Final Conference

The final conference of the SECTOR programme, “Stories to tell”, took place on November 26-30, 2014, at the Hotel Splendid in Budva, Montenegro. The event was an important milestone and provided a forum for discussion, cooperation and face-to-face networking. It brought together around 100 project beneficiaries from Belarus and Moldova to review the results of project implementation and discuss the long-term impacts of SECTOR. The conference also provided opportunities for exchanges of experience and lessons learned and brainstorming for the future.

Participants included representatives of the CSOs that benefited from the various SECTOR activities, including winners of SECTOR grants, participants in the Master Class trainings, alumni of the Young Environmental Leaders Programme, and beneficiaries of the organisational development component from both Belarus and Moldova. Representatives of CSOs from Serbia, Albania and Montenegro also joined the conference to share experiences related to the implementation of grants and capacity-building activities funded by the Government of Sweden in their respective countries.

The first day of the conference (“SECTOR reflections”) was devoted to a review of the overall achievements of the project, the identification of lessons learned and the sharing of good practices through facilitated and interactive discussions. Five separate panel discussions on achievements focused on: impacts on policy and decision making, including the changes that CSOs can trigger and the potential benefits for the community and society; CSO networking, platform building and cooperation with stakeholders; innovative and progressive CSO practices; environmental education for all; and the rural environment and biodiversity. The panel of three or four people in each group included representatives of CSOs and municipalities.

The second day of the conference (“SECTOR in action”) was split into several parallel training modules on priority topics identified by SECTOR beneficiaries: how to improve, measure and communicate the social impact of CSO work; a “treasure hunt” related to organisational development and viability issues; and the multimedia Green Steps toolkit for Belarus.

The closing day (“SECTOR tomorrow”) built on the outcomes of the first day and focused on the development of priorities for the future.

 

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