ENGAGE! project – all the details you need

SECTORAL PROJECT ENGAGE!
Type of activity 1. Provision of services and organisation of other activities supporting institutional development of social organisations and civic movements

Impact of the sectoral project – European or transnational dimension.

In the ENGAGE! project we want to become an avant-garde of changes and innovation in the area of Baltic cross-border cooperation of the NGO sector entities. For this purpose, we want to take advantage of good practices within the Umbrella project and our 20 years of experience in international cooperation for NGOs. In particular, we will focus on including the inexperienced associations into the cooperation and transferring the best practices/techniques/tools building a strong local community. Durability of our activities will be ensured by identifying subsequent local leaders using the “train-the-trainers” method in different NGO sectors to improve their competences for international cooperation. We will also support them with our contacts, knowledge and inclusion into the structure of the Baltic NGO Network. The concept will thus enable permanent activities.

PROJECT PARTNERS:

  1. Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs BISER – Leader
  2. Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic – Polish Partner
  3. South Norway European Office – Norwegian Partner

Our project will run from April 2021 untill July 2023 and is funded thanks to the The Active Citizens Fund in Poland, financed by EEA Grants.

The project responds to the need to systematically increase the innovativeness of small and medium size NGOs from the North of Poland through their internationalisation, thus involving them in the ecosystem of transnational cooperation in the Baltic Region. While working with NGOs, we have noticed that adapting to constantly changing environment is a challenge for small organisations, without personnel, financial and administrative background. 

Our activities will help other third sector entities to increase their capacity for transnational cooperation, co-creation and building partnerships with organisations from donor countries, especially Norway, and countries of the Baltic Region. By our example, we prove that it is possible to start transnational activities even when the work is based on voluntary work and the finances are limited. The project partners have for years been carrying out activities strengthening the level of internationalisation within NGOs and encouraging other actors to become involved in the cooperation in the Baltic Region. 

The results of the ENGAGE project will be:
– Enhancing the cooperation capacity of local actors in the area of Northern Poland with partners of the Baltic Region, especially Norway, Russia and Iceland;
– Improvement of cooperation capacity of min. 30 local NGOs through participation in international and cross-border networks;
– Creation of at least 10 project partnerships between social organisations, which will operate or will be supported within the ENGAGE! – min. 10 joint initiatives implemented in cooperation with other social organisatuoins, e.g. exchange of knowledge, good practices, study visits, etc.
-Creation of at least 5 partnerships with public entities from PL and/or NO within further international cooperation;
– Enhancing the knowledge and innovation of at least 30 local third sector actors through a clear internationalisation of their activities
– Enhancing the ability to cooperate in heckhathon projects with partners from NO, (possibly also from RU and Iceland, who will be invited). To facilitate intercultural dialogue among NGOs leading to involvement of local communities and organisations in the Baltic cooperation networks. The project will aim, through the organisations taking active part in our activities, to increase their capacity to implement projects with international partners from NO, Baltic countries including: RU, IS and others in areas identified by local NGOs.


Our project will provide Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian NGOs with a long-term positive change in terms of starting the process of internationalisation, strengthening the projects and processes that NGOs are already undertaking and creating an appropriate, friendly climate for wide cooperation of local NGOs. The results of our actions will be visible for a wide range of NGOs which will either directly cooperate with us in ENGAGE!, or will benefit from our “International Cooperation Principles Book”, from our consultations within the international advice bureau, or finally – by cooperating with new leaders of international cooperation educated by us in 3 key areas for NGOs in Northern Poland: ecology, local development and culture, and social enterprise. Our project aims to strengthen other NGOs, increase the quality of their services and international offer and create friendly conditions for them to function in international and cross-border environment. Raising the quality and standards of NGOs’ activities with an international component and experience will also have a positive impact on broad social groups, which are the recipients of activities of our beneficiaries – NGOs.
Activities in ENGAGE! activities are designed in such a way as to strengthen NGOs with knowledge and competences in the first year of the project, and to consume this knowledge in the second year,enabling international networking and first international interactions. Additionally, the envisaged concept of “train-the-trainers”, i.e. identifying local leaders will broaden the project’s impact to new groups and other NGOs.