• 23 April 2013

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    Just Another Sunday

    Travelling to Latin America always makes me feel a degree of personal and professional satisfaction, and I always have a smile on my face as I climb on board the plane. Which is just as well because it means that, rather than getting frustrated, I spend the two-hour delay thinking about what I’m going to do in Peru, my final destination on this occasion.

    On this route, there are migrants in both directions, which is the thing about this ‘New World’, or perhaps it’s always been this way. After the great wars of the 20th century, thousands of Europeans sought a new life in the Americas, while from the 1990s and up to the start of the crisis in 2007, the opposite occurred… and what’s happening now? I think about the words of a friend who had just arrived in Montevideo: “I’m not emigrating, they’re throwing me out”; I don’t totally agree, but I’ll talk about the reasons for this new migratory scenario with my colleagues in Migration, who are also on this side of the pond, further north, in Antigua, Guatemala.

    I walk along the aisle of the Airbus 340-600 and I see many guides to Peru in the hands of elegant Central Europeans, elderly Italians with adventurous spirits and young Spanish backpackers. Peru is a very attractive, versatile destination for many people, whatever their age, social status or country of origin.

    At Jorge Chávez airport in Lima, as I meet up again with my colleagues from the European Commission and the coordinating partner, IILA, I am reminded of the reason for this journey, the EUROsociAL Forum. It is going to be held ‘officially’ in Lima from 24to 26 April but, since the start of the year, people have been busy behind the scenes, undertaking extensive consultation work with the partners and the participating institutions to ensure the best selection of themes which will give rise to a productive debate about the immediate future of EUROsociAL.

    The first morning in Lima brings the typical thick morning fog. Over breakfast, the local press (El Comercio) reveals an interesting statistic: the second and third greatest concerns of the Peruvian people are corruption and the lack of work – sounds familiar, right? – while their greatest concern is something I’ve encountered in other tropical regions – the lack of security, which, by the way, other colleagues in the FIIAPPare working to reduce.  On the front page, an article about what Peruvians most appreciate about the administration of President Ollanta Humala: the social programmes for the most disadvantaged; precisely one of the sectors in which EUROsociAL collaborates with the Peruvian institutions.

    The fog gives way to a sunny Sunday which reveals Lima in all its glory, with an atmosphere of leisure and tranquillity in its parks and streets. The ají de gallina (chicken in a creamy, peppery sauce) is an excellent introduction to the pleasures of the rich Peruvian cuisine, and after lunch is the perfect time for a stroll along one of the city’s breakwaters while we await the arrival of other colleagues attending the Forum. In the evening, we all gather round the table with lists, case studies, diaries and dozens of details to fine-tune.

    The countdown has begun. It is now just three days till the 1st Annual EUROsociAL II Forum.

    By Enrique Martínez (@kikeguatemala), head of communication and visibility of the EUROsociAL II Programme

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  • 12 April 2013

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    FIIAPP joins the evaluation

    The Directors of Social Affairs and Public Administration, and of Economic Development and Environment of the FIIAPP, Isabel Ramos and Agustín Fernández, have received the mark “outstanding” in the diploma from the 7th Course on Evaluation of Development Cooperation Intervention run by CECOD (Centre for Development Cooperation Studies).

    The FIIAPP thus joins the new evaluation policy being promoted by the Secretariat General of International Cooperation for Development (SGCID), which has revealed the need for more rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of aid, with a focus on results and providing greater accountability.

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  • 12 April 2013

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    The UN comes to Spain

    Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary General, in Madrid on 4 April 2013 closed the High Level Meeting on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition, which was part of the new Post-2015 Development Agenda.

    Participating in this meeting were 32 countries, civil society organisations and all the UN agencies, featuring the intense participation of the FAO(United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), WFP(World Food Programme), the UNDP(United Nations Development Programme) and IFAD(International Fund for Agricultural Development).

    This without doubt shows strong UN support for the efforts being made by Spain during the last year and a half, in which Spanish Cooperation has carried out extraordinarily active work at a multilateral level.

    In July 2011, the UN Secretary General launched the debate on the Post-2015 Agenda with the presentation of the annual report “Accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals”.

    This report, in addition to presenting the general principles of the Post-2015 process, promoted an inclusive, transparent and open process of consultation, with the participation of all stakeholders.

    This process features the holding of national consultations (in 100 developed countries) and thematic consultations on 11 themes: inequality, health, education, growth and employment, environmental sustainability, governance, conflict and fragility, population dynamics, food and nutrition security, energy and water.

    Spain, along with Colombia, was chosen as the host country for the Global Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security, under the leadership of the FAO and WFP.

    This thematic consultation on food safety is the result of months of hard work in close cooperation between Spain and the United Nations. In November 2012, the meeting began in Madrid with an electronic consultation on “Hunger and food and nutrition security”, and on 11 February 2013 in Rome there was an informal consultation as part of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of the FAO.

    To this we need to add the “Multisectoral Approach for Food and Nutrition Security” Workshop, organised by the Fund for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG-F), with support from the Government of Spain, and held in Madrid on 7 and 8 March 2013.

    This whole process, led by the UN Secretary General, has served to reflect on the achievements, remaining challenges and next steps on the part of all stakeholders as regards the Millennium Development Goals.

    During the High Level Meeting of 4 April 2013 in Madrid, there was an attempt to connect food security with other emerging priorities from the new agenda, including health, water and employment, as well as the existing economic and environmental barriers to adequate food and nutrition security.

    The meeting also adopted the High-Level Consultation of Madrid” report, which contains the main recommendations and contributions made throughout the various consultations.

    In addition to this High-Level Meeting, Spainalso has a seat on the Working Group of the UN General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals, with the objective of integrating the main challenges of sustainability in the Post-2015 Agenda, without neglecting the MDGs. On 14 and 15 March 2013 the first working meeting was held, in which the Secretary General of International Development Cooperation, Gonzalo Robles, was the representative of the internal group made up of Spain, Italy and Turkey.

    Thus, Spanish Cooperation is participating in the forefront of the definition of the two most important elements (MDG and SDG) for the new Post-2015 Agenda.

    This, together with other initiatives, such as the signing of the agreement with the WFP to establish a humanitarian logistics platform in the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, confirm the significant role played by Spain in the initiatives and processes developed by the UN system.

    JAVIER SOTA(@ MejorAyuda), Coordinator of the Monitoring and Evaluation Programme of Spanish Cooperation in the FIIAPP Foundation and member of the CECOD Executive Committee.

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  • 28 January 2013

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    Closure of the MeDAO project, from the policy to the action

    Once there is interest and commitment, it is time to move to action. That was the aim of the MeDAO project.

    In mid-2010, when the FIIAPP Migration and Development team had two years of experience under its belt coordinating the project that accompanies the Euro-African Process on Migration and Development, the “Rabat Process”we received the proposal from four African countries to work together in translating the political commitments into concrete actions.

    Receiving this proposal was very stimulating, and represented an exercise in reality and, above all, a challenge that the entire M&D (Migration and Development) team wanted to be part of. That’s how the MeDAO project was born.

    Political debate processes are essential, as demonstrated by the relevance the Rabat Process has taken on as a platform for harmonising policies, commitments and co-responsibility in the management of migratory flows. Once there is interest and commitment, it is time to move to action; that was the aim of the MeDAO project.

    The cornerstone of the project was promoting governance over migration: institutional strengthening, the definition of policies/actions, and international-intraregional cooperation. Specifically, four work plans were developed in the areas of financial education in Morocco, promotion of social protection and support networks in Senegal and strengthening links between expatriate communities (diaspora) and their countries of origin in Cape Verde and Ivory Coast.

    To be sure, over the course of the 36 months of MeDAO project, we generated spaces for debate; designed tools for communication, information exchange and learning; and we also lived through some “surprisesdue to the complexity of the logistics. With great effort, we always worked with the conviction that we were contributing something new to the migratory debate.

    To give an example, we jointly assumed the challenge of implementing a financial education model for Moroccan migrants and their families. The MeDAO project created a training manual, assessment indicators and a student workbook on managing savings with a focus on investment. Morocco showed its commitment to this issue by including it as a key element in the EU-Morocco Mobility Partnership. Indeed, while today we cannot categorically state that financial education is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Moroccans Residing Abroad because of the MeDAO project, we can affirm that we contributed to this goal.

    Without a doubt, the project team led by Marzia Cardinali, with the support of Ignacio Suárez, Sandra Bonacasa, and Fatoumata Niox, achieved the project objectives, responding in a relevant and rigorous manner to the interests of the four countries. The external assessment currently underway will provide more information about the achievements and impact of the project.

    FIIAPP Migration and Development Team

    More information here

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