MEUSAC refines team’s skills, services as ESF-funded project Engage comes to a close

Article written by Duncan Barry –  Executive, MEUSAC
Published in The Malta Independent – 15.04.2020

MEUSAC recently finalised the implementation of the Engage project – ‘Enhancing Stakeholder Participation in Social Dialogue’ – which is part-financed by the European Social Fund.

The project came to a close with a half-day seminar which was attended by a good number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

MEUSAC embarked on this project, which kick-started in late 2018, to:

  • identify the most effective engagement methodologies in order to provide a service which meets the needs of stakeholders;
  • invest in Government’s services by providing the necessary skills to the MEUSAC team on how stakeholder capacity may be enhanced;
  • enhance the capacity of stakeholders through training and increased awareness on the processes, tools and opportunities for increased stakeholder participation.

The project started with a stakeholder engagement analysis and an awareness-raising media campaign. In the beginning of 2019, the MEUSAC team received intense training in a number of areas to up their skills in a bid to improve on the agency’s services. The MEUSAC team also travelled to Brussels and were briefed by staff working in EU institutions in Brussels on their work and how best MEUSAC staff can collaborate with them.

The final phase of the project started in the last quarter of 2019 with capacity building sessions for NGOs involved in the areas of education, employment and social policy. The topics that were covered were stakeholder engagement; more effective use of communication tools; and accessing EU funding opportunities. These capacity building sessions were then followed by mentoring sessions which were led by MEUSAC staff.

A final half-day seminar was held on March 10. During the seminar, participants had the opportunity to discuss social dialogue issues in Malta and participate in one of the following workshops: (i) Effective participation in social dialogue; (ii) Networking between stakeholders with common interests; and (iii) Effective formulation of policy papers to feed into the national position on proposed EU legislation.

The seminar was addressed by the Minister responsible for Social Dialogue, Carmelo Abela.. The Minister said that the Government is seeking ways on how best to improve social dialogue.

Minister Abela also thanked MEUSAC for their work in finding ways on how to strengthen the capacity of various organisations within Maltese society so that they are engaged in the discussions on key EU legislative proposals and policies.

Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi also addressed those present, giving a round-up of the project

The estimated project budget is €123,000.

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