Final workshop of the project incubator on Ukrainian EU association completed – project groups are ready to implement!

In order to ensure and strengthen civil society participation in the Ukrainian EU association process, the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) has developed a ‘Civic School for Sound EU Practice’ (CiSEP), a training programme that trains representatives of civil society organizations in EU association issues as multipliers and critical voices within the reform and monitoring process.

In October 2019, the project incubator started as part of the latest CiSEP project phase with the aim of supporting alumni in developing and implementing promising project ideas. For six months, the CiSEP project incubator guided alumni project groups step by step on their way from the first idea to a final concept and action plan. The training series, which took place in October 2019 in Chernihiv and in December 2019 and March 2020 in Odessa, lasting three consecutive days each, thematically linked previous trainings.

Five project groups had been selected for the incubator – all of them working on highly relevant and diverse EU association topics, ranging from food safety, data protection, and intellectual property, to regional and sustainable community development. During the workshops the project groups received expert input on central aspects of project management. This guided them through the whole process of project development – from the first idea to a well-planned project ready for implementation. In addition, they received tailored advice regarding the specificities of their projects at all stages of their work. Most importantly, the workshops also provided the groups with the opportunity to work together in a face-to-face setting, giving their often dispersed living members time and space to concentrate on their projects while at the same time being in a supportive professional environment. Between the workshop phases, the project groups received technical and methodological mentoring with regards to objective setting, activity planning, and budgeting, as well as monitoring and risk assessment.

During the third and final workshop, which took place in Odessa from 9 to 11 March 2020, the participants finalised the conceptual and strategic aspects of their projects by planning the implementation of their project using a detailed work plan matrix. They also prepared their monitoring and contingency plans to make sure they will stay on track, even in the face of adversities and unforeseen circumstances. Being well-equipped to take their projects to the next level, they spent the last day and a half of the workshop drafting their communication strategies to reach out to their target audiences and relevant stakeholders. After six months of intensive preparation, the projects are now ready to be implemented and the groups are eager to get started. To ensure the successful realization of their plans, the groups will now also receive the micro-grants as seed funding for their activities. During the implementation phase, which is starting now until mid-May, the groups will continue to receive on-going support by the CiSEP team and the local partners and experts where needed.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change-makers from Ukraine. CiSEP is a Ukraine-wide network of specialists on questions related to the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the objective to strengthen the European integration of Ukraine.

The CiSEP project incubator series is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and is implemented in cooperation with the local partners Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies (PFIRS) and the Odessa Regional Agency for Reconstruction and Development (ORARD).

 

  

20 civil society trainers on EU association process successfully instructed

Well done! At the end of February, 20 committed persons from the Ukrainian civil society received their trainer certificates related to the EU association agreement. In the framework of the Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) they benefitted from a half-year long Train-The-Trainer course on the Ukraine-EU association agreement. This included active attendance in four workshops of three-day length in Chernihiv and Dnipro. These trainings empower them with in-depth knowledge about the EU-Ukraine association process as well as the practical skill-set to operate as multipliers with their own interactive trainings on EU association in the future.

CiSEP puts emphasis on designing the training series as interactively as possible in order to optimise the participants’ learning effect. As regards the content, the workshops focused on deepening their knowledge on the EU association process. Simultaneously, the future trainers learnt how to develop helpful methods, agendas and suitable materials for their trainings. Their skills in visualisation and presentation of training contents was strengthened. During the last workshop, they benefitted from useful insights into debriefing and evaluation of a training.

At the end of February 2020, the 20 participants passed their exams to become trainers on the EU association agreement. This was an important course requirement beside their active workshop participation and regular homework completion. CiSEP and the participants felt honoured to welcome the German Consul General in Donetsk (current residence in Dnipro), Stefan Keil, during the certificate handover ceremony.

In addition to conducting the workshop, CiSEP also provided the participants with individual consultations related to their self-developed trainings. As part of the training series the participants will organise self-designed workshops in the framework of the association agreement. Thematically, some of them will evoke the basics of the association agreement, whereas others will focus on specific chapters of the agreement. Likewise, the target audience of their trainings will be diverse: e.g. youth, students, entrepreneurs and journalists.

Participants are expected to use their acquired knowledge and trainer skills to implement trainings on the EU association agreement in their regions. In this framework, the future trainers will reach many more Ukrainians and sensitise them to diverse topics related to the association agreement. Thereby, they will make an important contribution to inform the Ukrainian population about European integration.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change-makers from Ukraine. CiSEP is a Ukraine-wide network of specialists on questions related to the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the objective to strengthen the European integration of Ukraine.

This training series is organised in cooperation with the local partners Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies (Chernihiv) and the Public Chamber Ukraine (regional office in Dnipro).

CiSEP is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

   

Successful start of the project incubator on Ukrainian EU association

As a part of the new project round of CiSEP, the project incubator which supports alumni in realising promising project ideas started in October. The project incubator takes up the topics of the already implemented specialisation trainings (intellectual property, consumer protection and food safety, trade and sustainable development) and assists the 21 alumni from all of Ukraine in developing, refining and implementing their project ideas. To do so, the five most promising ideas have been selected before. The projects are funded with micro-grants and the project groups are supported through technical and methodological mentoring. The mentoring encompasses the provision of knowledge on project cycles, objective setting, activity planning, budgeting, finding partners and on all other aspects which are necessary for the implementation of a successful project.

During the first workshop that took place in Chernihiv from 14th to 16th October 2019 the participants learned to convincingly pitch their project to a third party, to differentiate the basic methods and procedures of project management, to define their stakeholders, project objectives and activities and to plan the next steps of their project using a project planning matrix. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to benefit and learn from the experience of the two CiSEP-partners Odessa Regional Agency for Reconstruction and Development and Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies. Moreover, the discussion on the question what makes a project a successful one allowed to reflect on the criteria for a sustainable and impactful project.

The next two workshops are going to take place in Odessa in December 2019 and February 2020 and are going to deal with budget planning and funding. The project matrices are also going to be refined and the project groups are going to receive thematic feedback on their project from experts in the respective area.

CiSEP is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

 

Start of new project round

CiSEP is going into the next round! We are very happy to announce that the new project round of CiSEP is going to start tomorrow and that the first activities are going to take place in September. Stay tuned for more information and the calls for applications that are going to follow soon!

Start of second training edition on “The basics of EU Association and DCFTA”

In March the second edition of our Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) basic training on „The basics of EU Association and DCFTA“ started. CiSEP is a training programme for active citizens and change-makers in Ukraine. It creates a network of Association Agreement specialists with the common goal of enhancing Ukraine’s European integration.

The 22 participants from all over Ukraine are gaining an in-depth look into the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA). In this context they are also getting an overview of relevant EU institutions and decision-making processes, the internal as well as the bilateral EU-coordination in Ukraine. Working with selected chapters of the DCFTA and working on the original documents, the question remains how the Ukrainian civil society can find its role in the association progress.

Within the first workshop, which took place from 18.-20.03 in Dnipro, the participants worked on the basics of the European Union and the Association Agreement to not only get to know the core elements of the political system of the EU, but also to get to know the structure and the status of implementation of the Association Agreement. To further endorse this first approach, myths that still accompany the association process were confronted. Civil society members are asked to mediate the association process and its implications precisely and understandably to be able to correct certain myths that might still be found within the broader society. The undertaken argumentation training and coaching supplied our participants with the necessary tools to face these kinds of myths and to debunk them with facts.

Ukraine’s EU association is not to be understood and handled without internal and bilateral EU-coordination and cooperation. The second workshop, taking place from 15.-17. April in Dnipro, is dedicated to this topic in a practical way: the topics of EU-coordination and bilateral EU-coordination were not only dealt with thematically, but were also made comprehensible by a subsequent simulation. After the basics of the Association Agreement were dealt with thoroughly, the second part of the workshop focused on DCFTA’s chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Development”. After an introduction into the concept of sustainability and the EU’s ecological directives, as well as their implementation and monitoring possibilities, the topic social responsibility – better social policies and workers’ rights – within the integration process was emphasized. Topics such as the standing on workers’ rights in Ukraine and how it can be improved by implementing the principles of social dialogue in Ukraine were addressed. Further on, the principle of social responsibility was also highlighted: What are the principles of social responsibility and how can they be implemented successfully? Case studies are a good opportunity to evaluate, what works and what could be improved.

The next two workshops will also take place in Dnipro from 20.-22. May and 24.-26. June. They will concentrate on the implementation experiences of the other associated neighbor countries Georgia and Moldavia, EU’s experiences on integrating the western Balkan as well as campaigning and other selected DCFTA-chapters.

CiSEP is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).

Study trip to Berlin to explore German consumer protection

How does Germany implement EU-standards in the sector of consumer protection? What does federalism mean when it comes to guaranteeing food safety? Who implements consumer protection rights and which role do alternative dispute settlement proceedings play?

Our study trip gave answers to these and many more questions to Ukrainian consumer advisers, visiting Berlin from 25-30 March 2019. For 18 participants from all over Ukraine this trip was the final highlight of the training series on implementation of EU consumer protection in Ukraine, which took place over the course of six months.

The workshops trained the participants on the basics of EU-consumer protection laws as well as food safety and they were able to work with many practical examples from other EU member or candidate states.

Within the framework of the EU association the Ukrainian consumer protection system is being reformed fundamentally. The legal harmonisation with its constantly growing body of EU consumer protection regulations as well as the institutional and practical arrangement within limited resources puts the Ukraine under enormous pressure. Taking these facts into consideration the Ukrainian consumer advisers are asked to give useful impulses on creating Ukrainian consumer politics and to actively fulfill their role as a connecting element between politics, administration and consumers.

The study trip in Berlin was aimed at showing the interaction between EU and national legislation as well as its implementation in a decentralised state. The participants’ knowledge and competences were strengthened by visiting state institutions, consumer offices, NGOs and other stakeholders. At the same time the study trip gave opportunity to expand the participants’ professional networks. Among other things, the group visited the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, Stiftung Warentest, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the German Conciliation Body for Public Transport and the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic.

The group was given the chance to discuss topics such as the institutional linkage in the areas of product and food safety and the responsibilities of companies in relation to market surveillance by the state. Especially the practice of dispute settlement appealed to many on the background of the Ukrainian juridical system. Apart from that the importance of consumer research for goal-oriented consumer politics as well as effective consumer protection worked as a common theme throughout the study trip.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Training series “Train-The-Trainer” on EU Association completed

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice’s training series on “Train-The-Trainer” in the context of the EU Association was successfully completed in Lviv. The training series did not only follow the goal of conveying in-depth knowledge about the EU association process, but also extended the participants’ trainer skills. This enables them to subsequently become multiplicators and design and implement their own training formats.

From concentrating on the questions about the role trainers play, what kind of tasks there are, principles of adult education and working with different target groups, the focus was mainly on interactive training methods and plans and the necessary materials. The conceptual work was complemented with tools for organizing and time management, which can ease the work of the preparation and implementation phase of a training for the participants. Also, one’s own presentational skills are an important part of a trainer’s tool box. Along the “how to present”, a special focus was laid on involving the audience and working on an interesting as well as understandable communication of contents. Especially storytelling and visual facilitation were conveyed as successful techniques.

At the end of the workshop series, the participants were given the chance to present their own presentations, on which they were working over the course of the last workshops, and to get individual feedback. In order to complete the circle, the focus was given to the question on how to correctly evaluate exercises and what kind of tools would be helpful. The training series supported the participants in developing their own training concept and they are now prepared to successfully implement trainings on their own. The realization of their first own training is now in our participants’ responsibility. We are wishing them all the best and are looking forward to hand out the certificates to our participants after successful implementation.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change-makers in Ukraine. It creates a network of Association Agreement specialists with the common goal of enhancing Ukraine’s European integration.

CiSEP is supported by the German Federal Office (AA).

Training series on DCFTA chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Development” completed by study trip to Berlin

For 19 representatives of the Ukrainian civil society our study trip to Berlin from 15-20 October 2018 marked the end of their successful participation in our Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) training series on “Trade and Sustainable Development”.

The CiSEP training series focused on the DCFTA chapter 13 “Trade and Sustainable Development”. It not only incorporated the three components of sustainability: “Trade”, “Environment” and “Social Policy” and their state of implementation in Ukraine, but also offered introductions in the monitoring and advocacy work in this sector.

The study trip served as an additional measure to explore topics such as energy and waste management and sustainable forest management, which were only rudimentarily touched during the training sessions. As for the chosen destination, Germany seemed like the ideal pick, as it pursues its way of becoming more sustainable, especially on its transition to non-nuclear energy. Therefore, the main goal was to support the participant’s knowledge of the German approach by visiting state institutions, research facilities, NGOs and other important stakeholders. While doing that, the study trip also enabled the participants to strengthen their professional networks. Different organisations and experts, such as the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the House of Representatives, the German Eastern Business Association, BUND Friends of the Earth Germany and the German Trade Union Confederation welcomed our participants warmly. Apart from those visits, insights on how the concept of sustainability can be practically implemented, which were offered by “Das Baumhaus Berlin”, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development and the waste-fueled power station Ruhleben can be seen as highlights of this trip. During the discussions, the members of our group had the opportunity to ask numerous questions from a Ukrainian point of view and thus entered into a stimulating exchange with the German experts. After five successful days new ideas for creative projects in Ukraine already came up.

CiSEP workshop on “Communication and Negotiation” took place in Kyiv

October 10-12 marked the successful implementation of the sixth workshop of IEPs “Training The Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” in Kyiv. The training series is aimed at enabling the Ukrainian civil society participants to apply for EU funding and manage EU funded projects according to the EU Project Cycle requirements but also to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues through self-conducted trainings. It is furthermore part of IEPs ongoing work (Civic School for Sound EU Practice – CiSEP) to strengthen the capacity of Ukraine’s civil society in the framework of the EU-Ukraine association process.

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Halftime for IEP training program “Training the Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” for Ukrainian Civil Society

From 8-10 August the fourth of eight workshops of IEPs training series “Training the Trainers on EU Project Cycle Management” was successfully implemented in Lviv by Martin Stein, Project Manager at IEP. The trainings are part of IEPs ongoing work (Civic School for Sound EU Practice – CiSEP) to strengthen the capacity of Ukraine’s civil society in the framework of the EU-Ukraine association process.

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