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​​​Roma Inclusion seminar 2018 : Working through government institutions with a focus on municipalities

12 - 15 March 2018, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

After the first seminar in 2012 (Belgrade), two other seminars have been organized with their own thematic focus: Bucharest 2015 on policy dialogue and institutionalisation, Tirana 2016: on existing trade-offs between effectiveness, sustainability and transformation in Roma inclusion support. Furthermore, starting at the Bucharest 2015 seminar, so-called learning trajectories gathering interested practitioners in series of virtual meetings (each 1-3 months) on specific topics, allow for exchanges and learning beyond the seminars.

The fourth Regional Seminar on Roma Social inclusion took place in Polvdiv 12-15 March 2018). It focused on the approach taken by SDC in Bulgaria namely promoting Roma inclusion through government institutions.

With a full day field visit in small working groups (in Sliven, Plovdiv and Sofia), the participants had the opportunity to explore the viewpoints of different stakeholders (municipalities, service providers and Roma community, ministries) regarding SDC supported activities for Roma inclusion. These insights have been used to answer the following two questions:

  • What are the Pre-requisites/conditions to ensure effectiveness and sustainability of Roma social inclusion in the definition and implementation of public service delivery at municipal level?
  • What is the best intervention strategy to ensure sustainability with a project of limited duration?

Further topics

The findings of the 3 learning trajectories: women empowerment, discrimination, community development and active citizenship, have been presented and discussed.


Three types of report of the seminar have been produced:
  • the main conclusions / take aways are summarized in short "Outcome of Plovdiv Seminar" report
  • the seminar narrative report provides an description of activities and results of the seminar
  • the strategic learning brief gives information on how learning from SDC's Roma Inclusion work serves for future programming
  • the social reporting (pageflow) gives a more lively picture of the seminar with interviews of participants and stakeholders, quotations of findings and pictures, giving more a sense of the athmosphere.

Next steps

The Roma inclusion Seminar will be replaced by (or integrated in) peer learning processes on the broader issue of social inclusion. This broadening of the scope for knowledge management is following the evolution of policy priorities of SDC (focus on social inclusion in the federal dispatch for eastern countries). The need to continue with special program focusing on Roma inclusion is not questioned by the enlargement of the thematic focus.  

The conclusions of the Roma inclusion seminar series (2012-2018) integrating the findings of Plovdiv seminar have been synthesized in a strategic learning brief.

Seminar material

 Key documents

 Further documents