• 30 May 2019

    |

    Posteado en : Entrevista

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    “Our main value is to improve coordination between the Practitioners’ Network member agencies”

    We interviewed Jérémie Pellet, general director of cooperation agency Expertise France, FIIAPP's partner in numerous projects and a member of the Practitioners' Network

    What is Expertise France? What is its job?

     

    Expertise France is the French public international cooperation agency. It was created in 2015 by merging several operators together. It works in four major fields; in the field of democratic governance: economic and financial; in the field of peace, security and stability; in the field of human development: education, health, social protection; and in the field of sustainable development: climate, agriculture and energy.

     

    Why is the joint work of institutions like the FIIAPP and EF so important?

     

    Expertise France and the FIIAPP are institutions that share the same objective: to support public policies and support the development of the countries of the south with a good governance plan. So, we already work together on many projects. Nowadays, Expertise France and the FIIAPP share a dozen projects. We strive to be an allied actor in Europe. So, we seek to collaborate with agencies like us, capable of mobilising expertise in different countries, particularly public expertise, our main reason for being, both of the FIIAPP, in Spain and Expertise France, in France.

     

     What are the advantages and drawbacks of working together?

     

    To start with, the advantages of working together are that our approach is not only national but also European, with different ways of working and, obviously, this is extremely advantageous, since we require European funding, and theEuropean Commission is very interested in international development agencies working together.

     

    The drawbacks are, essentially, coordination difficulties because everyone has their way of working and procedures. One thing we can certainly do to improve is to work on this issue to make coordination more fluid and effective. 

     

    How do you think France contributes to these projects? And Spain?

     

    Both France and Spain have numerous cooperation projects, which account for an important part of their international activity and their diplomatic activity in matters of international cooperation. They have worldwide geographies whose priorities are not necessarily the same due to historical differences. Spanish international cooperation focuses mainly on Latin American policies, whereas French international cooperation is more involved in helping the poorest African countries mainly in West Africa. However, this does not alter the fact that we now face global climate, security and development issues that need support in different parts of the world. Ultimately, we complement each other because we each contribute what we know best as well as our cooperation expertise.

     

    How valuable is the European cooperation network, the Practitioners’ Network, to European cooperation?

     

    Practitioners’ Network is a body that brings together European Union state agencies involved in delegated and cooperation fund management. It is now the recognised interlocutor for the European Commission. The proof is that we and the Commission have entered into a very important association agreement between the Commission and each Member State agency, to make these agencies the primary delegated management agents for the European funds. It is now an acknowledged body with real technical competence, which is obviously valuable for the agencies as well as for the European Commission, which has a partner to which it can address such issues.

     

    I believe that our main value and the work we have already undertaken and that which still needs to be accomplished is to further strengthen coordination between the agencies in the Practitioners’ Network. Because we will be effective, among ourselves, and will be capable of showing the European Commission that working with Member States’ agencies is an added value.

     

    In my opinion, the European Commission expects us to be able to show that we are really effective, which is why I believe that the network of the Practitioners’ Network should continue to develop good practices, standardising agencies and establishing new procedures.

  • 21 October 2016

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    Are you an expert? You should communicate

    El próximo lunes, 24 de octubre celebramos el Día Mundial de Información sobre el Desarrollo. Ángel González Suárez, Técnico de la FIIAPP (Comunicación- Cooperación Española), nos cuenta lo que supone la comunicación y cómo podemos comunicar.

    A few weeks ago, I read an interview with anthropologist Arturo Escobar. In it he expresses his ideas on many subjects, including the role of experts and social media. He showed himself to be critical of the social transformation capacity of these communication channels and expressed an unflattering view of experts. Reflecting on his statements, I found myself somewhat in ‘no man’s land’ because, while they seemed on target, my experience raised objections.

    Today we are all experts on something. There may be someone who has not accepted it (although our browsing, increasingly specialised and segmented thanks to Google, suggests otherwise), but categories, tags and keywords are here to stay in our digital reality. And up to a certain point, it’s good that there are experts, not because one has to emulate or praise them but because their experience can be very important for others, provided they communicate it.

     

    Direct and personal communication

    Before encouraging the experts on development cooperation, and especially those who have not yet started using social media, I will take this opportunity to recall some of the channels and genres that can help them:

     

    ·         Blogs

    These are spaces that are open to creation, commentary and interaction. In Spain there are various, some journalistic in nature, with a community of contributors (El País or eldiario.es), others started in the world of DNGOs (Pobreza Cero , Fundación CIDEAL and the many run by Spanish DNGOs), by international bodies (World Bank) or the Spanish Public Administration (MAEC which also has created an important document on Digital Diplomacy;FIIAPP, or the Spanish Cooperation portal whose work I would like to promote).

    ·         Video blogs

    This is a genre that still has not taken hold among our experts. It involves a high degree of public exposure (hence the influence of YouTubers) but can also generate greater empathy in the public, more so than the written word. (I’m not aware of any Spanish examples, nor of ones in Spanish, that focus their content on development, so don’t hesitate to point them out in the comments section).

    ·         Social Media

    How networks are used depends a great deal on the characteristics of each channel. Twitter is not the same thing as Instagram, nor Facebook the same as LinkedIn. I recommend starting with Twitter due to its simplicity. There are many examples of good use made by its devotees; at @CooperacionESP we try to follow many accounts that work with diverse styles and objectives. It’s worthwhile to visit numerous profiles before starting one’s own and, always, much better to move into it gradually.

     

    Despite this, many experts, mainly those working in public institutions, hardly use this media to transmit their knowledge. I know that it’s difficult and that there are good reasons as to why they don’t do so:

    • Lack of time.
    • Fear of public exposure.
    • Self-exclusion from communication tasks.
    • Rigidity in the institutional structure.
    • Lack of confidence in one’s abilities.

     

    However, I don’t just think that this is an error, but that boosting the use of social media would serve to improve institutional communication.

     

    Communicate what you know how to do

    I’ll give you an example. Recently I had the good fortune to share my workspace with various experts on diverse subjects, all related to the field of development cooperation.

    I had never had the opportunity to learn about Spain’s gender policy, nor the implication of and degree of detail whichmultilateral cooperation requires. The same thing was true for me regarding the coordination of donors within the OECD, the flows of Official Development Assistance, the process of coordination of any position that represents Spain, the commitment to improving health systems and attention to childhood in other countries, or the need to better evaluate our work.

     

    Everyone should know about these subjects, especially if their taxes are supporting them. The difference between me and anyone else is that I had access to an expert.

    Spanish Cooperation has a tremendous panel of experts. I’ve been finding this out in the past two years. They have experience in other countries, knowledge, a good network of contacts and a great deal of documentation (that cannot be found on the Internet). In terms of communication, all of this is a rich vein. I think that they can improve the existing communities and strengthen social commitment to cooperation, which is already high.

     

    Implementation of an easy-to-use communication system for experts in public administrations is not terribly complicated; France and the United Kingdom have already done it, and our experts as well, for example, in the field of education for development. That’s why I would like experts and specialists to get more involved in communication. Time is of the essence. I never tire of saying it; they already have the most important thing: knowledge. Transmitting is much easier.

     

    Look at Natalia Lizeth López López. I’m convinced that she will become an expert; in fact she is already a good communicator who we would not know about if not for YouTube. The same is true of many assets from the Spanish Cooperation. (By the way, and this is key, one of its experts ‘told me about’ the link).

     

    Written by Angel González, FIIAPP (Communication- Spanish Cooperation)

  • 18 June 2015

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    The cooperation and development fair

    EUROsociAL, the European Commission programme for social cohesion in Latin America, participated in European Development Days in Brussels.

    The year 2015 is key for cooperation. Declared the European Year of Development by the European Union, its mid-point coincided with its flagship event, European Development Days, which brought together people from five continents in Brussels with a significant African presence (an exception to the logical European majority), dozens of public institutions (also with a clear European Union majority), bilateral agencies and international bodies, fewer DNGOs than expected, and a small but media-covered presence by the private sector, with special attention to Melinda Gates and the Gates Foundation championing health issues.

    Three auditoriums, 16 laboratories (or small conference rooms), 5 meeting points, 44 stands, 4 press areas and 2 television broadcasting sets, numerous cameras and a good turnout, without reaching the attendance levels of ARCO or FITUR to give a close-at-hand example. In short, a true cooperation fair.

    But beyond the staging, it was possible to learn a great deal from others and to invite them to take an interest in the themes that EUROsociAL proposed in Brussels: Europe and Latin America, their cooperation relationship, social cohesion policies, and the reality of the two regions during the crisis and at the present time. An interesting thematic and geographic “exception” in an agenda more focused on Africa and Asia and on sectors such as migration, health and food safety.

    As far as the rest was concerned, the theme of inequality was very important, and here the FIIAPP also participated along with think tanks like ODI and DIE, and the World Bank; gender equality with the presence of AECID; reproductive rights; the Ebola crisis; food safety with an impressive stand by the FAO (including planters made of rubber tyres made in Guatemala); and the fresh proposals of young international leaders.

    Constant foot traffic (with a look that was more white-collar than NGO) peppered by musical performances, photographic exhibitions, improvised interviews… an event with a paperless spirit in which the technological assistance was lacking (or failed) as the WiFi was not up to the deployment arranged by the organisers, as the participating institutions are called in Brussels.

    This decisive year for development will bring us another three milestones: the third conference on development financing (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13th-16th July); the special summit on sustainable development (New York, 25th-27th September), where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are to be approved, and the summit on climate change (COP21, Paris, December).

    As for the #EDD2015 tweets, they’re already talking about 2016.

    By Enrique Martínez, EUROsociAL communication and visibility officer

  • 11 June 2015

    |

    Posteado en : Opinion

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    Asylum and international protection

    On 15th and 16th June, a meeting is being held in Rabat on migration with these two key issues on the table: asylum and international protection.

    In recent months, the urgent need to manage migratory flows, an issue of vital importance for millions of people, has come to the forefront.

    It’s evident that, due to the continual crises of a diverse nature, both on the African continent and in the Middle East, we are currently seeing numerous examples of human beings who have left behind all they had in the hope of finding a better and safer life in neighbouring countries, or even in more distant and hitherto unfamiliar lands. The most recent tragedies in the Mediterranean demonstrate the magnitude of the desperation of these people, and the urgency of finding immediate and effective answers to this serious problem.

    Thus we are seeing countries in Europe, Africa, and other regions acknowledging the issue of migration as a central point on their policy agendas. Many of them have initiated actions to adapt and develop their migration policies to contribute concrete responses to the complex current situation. Examples of this are Mali, Morocco and Cape Verde, countries that have recently developed their national migration policies to respond to this phenomenon. This issue is also found at the heart of the European debate. The European Commission has presented its European Agenda on Migration, as well as preliminary proposals for a global intervention that improves the management of this problem.

    The FIIAPP is not on the sidelines in these debates. Ten intense years of continuous work in this area are testimony to its contribution through the Migration and Development programme, which supports national and international initiatives to facilitate the exchange of best practices and joint cooperation in this area.

    Specifically, the FIIAPP participates in the Rabat Process, the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development, which provides a framework for consultation and coordination aimed at promoting the organisation of legal migration, fighting irregular migration and facilitating synergies between migration and development.

    Recently, as a consequence of the Fourth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development held in Rome in late 2014, the issues of asylum and international protection have taken on special importance and, therefore, today are priorities for the Rabat Process.

    Asylum and international protection, a central issue in the current context. 

    The multiple crises occurring at the moment are generating massive population movements. The area covered by the Rabat Process (North Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and the European Union) are directly affected both as a result of their own internal crises (the Ivorian, Central African, Malian and Libyan crises, and more recently the crisis in North Nigeria) as well as those of neighbouring countries (Eritrea, Somalia, Syria, etc.).

    One of the direct consequences of these crises is the considerable uptick in the number of refugees and asylum seekers requesting protection.

    It is in this context that the Rabat Process Support Project consortium, in which the FIIAPP participates, is organising on 15th and 16th June in Rabat a meeting on asylum and international protection, an event that will be co-chaired by Spain and Morocco.

    This thematic meeting will include the participation of national and international representatives and experts, and one of its goals is to promote spaces for collaboration and consensus on issues of asylum and international protection. It aims to identify lines of action that will make it possible to develop effective protection systems and strengthen regional cooperation in these areas and in the zone covered by the Rabat Process.

    Maxence Defontaine

    Communications Officer of the “Rabat Process” project

    More information on the Rabat Process and this upcoming meeting on this website: www.processusderabat.net.

     

  • 28 May 2015

    |

    Posteado en : Reportage

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    The face of development aid

    Nineteen Spaniards are contributing their faces and their stories to explain to citizens what the development aid lent by the European Union consists of.

    Núria is a “Barcelonesa” and she lives in Angola. She is a face of cooperation. She collaborates with a local development project in this African country. It’s not the first time she’s worked as a volunteer, or in Angola or Africa. Mozambique and Mauritania were earlier destinations.

     

    Now 39 years of age, she’s contributing her experience as an economist and social worker to local Angolan institutions. The purpose of this project, financed by the European Commission and managed by the FIIAPP, is to improve opportunities for economic development and access to basic social services for vulnerable rural families.

     

    This year, Núria has been chosen as one of the faces of the Nineteen Citizens Give Development Aid a Face campaign as part of the “2015 European Year of Development” launched by the Representation of the European Commission and the Information Office of the European Parliament in Spain. The goal is to explain what Europe is doing in the area of cooperation through the experiences of these citizens. All of them are Spaniards.

    Did you know that the EU is the largest donor to development aid?

    The European Union and its Member States are the largest donors of development aid worldwide, and they fund and drive hundreds of programmes and initiatives aimed at improving living conditions for citizens. In 2013 they donated 56.5 billion euros to help countries all over the world fight poverty.

    The “2015 European Year of Development” seeks to publicise this activity and also its results. “Our world. Our dignity. Our future” is its slogan, and the story of Núria and all the other faces of development aid are helping to spread the word about it in Europe and the rest of the world. #EYD2015#19Rostros

    EYD2015

  • 20 May 2015

    |

    Posteado en : Reportage

    |
    facebook twitter linkedin

    Cooperation: Zero violence in Argentina

    In the week when the OECD is presenting its report on the economic progress of Latin America, we bring you the reality of Argentina thanks to EUROsociAL.

    The European Union cooperation programme for Latin America, EUROsociAL, focuses its work on social cohesion and development in various Latin American countries. One of them is Argentina, where work is being done on several projects for access to justice and prevention of violence in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice.

     

    Kids in the Jóvenes con más y mejor trabajo [Young People With More and Better Jobs] programme of the Access to Justice Centre of Santiago del Estero mounted a campaign against institutional violence. Among their actions, the mural created with the slogan of the campaign, No me pongas la mano encima” [Don’t lay a hand on me], an “open-mike radio show” and a street performance stand out.

     

    Street violence

    The IDLO, the international organisation that supports justice, (with the collaboration of EUROsociAL), held a workshop in Santiago del Estero Province to train young people on how to create their own campaigns to raise awareness about rights, and there was almost no debate: “institutional violence”—and in particular the mistreatment young people experience at the hands of the police—would have to be at the centre of their actions.

     

    According to the IDLO, in Argentina, kids going about their business on the streets know that being detained, chased and possibly arrested by a police patrol on its rounds is a real possibility.

     

    In most cases, there is no real motive for this. The most habitual pretext is “having the face of a criminal” or “looking suspicious”—their appearance is what makes them suspicious. Wearing a track suit or a baseball cap is an aggravating factor. One minute you’re talking to your friends, and the next you’re up against the wall with your things scattered on the pavement and a pair of hands frisking you looking for weapons or drugs.

     

    Since 2013, EUROsociAL has been consolidating various tools for access to justice policies oriented towards different vulnerable groups: besides the young protagonists of this story, it has championed migrant women’s right to justice in Costa Rica, women victims of violence in Honduras, women victims of human trafficking in Chile, the indigenous population in Peru, and African-descended young people in Brazil”.