13 September 2013
The FIIAPP presented the new “SOCIEUX” project financed by the EU.
The project will support member countries that request it in the design and management of social protection systems with assistance from Spanish, French and German experts.
The project’s added value involves working on-demand.
We interviewed Beatriz Juanes, a Spanish expert who is part of the project’s central management team.
The Socieux project’s geographic area is quite extensive. Does any particular region require special attention?
No. The area is indeed very large, encompassing Latin America, Asia and the Middle East (countries pertaining to the instrument for development cooperation), countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and, finally, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (under the development fund), for a total of approximately 145 countries.
Each country, depending on their particular situation and conditions, will make a certain request based on their needs. But everyone has the possibility of requesting assistance. We don’t have any priority areas.
Is there any topic of special relevance that should be emphasised?
The most important area is financing, how public policies can be financed, and how to finance social protection policies. This area is currently experiencing difficulties, which is why social protection has not been further developed, due to a lack of resources and not knowing how to achieve these resources.
In other areas, priority will be given to the countries themselves. The more impoverished countries will probably request technical assistance for all types of Social Assistance. Meanwhile, middle-income countries will lean towards social security and social insurance, which is a more advanced system based on a tax system.
Are there any plans to create a pilot project that could be established in the long-term to continue on after the project’s completion?
The idea behind this project is for everything we accomplish to remain in place, as the project’s goal is to develop systems.
The project will last approximately 2 years. What do they hope to achieve in this time? And how do you think the project can help the different countries?
The member states are responsible for designing and applying their own social protection systems.
However, the idea is for the countries we work with to empower themselves in their own development. If we are able to accomplish this by the end of the project, we can be proud.
The EU’s intention is for this project to provide assistance to the beneficiaries, not to do things for them. The goal is for the beneficiaries to learn how to be self-sufficient.
The project works on demand, but how can these requests be managed when anyone can request assistance?
There is a simple form to organise the requests. But each assistance request must comply with certain requirements in order for an action plan to be developed. There are formal requirements – for example, the institution must be public – and content requirements – for example, it must be in line with the policies of the European Union.
Not all requests will be valid, and we do not want to encourage requests without due cause. It is important for the request to be in line with the country’s social protection policies and avoid overlapping with other ongoing programmes.
03 September 2013
Macedonia is a country undergoing profound changes, but it still maintains certain traditional ways. Spanish and French experts have helped to improve adult education and literacy and primary education over the course of 22 months. Through examples, they have demonstrated how progress can be made. The European Commission has invested nearly 1,800,000 Euros in improving adult education in Macedonia.
Carmen Sainz, the Spanish Project Manager, talked to us about some of the things they have done over the course of these 22 months.
1 – Have the main project areas – adult education and literacy and primary education – been reinforced for socially excluded people?
A lot of progress has been made in various aspects. Adult education in Macedonia is still in the early stages; the only thing that had been achieved was to reduce education from 8 to 4 years, using the same books as for children and with teachers who are not specialised.
One of the major successes has been to train 16 teachers in adult education methods. These teachers then used this knowledge to teach 78 adults over 8 months.
2- Do any of the areas we’ve mentioned require special attention, or do they all require the same degree of involvement?
The two areas are equally important.
In adult education, we’ve focused on developing new professions and applying new methods to existing education systems.
In terms of literacy and primary education, by law, people in Macedonia who do not have a primary education certificate cannot obtain a driver’s licence or register as unemployed and, therefore, cannot take the adult education courses offered at job centres.
The objective is to raise awareness of the discrimination involved in this issue and the need to develop programmes that provide education more efficiently, facilitating access to both areas.
3- Are any of the programmes that were tested during this project currently active?
Two NGOs and the local council of a rural area with an Albanian majority are rolling out some of the literacy and primary education pilot projects.
Also, the ‘trainers of trainers’ have organised courses to be held throughout the country.
You could say that progress continues even though our work is done.
4- Do you think this project has changed the lives of Macedonians?
It has certainly changed the lives of the 78 people who participated in the literacy and primary education programmes. They’ve all asked for more courses and it’s clear that the programme has awakened their desire to continue learning.
That’s certainly the case with the 16 teachers, who have learned new teaching techniques, as well as with wine professionals, plumbing professionals, etc., who have also learned new work methods.
5- What is the target audience for these activities?
The activities focusing on literacy for socially excluded people include Romanies, Albanians with little education and minorities who have been left out of the system.
The employment-related activities have focused on jobless people looking to develop skills that will help them find a new job or professionals wishing to learn new methods.
19 July 2013
Bruno Moro, Director of the MDG Trust Fund
The 2013 Millennium Development Goals Report provides evidence that, despite the fact that various goals have already been reached, there is still much left to accomplish. Our work is not over and these days we find ourselves asking how the altercations in Brazil could affect the construction of the post-2015 agenda? We have to think about it – is something happening?
Yes, we have to think about it. Obviously, it is an example of a society that wants a more real, immediate impact in their lives. International organisations’ public policies and programs are sometimes very slow and people in the streets are getting tired of this. Perhaps we need to be more ambitious with the agenda and think about the fastest answer for the people.
The economic crisis is also changing development policy. Is Governance the future of cooperation? Is it cheaper to share knowledge?
Knowledge has a very important value. Sometimes it is not monetised, but there are companies that become rich solely based on knowledge.
It is fundamental. Citizens have the right to not be poor, of course that does not mean that the State should be poor, but the State has to facilitate, and the way to facilitate is by providing adequate education, adequate healthcare, etc…
What goals must be reinforced in the next few years?
We have come a long way, the changes are very positive, but we cannot be totally satisfied. We have to be aware of the problem of climate change in the future, because it could cause millions of people to fall into poverty. The focus on gender issues is also very important. Women need to have their own space and children require attention because many of them die too soon after being born. These are topics that we must consider carefully.
18 June 2013
iCoopera interviews Javier Sota Ramos, Coordinator of the Programme for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Spanish Cooperation, of the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policies (FIIAPP).
Could you give us an overview of the guidelines that will define the intended new approach of Spanish official cooperation?
The 4th Spanish Cooperation Master Plan, approved at the end of December 2012, sets out the guidelines for cooperation over the next four years. Notable goals include: to advance in results-oriented management by all the agents involved in cooperation; to increase the impact through greater concentration of our aid, from both the geographical (reduction to 23 countries) and sector point of view, and in terms of the number of International Organisations that we work with; to promote strategic alliances and the participation of the private sector, by means of collaboration initiatives between the public sector, the private sector and the third sector; to promote innovation and research in development cooperation; to increase accountability and transparency, reinforce evaluation and foment learning and the management of knowledge.
To read the full interview, click here.
17 June 2013
On 18 June, we ended one of our projects in Morocco: “Supporting the National Research System for its Integration into the European Space”, and, to mark the event, the FIIAPP brought together a number of experts from universities and the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. They shared the ideas, objectives and conclusions of the project related to Moroccan scientific research and technology.
We interviewed Rafael Rodríguez, project leader on behalf of Spain, who told us how the work went in Morocco:
Have the objectives set out at the start of this project in Morocco been achieved?
Yes, and not only the initial objectives: we have in fact gone slightly beyond our original target. Tangible results have been achieved which represent benefits for some of those involved in Science and Technology in Morocco. In addition, on a research project you resolve one problem and identify two others. In this regard, other needs arose. Specifically, they are now asking us for assistance to reform their tertiary education system and to improve the knowledge transfer system, which is an extremely important political objective.
We will study the possibility of another project of this kind, either a collaboration between Spain and Morocco or, like this one, between Spain, France and Morocco, given that the collaboration with our French colleagues has been magnificent.
How could this cooperation project affect the daily lives of the Moroccan people?
We will only know that in the long term. In the short term, the project has contributed to improving the quality of the organisational system and the science and technology system.
In addition, the project coincided with an important political change: the approval of the current constitution last year. And in some political discourses and legislative texts we have seen the recommendations proposed by the experts, mainly Spanish and French, to the Moroccans. I think we can say that the project has had a positive impact.
In planning the project, it was clear that there was a need for the government to encourage the private sector to become more involved in research. Has that been achieved?
Some advances have been made. But we must take into account the fact that in Morocco there are very few large industries, the majority are small and medium enterprises, and that sector is less receptive.
However, we had a pleasant surprise: Morocco has a policy for the training of associations by industrial sectors. So, one of the most successful activities was to put Moroccan groups into contact with the European technological platforms which group together companies in certain sectors. This has permitted the integration of Moroccan agents into these platforms. This was one specific, practical result and an immediate benefit for Morocco.
Are you satisfied with the work that has been done?
Of course. We have done a great deal of work, more than we thought, and that influences the quality of the result. The reports on the missions and the documents that have been produced are of very high quality, very meticulous, and they reflect the good work that has been done.
31 May 2013
We’ve interviewed Raphaëlle FAURE, from the ODI, one of the institutes that participated in the preparation of the 4th European Report on Development to define the post -2015 agenda.
What are the main conclusions of this Report, where are we heading “post-2015”?
The report focuses on three main issues which must be key from 2015 on. The first one is funding for development. In a couple of years, we must realise that we cannot depend solely on traditional aid, there are new means of funding such as the resources of the private sector. In addition, trade and investments are very important for developing countries. We have to focus on promoting the economic, social and environmental transformation of countries so they can develop in a sustainable manner. And the third point is migration: the report proposes an international migration regime which manages the phenomenon better and respects the rights of all migrants.
Have the changes that have taken place in the world since the drafting of the MDGsbeen taken into account in the preparation of this report?
Yes, the first two parts of the report are about these changes. We also analyse the political transformations, the new international agents, the emerging middle classes and the demographic trends. This report highlights that in 2030 half of the people who live in cities will live in slums. That will help us to better understand urban poverty.
In what ways have the MDGs failed, what must be changed?
First of all, we must say that the goals have been a success. What we want to highlight is that health care, education and other social aspects are very important, but not sufficient. Other factors must be taken into account in order for development to be sustainable. Those factors are the funding of aid, the investments of poor countries and migration.
Report Complete in english: