Decisionmakers against Antigypsyism
Roma communities are trying to be self-organized through various legal forms such as NGO’s, Associations, Social Enterprises, etc. in order to create a better future for their own community and organize activities that could promote their cultural heritage, increase their employment opportunities, their social inclusion and their level of collaboration with the civil society. All these activities that they are trying to organize, need funding in order to be successfully implemented. Getting funds through public tenders is one of the main issues for Roma organizations as many of these tenders are written in a complex way and those who are applying for public tenders need prior knowledge related to the application process. Due to the lack of acquired formal education among Roma community and the complexity of application forms, Roma organizations rarely apply for public funds that would help enrich their activities. When they do apply for funds, they rarely get a positive response, which negatively influences their level of motivation and the quality of programs they’re running.
Throughout the project, we discussed various measures that could benefit Roma communities with additional support that could increase their competitiveness while applying for funds. One of the main issues is that the decisionmakers that are evaluating applications, lack the specific knowledge on Roma communities and do not have an in-depth understanding of their backgrounds, which makes it difficult for them to include the principles of positive discrimination into their consideration.
Discrimination, Positive Discrimination, Decisionmakers, Roma Community
5 – 10 participants
Through the methods of non-formal learning, the decisionmakers get familiar with issues of Roma community that influence their ability to apply for public tenders, they develop strategies that could improve the situation and learn to be more emphatic towards Roma Community.
- No discrimination
- Equal opportunities
- Right to Cultural, Artistic and Scientific Life
- To make decisionmakers aware of the skills and competences of Roma organizations in relation to their ability of applying for the public tenders
- To make decisionmakers aware of the principles of positive discrimination
- To raise awareness about Roma community’s attempts to actively participate in the public space through implementation of the projects,
- To create strategies through which decisionmakers could offer support minority members in trying to acquire funds for implementing projects that would positively impact their social inclusion
- Short text and a simple application for a tender in Roma language
- Results of public tenders done by ministries and national agencies in which the projects applied by Roma organizations are marked
- Blank papers and markers
- Create a very simple example of a public tender and a very simple application form, translate it into the Roma language
- Search for various results of public tenders (on national or local level) in which Roma organizations have participated,
- Contact a representative of a local Roma organization and invite him/her to participate in the activity in order to give more details about the issues they’re trying to overcome while applying for public tenders
- Ask the group of participants about the number of approved projects created by Roma organizations in the past year. Through the answers of the participants you’ll be able to conclude that the number of these projects is low.
- Distribute the results of national or local public tenders from the past year; give each person their own results, ask the participants to mark the approved and declined projects for which Roma organizations have applied and share their findings.
- The results will still be the same – there is a very low number of approved projects by Roma organizations and there will be quite some Roma organizations that applied for public tenders, but their applications weren’t approved.
- Create an open discussion about the reasons why Roma organizations aren’t being successful while applying for public tenders. Ask each person to give at least three reasons they can think of. Ask Roma representative to give additional examples why they aren’t as successful as other organizations.
- Distribute a simple example of a public tender and the application form in Roma language. Give the participants 15 minutes to fill in the information (they can use smartphones, computers, etc.). During the 15 minutes they can communicate with a Roma representative who can only reply in Roma language.
- Ask the participants about how they felt while they were trying to complete the task. Most of them will reply that they felt frustration, they couldn’t understand and complete the task due to the language barrier. Present that this is often a problem that occurs for many Roma people as Roma language is their mother tongue and they often cannot communicate in other languages as well as they can in their own language.
- Split the group into two parts. Ask them what kind of service they could offer to Roma organizations so they could be more successful while applying for public tenders. Make them write their ideas on the flipchart and present their ideas.
- Discuss the ideas together, think of which of these ideas could really be implemented, ask the Roma representative to give his/her own opinion on the suggested measures.
DEBRIEFING AND EVALUATION:
- Were you aware of the issue before the workshop? Did you ever discuss it with your colleagues in order to create measures that could empower Roma organizations that are applying for public tenders?
- Did you find the workshop useful? Do you think Roma community members should be more involved into the decision-making process?
- Do you think the ideas you came up with could easily be implemented into your work? If yes, what will you do to implement these ideas? If no, why so?
- Do you think public tenders which are meant specifically for Roma organizations should be simplified in order to provide various Roma organizations with equal opportunities?
- Would you recommend this workshop to other colleagues that work with Roma community? Why yes or why not?
TIPS FOR FACILITATORS:
Do a lot of research before you run this workshop as it works the best when it’s adjusted to the specific (national, regional, local) environment.
It is needed to include the representative of a Roma organization into the workshop. Search for a reliable person that already has some experience with applying for public tenders in order to create fruitful discussions that could benefit both; decisionmakers and Roma community.
Gather materials and prepare a report, which can later be sent to decisionmakers on national level in order to make them aware of the possible measures that could ensure equal opportunities for Roma community.
Implement this workshop for a group of participants that are coming from different institutions in order to monitor a variety of measures national institutions have developed while collaborating with Roma minority.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FOLLOW-UP:
Ask the participants to discuss the issues that were pointed out during the workshop with their colleagues at work and disseminate the results of the workshop. Provide all the participants with your contact so they can contact you for any further details related to the topic. Ask the participants to inform you if they’ll undertake some measures that could support Roma organization in the process of applying for tenders.