SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


Sofia City Integration Agenda

Sofia Development Association publishes Sofia City Integration Agenda of third-country nationals. The document was made with a wide civilian participation, involving more than 120 experts, third-country nationals, representatives of local governments, state institutions, media, schools, universities.

Sofia City Integration Agenda outlines the three most likely scenarios for the presence and participation of third-country nationals in the life of Sofia in the next 3 to 5 years: the labor market, education and training, safety and security, integration and the attitude of the local community. It also proposes specific measures and activities for the relevant public institutions and civil society stakeholders responsible for the integration of third-country nationals and migrants.

The Sofia City Integration Agenda can be found at The document was developed under INTEGRA project, led by Sofia Development Association and co-funded by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

SDA team lead workshop in Graz transnational meeting under NGS project

On 11 - 12 December in Graz was held the 4th Transnational Partners Meeting. SDA team lead the workshop facilitating the finalisation of the Local Action Plans developed by the cities. Partners shared what were their best action implemented and were looking for solutions to the challenges they face in front of the actions plans finalisation.

During the workshops dedicated to the Youth Innovation Lab and dynamic learning programs Denitsa Lozanova and Svetlana Lomeva shared with other partners information about the activities held, participants who joined them. For only two months Sofia Youth Innovation Lab hosted more than 40 events and welcomed more than 1100 participants.


Sofia INTEGRA campaign launched during the Refugee Month

In recent years Bulgaria commemorates November as the Refugee Month, to honor the courage of these vulnerable groups escaping persecution, conflict, and desperate poverty, some of whom look for a chance to rebuild their lives in our community.

Sofia Development Association is a partner of the initiative Refugee Month. On November 30th, 2018, as part of INTEGRA project awareness building and advocacy campaign, we hosted in SofiaLab a series of community celebration events. “Community Drum Circle” was organized by Creators Association with the support of IOM Bulgaria, CVS-Bulgaria and SDA. Over 30 people from various nationalities played drums and percussion in a circle, creating a sense of rhythm and harmony that transcends language and takes participants to another level of understanding.

Later on, over 70 people participated in the closing event of the Refugee Month – An Intercultural Evening with food provided by MultiKulti Collective and a Belly Dancing performance organized by Badriya Oriental Dance School.

The event is part of the INTEGRA project, that received funding from Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.

   Photos by Philip Mihaylov - Next Level Photography




InnoBridge Project Interregional Workshop in Baden

On November 27 – 29, 2018, InnBrodge project partners – among whom Sofia Development Association – got together for an interregional workshop in Baden, Lower Austria. The workshop aimed to help partners develop the final Action Plan for the improvement of their policy instruments supporting regional and local level innovation and commercialization of R&D results, and updating their Smart Specialization Strategies.

Sevdalina Voynova with SDA and Botyo Botev, Sofia Municipal Councillor, presented Sofia policy interuments: the public-private fund for innovations, the Guarantee Fund for SMEs, Sofia Investment Agency.

As part of the event partners had a study visit in Technilogy and Research Center Wiener Neustadt and got acquainted with the Austrian Institute of Technology, Technopol Wr. Neustadt, accent programme, Founder Agency Lower Austria and some leading tech companies of the region.

The InnoBridge project is funded through the INTERREG EUROPE programme, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the EU.



Third-Country Nationals Integration Roundtable

Sofia Development Association organized a roundtable on the integration of third country nationals in Sofia on November 23, 2018. The INTEGRA team presented three most plausible forecast scenarios for the in-migration of third country nationals and the challenges Sofia faces in the short term related to foreigners’ integration in the labor market, in the economic, cultural and social sphere. Together with the roundtable participants – representatives of Sofia Municipal Council and Sofia Municipality, experts with public institutions, employer organizations, international organizations, NGOs in the area of refugee and migrant integration and human rights, Sofia University, third country nationals – we discussed recommendations for local policies and measures. Among the recommendations are the creating a program for entrepreneurship, trainings sponsored by employers, creating a center for complex services for third country nationals, effective use of Sofia Municipality funding programmes, establishing mechanisms for collecting and analyzing relevant data.

The results of the roundtable discussions will be included in Sofia Integration Agenda that will be published in December and will be the basis of the upcoming advocacy and awareness raising campaign.

The event is part of the INTEGRA project, that received funding from Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.



Needs Assessment of Asylum Seekers in Bulgaria

Sofia Development Association team took part in the final workshop on assessing the needs of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria, organized by UNHCR in Bulgaria. Around 30 stakeholders with various organizations and institutions, such as the State Agency for Refugees, the Red Cross, the Border Control, universities, municipalities, NGOs actively working on behalf of refugees and migrants, got together on November 6, 2018, in Borovets to discuss the strategic priorities in the area of humanitarian protection, to analyze the needs assessment results and recommendations, to discuss new instruments and mechanisms for empowerment. Sevdalina Voynova and Svetlana Lomeva presented the INTEGRA project, funded by EC’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.



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