Forum 2022

New journeys for
cooperation in CEE

The international conference Ambrela Development Forum (ADF) will take place in November 2023 in Bratislava – More info soon

Watch the 2022 ADF panels' videos here: Ambrela development forum – Facebook videos

We live in unprecedented times. The war in Ukraine presents by far the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. As of February 24, 2023 more than 8 million people fled Ukraine. Both the system of humanitarian aid and development cooperation as well as the landscape of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond will change as a consequence.

This is a mega-crisis unfolding in the immediate vicinity of the EU, which is the richest part of the world, a major donor, and a hotbed for democracy. We all need to evaluate the future and prospects for the system of development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

There is a forum to discuss these issues.

Ambrela Development forum (ADF) is an international conference organized by the Platform for Development Organizations – Ambrela in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign And European Affairs in Bratislava, Slovakia.  Its purpose is to compensate for the lack of opportunities to engage in in-person networking, learning and advocacy that has recently been the case in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

In its first edition in 2022, ADF comprised of two linked events – Civil Society Session (23 May 2022) and Policy and Advocacy Forum for CSOs and decision-makers (24 May 2022).

This unique conference was being held to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the adjacent region from the perspective of humanitarian aid, migration, and the development cooperation funding. It wanted to create a space for dialogue both on the political and expert levels. The goal was to reflect and take stock on the future of the humanitarian and development cooperation systems, to generate ideas and create stronger partnerships across the whole sector. These goals focused on how to strategically adjust the system in the CEE in cooperation with the relevant institutions of the EU.

The topics covered included innovation, the role of civil society, coordination mechanisms, an early warning system, rapid response, funding effectiveness etc.

In particular, we think civil society needs to tackle the problem of the pushback against its legitimacy. Unfortunately, we will have to reflect on this need within the framework of the catastrophic view of the impact of foreign aggression on the previously vibrant civil society in the nation of Ukraine.

As for the innovations necessary, we do not only call for adopting new methods and “best practices”, but we also argue that a change of attitude is vital in a wide range of areas. These include the analysis of the context of the development work, networking and partnership (for the sake of implementation but also access to donors), or the increased importance of reflection and learning (coming from the more relevant and efficient monitoring and evaluation approaches and tools). The most crucial reflection, however, will concern what we have learned from coordinating and implementing aid to Ukraine.

The targeted participants in ADF 2022 included: 

  • Humanitarian and development CSO representatives from the CEE and beyond (with the focus on the EaP), including EU-level CSO networks
  • Politicians and state officials from CEE and the EU
  • Representatives of international-level donor and implementing organisations
  • Humanitarian workers who coordinated and implemented the aid to the needed people in Ukraine

ADF 2022 was financed by the Slovak Republic under the SlovakAid brand and the European Union thanks to the Eurodad via 'Umbrella' project and DEAR via the 'SDGs and Migration' project (with its campaign Faces of Migration).


Civil society organisations role in RebuildUkraine platform

6. júl 2022

Civil society organisations in Ukraine have been playing a crucial role since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion and […]

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On the reception of Ukrainian refugees in the European Union

21. jún 2022

Thanks to the partners of the ‘SDGs and migration’ project (and its ‘Faces of Migration’ campaign funded by EU through DEAR […]

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ADF interview with Tanya Cox from CONCORD Europe

8. jún 2022

Platform for Development Organisations – Ambrela responded to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine with a two-day international conference – Ambrela […]

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Slovak Aid
European Union
Faces of Migration project
Univeriztná knižnica v Bratislave