ROMANIAN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
“Leading and learning are inseparable”
John F. Kennedy
The Romanian Social Development Fund (FRDS) is a public interest body established by the Romanian Government by Law no. 129/1998 which administers grant schemes and programs with non-reimbursable international funding addressed to disadvantaged groups and poor and isolated communities and participated in the effective implementation of projects of national, sectoral and local interest.
The main areas targeted by the RSDF activity:
- social inclusion (with a focus on Roma communities)
- socio-economic development
- equal opportunities
- combating poverty
- community development
Operating under the motto “An organization for people and their problems”, RSDF’s mission is to support the sustainable development of poor communities and other vulnerable categories in Romania, by promoting and supporting local initiatives oriented towards the common good, identified, advanced and implemented participatory, through community involvement.
Our strategic objective is to achieve a change of attitude and mentality on multiple levels (individual and institutional, local, and national) by demonstrating that where there is the will to solve a problem, there are solutions in this regard.
We consider important the adaptation to the current socio-economic and cultural context so that we continue to remain an efficient organization that serves the public interest through the transfer of knowledge and experience in the field of social development and social inclusion.
The forms of support offered by the RSDF:
1. Financial support, which involves the financing of projects, through grants, aimed at improving living conditions, addressing several segments of local development.
In total, between 1999 and 2017, 1,538 grant projects were funded (between 20,000 and 195,000 US dollars, approx. 100 projects/year), of which 133 integrated projects for Roma social inclusion, 150 community social services addressed to disadvantaged groups (children, young people at risk, women victims of domestic violence, elderly without family support, Roma, etc.), 219 entrepreneurship and job creation projects, 16 innovative projects, the remaining 911 projects were for the rehabilitation of the small community infrastructure. The abstheorption rate of the attracted funds being 98%, and the financiers’ assessments regarding the management and the quality of the interventions rose to the “highly satisfactory” level.
2. Technical assistance and training, which aim to increase the capacity of beneficiaries to prepare/formulate and implement in good conditions the financed projects, respectively to ensure their long-term sustainability, and involves, among other tools, training on project management for coordinators of the funded projects, field supervision of projects, participatory monitoring of projects (by involving beneficiaries), networking (setting up networks of beneficiaries, non-governmental organizations and local authorities), etc.
3. Support for accessing European funds involves contracting on behalf of those interested in specialized technical assistance services or direct support provided by FRDS experts for the development of strategies, studies, analyzes necessary for the development of funding applications for European funds or the actual writing of projects.
The FRDS portfolio includes, in addition to 6 managed grant schemes, participation as a partner in projects financed from European and private funds.
Between 2013 and 2017, FRDS was a Programme Operator for the RO10 Programme – “Children and Youth at Risk and Local and Regional Initiatives to Reduce National Inequalities and Promote Social Inclusion”, funded by the EEA Grants 2009- 2014, having as Program Partner the Council of Europe.
Starting with 2018. the RSDF is a Programme Operator for the “Local Development, Poverty Reduction, and Enhanced Roma Inclusion” Programme, funded by the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021.
The personnel structure, regulations, and operation of the RSDF are flexible, depending on the needs of the projects and programs carried out, strategic and operational decisions being taken quickly, at the level of the Board of Directors or management, as appropriate, developing procedures and operating manuals. for each of the managed programs. The staff consists of specialists from various fields:
- project / program management
- financial management
- monitoring and evaluation
- impact studies and analyzes
- information and communication
- legal and procurement
The RSDF operates at headquarters, in Bucharest, and in the country, at the 2 branches (Iaşi and Alba Iulia) and collaborates with independent field experts (community facilitators, project evaluators, and supervisors) who support and monitor the activity of beneficiaries, both in the project preparation phase, as well as in the implementation phase.