EU Funds for disadvantaged communities. Local Integrated Development Report
The NGO Coalition for Structural Funds has published a report regarding the impact and management of EU funded projects in marginalized communities. It is the result of a research conducted in 10 roma and non-roma communities from several regions of Romania were local authorities have accessed the Human Capital Operational Program.
Do these projects bring real changes in the living conditions of poor communities? What are the challenges of implementing such projects? What is the reality on site for project promoters, local authorities and members of the communities? These are the questions we wanted to find answer to.
Here is some of the most important conclusion in the report:
- One clear positive aspect is the obligation to have a preliminary needs assessment conducted in the targeted marginalized community that will set the basis for the project activities;
- Although the guidelines referred to households as targets in the project, the reality in the implementation stage is that activities focus almost exclusively on individuals;
- Activities targeting the development of entrepreneurship in these vulnerable and poor communities are totally unrealistic;
- The bureaucracy in implementing these projects continues to be at very high levels;
- The relationship between project promoters and management authorities (Intermediary Bodies included) is unbalanced and unfair.
“People need you to stay close to them. These marginalized communities see a lot of promises. They come, take pictures, promise this and that, but we are left here, in misery. This is what people from these communities will tell you. In our research visits we noticed that people knew that they will get some occupation training or some help to repair parts of their houses, but they don’t know when that will be. It’s a general sense of uncertainty. There’s a clear need for permanent connection between them and the project promoters. A real connection.” – Mihaela Carstea, member of the research team
“This type of projects, funded through the Local Integrated Development call for proposals, is a clear progress compared to the previous financial cycle because they can be tailored to the actual needs of vulnerable communities. Projects promoters can address both households and individuals. However the implementation is problematic – from excessive bureaucracy to lack of flexibility in adjusting the activities to new realities on site. There are several systematic issues as well. The rules that project promoters had to follow and the evaluation system have generated unrealistic projects in some places, with unrealistic expected results.” Oana Preda, Executive Director at CeRe: Resources Center for public participation
This is an initiative of CeRe, on behalf of the NGO Coalition for Structural Funds, in partnership with “Împreună” Agency for Community Development, World Vision Romania, RISE Romania, Close to You Foundation, Romano ButiQ Association, PACT for Community Foundation