New ODA pilot project launched by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP Romania and the Romania Diplomatic Institute
UNDP, in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Romanian Diplomatic Institute oragnised today the inauguration of a new training programme on international relations for young diplomats from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as part of the official development assistance programme of the Romanian Government. In the following two weeks, 10 young Afghan Diplomats will have the opportunity to exchange views on current international affairs with their Romanian counterparts. The training includes a series of working visits at the Romanian Presidential Administration, the National Bank of Romania and UNDP Romania.
Based on the continuous and strong partnership between the Romanian MFA and UNDP, this project is financed through the Romanian ODA programme and is proof of Romania's growing capacity to deliver quality development assistance projects.
Afghanistan has been an ODA partner state of the Romanian Government since 2007. This training reflects Romania's commitment to assist the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development process.
New issue of the Journal of Social Economy
UNDP, the Alternative Sociale Association, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies have recently launched the seventh issue of the Journal of Social Economy (no.1 / 2013). The journal represents a framework for the promotion, reflection and debate of topics from the social economy field, and an outlet for theoretical and practical aspects, as well as local, national and transnational experiences, and is published by the Hamangiu Publishing House, Bucharest.
In the current issue of the journal you can find articles and book reviews, such as:
- The involvement of citizens in the decision making process in the context of the economical crisis – Adrian-Lucian Kanovici
- The present and the importance of social economy in ensuring the equity of the access to health services – Adina Rebeleanu
- The involvement of the Caritas organization, between the reduction of poverty and its prevention, between participation and charity, between charity and the social state. A practical reflection from Germany - Ulrich Thien
- The Social Economy Atlas. Edition 2012, Ștefan Constantinescu – Cătălin Luca (book review)
Free postgraduate courses in Social Economy
The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, partner in the Social Economy Model for Romania project financed through the European Social Fund POSDRU and implemented in Romania by UNDP, Alternative Sociale Association and the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, has launched a postgraduate course in Social Economy at the Faculty of Economics. The tuition fee (1,800 RON for the 2012 – 2013 school year) will be covered by the project for 30 students.
The postgraduate training course is authorized by the Ministry of Education and will be organized in three modules, as follows – i). Introduction in Social Economy; ii) The Practice of Social Economy; and iii)Economy and Globalization. The course will span over a month (90 hours) and will be concluded with a certificate of professional competence.
For registrations please contact the Secretary of the Programme for Training and Continuous Professional Formation, Piața Romană no. 6, 3rd floor, room 0337, Sector 1, Bucharest. For additional information please call 021.319.19.00/01, int. 326, 0720 79.24.43 (Beatrice Chenic) or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information regarding the studies programme and financing, please contact Marius Neacșu – email@example.com, tel. 0723 521 141.
International Conference on Social Responsibility in Romania
The international conference ‘Social Responsibility as Investment in the Supply Chain’ organized in Bucharest on February 21, 2013, marks the completion of the project ‘Strengthening the capacity of Romanian companies to develop social partnerships – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ financed through the European Social Fund (POSDRU/64/3.3/S/41722) and implemented in Romania by UNDP, the National Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises and the National Association of Exporters and Importers between March 2011 – February 2013.
The conference brought together representatives of the private sector – corporations and small and medium size companies (SMEs) - public sector and non-governmental organisations, focusing on implementing social responsibility principles, developing social partnerships and challenges arising from that, reporting aspects, main CSR trends in Romania and examples of local networks of the UN Global Compact .
Throughout the project, seven companies received assistance from experts in implementing CSR principles and practices specifically tailored to their domain - with focus on the work place, environment, market and community - and developed a business strategy adapted to the company’s organisational capacity. They shared at the conference their experience and the lessons learned, highlighting that many SMEs are aware of the needs of their local communities, and as a consequence, increasing attention is given to the implementation of a more structured social responsibility approach.
The international speakers provided insight on the UN Global Compact principles and examples of local networks in Bulgaria and Turkey. The representative of the Bulgarian network, Ms Marina Stefanova, emphasized the first years of development of the network and success obtained, while our colleague from UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development, Mr Hansin Dogan, explained why CSR mattered in Turkey to become globally competitive. The network evolved from charity and sponsorship activities towards partnership programs and responsible, green and inclusive businesses under the vision of ‘a sustainable future’. Other presentations focused on CSR reporting and main trends surrounding CSR in Romania and Europe.
The participants received copies of the four guidebooks issued throughout the project on the model of CSR developed, instruments and techniques, lessons learned. These materials can be used by managers to and adapted to their field of activity, integrating them into their business and organisational plan.
Social Economy, subject for debate in Iași
Social assistants, psychologists, pedagogues, academia, NGO representatives and social entrepreneurs attended the Summer School in Social Economy held in Iași from 22 to 23 February 2013. The event organized by the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași – the Faculty of Philosophy and Social and Political Sciences in partnership with the Alternative Sociale Association is a part of the Social Economy Model for Romania project financed through the European Social Fund - POSDRU. The courses held in this framework are authorized by the National College of Social Assistants in Romania.
The promotion of the concept, benefits and models of social economy to social workers, specialists and volunteers from public, private organisations and NGO’s in Romania, as well as the development of skills in social economy for social inclusion specialists was the main objectives of the event.
The event highlighted interactive sessions including presentations and debates in working groups. Case studies in social economy, the applicability of social welfare policies and social economy models on disadvantaged groups were among the key themes of the discussions.
The Summer School in Social Economy represented a good opportunity for the participants to strengthen their social economy knowledge and to establish new partnerships to promote the concept in Romania. As Rozica Tiță from World Vision Romania mentioned „I’m very interested in this subject because I want to open a social enterprise in a village in the Iași county, that will ensure jobs for the disadvantaged women in the rural area.”
Success stories in the field of social economy
The United Nations Development Programme Romania announces the launching of four publications presenting a series of success stories in the social economy field. The publications are useful instruments to entrepreneurs, social inclusion specialists, as well as targeted social groups, including Roma communities, people with disabilities, young people over the age of 18 that left the child protection system and people who benefit from minimum wage support.
The publications printed in form of brochures on recycled paper offer useful information on social economy, the way in which it actually works, and also information about the institutions in Romania that could support the social economy. The brochures also promote successful stories about social enterprises established by people who are either a part of a disadvantaged group or work for the benefit of these people.
The publications are available here.
Detainees qualified in green professions
During October 2012 - February 2013 the first two professional qualification courses, authorized by Calarasi Regional Centre for Professional Training of Adults and recognized by the Ministry of Labour were organized under the project "The return of former convicts to the labour market and their integration into society".
After 120 hours of theoretical instruction and 240 hours of practical training, the final examination certified 27 detainees as qualified farmers. Within the project above mentioned project a total of 136 detainees will benefit from training sessions in green jobs such as farmer, weaving reed, beekeeper and constructor in wood, adobe and stone.
Based on the assumption that the majority of persons serving custodial sentences have low levels of formal education and professional training, such actions aim to support and facilitate the reintegration of former detainees to the labour market through obtaining some professional qualification certificates recognized both in Romania and in the European Union.
FACILITATING SOCIAL REINTEGRATION AND PREVENTING RECIDIVISM
Within the project “The return of former convicts to the labour market and their integration in society”, UN House hosted a new meeting on 28 January 2013, aiming to promote the social reinsertion of former detainees and identify the best practices to prevent recidivism.
The debate, organized by UNDP Romania in partnership with The National Administration of Penitentiaries, emphasized that, during the period of transition from custody to community, an important component of the reintegration process is developing a positive personality and willingness to overcome the challenges most of former convicts face, such as: low level of education, physical or emotional abuse, health issues related to alcohol and drug addiction etc.
Therefore, the primary needs that must be addressed by institutional and community-based services after prison liberation are related to education, employment, accommodation, drugs and alcohol abuse, cognitive skills, and attitudes toward life, in general.
An increased awareness of the detainee’s complex range of needs and the match between these needs and the social services has the potential to streamline the reintegration process, with advantages for public safety and reduced recidivism.
Works for improving the energy performance in six social buildings in Hunedoara and Dolj completed with support from UNDP
Within the UNDP-GEF project “Improving the Energy Efficiency in Low-Income Households and Communities in Romania”, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, a number of 6 social buildings, one for each of the project-partner municipalities in less favored areas (Hunedoara and Dolj) were improved with regard to the energy performance, as follows: block of social flats ‘Astra’ in Calafat, Sport High School ‘Petrache Triscu’ in Craiova, Primary School in village Strei-Calan, Primary School in village Jiet-Petrila, Primary School no. 3 Daranesti in Petrosani and Kindergarten no. 1 in Vulcan.
The works were conducted in October-November 2012 and consisted in the replacement of outdated widows and/or the building heating system (including the installation of modern boilers on wood gasification), leading to an improved energy performance of the buildings and quantified reduction of GHG emissions. Subject to the finalization of design and audit works which are subject to the tender package currently posted on SEAP (national public procurement platform), the remaining works for the 34 buildings included in the Activity 3.2.1 in the Project Document will continue in 2013.
Promoting the social inclusion of former detainees
The fifth meeting promoting the project “The return of former convicts to the labour market and their integration in society” took place on Monday, 26 November 2012, in Bucharest.
Attended by representatives of civil society organisations, education institutions, NGOs and public administration, the event consisted of debates and presentations, as well as watching documentaries made in Romania, Austria and Poland, regarding the life in prison in these countries.
The meeting was followed by the official opening of the MultiArt Festival for Prisoners, held during 26 – 28 November 2012. Detainees from the Craiova Juvenile Prison, together with teenagers from Craiova School of Art, performed music and dance shows. The evening ended with a live concert performed by Florin Chilian.
Next year, the Project will continue the series of meetings aiming to increase public awareness and promote equal civil rights and employment opportunities for former detainees.
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