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Cooperation between NGO and GO

UISP from Italy and Montenegro Sport for All Association have met on the Consultation meeting in September 2009 in Podgorica in Montenegro with the intention to create and develop cooperation primarily in the fields of sport for all and also to realize and upgarde their own set of criteria for status to the NGOs acting in the areas of sport, health, education and international cooperation.




Improving NGO` Capacity

Introduction:

».....Civil society organisations and in particular the most widespread structure – Sport for All – contributes to development of our societies. However, the Sport for All sector can contribute even more. More Human Capital can be released to tackle societal challenges and improve the quality of life....«from the ISCA General Assebly 2008 Sport Political statement.

 

Impact of the Accession Process

UISP, in its 60 years of life, has developed the capacity to promote changes in the Italian civil society, in terms of sports culture and attention to movement, physical activity and active life styles. Up to the ‘80s, UISP fought in order to make physical activity and sport something belonging to everybody, a right for everybody.
Since the end of the ‘80s, UISP invested on Sport For All, nobody excluded, as a new frontier, focusing not on the performance, but on people, on individuals and on the several and different ways in which sport and movement can be considered. In the last years, the so called citizenship sport – meaning look to sport considering welfare, health, environment, rights – has become the focus of our policy.

 

Promoting Partnership

Strengthening the government-citizen relationship and supporting participation of citizens in the decision-making process as well as ensuring governmental transparency are the main responsibilities. In terms of implementation, the government implicitly acknowledges the role of civil society in providing accurate information to the public, the local and central public administration authorities, and other institutions and organizations regarding progress in accession negotiations and the benefits and costs of accession.

One of the most important issue in UISP view is to promote networking in order to establish an active dialogue with other organizations and associations of the civil society thus becoming able of influencing national policies; in the same way, becoming a relevant institutional interlocutor has always been very relevant for UISP, at all levels: national, regional, local, also via UISP regional and local committees.

This is the reason why UISP believes in alliances: for example, with other sports promotion associations – via the establishment of a coordination of the sport promotion associations – or with other NGOs, via the participation to the Third Sector Forum.

On the other hand, UISP has always tried to establish and maintain institutional relationships: with CONI (Italian Olympic Committee), that in Italy, except for the years 2005 – 2007, has always worked as a sort of Ministry of Sport, as well as with the different Italian Ministries (Intern, Justice, Health, Education, Welfare) via specific agreements of cooperation.

 


Improving NGOs Capacity in Montenegro

Montenegro, the newest independent nation in the Balkans, still has far to go in implementing basic political and economic reforms, deepening the democratic roots that are only just forming, and finally reaching its top strategic goal of joining the EU. In preparation for independence, the government has made noticeable efforts to establish a general legislative and institutional framework in line with international standards. In most cases, however, drafting and adopting legislation is done without any consultation with civil society.

NGOs are rarely invited to participate in public discussions on proposed legislation, and the public sector is not obligated to provide answers posed by NGOs during the drafting process. Consequently, adopted legislation often does not address the actual situation, is difficult to implement, and in need of amendment later, which leads to delays in implementation. Despite the adoption of the May 2006 document “Principles of Government-NGO Cooperation,” communication between the government and NGOs continues to be impeded by the limited knowledge of public officials about their obligations under the document and a lack of reliable information about the existing NGOs and their activities.

As with governmental institutions, a lack of training and knowledge also limits the effectiveness of Montenegro’s civil society to communicate with and influence the work of government. Of the approximately 3,500 registered NGOs, only less than 300 actually function. While some fictitious organizations are simply fronts for illegal operations, most legitimate NGOs suffer from a lack of organizational and managerial experience, financial and legal support, and understanding of civil society in a transitional democracy. The absence of developed channels to present its activities and achievements to the government and the public prevents the third sector from highlighting the contributions it has made to promoting democracy in Montenegro and the region. Consequently, prejudices on the quality, accuracy, and capability of each sector are perpetuated and unsatisfactory relations between the government and NGOs are further worsened. But, if civil society is to continue to play an important role in monitoring and promoting the democratization process in Montenegro, communication and cooperation between the two will have to be routine and productive.

 

UISP from Italy and Montenegro Sport for All Association have met on the Consultation meeting in September 2009 in Podgorica in Montenegro with the intention to create and develop cooperation primarily in the fields of sport for all and also to realize and upgarde their own set of criteria for status to the NGOs acting in the areas of sport, health, education and international cooperation.

 

Both SFA Associations and ISCA representatives had a meeting on the the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Media in Montenegro hosted by Mr. Dr. Dragan Drobnjak, Deputy Minister, who expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with Montenegro SFA Association and promised full support to the development of Sport for All in Montenegro and support to the national development and international cooperation of Montenegro Sport for All Association.

 

Milan Bracanovic , President of Montenegro Sport for All Association says: “Sport for All Associations and other NG organizations in Montenegro still have major development needs, both in terms of institutional and operational capacity, which directly affect their ability to act as reliable partners of the government in the process of developing and implementing public policies, including the communication. A variety of factors contribute to the low credibility of NGOs, which has remained at similar levels for the past few years. Consequently, there is a continuous attempt to improve the capacity and credibility of the sector in order to better serve community needs and interests. “

 

Carlo Balestri, Responsible for International affairs in UISPsays: “the direct knowledge of the needs of our partner, Montenegro Sport For All Association, as well as a deeper look to the national context in which it works, make UISP much more aware of its role in the twinning with our friends from Montenegro. The next step will surely be the organisation of a seminar, in coordination with our trainers, on the management of  a project, from the planning to the institutional relationships, from the organisational management to the final reports.”

 

ISCA President Mr. Mogens Kirkeby was in Montenegro and expressed his impression and  proudness of the PATHE project and PATHE partners:  

"The PATHE project shows the best of ISCA. Engaged members working together, transferring knowledge across borders and transforming international knowledge to national initiatives and development. Improving physical activity and healthy lifestyle, are some major challenges in our societies today. The PATHE partners are enthusiastic »Runners« showing social political commitment and taking responsibility. The PATHE partners illustrate the power of the civil society organisations working nationally, but with international orientation, perspective and relations. They show the basic values of ISCA in action - they show what it is all about."

Public health has become prominent on the political agenda in the past few years and will continue to constitute a huge national and international challenge in the years to come. Sedentary lifestyles, physical inactivity and obesity are some of the obstacles on the “healthy road of life”. For individuals and for nations, this health challenge has a huge impact, both socially and financially. Sport and its widespread organisational structures provide one of the important settings, where people can be reached, motivated and assisted to change their lifestyle and improve personal health.

Governments and the sectors responsible for health promotion and - prevention are often not themselves able to reach the citizens and to motivate them to healthier lifestyles. This is where the “Sport for All” sector has a valuable set-up to offer to citizens, local communities and governments. This unique value of the sport organisations is ready to be utilised and maximised through quality programmes and activities.