Roma integration remains one of the most burning issues across Central and Eastern Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey. According to the Fundamental Rights Agency, Roma are the most discriminated and excluded ethnic minority with, 80% of Roma live at risk of poverty. Recent hate speech and human rights violations against Roma for example in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Italy and Belgium show the severity of racism against Roma. Being at the same time the largest ethnic minority on the continent, this causes a huge social backlash in Europe.

Through the „New solutions to old problems – exchange of new type of approaches in the field of Roma integration” project, we aim to share successful stories of Roma inclusion projects in the fields of education, employment, participation and combating antigypsyism with funders and state agencies in order to break the vicious circle of cynicism that ‘nothing can be changed’. We will engage in a two-stream capacity-building process for Roma civil society:

  1. Peer-to-peer professional capacity building of the partners by identifying 1-3 good practices per partners and supporting others in adapting them.
  2. Project management capacity building through training courses for Roma and pro-Roma NGOs

Through advocacy towards funders and state agencies we aim to ensure sustainability of the innovative projects kicked off by the partners.


  • To identify good practices from the grassroots level in the areas of employment, education, combating antigypsyism and participation of Roma.
  • To engage in peer-to-peer learning and coaching between Roma CSOs in order to adapt project ideas and plan their implementation in another country.
  • To build the capacity of Roma grassroots NGOs on different aspects of project management and advocacy
  • To advocate for better targeted funding for Roma inclusion

The implementation period of the project is 34 months, between June 1st, 2020 – March 31st, 2023 and the estimated eligible cost specified when submitting the project was 1,269,415 euros, being funded through the EEA and Norwegian Grants for Regional Cooperation.

The project involves planning and implementation of projects initiated and coordinated by the community, inspired by good practices from other countries and supported by experts from partner organizations where the idea was taken from. It also envisages the development of civil society training programs in the 11 partner countries based on the real needs of grassroots organizations and information and development of a dialogue between Roma civil society and donors that provide funding for these communities.

The project in the priority sector ‘Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction’ contributes to enhanced inclusion and empowerment of Roma. It will achieve this by delivering the following outputs:

  1. Promoting community-led projects:

– 11 projects based on community needs that have been identified as good practices in other organisations are adapted and implemented in local Roma communities

– 20-30 good practice examples of local Roma inclusion and empowerment projects are identified and disseminated with ideas for adaptation and upscaling

– Roma community organising and Roma civil society promoted through film and story-telling

  1. Increased capacity of Roma civil society organisations:

– Staff of Roma CSOs trained in project and organisational management

– Toolkit on project and organisational management for CSOs published

– Transparency and accountability criteria implemented by CSOs

  1. Favourable funding environment:

– Study on importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion produced and disseminated

– Analysis of funding programmes on Roma inclusion conducted and disseminated

– Donors more aware of the importance of bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion

The outputs will be achieved through:

  • Community-led project planning inspired by good practices and supported through coaches from other Roma CSOs
  • A tailored capacity-building programme including peer learning and creative tools
  • Evidence-based advocacy towards national governments, international institutions and private donors

The work packages are the following:

  • WP1 Management – coordinated by Nevo Parudimos
  • WP2 Communication – coordinated by Nevo Parudimos
  • WP3 Capacity-Building – coordinated by RROMA
  • WP4 Peer2Peer Partnerships – coordinated by Autonomia Foundation
  • WP5 Advocacy – coordinated by ERGO network

The target groups are represented by 11 local Roma communities (one from each country), 11 Roma non-governmental organizations or target Roma communities, institutions and private sponsors, other NGOs from the 11 partner countries.

Project PARTNERS are:

Nevo Parudimos is the lead partner for this project based on their experience in project management and especially based on the experience in civil society development and implementation of projects that facilitate experience exchange and peer learning between Roma civil society organizations. They implemented until now a series of projects on experience exchange between CSOs funded trough the Europe for Citizen Program – Thematic Network of Towns, they funded 6 CSOs and supported the development of several others and they coordinate a very active Roma civil society network at national level in – the Roma Form). They are highly experienced on international level as member in several international networks on inclusion and Roma (Ternype, Phiren Amenca, ERGO, Youth Express Network and YES Forum).
With this international experience and with the experience in coordinating and developing activities that aim to capacitate Roma civil society, Nevo Parudimos will contribute substantially to the quality of the project activities and to the fulfillment of the project objectives. By having this partner the quality of the project will increase, the project team will be a very experienced one and they will bring a great expertise in facilitating exchange and peer learning.
The lead partner will coordinate and facilitate the cooperation without imposing this. His role will be to facilitate the process and to take care to obtain the best results for each of the partners according to the project objectives.

All partners are members of ERGO Network, so the project will benefit from the natural communication that anyway takes place within the network and from ERGO Network’s expertise in project management, capacity-building and advocacy in the Roma field. ERGO will contribute to the project in the following areas: Supporting Nevo Parudimos in the coordination of the project: As lead partner, Nevo Parudimos has of course the overall responsibility for coordination of the project, but will receive support from ERGO Network, for example in the communication between partners, contributing to reporting, organization of coordination meetings in Brussels and advice on any questions regarding management. ERGO Network generally aims to empower its member organizations in taking leading roles in international projects, but accompanies them closely in order to ensure an added level of quality.

Advocacy and dissemination on international level: ERGO Network in its regular work acts as a bridge between grassroots organizations and European policy-making and supports its members in fundraising from international donors. Based on this experience it will coordinate the advocacy work package by offering advice on national advocacy to the members and taking responsibility for a European advocacy process.

Communications: ERGO Network will host the project website and ensure communication activities on international level, for example through information sessions at the annual EU Roma Weeks in the European Parliament. Contribution to capacity-building: ERGO Network will be responsible for the advocacy training and for offering coaching on the transparency and accountability criteria ( to ensure good governance among the consortium partners.

Autonomia will offer projects in the area of employment, with which they have been very successful in the past years. Autonomia will work with a newly established Hungarian Roma coalition on national level as well as share their experience on working with donors with the other partners. They were a member of the Fund Operator consortium in Hungary for the EEA NGO Fund from 2008-2017 so have valuable experience to share. Autonomia will take part in all projects and can particularly share expertise in the project design training. Autonomia will be able to advice the other partners thanks to their wealth of experience. At the same time they will benefit from new project ideas and better trained staff, as well as from the results of the advocacy process.

RROMA has a specific focus on working with Roma and non-Roma youth and fostering better understanding between them as well as on training delivery for Roma and non-Roma young people. RROMA is coordinating a national Roma coalition and will take the lead in developing a national advocacy strategy to lobby for better support for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. RROMA will be the coordinator of the capacity-building work package based on their many years of experience in training and capacity-building in European contexts – both through cooperation in the Western Balkans and with the Council of Europe Youth Department. The coordinator of RROMA knows the partners very well through previous projects in ERGO Network and will be well able to assist the organizers of the trainings in their preparations. Besides general coordination and development of the toolkit RROMA will host the first training on presentation and facilitation skills.

Roma Active Albania is coordinating a national Roma coalition and will take the lead in developing a national advocacy strategy to lobby for better support for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. RAA also has strong experience in coalition-building and supporting grassroots NGOs in their advocacy work and can share their expertise with other partners, particularly in the EU accession countries. Roma Active Albania will participate in all activities and will host the second Learning Academy.

Integro, as partner of the ROMACT programme in Bulgaria, has a lot of experience with local participation and empowerment programmes for Roma. It furthermore has expertise in the area of education. It offers good practices in education as well as in Roma women participation. It is looking for inspiration in the same area. Integro has already made good experiences with international programmes and peer learning between organisations and their staff members are experienced coaches who can support other partners in developing the ideas for the coaching between experts and implementers. It will benefit from new project ideas that will inject a new dynamic and motivation into the organization. Integro is coordinating the Bulgarian Roma civil society coalition ‘Intellect’, who can support the advocacy process on national level. They have experience with many different donors and have worked extensively on advocacy for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion, which will be helpful for the consortium as a whole. Integro will benefit from taking part in all activities and will also receive coaching on the transparency and accountability criteria. They will furthermore the first Learning Academy in Bulgaria with the support of ERGO Network.

RARC has particular expertise in the areas of education and research as well as in raising the awareness of mainstream society on antigypsyism. RARC is coordinating a national Roma coalition that so far works primarily on education, but will expand its focus through this project. In the project, RARC will take the lead in developing a national advocacy strategy to lobby for better support for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. RARC will also take part in the capacity-building activities without any leading role. As a relatively young local grassroots organization they will greatly benefit from stronger organizational skills developed through the trainings.

Slovo 21 has good experience in the areas of education and employment as well as in organising the biggest Roma cultural festival in Europe, which contributes to showing a positive narrative of Roma to majority society. Slovo21 is a founding member of the Czech Roma civil society coalition Romano Net, who can support the advocacy process on national level. They have experience with many different donors and have worked extensively on advocacy for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion, which will be helpful for the consortium as a whole. Slovo21 will take part in all capacity-building workshops and benefit from increased competencies of the staff.

Roma Community Centre works on all aspects of Roma inclusion and antigypsyism, but special attention is paid to education and employment; it will offer good practices in these two areas. They provide secondary education by distance learning as well as different programmes for vocational education with innovative approaches that will be inspiring for the partners. It is looking for good practice examples in the area of employment. Roma Community Centre will develop a national advocacy strategy under consultation of other CSOs in Romania. RCC is closely involved in the Lithuanian Human Rights Coalition and the National Anti-Poverty Network. Roma Community Centre will take part in the Learning Academies and benefit from increased competencies of the staff and volunteers.

Roma Zero Discrimination is coordinating a national Roma coalition and will take the lead in developing a national advocacy strategy to lobby for better support for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. Zero Discrimination has good contacts with and the possibility to influence local and regional authorities in Turkey. Zero Discrimination’s staff will participate in all training courses without any particular role, but will benefit from increased competencies and sharing their experiences with others.

Romkinja will propose projects in the area of Roma women empowerment. Romkinja will work closely with their Bosnian partner Otaharin, who is coordinating a national Roma coalition and will take the lead in developing a national advocacy strategy to lobby for better support for bottom-up approaches to Roma inclusion. Romkinja staff will participate in all training courses and as a young organisation benefit greatly from new competencies.