Network D Strengthening the national social economy (the third sector), in particular the services of interest to the community, with a focus on improving the quality of jobs.
Project name Partnership for Professionalisation of the Third Sector
Project number D0685

Project description

The general objective of the Partnership is to enhance the professionalism of NGOs in the social sector, so that they can start to play a greater role in the processes of socio-economic development, and in the initiatives in the fields of education, labour market, mobilisation of local communities, and in combating any discrimination and inequalities on the labour market. The Partnership will develop programmes, solutions, and proposals of legal regulations which will ensure equal participation of NGOs in the provision of services in the social economy sector.

The final beneficiaries of the project include NGOs from the Silesia and Opole Voivodships, as well as their representatives. It is estimated that 250 organisations and 700 representatives at minimum will receive support within the framework of the Partnership's activities.

The initiative is divided into three subprojects. The first of them is an education programme for the professionalisation of the third sector. The subproject will include the development of model solutions for institutional elimination of the problems of the third sector which restrict the participation of NGOs in the social economy sector, both as service providers, of such services which are customised to meet the needs of local communities, and as employers. The Partnership will organise and conduct 216 training sessions for the representatives of approximately 10 NGOs. At least 500 people, representing at least 250 organisations, will participate in the training sessions for third sector managers and employees.

The objective of the second subproject, entitled "Substantive and infrastructural support for the professionalisation of the third sector - Incubators for Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO)", is to prepare "incubators" for small and medium sized NGOs, which will provide them with substantive and technical support. The incubators will support the organisations' performance through information, consultancy, substantive support, training, offering office facilities and technical support. Five incubators are to be created within the subproject. No less than 20 NGOs (approximately 40 people) will use the services of each incubator, while at least 70% of those people will participate in training sessions. The estimated total number of INGO subproject participants is at least 100 organisations (200 people). Apart from the possibility of using the new service offered to NGOs, the subproject output will also include new jobs offered at INGOs.

Thanks to the incubators, NGOs will obtain not only substantive support, but also assistance if they have any difficulties during their operations. The organisations will have office facilities at their disposal, where they will be able to use a room, equipment, trade press and literature, as well as obtain advice in the field of law, accounting, and project management. In this way the Partnership will support them and help them focus on the essentials, i.e. on the implemented or planned projects.

The objective of the third subproject, entitled "Support in local practice", is to develop and implement a model system for intersectoral cooperation, i.e. for NGOs, public institutions and businesses. The implementation of this subproject is to result in the creation of an institution to stimulate and structure intersectoral cooperation - Ośrodek Partnerstwa Lokalnego (the Local Partnership Centre). These centres will be established in three locations. At least 60 NGOs, 3 self-governmental authorities relevant to these NGOs in terms of territory, and approximately 30 entrepreneurs will participate in this subproject. At least two projects based on intersectoral cooperation will be developed in each centre, and at least one out of the two projects will pertain to the labour market. Each centre will also develop a programme of funding for its operations after the end of their participation in the EQUAL Community Initiative.

The output delivered by the Partnership that is subject to validation is "The methodology of comprehensive support for local NGOs and preparation of its components for practical use". These components are the Incubators for Non-Governmental Organisations, a series of trainings and local partnership centres. The partnership prepares extensive descriptions of the output solutions as well as indications regarding the initiation of support, mainly comprehensive support but in the case of limited possibilities also partial support. The supplementary material will be entitled "Work and the third sector" and it is intended to assist local organisations in planning, organising and maintaining an adequate team for the activities to be carried out. This document will also discuss the essential legal regulations that are relevant to the process of in-service training of the employees of the third sector.

Dissemination activities will be addressed to the representatives of institutions and other people who have influence on the situation of NGOs in Poland and the European Union. The Partnership is planning to publish an extensive report on its operations and achievements. A project information booklet will be issued at least once every three months, while information about current events will be available at the Partnership's website. The information campaign will also be conducted by means of publishing articles in regional press. In the middle of the implementation period, a press conference will be held to summarise Action 2. Moreover, regular meetings will be held for those members of the Partnership who are interested in the exchange of know-how and experience. Meetings with the representatives of target groups will also be organised.