‘The Accidental Aid Worker’

‘The Accidental Aid Worker’ A Mapping of Citizen Initiatives for Global Solidarity in Europe


‘The Accidental Aid Worker’. A Mapping of Citizen Initiatives for Global Solidarity in Europe. Overview presentation. Subject & rationale How it was approached Main findings Concept & characteristics Governmental policy Funding of CIs Support of CIs Representation & monitoring of CIs - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of ‘The Accidental Aid Worker’

Page 1: ‘The Accidental Aid Worker’

‘The Accidental Aid


A Mapping of Citizen Initiatives

for Global Solidarity in Europe

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Overview presentation

Subject & rationale How it was approached Main findings

– Concept & characteristics– Governmental policy– Funding of CIs– Support of CIs– Representation & monitoring of CIs

Conclusions & way forward

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What? Working definition of CI

“Small-scale initiatives or projects, set up by private persons in the North, aiming at improvement of standards of living of people in the South, and not sorting under other known classic or new development actors (bilateral & multilateral agencies, established NGDOs, corporations, societal institutions)”

Entry point for mapping

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Why this study?

New players in the field of development aid Mainstreaming & socialisation Passive and active role of the citizen Studied in Netherlands & Belgium – but what about

elsewhere in Europe?

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How? The approach

Gathering facts & contacts First step / incomplete Countries representative for EU & Europe Observation grid (concept, taxonomy, policy,

funding, support…) Sources: interviews, documents, research


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EU or/and OECD-DAC ODA figure Pragmatism 17 countries

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Common concept, common category?

Concept, labels & names Legal status Size Volunteers only? Non-specialists? NGDOs-in-the making or voluntary sector for

the South?

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How many?

Databases Counts, extrapolations & estimate Overall second order estimate: 100.000 to

200.000 citizen initiatives

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CI characteristics

Different roots Type of projects: DEAR & tangible projects Target groups: children, vulnerable groups Life cycle

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Governmental policy: input

Hind-laying goals: public support, diversification Implementation level: decentralised and local Instruments:

– financial support (sub-granting)– nonfinancial support (training, capacity building)– fiscal policy

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Government policy: limiting factors

Aid budget Considerations: aid effectiveness, scale of

operation, right-based approach, ownership Promotion of alternative deployment of

citizen engagement (volunteering)

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Private funding

Most important (diversified) source of income Informal networks Dependent on giving behaviour attitudes Churches / parishes Foundations Specialised (funding) organisations NGDO support

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Public funding

Strict criteria Registration / partnerships / co-funding South- and DEAR activities mixed Focus on professionalisation, not pluralism Provided at different government levels

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National public funding

Least common level Many schemes abolished Aimed at supporting established NGDOs

– Effectiveness discussion– Transaction costs

Sub-granting system Tax system

– Donations tax deductable– 1%

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Regional and local public funding

Extent depends on degree of self-government Criteria /conditions vary per region Coexisting with national funding windows Small (symbolic) amounts Funding reduced substantially over the years Increasing focus on private sources

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Nonfinancial support

Many umbrella organisations, but;– Focus on established NGDOs– Not many CIs are member

Regionally organised Specialised organisations Also by NGDOs Focus on training, capacity building, DEAR Combination with financial support

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Representation & monitoring

Representation almost non-existent;– CIs not a distinct category– Ad hoc nature of CIs

(Central) data monitoring absent Monitoring fundraising: seal of approval CI project databases in few countries Scientific research limited

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CIs are common but different Focus on tangible projects Strong local embedding Variety of policies facilitates CI activities Public funding difficult to get access to for CIs Nonfinancial support emerging Research still in its infancy

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Which way forward?

Active, prominent citizens: part of the aid landscape

Need for recognition of CIs– Added value: weaknesses and strengths– Mutual learning– Scientific research

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Thank you

Ignace Pollet

HIVA - KU Leuven

[email protected]

Rik Habraken

CIDIN - Radboud University Nijmegen

[email protected]