Malta: Cohesion Building through Cross-Sector Cooperation

On the 25th of August, CORE Platform launchedLearn to Work Together: Cohesion Building Through Cooperation’ this year to enhance cross-sector collaboration.

 

The project is funded by the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme (VOPS), an initiative of the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE). VOPS is managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS), and financially assists projects that can make a real difference to local communities.

 

‘Learn to Work Together’ is designed by Maria-Gabriele Doublesin (Intercultural Community Counsellor and Intercultural Competence Development), chaired by Helga Ellul (president of CORE Platform) and coordinated by Matteo Privitelli (executive of CORE Platform). The team believes that social cohesion and the Maltese economy stand to improve by bridging the business sector and voluntary organisations (VOs).

 

Working in isolation – in “silos”, as it were – does not benefit the objectives or integrity of civil society or the business sector. To the contrary, developing strong bonds between companies and VOs or NGOs (non-governmental organisations) nudges communities away from prejudice, bias, discrimination and marginalisation.

 

Under the umbrella of CORE Platform, ‘Learn to Work Together’ is one of the organisation’s latest push towards impactful CSR in Malta. Founded in September 2015 the organisation lives and breathes corporate citizenship and CSR by linking businesses with NGOs and VOs. 

 

Teaming up with Mrs Doublesin on ‘Learn to Work Together’ means a bright future lies ahead for cross-sector cooperation on the island. From the outcome of research and needs identified during the consultative forum, Mrs Doublesin will develop and conduct a specialised training programme with the aim of enhancing cross-sector collaboration.

CORE Platform is a national partner of CSR Europe and continues to go from strength to strength, by also currently working on a project leading to the development of a National Action Plan on CSR for the island, as Malta is the only EU Member State where this framework is missing.

 

This plan will provide guidelines to Maltese businesses on how to become more engaged in their local communities and on how to become more responsible and sustainable.

Former CEO of Playmobil Malta and founder of the consultancy Advise Ltd, CORE Platform president Ellul has paved the way to success. Fostering knowledge- and expertise-sharing has generated exciting results, both for the organisation and for local communities and businesses.

 

To kickstart cooperation, a consultative roundtable was held earlier this year, which was well attended by governmental organisations, academia, NGOs, unions and businesses.

Mrs Doublesin posed the following questions: What helps and what hinders cross-sector collaboration? What are the biggest challenges, and what will improve cross-sector collaboration?

 

The roundtable revealed that collaboration is thwarted by a lack of information on NGO activities, time, education programmes promoting active citizenship and entrepreneurship, and, transparency about funding. Things are exacerbated by working in isolation, limited audience pools, and prejudice and stiff competition among businesses and NGOs. The project has now entered its research phase to explore the revelations and develop training that facilitates more active citizenship, stronger entrepreneurial spirit and increased transparency between the business and community sectors.

 

The belief is that information sharing about products and services offered by VOs will enhance cooperation and reduce NGOs’ dependence on charity and fundraising.

 

The training programme and research report will be presented to the respective authorities at the stakeholders’ meeting to show how community organisations and businesses can better cooperate – both together and with the government.

 

CORE Platform invites people to participate in the training programme, and it hopes that the VOPS-funded project will spark new initiatives that promote cohesion building and social inclusion to benefit isolated communities and Malta’s economy.

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