Last week, Eurodiaconia had the opportunity to participate in the European Commission’s event “Sustainability of practices, policies and organisations when EaSI funding ends” that took place in Brussels together with other 150 project beneficiaries, programme managers and other key players.
Apart from looking back with the beneficiaries at their projects’ sustainability, the participants also looked ahead on how the future ESF+ (European Social Fund Plus) could help in upscaling and mainstreaming results of EaSI projects. This was the first EaSi annual conference and, timely, it sought to mirror the growing focus on sustainability of EaSi-funded projects.
Several key recommendations were identified. First, if a project is realistic and based on the needs of beneficiaries, then it will also be win-win situations for all involved actors, which is crucial. Secondly, transparent internal and external communication sharing the results, benefits and experiences is another important success factor for sustainability. Reaching out to potential partners and funders should be done as of day one, when drafting a project proposal. Third, by carrying out monitoring and mid-term evaluation, the project promoters can intervene at the right time and if needed, re-direct the project.
From the institutional side, participants agreed that the European Commission and the EU Member States could assist in eliminating certain obstacles such as a lack of information on the different support programme and on whom to contact.
Eurodiaconia is glad these initiatives address important problems and opportunities impacting on our work in helping our members access and work with EU funding. The sustainability and long-term reach of EaSi-funded projects is essential in guaranteeing our members’ projects around Europe have long-lasting positive impacts and do not come to a halt when problems arise. We are thus looking forward to the full report being published soon by the Commission.
To know more about the event, please visit the EU Commission’s website.
If you are interested in Eurodiaconia’s work on funding, please read more on our webpage.