On March 22, 2016, From Ideas to New Projects training was held in Brest within the framework of ODB's Clearing House programme. Participants of the training learned about project management and fundraising tools, and discussed specific features of implementing international technical assistance projects in the region aimed at solving local problems in accordance with the needs of local communities. The event was organized in cooperation with the Committee for Labour, Employment and Social Protection of Brest Regional Executive Committee. Representatives of NGOs and social institutions assessed the prospects, conditions and directions of cross-sectoral cooperation.
Maksim Padbiarozkin, Clearing House coordinator
Maksim Padbiarozkin, Clearing House coordinator, presented the forms of international project funding and ways to implement them in our country. Participants learnt about existing international funding programmes and requirements necessary to obtain technical and financial support.
Brest region representatives were also about the method for the assessment of local community needs. In particular, participants focused on determining priority problems which can be then become the basis of a new socially significant project.
Past experiences of ODB's Clearing House indicate that one of the main challenges that people face when they are preparing a new project application is to determine what the problem is and to analyze the motivation of stakeholders, especially when new project proposals are developed in cooperation with state institutions. It may be very difficult for those developing a new project to get away from immediate plans and programmes and find time to analyze specific community needs and use them as a basis for further development.
Vladimir Krasko, Clearing House consultant
Vladimir Krasko, Clearing House consultant who conducted the training, described some aspects of budget planning, evaluation and use of local resources for regional project implementation. The consultant also focused on how to prepare project applications for international calls for proposals, how to plan actions and events in order to achieve expected results.
Practical exercises gave the participants an opportunity to practice developing optimal solutions to local-level problems.
It should be noted that the representatives of state social service institutions of Brest region expressed the desire to expand their cooperation with NGOs in terms of the state social procurement system, but local non-governmental organizations have been passive in that regard so far.
Representatives of For VeloBrest Awareness-Raising and Educational Initiative, who also took part in the seminars, noted that often, when they develop project proposals and action plans, they want to do a great number of things, but resource constraints and deadlines make them focus on the essential things only - on things that contribute to long-term sustainable results.