Hungary Time to learn for Mario

Project : MARIO 13 Dec 2011 children on the move

2772_group_photo4_smallBudapest, Hungary, December 8-9, 2011: Partners implementing the project Mario have come together one last time to be able to discuss and distill the lessons learnt accumulated during the implementation of the project. The exercise was especially important since partners are planning for a second phase.

The two-day discussion was facilitated by Mike Dottridge, the internationally renowned expert in child trafficking, who also completed a mid-term review of the project which made him familiar with both the partners and the project activities. On the first day discussions circled around organizational learning: how have the practices of organizations changed as a result of the collaboration with others? What were the learnings? Lydia Zagorova, representing the Bulgarian Neglected Children Society mentioned for example that her organization gained a lot of knowledge from working with the street outreach NGO “Alliance for Children and Youth” and the knowledge was used not only in Mario but in other activities as well. Partners shared the lessons learnt of the experience of the two transnational research and the follow-up work – which provided ample learning for the future.

2773_web_news1_smallOn the second day project governance issues were on the agenda: was it a good idea to have a secretariat in a non-operational country, did partners receive enough information from it, how was the process of advocacy. Ideas were shared on how to ensure that experiences are captured institutionally – that there are guidelines and corporate memory. There were lot of discussions about the future, about introducing new partners, relations with associate partners, process of research activities, and how governance of the project needs to change with altogether 11 partners in the project. Ensuring participation of children has been discussed for each agenda item acknowledging that this aspect needs to be improved for the future.

While this was the last official partner meeting in the project, all participants expressed their hope that they can continue working together in the future and they can put into reality the many ideas and the joint vision they now share. [JA]

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