Review of the HelpAge Eastern Europe and Central Asia region made recommendations on to how HelpAge should position itself in the medium term (5-7 years) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia:

  • to deliver significant benefits to poor and vulnerable older people in the EECA region,
  • to review whether current ways of working with three Country Programmes (Central Asia), work through local partners (former Soviet Union) and limited network support (Eastern Europe) is the most logical one or should be re-considered,
  • more specifically what roles Country Offices and a Regional Office should have in supporting the HelpAge International network in the region, and what the best way(s) would be for such support in the medium term future,
  • what a financial sustainable model for Country Offices and a Regional Presence in EECA countries and networks should look like,
  • what good options on location and size of a RDC for EECA would look like, including possible merger with another RDC (South Asia in Kathmandu/Nepal) or expanding with other countries (oPt and/or Sudan, currently managed from London HQ),

 The review contained:

  1. A summary of main achievements to date by HelpAge and its Affiliates and partners
  2. The advantages and disadvantages of a country vs. a regional focus
  3. Where HelpAge could be most effective with a fully operational programme or by working exclusively with partners or some mix of the two
  4. How the political and funding environment influences HelpAge in the medium term
  5. Whether HelpAge misses relevant potential partners and other actors according to its network and relevant donors
  6. What capacity HelpAge would need for an effective & affordable structure in this specific region

The work: 

  • A desk based review drawing on key informants listed below and the experience of other actors
  • Informed and supplemented by structured conversations with a range of key informants, including the Regional Office in Kyrgyzstan, HelpAge International and Age UK in London and a good representation of donors and partners
  • Incorporating a visit to Kyrgyzstan and Russia

HelpAge International has a substantial history in South-East Europe, Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. The longest history is with South-East Europe from the early involvement in post-war reconstruction to the current emphasis on ensuring older people are represented in EC pre-accession processes. Around the early nineties HelpAge expanded its portfolio in that region towards Central Asia as they have similar issues of poverty and civil conflict. Only recently HelpAge started to work in Russia and Ukraine, through national partners.