• 31 August 2022

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    Why is it important to analyse the results of cooperation projects?

    Analysing and evaluating the results of public technical cooperation is a basic pillar for the correct development of any cooperation action. This is the commitment that is made at the beginning, during and at the end of a project: it is not only an obligation as part of our public sector, but it is also an exercise in responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of aid

    We talk about this with Mario Germán Sánchez González, expert in monitoring and evaluation of cooperation programmes and project technician in the area of Justice and Rule of Law at the FIIAPP.    

    Why is it so important to measure results in public technical cooperation for development?

    There is a global consensus outlined for sustainable development, to which all cooperation actions must respond and contribute, seeking to increase the impact on the reduction of poverty and inequality and the improvement of public systems. In this field, defined, measurable and traceable results are a necessary starting and finishing point to achieve the desired impact.

    We are talking about aid effectiveness and the commitments and progress of states in this area, but we are also talking about carrying out an exercise of responsibility in technical action and in the investment of the economic resources with which it is financed.

    What is the importance of results in European cooperation?

    Results orientation in cooperation programmes has become a hallmark of European cooperation. The European Union’s major regional programmes have been an example of progress in this area. The Directorate-General for International Partnerships is increasingly demanding the application of the results approach in programmes and projects. 

    Along these lines, in 2015 the European Union created the European Union International Cooperation and Development Results Framework (EURF) to align the results sought and financed by European cooperation with the 2030 Agenda.

    Furthermore, in January 2022, a new revision has taken place in which the known results framework is renamed the Global Europe Results Framework (GERF), which seeks to align with the 2020-2024 Strategic Plans of DGs INTPA, NEAR and FPI that were developed under the policy priority of a ‘Europe Stronger in the World’.   

    How do the results relate to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria?

    The results, understood as guiding intervention guidelines, have a direct relationship with DAC evaluation criteria that are used to monitor and evaluate interventions.

    The results of the intervention, in their different stages, are the object and content of the evaluation criteria, whose report tells us, among other things, about the degrees of achievement, contribution and/or attribution of the results, their relevance, pertinence, coherence and impact.

    What challenges and opportunities exist for the effective implementation of the results approach in cooperation?

    The main challenge, but at the same time an opportunity, is to be convinced that it can and should be applied throughout the project cycle, starting with the formulation itself.

    It is a challenge because it requires a proper understanding of the results chain and its different links. At the same time, it is an opportunity, because it is an instrument we work with every day in cooperation projects, and if used correctly, it can lead not only to coherence, but also to the effectiveness of the intervention. 

  • 14 July 2022

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “Co-chairing the Practitioners’ Network is a challenge but also an opportunity”

    Este 11 de mayo la FIIAPP ha asumido la copresidencia de la Practitioners' Network, la red que engloba a la mayoría de agencias de cooperación europeas, junto a la agencia holandesa SNV. Hablamos con Mariana Fernández, coordinadora de la FIIAPP para la copresidencia, sobre los retos que se presentan en esta copresidencia y lo que supondrá para la FIIAPP.

    Question: What is the Practitioners’ Network?

    Answer: The Practitioners’ Network is an informal and voluntary network of European cooperation agencies accredited for delegated cooperation. In other words, we are agencies that implement cooperation projects financed by the European Union. This network was created in 2007 and currently has 22 members. It serves to pool all member agencies. In the end, we realize that, as we are dedicated to the same thing, we have common challenges to which we can look for solutions together, which is very useful for all of us and also allows us to foster a relationship of trust between agencies, as we are all regular partners in European Union projects. We often work together.

    Q: Why is it important for FIIAPP to be part of this network?

    A: At a strategic level for the daily work of the FIIAPP it is very important to be in this network and it is an opportunity because this network is a forum, a strategic and privileged platform for dialogue for the cooperation agencies, not only among the agencies as we were mentioning, but also vis-à-vis the European Commission, since it is an observer member of the network. Let’s say that it is a privileged space for exchange among us. In addition, as AECID is also a member, together we strengthen the position of Spanish cooperation in European cooperation, which at a strategic level is also very important for us and also allows us to give visibility to the work that FIIAPP does, especially our strengths or our areas of specialization. In the end, this helps us to position ourselves as an agency in issues that are a priority for us and in which we have experience and a lot to contribute.

    Q: This 2022 is a very special year for FIIAPP in the network, because we are taking over the co-presidency together with the Dutch agency SNV…

    A: Yes, the network has a rotating presidency and just this year we took over the presidency with the Dutch agency, which is called SNV. We started the chairmanship on May 11. This implies that we will have the representation of the Network before the European institutions, especially with the European Commission, which is very interesting because we will have the direct and periodic dialogue on behalf of the network with the Commission for a whole year.

    In addition, the agencies that hold the Presidency convene and chair both the network’s governance meetings, as well as represent the network in major forums and events of interest, such as the European Development Days, as will be the COP 27 in November, or the Paris Peace Forum. In addition, the Presidency sets the annual priorities of the network, the issues on which all the agencies will work together in the Network forum and also has a special role in organizing activities and events. The presidency will be responsible for ensuring the strategic continuity of the network.

    Q: What will be FIIAPP’s priorities for the co-presidency?

    A: Within the general objective of developing and promoting the role of the NP as a key driver for strengthening better European development cooperation, this year we want to continue to emphasize at the European level the importance of cooperation agencies within the European development architecture. We also want to work on the operationalization of the Team Europe approach and the spirit of Working Better Together, of which we have been talking so much lately, since in the end we realize that the NP is the materialization of these two principles.

    They are agencies that work together, looking for synergies according to their expertise in areas in which they have experience. It will also be especially important for the FIIAPP to continue to position the value of public sector knowledge or public technical cooperation, that is, the value of the knowledge of our administrations as a form of cooperation, since we are convinced of the importance of this cooperation for the improvement of public systems and the development of institutional capacities to provide services to citizens.

    In short, this presidency is, of course, a challenge, but also an opportunity for us. We are delighted to be able to contribute in such a direct way to the construction of the European cooperation architecture. And we are looking forward to implementing the work plan that we have prepared and that we believe will be of great added value, not only for the agencies of the network but also for the citizens.

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  • 05 June 2022

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    Peru listens to its indigenous peoples to tackle climate change

    Indigenous peoples occupy 22% of the world's territory and their role is essential for the maintenance of cultural diversity and biodiversity, according to UNESCO.

    The nature managed by these communities is declining less rapidly than in other areas, as they work to protect the environment over the long term through sustainable use of biodiversity management and governance. However, they are the most affected by the effects of climate change.  

    The lands they manage account for 28% of the carbon stored in forests globally. Annually, they sequester an amount of CO2 equivalent, on average, to 30% of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru’s 2030 targets. These countries store 28% of the world’s carbon, but account for only 5.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of the loss of ecosystems and the decrease in food production and access to food, which has led to an increase in malnutrition and has seriously affected the economy of these indigenous communities.

    Climate policies have traditionally ignored the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of indigenous peoples, which is why 141 governments committed at COP26 in Glasgow to recognise the rights of these communities and their lands as a fundamental element in ending deforestation by 2030.  Now Peru is launching an Indigenous Peoples’ Platform to address climate change.

    It thus becomes a pioneer country in the recognition of indigenous knowledge and practices that contribute to the comprehensive management of climate change, as established in the Paris Agreement.

    FIIAPP supports this Platform

     

    We spoke with Teresa Aguilar and Álvaro Ovejas, Project Technicians in the European programme Euroclima+, co-led by the FIIAPP, which has supported the formation of this Platform. They tell us about the challenges in the implementation of this proposal and the great benefits it brings. This is the first time that the Peruvian Ministries of Culture and Environment have come together with the country’s indigenous peoples.

    How was the Platform of Indigenous Peoples of Peru born to confront climate change?

    Teresa: This Platform was born out of the indigenous people’s own demand and brings together the seven registered and legalised indigenous organisations in the country. It is a milestone on the Latin American continent because it brings together indigenous peoples of different casuistry, ethnicities and origins.Perú estrena la Plataforma de Pueblos Indígenas para enfrentar el cambio climático y se convierte en un país pionero en este reconocimiento

    Álvaro: The Platform gives indigenous peoples a voice in climate governance bodies, such as the National Commission. In addition, Peru is a ratifier of ILO Convention 169, which establishes the obligation to consult indigenous peoples in all political and legal measures that could directly affect them.

    What have been the main challenges in setting up this platform?

    Teresa: The first challenge has been linguistic. The different indigenous peoples cannot understand each other, because not everyone speaks Spanish, only the political leaders.  They speak five native languages such as Quechua, Aymara, Shipibo and Awajún. We have also faced the territorial challenge. It is not easy to move around in a country like Peru, and these are people who do not have access to digitalisation either.

    How does climate change affect indigenous women the most?

    Teresa: The indigenous population, because of their origin, is a rural population and their livelihoods depend on natural resources. Therefore, climate change directly affects their economic activity.

    The impact of climate change is aggravated and is more disproportionate for women, who are already discriminated against and vulnerable. They are socially responsible for food and household health and, living in rural environments, their livelihoods are based on fishing, livestock, agriculture or agroforestry management. The impact of climate change degrades their economy, and we are already seeing climate migration in the face of environmental disasters caused by climate change.

    What has been the role of the European programme Euroclima and the FIIAPP in the construction of the Platform?

    Álvaro: Euroclima has been involved from the beginning of this process. It started with the prior consultation with indigenous peoples on the Framework Law on Climate Change, which agreed, among other provisions, on the creation of this Platform. It was during the development of the Framework Law on Climate Change that direct collaboration between Euroclima and the Peruvian Ministry of Environment began.

    On the one hand, we have supported the development of dialogues between the Peruvian Ministry of Environment and national organisations. And on the other hand, we have supported the process of creating the entire legal, regulatory and institutional framework that gives the Platform its place.

    Why are indigenous peoples known as guardians of diversity?

    Álvaro: The way of life of indigenous peoples is not only very rural, but does not require the same infrastructure that is used in cities. Their routine is much more adapted to the environment.

    Teresa: I think that the guardians of nature are undoubtedly the people who have originally grown up and lived in it. It is their ecosystem and they know it perfectly, it is what is called ancestral knowledge.

    Is this initiative in Peru a reference for other Latin American countries?

    Teresa: Peru is now a country that others look up to. There are countries that could replicate it because the Peruvian experience is scalable. All of Latin America has an indigenous population, but political will is needed. It all depends on the nature of the country and how this indigenous figure is received by governments.

    There is also talk of indigenous associations at the regional level, such as those in the Amazon. The Amazon Basin has great value in terms of forests and the environment; it is the lungs of the planet and touches several countries. Therefore, we are no longer talking about a national platform, but a transnational one. When you talk to regional indigenous associations, their dream is to have a platform that unites them at the regional level.

  • 17 February 2022

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “We offer tools on the ethical behaviour of officials in challenging situations”

    EUROsociAL+ ha acompañado a la Autoridad Nacional del Servicio Civil de Perú (SERVIR) en la elaboración de una guía para fortalecer la integridad en la gestión pública en la que se establecen soluciones para tratar los problemas y dilemas éticos que se pueden encontrar los servidores públicos.

    Para ello la guía ofrece información sobre el marco legal y ético aplicable, así como pautas de actuación ante posibles situaciones que generen conflicto de intereses.

    En esta entrevista damos voz al responsable de buen gobierno del área de gobernanza democrática de EUROsociAL+, Borja Díaz y a los autores de la publicación, Manuel Villoria, Catedrático de Ciencias Políticas y de la Administración de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid y César Cruz, profesore de la Universidad Carlos III para que nos detallen el proceso de creación y el contenido de este manual.

    What are public ethics?

    There is no doubt that ethics are needed to be able to live in society. Further still, we need ethics to be able to coexist in society justly. Public ethics seek a minimum agreement that can be generalised to be able to live together justly. This guarantees long-term stability in societies. 

    Public ethics therefore refers to ethics that seek to establish a moral standard common to societies, morality of a universal and generalisable nature, which also respects private and reasonable conceptions of goodness. 

    Public ethics are different from public sector ethics, since the former are the ethics of an entire society, free of fundamentalism, and which allow everyone to live together while respecting our differences. For its part, public sector ethics are also referred to as political ethics, a type of professional ethics, and consist of firmly defined and established standards of behaviour, which prescribe what public employees must do, in terms of public service duties, principles, virtues and benefits for society. 

    How was the need for a guide to ethical dilemmas for public administration identified?

    Since 2020, the National Civil Service Authority of Peru (SERVIR) has been working on a model for improving integrity in the Peruvian Public Administration with a massive impact and a practical approach. With this strategic approach, the need for a self-learning guide document was identified to provide concept, reflection and action instruments for dealing with the typical ethical problems and risks to integrity facing the Peruvian public sector. It would be a document on which to base strategies and training actions with wide coverage. Both its content and the cases included in the guide are associated with the real situation in Peru, but it has other uses. It can be applied to other situations in Latin American countries. 

    The guide is based on the belief that public employees want to do things well and ethically. This is crucial, although unfortunately, despite their good intentions, inappropriate administrative practices, habits and rituals are rooted in our organisations, which are not analysed with the moral thoroughness expected of a good public service. Because of this, it persists and leads to the ethical stagnation of the public sector. Therefore, the guide also contains elements to analyse and question this type of practices from a moral standpoint and to strengthen the ethics and integrity of the public service through analysis and moral confrontation, based on a pragmatic approach and associated with the moral development of our institutions. 

    Could you give us some examples of cases where this guide would be useful?

    The guide is designed to offer tools to strengthen the moral behaviour of public officials, with case studies, and guidelines for action in ethically challenging situations. There are numerous examples. In extreme situations where it is necessary to correct the course of unethical administrative routines and practices such as dealing with unclear and biased public procurement processes; personnel and people management policies without the human factor and integrity; in cases where position and authority lacks effective control or supervision and may lead to bribery and other corrupt practices; or nepotism and favouring family members, friends or third parties for profit, making key administrative decisions without  due process, objectivity and impartiality. 

    The guide includes a selection of 78 cases classified by policy area, type of administrative activity and type impact on ethics and integrity. 

    How did EUROsociAL+ work with Peru to publish this guide?

    One possible approach to the fight against corruption is the regulatory-sanctioning approach, based on closer regulation, strict enforcement and firm prosecution, however, recent studies have shown it to be of only limited value in preventing corruption. 

    Based on these observations, a strategic approach has been devised in addition to the previous one, based on encouraging public integrity understood as adherence to and compliance with shared ethical values, principles and norms, to maintain and prioritise the public interest above private interests, in the public sector. 

    Faced with this complex problem, SERVIR asked the EUROsociAL + programme for support to strengthen the Peruvian public integrity system in the field of human resource management by introducing values, standards and guidelines in the Peruvian regulatory framework for the implementation of a new culture of integrity; and developing civil servants’ skills, with emphasis on management personnel, to manage a culture of integrity in the civil service. 

    As a result of this collaboration and based on different diagnoses, EUROsociAL+ advised on the preparation of the guide and final consultancy reports, a tool that was also shared through virtual seminars and workshops. 

    To see the full guide: 

    Practical guide to deal with ethical problems and dilemmas: strengthening integrity in Peruvian public management 

     

  • 21 January 2022

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “It is a key moment for consolidating the Care Policy in Paraguay”

    We speak with Celina Lezcano, Minister for Women in Paraguay, who tells us about the key points of the formulation of the Care Policy in the country

    Cecilia Lezcano

    In Paraguay, a sizeable proportion of young women, whose employment is not reflected in the statistics, are dedicated to unpaid work, mainly to do with taking care of the home or their families. Paraguay’s Care Policy was created with the assistance of the Support Programme for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s SDG 5, which is committed to empowering women and to gender equality. Paraguay’s Minister for Women, Celina Lezcano, tells us about the importance of its development.

    What has lead Paraguay to undertake a Care policy?

    Care policies are part of the regional agenda for gender equality from the Quito Consensus to the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs and the Montevideo Strategy. All these commitments are reflected in the IV National Equality Plan. In Paraguay, in 2016, the first time-usage survey was carried out. Using the latter with data that had already been recorded, we could corroborate the regional trend in Paraguay, that women spend more than 50% of their time doing unpaid work. And there is some extremely relevant data: in poor households, women, very often young women, face a greater burden of care tasks than in other households.

    The Ministry for Women influenced the government’s main schemes, focusing on people care and principally reflecting on the disparity in co-responsibility regarding unpaid tasks, with a significant weight resting on families and women.

    On what pillars will it be based?

    The National Government has established as priorities in the social area the configuration and development of a National Social Protection System (SPS). Its objectives are defined according to different phases of life, as well as by the environment and the home. A set of 37 State Organisations and Entities have planned strategic actions for the 2019-2023 period.

    The Ministry for Women contributes to two pillars of the Social Protection System: Social Integration and Labour and Productive Inclusion. Non-contributory social policies are included in the Social Integration pillar. In the Labour and Productive Inclusion pillar, that is job placement, there has to be inter-sectoral collaboration between the public and private sector.

    Who will this policy be developed for?

    Everyone has the right to receive quality care at different times and circumstances in their lives, to provide care under decent conditions and to have alternatives available when they cannot provide care. However, this process will be introduced gradually and progressively. In general, the population groups directly benefiting from it will be young children, people with disabilities who cannot fend for themselves, and older adults in the same situation. And, obviously, also women, both those who until now have carried out these jobs on an unpaid basis, and those who are paid for care provision.

    How is the roll-out process going?

    The Ministry for Women promoted the creation of the Inter-institutional Group for the Promotion of Public Care Policies in Paraguay (GIPC) in 2018.

    It also formulated the Framework Document for the Design of a Care Policy in Paraguay, under the leadership of the Ministry for Women. For this we have the support of the European Union, through EUROsocial+ and the cooperation of UN Women.

    The Ministry for Women has a roadmap that is updated annually with the GIPC. For 2021, three implementation phases were provided for, with the support of the European Union (both with the EUROsocial+ Programme and the Support for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda Programme executed by FIIAPP), with the support of UN Women and the Inter-American Development Bank.

    The first phase is the presentation of the National Care Policy Bill to the Legislative Branch. The second phase is the formalisation of the Policy. And the third is the National Care Policy in Paraguay.

    In addition, Paraguay is joining regional networks that encourage care policies, such as the Network of long-term care policies in Latin America and the Caribbean (RedCuidar+), because on this issue it is very important to enhance the processes under way in each country.

    Do you think that Paraguay will be an example for other countries in terms of care?

    I believe that this policy has the potential to become an early example within the “VAMOS!Social Protection System ” , but also an example of inter-institutional cooperation, which has passed through different governments thanks to the work of the technical teams that make up the GIPC, turning it into a State policy and not one of a specific government.

    How does the Ministry work with the 2030 Agenda Support Programme?

    The European Union and FIIAPP Support Programme for the 2030 Agenda includes technical support on construction, socialisation and approval processes for the National Care Policy, since it is part of meeting target 5.4 of SDG 5. They have also supported us in processes of analysis of the context and in mapping actors to better define our planning and that of the GIPC itself, with a view to the Bill’s approval process.

    At the head of the Ministry for Women, I find myself at a key time for the consolidation of the Care Policy in Paraguay, assuming the government’s commitment and the goals set with international organisations.

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  • 02 December 2021

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    Posteado en : Interview

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    “The tenacity of researchers has been key to Spanish science”

    We interview Enrique Playán, director of Spain’s State Research Agency, an institution with which FIIAPP works on international cooperation projects. This agency promotes scientific and technical research and funds R+D+i activities.

    Enrique Playán, director de la Agencia Estatal de Investigación

    Why is cooperation in the field of research important?

    International cooperation is the basis of scientific development. Sometimes this is because you have to contact people who do not live in the same country, whereas in others, it is necessary to solve problems that go beyond the limits of a given country. Scientific cooperation is also part of international cooperation at a political level. Scientific diplomacy is a fundamental element in relationships between countries. Science is an area in which understanding is the general norm and which therefore has plenty to teach other types of political relations. I am not aware of disputes in international scientific cooperation, for example.  

    Is the response to the pandemic a clear example of scientific cooperation? 

    Indeed, in cases where there is a serious humanitarian situation, science still responds more from a perspective of sharing knowledge and cooperation. This has been the case in the case of the pandemic, but it is not an exception, it is the general rule.  

    Another example of cooperation in this area is the twinning project between Tunisia and Spain in which the State Research Agency participates. Why are such projects important?

    Tunisia’s project for capacity-building and institutional reform is not only of importance to Tunisians. These issues, including institutional reform and ensuring the best possible skills, are also very important in Spain. Research groups established through relationship between the two countries have a long history.   

    Reunión entre investigadores españoles y tunecinos en la Agencia Estatal de Investigación
    Meeting between Spanish and Tunisian researchers at Spain’s State Research Agency

    What is the relationship like between Tunisia and Spain?  

    Spain’s relations with Tunisia have been privileged due to numerous historical affinities. It is very important that these relations intensify through this Spanish/Tunisian outreach project and the scientific systems in the future.  

    The problems of water, agriculture and food in Tunisia and Spain are very similar. The management of brackish water, scarcity, floods, the relationship of water with energy, food etc. are issues that are problems of first magnitude for Spain and in which we find an affinity in the problems we face, in the solutions and varied approaches between countries that is very enriching in terms of research activities.  

    Is Spain a point of reference in the field of research?

    In many ways, yes. Spain has a great capacity to carry out research and to be among the leading countries in general and in some scientific disciplines in particular. The tenacity of researchers here has been key. Although in many aspects and at many times the necessary levels of investment required for research have been lacking, extensive programmes have ensured that Spanish science is among the very best in the world 

    Mention the key role of female researchers. At FIIAPP, we believe that it is fundamental to highlight the #PublicTalent of Spain’s national, regional and local administration.

    I have complete faith in Spain’s scientific system and the ability of its professionals and the research managers in universities and research centres, as well as in the agency itself and other public funders I believe that we have high-quality human resources at our disposal and that their skills have to be protected to enable them to continue to make Spanish science a leading light in the international environment 

    Why is research important for the development of a country?

    Because research is the driving force behind well-being. When I say well-being, I include development and economic growth, but I am not limiting myself to that alone. Research is the fuel that powers companies and sets them apart. Ensuring that Spain’s progress is fuelled by a knowledge-based economy is a priority of the first magnitude. It is what will make Spain grow even in times of economic downturn, distinguishing itself from its neighbours and setting it apart from aspects that so characterised the twentieth century, such as the availability of natural resources and other activities that do not have an added value based on knowledge.   

    Our young people’s job prospects to a large extent rest on us having the capacity to generate employment with high added value and that requires a lot of training. Research is not a policy that can be isolated from the country’s progress, but should rather be linked to other aspects, such as business development and education. All these factors have to be put on the table so that this shift towards a knowledge economy can take place.