“It’s very positive to see the huge interest in co-operation between Nordic and Russian partners on important topics such as social sustainability, environment, and climate,” says Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers. “The Nordic Council of Ministers’ support for NGO co-operation throughout the Baltic Sea region helps to mutually increase awareness of ongoing public debates and common challenges in our countries and provides inspiration for continued development in the region. The many promising Nordic-Russian projects emphasise the importance of maintaining contacts and supporting civil society co-operation across borders - even in times when political relations are challenging,” adds Lehtomäki. “I am pleased that people-to-people co-operation is still thriving.” The purpose of the funding is to strengthen civil society and cross-border co-operation, and thus contribute to the development of the region. The focus of the projects that are set to receive funding are social services and healthcare, children and young people, education, culture, gender equality, the environment, civil society, democracy, and human rights.
It’s very positive to see the huge interest in co-operation between Nordic and Russian partners on important topics such as social sustainability, environment, and climate
A total of 22 projects to receive Nordic funding
Twenty-two projects in Russia and the Baltic Sea region are set to receive Nordic funding. Project partners in the Nordic Region and the co-operating countries include NGOs, universities, and local authorities. Partners outside the Nordic Region come from the Baltic Sea region, which includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Northwest Russia, and Belarus. The Nordic Council of Ministers received a total of 82 applications from various partnership projects in the Nordic countries and Northwest Russia.
The following projects will receive funding:
1. Wind Energy: joint innovation solutions for the future energy needs of northern regions
This project intends to: address the challenges and contribute to the assessment of wind energy potential; explore wind-driven power-plant operation under cold climates; and develop technologies to minimise the impact of snow and ice on wind turbine/wind park operations.
2. Navigating information: Identify, evaluate, use. Children and young people in the Baltic Sea region in a digital world
This project aims to develop knowledge among children and young people on media and information literacy (MIL) and provide specific tools for assessing the reliability of information (fact-checking).
3. Indigenous and non-indigenous residents of the Nordic-Russian region: Best practices for equity in healthy ageing
This project will establish a close-knit research group to practice multiple disciplines related to gerontology and ageing. The project will establish a network and organise face-to-face meetings at workshops.
4. Sustainable Working Life - Visions for wellbeing and future solutions
The goal of the project is the exchange of Nordic and Russian knowledge and experiences on working life, sustainability, inclusion, wellbeing, and equality between women and men and to create new collaborative networks.
5. Climate change and youth response in Kaliningrad and the rest of the Baltic Sea region
The project is aimed at increasing eco responsibility among young people in the Baltic Sea region in relation to climate change through understanding and disseminating best Nordic practices, networking, and skills development among stakeholders.
6. ARCTIC HERITAGE: Developing architectural solutions and conservation techniques for unique cultural objects
The overall objective is to support academia, public authorities, wooden craft professionals, and conservation architects through collaboration, knowledge enhancement, and the development of expertise in areas of shared interest between Russia, Norway, and Finland.
7. Discovering a Youth Perspective through Activism and Leadership: Insights from Northwest Russia and the Nordic countries
This project brings together academics from Finland, Sweden, and Norway as well as from St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, and the Pskov regions of Russia. The partners address the challenge of increasing youth empowerment through activism and leadership.
8. Multi-cultural prisons in the Nordic countries and Russia
This project promotes inclusion and equality, and strengthens cultural exchanges and welfare by organising Nordic-Russian co-operation between authorities, universities, and NGOs to improve the social inclusion of foreign inmates.
9. Supportive Community: Informal Care for the Elderly in Russia, Finland, and Denmark
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of life of older generations through the exchange of informal care practices in local communities by NGOs in Russia, Finland, and Denmark.
10. Forum for Indigenous Women Leaders of Nordic Territories
The overall objective of the project is to empower indigenous women from Northwest Russia to participate in decision-making and contribute proactively to social, cultural, and political life in their communities.
11. Citizens’ centres for grass-roots initiatives are changing society
This project seeks to build capacity and enhance the sustainability of open citizen centres by focusing on the challenges of a cross-border training programme for organisations in Finland, Sweden, and Russia.
12. Empowerment of the indigenous peoples’ media through the cross-border co-operation
The aim of this project is to develop a cross-border information network to give indigenous organisations in remote communities of Northwest Russia access to knowledge and high-level education in the field of modern journalism.
13. NGOs versus household food waste: scaling up Baltic-Nordic co-operation
The objective of this project is to equip NGOs with the knowledge and skills they need to prevent food waste in households by creating long term co-operation, transferring knowledge and know-how, and jointly developing and implementing tools for preventing food waste.
14. Empowering youth and teacher networks of the Eco-Schools programme for a sustainable Baltic Sea region
The goal of the project is to promote the exchange of experiences and co-operation among NGOs in the Baltic Sea region that work in education in relation to sustainable development by exploring environmental topics and developing methods for empowering young people.
15. Clean Games Baltic Cup 2021
The project’s goal is to share the expertise of the Clean Games methodology with organisers of environmental and volunteer events in the countries of the Baltic Sea region.
16. Strengthening the NGO network - a tool for social security
The overall objective of this project is to deepen the understanding of the role of civil society and to strengthen the NGO network of the Baltic Sea region in order to contribute to the social and health sector for the promotion of social security in general by applying the basic principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights and other social rights instruments.
17. Media and dialogue for democracy by promoting professionalism, self-regulation, and media and information literacy This project seeks to facilitate dialogue between media and journalists, citizens, politicians, and the public sector by further developing and applying the recommendations established through projects supported by Nordic Council of Ministers.
18. Open data for civic participation (ODCP)
The goal of the project is to ensure the exchange of experiences and best practices between NGOs in Sweden, Latvia, and Belarus in the availability and use of open data for civic participation and to make civic activism more informed and effective.
19. Cultural crossroads: a new turn - international Olympiad on intercultural interaction
The project will facilitate the understanding of the shared values of adolescents in the Baltic Sea region and expand their understanding of European cultural values, raise their awareness of the relationship between culture and nature, and help to develop international co-operation among teenagers of European countries.
20. The Travelling Democracy Lab / A Media Literacy Campaign in the Baltics and Belarus
The project will centre around the translation and adaptation of Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Belarussian versions of the Swedish exhibition The Travelling Democracy Lab / Facts vs. Fakes, which will travel to schools and education institutions, libraries, and public venues in the four countries.
21. Promoting social justice through co-operation between NGOs and legal clinics
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen strategic co-operation between NGOs, legal clinics, and other stakeholders to promote the greater enjoyment of rights within socially vulnerable groups.
22. Inclusive creativity accessible to all
This project is aimed at democratisation in learning, inclusiveness, and accessibility. An online meeting will be held for partners along with a summer school for internships and the exchange of good practices of specialists from NGOs involved in the creative development of people with special needs based on the Resonaari music centre in Helsinki, which is a methodological centre for teaching music to people with disabilities.