NGO Academy Member Story #3: Irina Adascalitei, CONCORDIA Academia, Romania

We are more than happy to feature Irina Adascalitei, CEO of CONCORDIA Academia in the already third  NGO Academy Member Story. Irina is alumni of NGO Academy’s Social Innovation and Management Programme 2016. Back then, in the course of the programme and with feedback from the NGO Academy faculty, she developed the in-depth model for transforming CONCORDIA’s internal Academy into an official provider of high quality professional trainings in the social field, which is now well renowned as CONCORDIA Academia. Have a look behind the scenes!

NGO Academy Member Story Irina Adascalitei

The story of CONCORDIA Academia, from the very beginning till…the future we project ourselves in

The whole idea of CONCORDIA Academia started back in 2015 based on our strong believe that we should care about our professionals and care givers as much as we care about our clients.

CONCORDIA Social Projects is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization, which, for more than 30 years, operates as a provider of social services in 5 countries: the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Austria. Each of these countries targets its own category of vulnerable clients, which depends on local social contexts and strong needs of care and support. CONCORDIA runs another two offices in Germany and Switzerland functioning as support units.


CONCORDIA’s main target groups are children, young people, families and communities in severe situations of poverty, segregation, social inadequacy. Analyzing the respective needed workforce capabilities and profiles, it became obvious that, in order to assure quality, durability and ethics in social work, an appropriate education as well as support services are highly requested. Today, as a regional center of excellence in professional development, CONCORDIA Academia is CONCORDIA’s strongest and most confident answer and systemic intervention.

We have successfully introduced new professions in the Romanian occupation code (social manager, supervisor in social services) and we obtained official recognition for our training programs starting with 2017. As a result, all our training participants receive diplomas issued by CONCORDIA Academia, together with representatives of local authorities or European partner universities. This entire process is currently replicated in the Republic of Moldova to continue the formal effort to position CONCORDIA Academia as a reference training and professional development institution.

Nowadays, CONCORDIA Academia has two main directions of intervention:

1. Training programs for social managers, practitioners and supervisors;

2. Support services for professionals and organizations: coaching, supervision, mentoring, counselling, organizational evaluation and diagnosis, strategic planning;

We are convinced that proper education and constant support offered to the professionals (through personal and professional development contexts, experiential learning and reflection, supervision and coaching, being part of professional communities) are the key for building capacities, keeping professionals affiliated, organizational success and real social impact.

Beside the trainings and support services, CONCORDIA Academia constantly contributes shaping the future of social, socio-medical and educational field in the countries where CONCORDIA runs its programs.

The year 2021 offered us the possibility to coordinate the development of the national methodology for facilitating vulnerable children’s social inclusion by determining inter-institutional collaboration for children acceptance in public schools. Another big opportunity is given by a project which has as an objective to create a day care centers network at national level in Romania.

Started in 2020, the project Focus, a foresight project, offered us the possibility to raise awareness and to prepare the social system at European level for the perspective 2030. National consultations and effective activities developed in four different countries (Austria, Denmark, Italy, Romania) revealed the most important needed competence areas for the future social field work force. After identifying them, the project allows us to find the optimal ways to make them achievable for both the individuals as well as the organizations. Specific trainings are delivered to HR/OD professionals and to organizational managers in order to create an added value to this project and to scale the results.

On the project website there are several short inputs on what is needed in the future social field, here for example a video with Cornelia Burtscher,  International Director for Human Resources and Organisational Development at CONCORDIA Social Projects, talking about Crisis Management in the Social Field:


So far, CONCORDIA Academia hosted more than 400 professionals in long-term (at least 5 months) training programs, 450 supervised practitioners, more than 600 online participants in short term programs and webinars, representing 320 different organizations.

If you would like to learn more about our activities in 2021 watch our video retrospective 2021:


We are incredibly grateful not only to our very reliable and supportive partners (as University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, Kardinal Koenig Haus, Schloss Hofen), but also to NGO Academy’s Social Innovation and Management Programme and ERSTE Foundation and to the entire team attributed to evaluate the initial proposal of Academia’s development. Constructive feedbacks, relevant advice, strong points of view and constant support, all of them professionally offered by the team of Erste Foundation back in 2016.

About CONCORDIA Academia

CONCORDIA Academia is an excellence centre in training and professional development set -up under the umbrella of the Organization CONCORDIA, a non-governmental organization founded in Romania in 1991, with operational activities currently in 5 countries (Romania, Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Austria and Kosovo) that for almost three decades “Who saves one life, saves the entire world”.

With its entire portfolio, CONCORDIA Academia offers to the specialists in the social field certified training programs for practitioners, managers and supervisors in the social field, as well as supervising services, coaching and consultancy aiming to contribute to capacitating and increasing the quality of social services.

Find out more on CONCORDIA Academia’s website.

Concordia Academia Team


About NGO Academy Member Stories

NGO Academy currently has more than 560 member organizations operating in 14 countries including Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All these organizations are giving impulses for civil society and they are the heart and soul of the NGO Academy Network. Year after year, we see great social innovations and projects coming to live in NGO Academy Member organizations. With NGO Academy Member Stories, we want to open the floor to these projects, enable organizations to learn from each other and to connect our NGO Academy members.