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Mid-term review of the Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People project – second focus group meeting in Serbia


As part of the mid-term review activities in the Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People project, coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia and supported by European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Austrian Red Cross, on 9 November a focus group interview was organised with the members of HumanaS network at the premises of the Red Cross of Serbia.

The focus group interview was structured to explore four groups of indicators relevant to the project: its relevance, efficacy of activities/ achievements, influence and sustainability. There were ten participants present, representatives of HumanaS network member organisations belonging to the civil society in Serbia.

The participants agreed that the project is highly relevant considering the rising share of older people in Serbian population is not followed by proportional rise of their participation in the society, especially in decision making, in particular when it comes to those decisions that directly affect the lives of older people. It Is a shared observation of the participants that the capacity to provide older people with community services trails far behind the need for these services but that participation of older people in social lives of their communities also tends to be insufficient, especially when it comes to older people belonging to vulnerable categories.

Talking about the achievements of the network, the participants pointed out mutual support of its members at operational level but that when it comes to advocacy, significant success has been reached: HumanaS is now a recognisable name among all the key stakeholders in Serbia. The influence of the network is reflected in the concrete gestures, such as is the fact that Serbian Protector of Citizens decided to establish a Council for Ageing following the initiative provided by the network, or that the authors of the Manual for Strategic Planning defined older people as a distinct category in this document.

When it comes to sustainability, the participants underline the importance of expanding the network with new members but also networking at regional and international level.