In collaboration with Open Society Foundation's Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma (MtM) and Roma Initiatives Programs Civil Society Monitoring of the Implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies and Decade Action Plans

Institute STINE, Centre for peace, Legal Advice and Psychological Assistance (CPLA PA) and Roma National Council (RNC) from Zagreb implement the project of "Civil Society Monitoring of the Implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies and Decade Action Plans". The project is implemented with the support of the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat and the main objective is to create a pertinent shadow report for a two-year period 2012 - 2013.

Foundation of the deacade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat 2005 – 2015 organized at the end of Novemeber 2013 in Budapest an initial workshop for head researchers and project managers of national coalitions of civil society. This signified the beginning of the implementation of annual monitoring programmes that will result in alternative reports (shadow reports) of civil society organizations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Great Britain. Shadow report for Croatia will be prepared by the experts of national coalition of civil society engaged in this project (Institute STINE, CPLA PA, RNC) and will be published by the end of the year. The report will comprise the actual state and problems of Romani population in Croatia related to education, employment, health protection and residence and the matters of discriminations in all areas. Shadow report will include the analysis of accessible data in addition to the ones in field research and will also give a proposition on recommendations for further improving of the implementation for the National Roma Integration Strategy.


Partners in the project:

Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance - Vukovar (www.center4peace.org)

Roma National Council - Zagreb (www.romi.hr, pages under development)

 

BACKGROUND

In response to the European Commission's EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, all EU Member States developed plans to improve the economic and social integration of Romani citizens. EU candidate countries participating in the Decade of Roma Inclusion developed earlier Roma inclusion strategies and Decade Action Plans, and they were invited by the European Commission to update these according to the Framework.

The EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies explicitly calls upon Member States to design their National Roma Integration Strategies ("NRIS" or "strategies") with a view to including strong monitoring mechanisms. Furthermore, the recent communication of the European Commission urges Member States to "involve civil society, including Roma organizations, in the implementation and monitoring of the strategies."

In shadow reports, civil society coalitions will supplement or present alternative information to Decade Progress Reports submitted by State parties to the International Steering Committee and to any reports submitted by State parties to the European Commission on implementation of their NRIS. Shadow reports are not meant to substitute quantitative monitoring and evaluation by State authorities but to channel local knowledge into national and European level policy processes and reflect on the real social impact of government measures. The shadow reports seek additional data to official ones, proxy data where there is not official data, or alternative interpretation of published data.

The Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat (in cooperation with the Open Society Foundation's Roma Initiatives [RIO] and Make the Most of EU Funds for Roma [MtM] and consulting with the European Commission) prepared a detailed template of shadow reporting. Using this template, civil society coalitions can monitor the local implementation of NRIS or Decade Action Plans in the four priority areas (employment, education, housing, health), in the fields of anti-discrimination, gender equality, fight against poverty, and in terms of structural requirements (such as coordination with local authorities and civil society, use of EU Funds, mainstreaming of Roma inclusion measures, adequacy of monitoring and evaluation, etc.)

FORMAL AND SUBSTANTIAL REQUIREMENTS

The shadow reports should

- Assess national level policy developments (both Roma-specific and mainstream measures). We encourage civil society organizations to interview all the relevant stakeholders, including the leaders of Roma specific governmental bodies. Please provide evidence for the government's overall performance (including mainstream measures) but pay particular attention to the efficiency of Roma-specific measures included in the NRIS and Decade Action Plans. The reports should reflect on the implementation of policies in the in 2012 and 2013.

- Evaluate the local (municipality, micro-regional, or community level) impact of flagship initiatives of governments aimed specifically to promote the integration of Roma. Please provide evidence for the local impact on Roma integration of mainstream measures as well.

- Reflect on the impact of measures on both citizens and immigrants of Romani origin in each thematic area (anti-discrimination, education, employment, healthcare, housing).

- Explain through case studies why and to what extent certain government measures have been successful or not. Please note that case studies should not merely illustrate but they should provide an in-depth understanding of (the determinants of) policy success and failures. Coalitions are urged to discuss minimum two cases in each of the five policy areas (anti-discrimination, education, employment, health care housing). Please discuss measures (i) having positive impacts, (ii) being potentially positive but insufficiently designed or implemented, (iii) having largely negative impact on the lives of Roma citizens. Each case study should have a descriptive (overview of objectives and measures) and an analytical part (social impact, achievements, merits, shortcomings, reasons of success/failure); and a length of 2-4 pages.

- Formulate recommendations on how to improve the implementation of NRIS and Decade Action Plans including reflections on domestic monitoring tools in the making or already in place in support of the NRIS and Decade Action Plans