German-Turkish Initiative to promote Municipal Expert Dialogue
From 2022, the ORTAK project will be offering German and Turkish municipalities financial support to implement expert dialogue, networking and cooperation projects for development. Funding of up to 25,000 euros can be provided over a period of up to 15 months. The initiative is financed by Stiftung Mercator.
Germany and Turkey have close ties, not only because of the two countries' long history of migration. Relations between German and Turkish municipalities are manifold. They range from friendly exchanges, to project partnerships, to long-standing town twinning arrangements. Regardless of the form these German-Turkish relations take, both sides are interested in learning from each other and working together on the goals of the 2030 Agenda.
Against this background, the project 'ORTAK – German-Turkish Initiative to Promote Municipal Expert Dialogue' aims to promote municipal knowledge sharing. It will also support the establishment and development of municipal project partnerships.
The municipalities supported by the initiative will also be able to take part in a training programme. This will include courses on regional studies, workshops on intercultural communication and training in areas such as project management. One special feature of the initiative is that when implementing projects, the funded municipalities will be supported by experts – for example, in moderating (intercultural) processes or with regard to the particular area of expertise.
The Turkish word Ortak translates into English as 'partner'/'associate', or 'shared'/'joint'. With the funding of up to 25,000 euros, German and Turkish municipalities will be able to jointly discuss and deepen their knowledge of topics relevant to both sides in the areas of local public services and local coexistence. This will be possible regardless of whether they are already twinned, or wish to establish a new project partnership.
Further information on opportunities to apply for funding under the ORTAK project will follow shortly.
Requirements for submitting project proposals
Who is eligible to apply?
German local municipalities are eligible to apply. The municipal districts for the state of Berlin and the city-state of Hamburg are eligible to apply independently. Project proposals can be submitted in either German or English language.
What topics should projects focus on?
The Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) and Stiftung Mercator particularly welcome project ideas on the following topics:
Sustainable urban development, with a focus on environmental protection and raising awareness for necessary climate protection and climate adaptation processes at the municipal level, e.g. reduction of resource consumption, reduction of waste, waste management; green neighbourhood development
Local approaches to increase social participation and cohesion: - Mediation in cases of disputes and conflicts in the neighbourhood; projects to resolve conflicts between young and old, in the areas of neighbourhood and housing, coexistence and dialogue between different cultures and religions, and municipally supported mediation in schools; - Establishment of municipal conflict resolution mechanisms within the administration and on a voluntary basis as part of successful integration management.
Strategies and examples of local economic development to overcome the consequences of the pandemic, e.g. municipal support for projects of a public welfare-oriented economy.
In addition, municipalities can apply for projects on other topics of municipal development cooperation. However, preference will be given to projects with a concrete link to the above-mentioned topics.
Which measures are eligible for funding?
Exchange of expertise and experience, e.g. Visits (to initiate, plan, meet, implement projects), working meetings, expert seminars and workshops, assignments of experts (e.g. to accompany or advise on specific topics), job shadowing.
Qualification and other measures, e.g. Materials (such as development of studies, concepts and strategies or trainings and train-the-trainer formats), smaller activities or pilot measures, measures to raise awareness and inform the public in the partner municipalities on the topics at hand.
The specifications refer to both physical and virtual measures in the Turkish as well as in the German municipality.
Which other requirements have to be considered?
Role of the applicants and participating actors: The German and Turkish municipalities plan and implement the project jointly on an equal footing. The German municipality maintains a partnership or friendly relationship with a Turkish municipality. If desired, new municipal partnership relationships can also be supported. Cooperation with professional and civil society organizations etc. in Germany and Turkey is possible and expressly desired.
Funding amount: Projects can be funded with a minimum of 5,000 euros up to a maximum of 25,000 euros (90 percent of eligible expenses).
Duration: Projects may not exceed a maximum duration of 15 months.
Proportionate Funding is provided for up to 90 percent of the total eligible expenditure. At least 10 percent of the total expenditure must be provided by the municipalities in the form of their own funds and/or third-party funds (e.g. through donations).
Administrative allowance: A lump sum for administrative overheads (to cover the administrative costs incurred, e.g. a percentage for personnel, communication etc.) equivalent to a maximum of 7 percent in addition to the total eligible project expenditure will be granted.
Spending of funds: The municipalities receiving funding must spend the funds in a non-profit manner in accordance with the purpose of the project.