSOs are faced with lack of resources to prepare documentation and fulfill standards in order to be able to use public funds for financing. Part of capacity building process will be engaging of experts for specific sectors in order to consult CSOs in preparation of required elaborates and reports. At least 10 CSOs IRIS Network members providing social services will be assisted in their certification process.

Application form and Guidelines of the call are available from 04.03.2016.

Deadline for the applications is 22.03.2016.

Social service policy influencing in SEE

Based on the national congresses of the IRIS networks in the region, each national IRIS network prepared Policy paper with the aim to focus on several specific issues within social service delivery in SEE which they decided to raise as being the most important ones.  Topics of the policy documents were widely discussed in consultations with the national networks membership, as well as the authority representatives. Policy papers topics are:  Victim Protection and Safety in Cases of Domestic Violence in Kosovo, Decentralization of Services and Cooperation Between Government  and Non-government  Providers of Social Services in FYROM, Implementation of National/Regional Strategies in the Field of Mental Health Protection in Serbia, Development of Social Services on Local Level in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Improving the social service delivery by enhancing the role Civil Society Organisations in Albania, Applicability of Standards for the Provision of Social Services in CSOs in Montenegro. Additionally, another policy paper was created reflecting situation in SEE and possible joint actions to be implemented.  Based on these Policy Papers the National IRIS Networks will conduct Advocacy Campaigns in 2016. To read policy papers click on the following links.

Policy paper South East Europe

Policy paper Albania

Policy paper Bosnia and Herzegovina

Policy paper Kosovo

Policy paper Macedonia (FYROM)

Policy paper Montenegro

Policy paper Serbia

Call for the applications for the IRIS Network members – mentoring program

IRIS Network is pleased to announce call  “Assisting civil society organizations (CSO) in acquirement of licenses for provision of social services – fulfillment of quality standards in SEE in scope of the project” aiming to provide mentoring services for the CSOs in process of licensing of existing social services.

Since several target countries from SEE region have adopted quality standards for social services and introduced the licensing of social services, CSOs are faced with lack of resources to prepare documentation and fulfill standards in order to be able to use public funds for financing. Moreover, the state does not perceive CSOs as an equal partner if they are not able to fulfill the standards needed for licensing. This is influencing state-civil society dialogue at all levels and damages legitimacy, transparency and accountability of CSOs which are providing social services. Part of capacity building process will be engaging of experts for specific sectors in order to consult CSOs in preparation of required elaborates and reports. At least 15 CSOs providing social services will be assisted in their licensing process.

Application form and Guidelines of the call are available from 08.02.2016.

Deadline for the applications is 22.02.2016.

First impressions of our trainee in Madrid

Jasmina Hasanagić, IRIS Network candidate participating in professional training in Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL) in Madrid (Spain) is spending her first week at the assignment. These are her first impressions.

“My first week of traineeship in MPDL was very very interesting. The first day I spent in Escuela de Paz (School for Peace) where I got a lot of information about this part of MPDL program from MPDL responsible staff. Through direct involvement in one of workshops for children I had a great opportunity to see how everything goes in practice. My second day was also very interesting because I was involved in Humanitarian Aid Program which I like the most, for now.

For the rest of the week I was involved in MPDL Community Meditation Program in Fuenlabrada. I had an opportunity to see how MPDL and partner organization work in the field of women issues in this area which I consider very important for my work too. Especially, I like the possibility to discuss about these issues with a real professionals and some of beneficiaries and to exchange a bit of my experience with them in this field. I have noticed  that so many problems we’re both dealing are very similar and overlapping, but solutions varies. I consider this as very inspiring!

In general, program is very well organized, my colleagues are so polite and friendly and do their best to involve me in all parts of proposed activities. I really feel as a part of the team! I like that everything is so interactive and without a pressure which makes every work day very motivating. I already feel like I have learned a lot and appreciate the opportunity to participate in this traineeship programme.”

Regional Conference on Sustainability of the Networks in Brussels

Based on the provisions of the Guidelines for the Framework Partnership Agreement Support to regional thematic networks – Framework Partnership Agreements and associated Implementation Grants’ FPA meetings were organized on 26th-27th January in Brussels.

Representatives of FPA (Framework Partnership Agreement) project partners met in Brussels to discuss sustainability of their actions and to brainstorm about recommendations to DG NEAR for supporting the sustainability of project outcomes. The conference was organized by TACSO Regional Office and attended by representatives of DG NEAR and 18 CSO networks.

Sustainability overview of IRIS Network project Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks was presented, as well as the main possibilities and obstacles to achieve sustainability. In the second part of the meeting, networks discussed the common aspects, challenges and possibilities in assuring sustainability of their projects’ action observed trough three key perspectives (institutional, political and financial). Within the final discussion DG NEAR provided recommendations in shaping the future CSF assistance.

IRIS Network presentation at the event.

IRIS Network e-bulletin distributed at the conference.

SOLIDAR  publication “How to support CSOs along the Western Balkan route”.

1st candidate of professional training programme awarded traineeship!

In the framework of the EU-funded project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSOs”, implemented by the consortium of SOLIDAR, LIR CD BiH, OGI Croatia, EDC Serbia, SOS TELEPHONE Montenegro, CLARD Kosovo, ARSIS Albania, ASYD FYROM – led by ASB Germany, SOLIDAR is organizing a Professional Staff Training Programme open to staff members of CSOs providing social services in the Western Balkans, that are part of the IRIS Network. Upon publication of the call for professional training, SOLIDAR received significant number of quality applications that has been thoroughly evaluated and decided on single participant of the programme.

Jasmina Hasanagic, graduated Journalist, currently pursuing PhD in Gender Issues and Human Rights in University of Sarajevo is our first distinguished candidate who will have opportunity to participate in 4 week traineeship in Spain. Ms. Hasanagic is pursuing career in civil sector, in past eight years she has been active as direct service providing. Currently, she is project manager in NGO Women from Una based in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As of 26th January 2016 selected candidate will spend 4 weeks in the premises of Movimiento por la Paz (MPDL) in Madrid (Spain).  Traineeship will be learning experience on the provision of social services and civic movement in Spain, as well as insight into how the provision of services and the policy advocacy is shaped.

MPDL is an independent, secular and progressive NGO working since 1983 to promote human rights, democracy and solidarity. In particular, the NGO works in the following sectors:  migration, socio-economic integration, awareness-raising activities for students, teachers and family groups to promote a Culture of Peace, volunteering and training to promote various activities that symbolize and encourage citizen participation.

As part of the capacity building efforts SOLIDAR and IRIS Network will organize 4 additional individual traineeships for the Network members at EU-based social service providers in 2016.

Small grants for 13 local advocacy initiatives in SEE

Out of 34 received project proposals, IRIS Network awarded 13 grants under 2nd CFP Support to projects of civil society organizations (CSO) – social service providers in SEE in scope of the projects “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks”. IRIS network Project Evaluation Committee decided to support total of 13 projects in 6 project countries: three in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania, two in Serbia, Kosovo, and FYROM and one in  Montenegro. 

Implementation of all supported project starts on 4th January 2016 with the duration of four to six months. Each project deals with important social issues and strives to strengthen civil society organizations role in  the creation of social policies and social protection programmes. Overall objective of the SGF is to achieve a more dynamic civil society actively participating in public debate on democracy, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law and with capacity to influence policy and decision making processes.

 

The projects assessment criteria included: organisational performance; comprehensiveness of information including relevance of the proposal to objectives of the fund, objectives of the project and addressing identified need; capacity of identified activities to achieve defined objectives; the relationship between the proposed actions and the financial plan; the intended impact of the project and future sustainability.

Main output of this Call is implementation of 13 small advocacy initiatives.

Iris network would like to congratulate all of its member organizations who received grants, but also to thank all applicants who sent us their project proposals. Final list of all organizations who received grants can be found in the following table.

Improving social services delivered by CSOs in Albania

In order to transfer strategic guidelines adopted at the strategic planning of the regional IRIS network to the national level, partner organisation ARSIS will organise an Annual Congress of the national IRIS network in Albania. The event will take place in Tirana on 15 and 16 December 2015.  Congress will be opportunity to set strategic goals of the national network, but also as an advocacy tool to present policy standpoints of the national network to the decision-makers in their respective country.

Detailed agenda can be found here.