“Development Cooperation Days” Romanian Development Camp, 8th edition

devThe Romanian Development Camp 2015 – entitled “Development Cooperation Days” was a public event organised by the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme –  Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia. This edition took place between 8th – 10th of July in Bucharest in the context of the European Year for Development 2015. Having the unique opportunity to bring the public closer to development issues, the event’s main purpose was to raise awareness on Romania’s role as an international donor and inspire Romanian institutions, organisations and individuals to become more involved in the global efforts of eradicating poverty in the world.

Reaching its 8th edition, the Romanian Development Camp has become a traditional annual event, which reunites representatives from NGOs, government, academia and mass-media within a unique space dedicated to fostering an open and constructive dialogue on topics relevant for the field of international development cooperation. as

This year’s edition was different from all the others, being an interactive and open event which combined plenary sessions and thematic workshops with side-events such as a movie projection and debate, photo exhibition, theatre forum and a projects’ fair. Throughout these activities, the audience had the chance to better understand how aid works and how they can become more involved in development efforts. Also the projects’ fair offered visibility to development projects and activities with focus on results and provided the tools to better communicate development projects and results.

Moreover, the 2015 edition of the Romanian Development Camp enjoyed the presence of some of the most relevant speakers in the development cooperation field. The key note speaker was Mr. Simon Maxwell, an expert with a career in international development of over 40 years, currently Senior Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute (UK’s leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues) who talked about the complexity of the field of international development, the achievements reached so far and the challenges we are facing in the context of a new post-2015 development agenda.

 “An excellent event and a productive partnership between civil society and the Government of Romania, demonstrating the country’s commitment to sustainable development in all its aspects, and Romania’s leadership at regional level. There is a lot to do if we are to secure a safe, prosperous and sustainable world by 2030. Romania’s engagement, on its own account and within the EU will be essential.”

 The audience also engaged in fruitful discussions with: Ms. Carmen BurlacuState Secretary for Global Affairs, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geert LaporteDeputy Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), Ms. Deirdre de Burca –  Member of the EU Beyond 2015 Campaign Steering Group, Ms. Amalia Garcia-TharnPolicy Officer, Policy and Coherence Unit, Directorate – General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, Ms. Ebba DohlmanSenior Adviser, Office of the Secretary-General, Policy Coherence for Development Unit and many other representatives of national/European institutions and organizations (NGOs, think-tanks).

The plenary sessions were bolstered up by the thematic work-shops, focused on more specific subjects such as: Promoting development through social media, Young people in international development,  The role of academics, Migration and Development, Financing Development: The role of Multilateral Development Banks, Child Protection, Gender & Development, Humanitarian Assistance.

Nevertheless, one of the most interesting and engaging parts of the Romanian Development Camp were the side-events. Below you can have a quick peek of the most exiting moments during the event.

Living Library: Getting to Know Migrants’ Experiences in Romania


Projects’ Fair: Development Cooperation Initiatives and Projects


 Forum-Theatre: From Spectator to Actor – Disaster Risk Reduction


Food Workshop: Traditional International Cuisine, Dance and Music



For more details regarding the Romanian Development Camp 8th edition – “Development Cooperation Days” we invite you to visit fondromania.org and FOND FB page.

The Romanian Development Camp is an annual event organized by the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme –  Regional Centre for Europe and Central Asia.

Inquiring the promotion of the MDGs in Romania. A discussion with FOND

FOND-logoSince 2007, the Romanian NDGD platform (FOND) is actively involved in increasing the capacity of member civil society organizations in implementing, advocating and monitoring projects and programs in the field of international development and humanitarian aid. As a major actor in the field, a strategic partner of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FOND has contributed to the promotion of MDGs and enhanced the role of Romania as a new ODA donor country at a local and regional level.

Interviewing Ms Adela Rusu, the Coordinator of the FOND platform, the Romanian NDGO platform which offers support to NGO’s working and/or willing to implement projects in the fields of development and cooperation.

Alexandra: Adela, what was the role of FOND in promoting the MDGs at national level? Could you summarize the main activities in this regard and sum up their impact?

Adela: The Romanian NGDO Platform, which currently has 36 NGOs active in development cooperation, development education and humanitarian aid, has as main role representing its members and very importantly, acts as a support center. It provides the members (for their projects and activities) relevant information and policy briefs on the global agenda, for example on issues such as development effectiveness and the Millennium Development Goals, and more recently on the post-2015 agenda.  More specifically, the platform was involved in awareness raising campaign promoting the Global Call for Action against Poverty’ campaign “Stand Up and Take Action” (2008-2009), focused on achieving MDG1 on extreme poverty and supported different campaigns on MGDs implemented by members in recent years. Recently, the platform has taken the role of facilitating national debates on the MDGs agenda by organizing since 2010 an annual event for the national development RO_dev_campcommunity – The Romanian Development Camp, with support from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as national coordinator of development cooperation) and UNDP – Bratislava Regional Center. The last edition of RDC hosted a debate on the new post-2015 agenda and provided input from the participants for the national position on this important issue.

So, FOND has been mostly involved in raising awareness and facilitating debates on the MDGs and post-2015 agenda, which is very much needed in the Romanian context as development cooperation is not very visible in the public space.

 Alexandra: One of the main objectives of FOND is the maintenance of an active implication of the Romanian CS organizations in the field of international development and humanitarian aid. How does FOND seek to stimulate the activity of Romanian NGOs in the field, and the coherence and efficiency of their efforts?  How does FOND connect its members to European and global debates in this field and support their active engagement in global discussions?

Adela: Besides the activities mentioned previously, FOND provides capacity consolidation tailor-made for the needs of the members by organizing trainings and workshops (project proposal writing, advocacy, campaigning, different policy issues: Policy Coherence for Development, the new multiannual EU budget and its effects for the NGDO sector, European Year for Development, Sustainable Development Goals …) and facilitating the Working Groups of the platform (Policy/Advocacy, Development Education, Humanitarian Aid) by fostering sharing lessons learnt and good practices among the members. For instance, in November we organized a workshop on effective campaigning tools relevant for the Romanian context, as to better prepare the members who will be engaged in promoting the European Year for Development (which will be celebrated in 2015).

FOND connects its members with the regional and international context in two ways: It provides a diresigla black sea ngo forum_smallct connection with potential partners from Romania’s ODA priority countries, by organizing NGO events to support networking, study visits and project writing, such as: The Black Sea NGO Forum (organized since 2008), The Romania-R. Moldova NGO Forum (2010, 2011) which later developed in the Mobility Fund for Experts from Romania and R. Moldova (2013, 2014). This year’s edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum will take place in early December (8-10) in Kiev.

In addition, FOND is an active member of The European Confederation of NGOs in Development and Relief (CONCORD) and the International Forum of National NGOs Platform, as well as a partner in two European projects with other similar platforms from the European Union. More recently, FOND has been engaged with the Beyond 2015 campaign by taking part in the European Task Force of this initiative. These connections provide the members with updated and digested information on the development debates at the European and global level and networking opportunities (identifying partners, resource persons, relevant good practices…) and also the opportunity to promote the members’ interest and priorities at the European level. It brings visibility to FOND and its members. Since this year, FOND even has a representative elected in CONCORD Board.

Alexandra: What could be the contribution of the Romanian NGOs in the overall debate that will lead to the new international development agenda?

Adela: The Romanian NGOs provide relevant input on what the priorities should be for the new agenda, based on their experience of promoting the MGDs and on the needs of the beneficiaries of their projects. Their contribution has been emphasized during the last edition of the Romanian Camp VII (which I have already mentioned above) and also is being used as valuable input for the debates at the regional level through our involvement in CONCORD (Beyond 2015 – European Task Force).

Alexandra: What kind of new synergies, partnerships and policies do you envisage for FOND in the near future in order to address the new SDGs both at national and regional level?

Adela: FOND will continue strengthening its current partnerships at national level (with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant national stakeholders, such as the Parliament) and at European level (CONCORD and the European institutions, especially the European Parliament). At the international level, we’re exploring the opportunity to promote again global campaigns such as Action/2015, initiated by the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). And of course, we are open to other partnership proposals from other NGOs or different actors interested in this issue.