The Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPID), currently bringing together 23 development NGOs was formally created on 27 January 2009. The process of its establishment lasted about 3 years. After the first conference on the EU Development Policies, organized by TRIALOG in Sofia in 2006, the Platform has gone through different phases. After initial enthusiasm, a group of 10-12 active NGDOs kept on working together, trying to support as much as possible the Bulgarian advancement in the ODA field. This informal network, which included organizations with various profiles, backgrounds and activities, began to participate in different events both at national and international level. Representatives of the network regularly attended CONCORD annual events and trainings, along with their presence at practically all TRIALOG events.
Last year turned out to be crucial for this informal gathering of Bulgarian NGDOs. Thanks to a project, financed by the Presidency Fund and run by ECIP Foundation, one of the active participants within the network, the process of official establishment of the BPID was intensified. The project, entitled “Bulgarian Civil Society Participation in the EU Development Policies”, brought together the energy and experience collected over the years in favour of the future policy of the country in this field. Thus, 17 NGDOs became founding members of the platform (currently 20) when the expectations were for about 10-12 organizations to get involved from the very beginning. The project activities gave additional impetus to the process. Three trainings were conducted with the support of TRIALOG and especially the elaboration of BPID’ 3-year Strategy and Action Plan turned out to be extremely successful in the process of bringing together the experience and the expertise of the sector in this field.
Along with it, a process of constant dialogue with the state institutions involved in the Bulgarian ODA policy was initiated and maintained in the course of the last 3 years. BPID representatives have participated in different consultations, conferences and meetings with representatives of the MFA and MoF. Thanks to this active dialogue, the Platform members have had the opportunity to become visible and recognized by the state institutions, in the first place. Moreover, BPID has done its best to facilitate and help, whenever possible, the dialogue between relevant state institutions involved in forming the Bulgarian ODA policy. In 2008-2009, the Platform participated in the inter-ministerial working group formed for the elaboration of draft versions of the mid-term Programme for Bulgarian participation in the international cooperation and the Enactment of the Council of Ministers for Bulgarian expenditures as ODA. However these documents need additional improvements, which is the current focus of BPID’s advocacy activities, as well their adoption by the new government and the following implementation.