ROMACTED, “Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at local level”, is a Joint Programme between the European Union (DG NEAR) and the Council of Europe. The programme will be implemented by the Council of Europe’s Support Team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma issues and the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey for a period of 36 months, starting in May 2017.
The aims of the programme are to:
- (1) build up political will and sustained policy engagement of local authorities to enhance democratic local governance and to build up capacity and stimulate the empowerment of local Roma communities to contribute to the design, implementation and monitoring of plans and projects concerning them;
- (2) empower the Roma community - on the individual level (assisting people to practice their basic rights and to expand their capacity and skills), as well as on the community level (assisting people to get organised to voice their interests around community problem-solving);
- (3) improve and expand the institutions' commitment, capacities, knowledge and skills in working for Roma inclusion, putting into practice the concepts of good governance;
The specificity of the actions would be to assist the local authorities to integrate Roma specific dimension/measures into the mainstream local policies, budgets and public service delivery on their agenda, while enhancing the participation of the Roma citizens in the design, implementation and monitoring of those policies and projects. As a result of the implementation of the programme, it is expected that the participating municipalities remain with consolidated features to continue serving the needs of the Roma population such as sustainable local action plans and one-stop-shops that facilitate the access of Roma to the public services.
The target groups of the project are local public administrations (the elected representatives and relevant officials) and the Roma communities from the selected municipalities. They are also the first short-term beneficiary groups of the project. Overall, the project will target 50 municipalities. The mid- to long-term beneficiaries are the Roma population and the population of the municipality in general.
All programme activities and incentives are meant to support strategic interventions (training, coaching, the implementation of participatory working cycles, advocacy actions, etc. during key moments of the municipal cycles: planning, budgeting, local decisions, projects etc.), which influence the attitudes, behaviour and actions of the local actors, mainly local administration and targeted Roma communities.
ROMACTED results from the experience of the ROMED and ROMACT programmes and will reflect upon the adaptation of these methodologies and activities to each beneficiary and selected location, in order to fit into the policy cycle and the dynamics and reality of each municipality, and thus bringing an additional input to existing policies and practices for an effective and more inclusive functioning.
One of the leading guidelines in the methodology of the programme is that participation in local governance can only be effective if it is context-appropriate. Thus, a preliminary mapping, assessment, baseline survey and research are done in each selected municipality so as to facilitate the adaptation of the programme and its support and monitoring of the process.
In addition to the Strasbourg-based team, the programme will have project officers in the Council of Europe offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey and a national support team from Roma civil society in each of the beneficiary countries.
For additional information regarding the ROMACTED Programme, please contact:
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.