United Nations Development Programme
Romania
 
Project data

Project ID: 75023

Status: ongoing

Duration: Mar 2012 - Sep 2012

Management Arrangements: NIM with CO Support

Budget

Total: 60 000 USD

Portfolio

Socio-Economic

Geographic Focus

Cluj Metropolitan Area

Expected CP Outcome(s)

Enhanced capacity to implement innovative programs for social inclusion, economic and political empowerment of vulnerable groups (CPAP Outcome 3)

Preparatory Phase for Model Project: making the most of EU Fund for Sustainable Housing and Inclusion of disadvantaged Roma (explicitly but not exclusively targeted) in Cluj Metropolitan Area

The project is instigated by the precarious living conditions of Roma communities in the Pata Rat district in the Cluj Metropolitan Area. The objective will be achieved through delivery of community development interventions targeting representatives of Pata Rat district; of a participatory assessment of housing preferences and needs of these communities; and sustaining of the partnerships and local stakeholder dialogue necessary for the preparation of concrete and actionable projects. It is expected that the experience of the project will provide for a virtual repository of knowledge for replication in such situations across Romania and other Southeast Europe countries through knowledge management. The project implemented by Cluj Napoca Municipality with the support of North West Regional Development Agency and Civil Society Working Group (gLOC).

Project Background

Despite national, European and international efforts most Roma in Central and Eastern Europe face different kind of challenges. Social exclusion and discrimination is often associated with limited access to public services and legal income opportunities and a prevalent situation of sub-standard housing/living conditions. Romania, as many former Eastern bloc countries, has substantial populations of Roma. The level of integration of Roma into society remains limited, most of them remain on the margins of society, living in isolated ghetto-like settlements.

Housing deprivation in Romania is acute, for general population, far above EU levels: at 43.3% of the population compared to 20% in Bulgaria. A joint ongoing study of Habitat for Humanity and UNDP shows that the deprivation is most acute among Roma populations. The ongoing national and local social housing programs are not directed towards improvement of sub standard living conditions specific to property, and income conditions of the Roma. Scoring formula for social housing eligibility biases towards educated and small households with regular paying capacity. As such, Roma communities in urban settings are often not eligible for social housing incentives provided by local governments. Urban development plans, while promoting urban regeneration and economic benefits are not equipped to address housing needs of communities who do not have formal property deeds.

Cluj-Napoca, one of Romania’s most dynamic cities, is the site of a concentrated, informal, Roma settlement with four distinct communities in the area of Pata-Rat in the urban periphery. The current living conditions of the Roma in this district, the further plans for new resettlements and the desire of the authorities to create an inclusive multicultural community, brought together representatives of the authorities and civil society in an attempt to create more integrated participatory planning with a view to put in place a sustainable housing and inclusion programme for the city of Cluj and extend it to the whole Cluj Metropolitan Area (CMA). Only which such an approach can the projects economic development of Cluj – already supported by applicable EU instruments (e.g.  an ERDF funded major project concerning the creation of a recycling plant and complete  rehabilitation of the waste management – including that in Pata Rât have been recently approved)  be considered in line with international and European standards.

Indeed, the proposal at hand seeks to remedy the imbalance of EU support to Cluj on the side of economic and infrastructure development with increasing the capacity of local actors to leverage the relevant EU instruments for social inclusion (of disadvantaged Roma) by addressing the situation of the Roma settlements in Pata-Rât. As mentioned above, the local authorities in Cluj have limited political incentive and capacities to focus and leverage national and EU resources for addressing the Roma housing situation engendered by the conditions in Pata-Rât. The proposal at hand seeks to “provide incentives” for and to mobilize the local authorities to a more participatory and inclusive planning processes in line with EU2020 Strategy by developing dedicated capacities for Social Inclusion.

Finally, from an EU perspective it has acknowledged that local development in the field of social affairs and social justice is geared towards crisis resolution, but until now, most of the interventions for Roma inclusion stop at “intermediary” level without reaching the targeted communities with their real needs and problems, and the knowledge and network of the existing area-based inclusion and housing models are not linked across regions and national borders.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to ensure that applicable EU, national and local programs and funds benefit the most vulnerable sections of disadvantaged populations in Cluj. 

Preparatory phase project Objectives

  1. Community development of Roma communities (of Pata Rât) for enhanced participation in planning and implementation of projects addressing housing deprivation of Pata Rât communities and in the inclusion strategy of Cluj.
  2. Participatory assessment of housing preference and capabilities of the communities in Pata Rat against the background of available/possible housing improvement policy options.
  3. Empower local development stakeholders and strengthen the partnerships between them to develop a housing project dossier based on expressed options (above) for inclusion in the Integrated Plan for Urban Development of Cluj Metropolitan Area.

Expected Output & Planned Activities


Strengthening area-based and national capacities for  integrated housing and inclusion of disadvantaged Roma (explicitly but not exclusively targeted)



Preparatory phase project activities (Project action plan)



Obj. 1 – Community development of Roma communities (of Pata Rât) for enhanced participation in planning and implementation of projects addressing housing deprivation of Pata Rât communities and in the inclusion strategy of Cluj

































Activities

Details

1.1 Community mobilization and coaching in Pata Rât to ensure people’s understanding and interest to participate actively in planning and implementation of the Roma housing project and inclusion strategy in Cluj

1.1.1 ToT manual that will be prepared and the training implemented by the CTA on the beginning of the project implementation

1.1.2 Local mobilization campaign in Pata Rât with regular and systematic fieldwork of the two coaches in Pata Rât (interviews, roundtables, open space, etc. with special methodology in Pata Rât)

1.1.3 Exchange between the UNDP Pecs Programme and Pata Rât (Roma resource person’s visit in Pata Rât communities and a visit of a group from Pata Rât to successful inclusion initiatives)

1.1.4 Capacity development process to ensure the minimum skills of the 3 Pata Rât communities to participation in the local planning process

1.1.5 Select (by the community members) and develop the  capacity of the representatives of the Pata Rât communities to participate on the workshops of the planning team

1.3 Quick actions that will be clarified in the first three months, financed from other sources and implemented together with the targeted Roma community to meet urgent needs and find temporary solutions in Pata Rât ensuring that their social situation will not decline before the planned housing project starts

1.3.1 Find solution with participation of the community to solve the most urgent public service problems in Pata Rât (public transport, school and kindergarten, etc.)

1.3.2 Identify solution together with the Pata Rât community members to ensure the existing job/legal income opportunities


Obj. 2 - Participatory assessment of housing preference and capabilities of the communities in Pata Rat against the background of available/possible housing improvement policy options.




































Activities

Details

2.1 Data collection and analysis including the details of the targeted communities in Pata Rât

2.1.1 Mapping of vulnerable groups from Cluj Metropolitan Area in collaboration with Cluj Napoca Local Authorities

2.1.2 Fieldwork in the mapped areas to establish the number of persons, the housing situation, school education and qualification, employment (occupancy) history, housing related needs, jobs and educational support, housing related options, problems concerning healthcare and social services access etc.

2.1.3 Collecting and analyzing best/bad practices and lessons learned from other similar projects

2.2 Focus groups with the Pata Rât communities to identify their real problems, needs and future ideas  and ensure their participation and voice in decisions related to design of the housing project and inclusion strategy

2.2.1 Preparing guideline to the problem, partner and resource map

2.2.2 Establish focus group in the 3 different Pata Rât community

2.2.3 Interviews and data collection in Pata Rât with help of the community developers and Social Work Department of Cluj Municipality

2.2.5 Mapping problems, partner, resources and housing ideas appearing in Pata Rât

2.2.7 Local information forums in all  Pata Rât communities monthly


Obj.3 – Empower local development stakeholders and strengthen the partnerships between them for development of a project dossier based on expressed options (above) for inclusion in the Integrated Plan for Urban Development of Cluj Metropolitan Area.


































Activities

Details

3.1 Support the design and ensure the quality of a Project Dossier as the base for an integrated Roma housing project (2013-15) in Pata Rât, Cluj, which will be funded from  the available EU resources

3.1.1 Support the development of the complex pilot project for sustainable housing to change the situation of the Pata Rât communities

3.1.2 Public consultations (minimum 3 times) on the pilot project

3.1.3 Approval of the pilot project by the city council and preparation of the necessary documents for EU financing

3.2 Support the programming process and ensure the participation and voice of the targeted Roma communities, equal opportunities and quality of the “Integrated Housing and Inclusion Strategy of Cluj”   for 2020”(2014-2020)

3.2.1 Guidelines to preparing the inclusion strategy

3.2.2 Support the development of an integrated strategy concept note for the integrated local development strategy for social inclusion of disadvantaged groups in Cluj Metropolitan Area for using EU Funds to achieve social inclusion of vulnerable groups in CMA


3.2.3 Public consultations on the draft strategy (minimum 1 time)



3.3 Local decision making processes commenced through council for Metropolitan Development Ass ociation of Municipalities and partnership basis for receipt and planning of broader EU technical assistance through Cluj Growth Pole

 

Press Releases

Documentation

Page last updated on 20/03/2012
Contact info

Project partners

- North West Regional Development Agency
- Civil Society Working Group

Implementation Agency / Main Partner

- Cluj Napoca Municipality

UNDP Programme Supervision

Yesim Oruc
Rezident Representatives a.i.

Silviu Sandulache
Programme Assisntant, Socio Economic Section

Stand Against Poverty
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