Mission & Vision

Project-oriented capacity building measure

Knowledge transfer and exchange on the topics of “migration” (2020) and “local development” (2021)

An important component of capacity building is the imparting of theoretical and methodological knowledge with regard to the main topics of the respective year. The expertise of the participating partner institutions is to be brought in to familiarise the participants with current research discourses on the one hand, but also to create or sharpen methodological approaches for their own work, which they can apply in the future to better analyse their local situation. When selecting the speakers, it is important to ensure that they are not only of high academic quality but also have the willingness and, at best, experience to work on the topics for a non-scientific audience.
In addition to this form of transfer, however, there should also be room for the participants to benefit from the (experience) knowledge of the other participating organisations from other countries and/or fields – in other words, to learn from and with each other. This means that the participants will not only become learners but also active teachers, their practical knowledge will be taken seriously and integrated into the common learning process. Both on the topic of migration and local development, the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework for our activities.

Transnational project work

What are the special challenges that arise from cross-border project work? In Frankfurt (Oder) in particular, there are numerous actors available for this purpose (the municipal Frankfurt-Slubice Cooperation Centre, migration network THINK), who can report on their work in the German-Polish border region, including in the context of Ukrainian labour migration on site. Such meetings provide a good background for the project ideas of the participants, who present and discuss them during the first phase. In addition, knowledge in the field of transnational project management and potential project partnerships is imparted and the participants’ own responsibility in project planning is strengthened. Ukraine Calling 2.0 is not only intended to support individuals, but also to strengthen and enable organisations from different fields to implement projects with international partners independently in the future.

Cross-sectoral dialogue

Improving the quality of life of citizens is the main objective of each municipality’s overall development strategy. Various civil society initiatives and educational institutions can play an important role in this context, reflecting, among other things, various mechanisms of direct and indirect citizen participation in the context of local politics and administration (e.g. “participatory budgeting”) and sustainable models of development and implementation of cultural and educational projects in the municipality (e.g. various social entrepreneurship initiatives). Their trans-sectoral exchange among each other with the aim of establishing synergies in various fields (science, civil society, art, politics, administration) for joint problem-solving can contribute to a decisive strengthening of the local community.
The cross-sectoral exchange of the participants among each other, which contributes to networking beyond the borders of one social area, is to be emphasised. This supports the main goal of Ukraine Calling 2.0, which is to enable the seminar participants to carry out independent follow-up activities in the different areas of work (follow-up events, cooperation projects, publications, expert exchange, etc.), which are planned, implemented and (partially) financed by the respective organisations of the seminar participants.

Conflict management

Conflict management is an indispensable part of a successful and solution-oriented dialogue between actors with initially differing interests. Existing techniques of conflict mediation make it possible to reduce the potential for conflict in communication processes and promote a search for joint win-win solutions. The very extensive experience of the Institute for Conflict Management at the European University Viadrina shows that such methods are of particular importance when it comes to international cooperation. But also on the local level, corresponding competences are indispensable, especially in the case of trans-sectoral approaches and the resulting different work logics.

Fostering of project management and fundraising skills

A central component for the development of sustainable initiatives are competencies in the areas of project management and fundraising. They form the basis for independent conception, planning and implementation of projects. The demand, especially among Ukrainian partners, is often high. Various methods (e.g. design thinking) are to be introduced in workshops, which will allow participants to implement their advanced project ideas with newly acquired international partners following capacity building.
Project ideas will be presented in workshops and group work (gallery walk/pitching), with subsequent opportunities to exchange ideas with the other participants and receive their suggestions/criticism (e.g. also joint SWOT analyses, collegial advice).

In the past, it has proved to be a good idea to invite representatives of funding institutions (e.g. AA, MeetUp of the ECCs, political foundations) and to bring them directly into conversation with the participants and their project ideas in a market of possibilities. This format is part of the day trip to Berlin. At the end of the first seminar, the following questions will be given as homework to prepare the participants for the meeting in Kiev, in addition to further reading tips to deepen their knowledge in the following months: How can the acquired knowledge be put into practice and what effect will it have on the further development of the participants’ own project idea? What kind of projects, publications, events or cooperations seem possible? Who could be the appropriate cooperation partners?

Promote independent learning processes

Due to the reduced funding, a third project phase in Berlin is not feasible, but in view of the unforeseeable corona pandemic, it is also not possible in terms of time. The cooperation partners have therefore considered making a virtue out of the financial and time constraints and specifically strengthening the participants’ own initiative in the learning process so that they can not only identify potential cooperation partners but also visit them.
After the kick-off meeting in Frankfurt (Oder), the funded organisations can apply for travel grants of up to 400 €. This can be used to finance trips to potential cooperation partners abroad. The findings from the trip will be documented, discussed with the other participants during the next attendance phase and finally published on the website. Of course, the costs will be invoiced according to the costs incurred, not on a flat-rate basis.