18/10/21: CfP for Small Size Grants – The Balkan Forum

Support regional youth initiatives in the Western Balkans with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy.

18/10/21: CfP for Small Size Grants – The Balkan Forum

The Youth Cooperation Fund is a grant scheme established by the Balkan Forum, with support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which aims to foster regional cooperation and dialogue between young people in the Western Balkan countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia. Read more

15/10/21: CfA EU-Balkan Youth Forum “What is Europe?”

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is proud to convene the EU-Balkan Youth Forum next 22-26 November in Rome, gathering students from all over Europe to discuss the common challenges of the future of Europe and full membership of Balkan countries.

15/10/21: CfA EU-Balkan Youth Forum “What is Europe?”

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is proud to convene the EU-Balkan Youth Forum next 22-26 November in Rome, gathering students from all over Europe to discuss the common challenges of the future of Europe and full membership of Balkan countries.
Organized with the lead of the Regional Cooperation Council (Sarajevo), together with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (Tirana), the Centro Studi Politica Internazionale (Rome) and Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (Trento), the Forum will unite 78 students, 10 mentors and a number of policy makers from across Europe, in order to gather new inputs and ideas and chart a common path for further action. Read more

ESPN Thematic Report on long-term care for older people

ESPN Thematic Report on long-term care for older people by Obradovic et al.

Despite negative population growth and an ageing population, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) does not have in place a system of long-term care (LTC) that would universally cater to the needs of those with a degree of long-term dependency. As a result of limited provision of services, it is likely that the informal market for care services is considerable, but there has not been any research on this. Read more

15/09/21: Meta-evaluation and evaluation standards in social policy

Meta-evaluation is an “evaluation of evaluations” to improve future evaluation work. As a highly relevant topic for professionals working in social policy, the third module of the virtual Bridge-Building Summer School of Evaluation in Social Policies (August 25-27, 2021) was about meta-evaluation and evaluation standards in social policy.

15/09/21: By Rahel Kahlert, European Centre

Meta-evaluation is an “evaluation of evaluations” to improve future evaluation work. As a highly relevant topic for professionals working in social policy, the third module of the virtual Bridge-Building Summer School of Evaluation in Social Policies (25-27 August 2021) was about meta-evaluation and evaluation standards in social policy. This module was one of eight modules covered by the Summer School, which combined capacity building by enhancing knowledge and information sharing on the state-of the-art research and policy practices, exchanging shared experiences among participants, and developing ideas and proposals for “real-world” projects. “Real world” refers to the idea that evaluations take place under budget, time, data, and political constraints (see Bamberger & Mabry, 2019). One central focus was the interactive, hands-on small-group work with practical exercises to foster peer learning. Eye level interactions were core building blocks. The thirteen participants shared their expertise in either conducting or commissioning evaluations. The participants were social policy professionals from both the public and private sector in the Western Balkan region and Eastern Partnership region (in particular, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Ukraine).

The module on meta-evaluation and standards started with a short introduction about meta-evaluation by guest speaker Thomas Vogel, head of programmes at Horizon 3000, the largest Austrian non-governmental development cooperation organisation, where evaluation plays a key role for learning and accountability. Mr. Vogel introduced the difference between evaluation synthesis and meta-evaluation. Evaluation synthesis analyses a series of evaluation reports and aggregates findings on a higher level such as programme, country, or sector level. The aim is to find out how programmes or projects can be improved. Meta-evaluation also analyses a series of evaluation reports, but then analyses the quality of each evaluation. The aim is to find out how evaluations can be improved in the future. Meta-evaluation can enhance the quality in evaluation by using and applying evaluation standards for all levels of quality including scope, methodology, independence of evaluators, utility etc.

Rahel Kahlert then provided a brief input on widely used standards in evaluation such as the UNEG Norms and Standards (updated in 2016) to be upheld in the conduct of any evaluation. Professional evaluation associations such as the German Evaluation Society or the Swiss Evaluation Society developed their own standards for evaluators to apply in their daily professional work. Common features include accuracy (methodological and technical standards), propriety (legal and ethical standards), utility (serving information needs of intended users), and feasibility (realistic, cost-effective evaluation). As evaluators, we have to remind ourselves that we are dealing with persons and intervene in a setting. Therefore, it is important to follow ethical guidelines and protect human participants similar to any research setting.

The small-group breakout sessions dealt with the question: “How can standards enhance the quality of an evaluation?” The teams of 4 to 5 persons selected two to three evaluation standards and then applied them to a “real-world” setting. The teams used the online pad tool Google JamBoard (see Figure 1) to make their case by adding post-its. For all three teams, utility stood out as important evaluation standard. Involving stakeholders was regarded as a means of enhancing utility, i.e. improving the uptake of findings. This may sometimes conflict with the standard of independence, when donors or programme staff would like to influence evaluation findings (“interested only in the good stories (positive findings)”). Accuracy can be enhanced through triangulation and cross-referencing data, which ultimately also can improve utility and uptake.

Summarily, the module on meta-evaluation and standards was a lively, interactive experience with all participants engaged, and set the scene for further productive interactions. At the end of the Summer School, participants expressed their intention that they will apply evaluation standards in their evaluation work more strongly and engage in meta-evaluation in the future to ensure evaluation quality.

15/10/21: CfP Support to ‘Western Balkans 6’ for strengthening media freedom & fighting domestic & gender-based violence

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to reforms processes underpinned by EU integration by supporting civil society actors in the ‘Western Balkans 6’ countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

15/10/21: CfP Strengthening civil society capacities & resilience in Armenia – The EU Delegation to Armenia 

The Balkan Trust for Democracy’s financial and technical assistance for this sub-granting process is part of the larger Norwegian efforts to support Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

THE PURPOSE OF THE CALL

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to reforms processes underpinned by EU integration by supporting civil society actors in the ‘Western Balkans 6’ countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

This sub-granting scheme of the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) is being realized with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.

Support is given to two priority areas:

I. Media Freedom
II. Fight against Domestic and Gender-based Violence 

This is an open call, and project proposals will be assessed continuously from 5 August 2020 up until 15 October 2021. Read more

Online article: The effect of increasing the minimum wage on poverty and inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Online article: The effect of increasing the minimum wage on poverty and inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Amela

The minimum wage, as a labour market policy with distributive impact, is widely debated in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This paper estimates the effect of increasing the minimum wage on poverty and income inequality in BiH, providing the first empirical evidence on the minimum wage in the country. Using data from the Household Budget Survey (HBS) for 2015, the effects of four changes (two per entity) in the minimum wage were simulated using the microsimulation model BiHMOD. Read more

BB Summer School on Social Welfare

We are delighted to announce the Bridge Building (BB) Summer School on Social Welfare taking place from 10 July to 14 July 2017 at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research (Berggasse 17, 1090 Vienna). The summer school aims to contribute to more European Cohesion by

  1. building capacities of different stakeholders across sectors and countries;
  2. providing training on innovative approaches, good practices and up-to-date research results; as well as
  3. joint development of relevant research projects.

The summer school is co-funded by the Central European Initiative and particularly addresses stakeholders with expertise on Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia*, Moldova**, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The registration fee is € 150. Accommodation, training materials and travel costs up to € 400.- are borne by the organiser. Selected participants have to cover only other costs related to their stay in Vienna (visa fees, insurance, food, etc).

The registration for the summer school is closed.

Please find further information on the programme here.

* The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
** Republic of Moldova