United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Interactive trainings for the leaders of ethnic NGOs, police and authorities representatives from different RF regions

Center for Interethnic Cooperation (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
)
    Description
    Intro

    After the USSR collapse the demographical situation in Russia has changes drastically. There appeared new people in RF cities who were very different from local population in appearance, with other customs, traditions, culture, behaviour... Everyday conflicts in which representatives of different ethnic groups took part could turn into serious ethnic conflicts with victims and destruction. It is obvious that such conflicts provoke the emergence of fear and mistrust in society and their consequences are long and difficult to liquidate. In other words, such conflicts hinder the sustainable development of society. They create difficulties for justice, since it is also difficult to find all those responsible for the conflict In the regions of Russia, there have been ethnic NGOs for many years that represent the interests of different ethnic groups - both citizens and migrants. The territory of Russia is very large, the cities are far from each other. Ethnic NGOs representatives from different cities do not actually communicate with each other and the level of interaction with the authorities and the police in different regions is very different. It should be noted that in the event of an interethnic conflict, it is difficult for the authorities and the police to quickly make optimal decisions to end the conflict, and for ethnic NGOs it is difficult to take measures to protect representatives of their national ethnic group. Our research shows that the majority ethnic NGOs the leaders are older people who have poor knowledge of modern digital technologies, which prevents them from working more professionally in their organizations

    Description

    Speaking about institutional changes we are to mention the experience of interexchange of the best practices of NGOs from 31 RF region. The ethnic NGOs gained knowledge and skills on digital communication for more successful work with their activities and NGOs from other regions. In case of conflict situation, the NGO leaders and activities know how to cooperation with Police and authorities not to allow this conflict spread. The project helped a lot the ethnic NGOs not only to improve the professional level but also to believe in their capabilities.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The first step of this project development was the consultations with ethnic NGOs leaders across Russia if such a project is up-to-date and relevant. Our questionnaires showed that ethnic NGOs can well perform the function of the inclusive institution and it is much easier with the help of ethnic NGOs to realize interethnic conflicts prophylaxis than to seek justice for the conflict victims after the conflict. Due to the project realization, there was developed a network of ethnic NGOs of Russia which gave the opportunity to consolidate the resources and power for the protection of the representatives of ethnic minorities and migrants in Russia.

    Implementation methodologies

    In 2019 there were chosen the regions where exist the good practice of cooperation between ethnic NGOs, Police and authorities i.e. Yaroslavl, Samara and Yekaterinburg. In that cities there were implemented three-day interactive trainings. At every event there took part the representatives of ethnic NGOs from 10-15 RF regions. The first day of the activity was devoted to introduction of the participants and best practices experience interexchange. The second day – there were meetings and discussion with the authorities and police representative of the city where the activity took place. The third day - the activity results discussion among the ethnic NGOs reps. It is important to highlight that in the above – mentioned cities the authorities provided great support in implementation of the activities. In particular in Yaroslavl the meeting with the authorities and Police reps. took place in the city hall. In Yekaterinburg the same meeting took place in the Ministry of Education; in Samara all there days we worked in the House of Friendship – state institution. At the end of the project year there took place a final conference in Moscow with participants of more than 60 people. The conference was attended by the employees of the Attorney General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Moscow government. In 2019 there also took place regional seminars in 15 RF regions. This project showed that interregional activities are much more effective and successful than regional ones, so in 2020 we implemented 7 inter-regional trainings in Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Izhevsk, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Sochi and Vladimir. The plan of the training was the same as during the previous years. In 2020 we paid a particular accent on modern digital methods for communication to improve the opportunities for the dialogue with police and authorities. For the activities in Sochi and Izhevsk there were also invited youth activists of ethnic NGOs. At every project activity there was a special session aimed at evaluation during which the participants evaluated the up-to-date and relevance of the gained information and experience. At the end of 2020 there was implemented an external independent project monitoring. The project was realized under the volunteer support of the CIIC partners across Russia. The main support was provide by Institute for Foreign Relations.

    Results

    In Total the project was attended by more than 400 ethnic NGOs representatives, there were established groups in WhatsApp and Telegram. In 11 regions there took place interregional activities In 25 regions from Kaliningrad to Irkutsk there took place regional seminars. The project helped to improve the professional qualities of the leaders of ethnic NGOs and to empower their leadership skills and abilities. On the other hand the representatives of authorities and police where the inter-regional project activities took place were convinced in the usefulness of cooperation with ethnic NGOs for interethnic conflicts prophylaxis and prevention. By this project we proved that the presence of strong and professional ethnic NGOs in Russian regions plays an important role for the interethnic conflicts prophylaxis and that strong civil society is one of the conditions for the sustainable development of the country.

    Factors and Constraints

    First, we are to mention high level of interest from the side of ethnic NGOs in such a project. The authorities and police also were willing to participate in the project. In 2020 the pandemic bright lots of difficulties for the project implementation. It appeared to be innovative to establish groups in WhatsApp and Telegram for communication and prompt solutions in case of a problem

    Sustainability and replicability

    The problems of integration and adaptation of refugees and migrants exist in many countries round the world now. It is obvious that successful integration is impossible is racial or ethnic conflicts exist. We consider that our technologies used during this project for conflict prevention and prophylaxis can be applied in other countries.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The COVID-19 pandemic and the lock downs have risen the conflict potential a lot round the world and in Russia. In spring 2020 we worked only on-line. We arranged conferences for the ethnic NGOs reps. from 13 Russian regions. These conferences appeared to be much less effective in comparison with off-line ones. So, as soon as the period of self-isolation was over we returned to the off-line format. In different regions the situation with COVID-19 was different. We were to take it into account and coordinate the activities with local authorities. It also happened quite many time that right at the last minute the participants were to cancel their participation. We planned to implement a big last event in Moscow with the participation of Federal Authorities as in was in 2019 thus in September it was obvious that the biggest amount of infected would be in Moscow at that time. So, we moved the event to Kazan. We had also another effect of COVID-19 - people who were for a long time on self-isolation when joining the activity saw that everything continues to work, met their colleagues from other regions. This fact brought more energy and success into the project.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
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    Timeline
    01 March 2019 (start date)
    30 December 2020 (date of completion)
    Partners
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    SDGs
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    Countries
    Russian Federation
    Russian Federation
    Contact Information

    Ashot, Development of cooperation between police and NGOs for the prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts