Consultancy office launched in 2019.
As its name suggests*, our office helps each of its client organisations chart its own path toward achieving its goals, to generate a desired societal impact. We are at their side if this path involves a presence and an activity with a European dimension.
*trasa means in Slavic “path, trace”
The two consultants in the team, Mirka Čikkelová and Stéphane Boulanger, master together 5 European languages (French, English, Slovak, Spanish, Dutch) and have the necessary skills and experience in terms of:
definition of an economic model;
buy-in from key project stakeholders;
structuring and management of operational, administrative and financial activities;
communication, networking and advocacy strategy;
development and implementation of multi-partner projects;
setting up financing files with private and public players, including the European Union.
In addition, they have worked on numerous occasions with associations, foundations or cooperative enterprises supported by groups of volunteers and mobilised by social or environmental issues.
For associations, foundations and collectives of citizens mobilised by social and environmental issues, it is increasingly essential to be able to succeed in the transition from an informal dynamic to a structured approach, geared towards the achievement of clearly defined objectives.
This transformative process, which is essential to contribute to a change, is punctuated by challenges, such as that of setting up an organisation combining agility and efficiency, financial autonomy, or even the permanent (re)connection between action, values and founding energies.
Beyond a first level of structuring, these organisations, if they wish really weigh in on the issues that mobilise them, will have to achieve a “scaling up”, ie implementing a strategy allowing them to increase their impact. This change of scale can take the path of an increase in the volume of activity or, much more often, that of cooperation within networks of initiatives with convergent objectives. In the latter case, the European level becomes a possible level of intervention, even for an organisation of modest size. The concrete advantages of this change of scale are multiple: acceleration of the development of knowledge, access to new modes of financing, increased impact of advocacy actions...
If digital tools tend to democratise and facilitate the construction of networks or alliances of partners, other obstacles remain in sight at the European level: difficulty in identifying and canvassing partner organisations, alignment of objectives and strategies, definition and setting up of joint projects, possible cultural or linguistic barriers, deciphering of financing methods at national or European level, cost of consulting services in this area, etc.
Help associations, foundations and groups of citizens working for a fairer and more sustainable society to successfully implement a structured and focused approach towards the achievement of clearly defined objectives. Where appropriate and if they wish so, influence at European level on the issues that mobilise them.
This consists, more specifically, in helping to:
lay the strategic foundations of the organisation;
define a viable economic model;
put in place a clear legal and administrative framework;
structure operational activities;
mobilise volunteer support throughout the adventure.
As part of a change of scale, we help to:
identify possible partners in other European countries;
learn to operate in a network;
set up, financing and implementing multi-partner projects;
carry out coordinated and effective advocacy actions.
Commitment: our desire to contribute to the transition to a fairer society that respects environmental limits explains our determination to give the best of ourselves in each of our missions.
Sobriety: we believe that it is possible to achieve a lot with few resources. In this logic, we limit our interventions to what is strictly necessary and oriented towards the capacity building of our customers. We also suppress any other source of unnecessary expense.
Well-being: we seek, both for ourselves and for our clients, maximum consistency between purpose and means, to continually satisfy the need for meaning. We are also attentive to the factors that promote emotional security and even pleasure in our work and in that of our clients' teams.
The nature of our intervention is each time the subject of a concerted definition with our client organisations.
It can be either global or relate to certain elements:
define the strategic framework;
put in place a clear administrative and legal framework;
structure operational activities;
identify partners in other European countries and initiate networking;
set up and ensure the financing of multi-partner projects;
define and carry out coordinated and effective advocacy actions;
mobilise volunteer support throughout the adventure and articulate their contribution with that of a professional staff, etc.
We take care to personalise our interventions as much as possible. Our clients are organisations and they would be nothing without the people who carry them and who give them a particular identity. The methodological framework of our interventions is each time adapted to best take into account the characteristics and human resources specific to each organisation.
In a spirit of progressiveness, we also invite our client organisations to first lay a solid foundation on a restricted scope of action or with a limited number of partners and to focus on concrete achievements rather than aiming for rapid development and all azimuths, carrying the risk of diluting the energies and weakening the motivation of the professional or voluntary teams.
Since our launch, TRASA has had the opportunity to work on two particular themes, strongly linked to the previous experiences of its consultants:
As the World Health Organization regularly points out, working on patient safety is necessary to strengthen health systems and progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG): enable healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Patient safety is a concept that has emerged with the increasing complexity of healthcare systems and the rise of harm to patients within healthcare institutions. Whether it is, for example, an infection developed during hospitalisation, a diagnostic error or even post-operative complications, no hospital system or region of the world is completely immune to these risks.
Far from a simplistic and potentially devastating answer that would totally deny the right to error on the part of individuals and organisations, a more adequate approach to the problem comes down to taking into consideration the complex and changing nature of health care systems and to pay more attention to the environment in which practitioners and patients operate, to identify areas for improvement.
And, in this respect, the Covid-19 pandemic has not been stingy with illustrations, if still needed, of the tremendous constraints that already weigh on national or regional health systems and which, more or less directly, are likely to impact the quality of care and patient safety: performance pressure, lack of staff, exhaustion of teams, very high staff turnover, evolution of techniques, etc.
In order to build and promote responses adapted to this complexity, the organisations involved in patient safety with which we work encourage interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration between actors from different worlds (practitioners, patients, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, health institutions, etc.).
They distinguish between common ground lines in the different health systems and local specificities or nuances, which can be explained, for example, by cultural factors. They do not hesitate to explore innovative solutions that put people at the centre, starting with the patient, whom they consider to be a real player in their own health. With the same intensity, they concern themselves with the well-being of healthcare workers, the improvement of which is seen as a priority.
For more information, contact Mirka Čikkelová
Almost everywhere in Europe and for several decades, forests have been losing their natural character to evolve towards a model comparable to that which prevails in agriculture: intensification, monoculture, heavy mechanisation, and inputs.
These invasive methods, which do not respect the natural cycles of forest regeneration, weaken the forests with regard to climate change and therefore jeopardise the production of wood as well as the income of the people who depend on it. In an equally worrying way, they negatively impact the ability of forests to provide other services that we expect of them: reception of biodiversity, capture of carbon emissions, filtration and storage of water, protection against water runoff and floods, etc. Finally, they are accompanied more and more often by the closure of forest areas in the name of private property, or by the devastation of the landscape.
Forest owners, associations and groups of citizens, aware of the shortcomings of the dominant model, are involved in different countries (France, Belgium, Slovakia, etc.) by buying up plots of forest land and directing their management towards a better balance of the economic, environmental and social functions of the forest.
For more information, contact Stéphane Boulanger