The implementation of the Programme’s activities is coordinated by a Programme Management Unit based in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The Financial Department of the Ministry is responsible for the coordination of co-funding on the Bulgarian side of the project and for the control of the Swiss funds that are directed to the local governments. The three ministries that co-fund the Programme: The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Science participate in the Programme’s Managing Board.

The Programme has engaged the participation of experts on social inclusion, education, public procurement, health prevention, Roma issues, infrastructure, PR and communications (a total of nine experts at this date). At a local level the projects are implemented by the local governments in partnership with kindergartens, schools, healthcare centres, departments of local universities and civil organizations. Each municipality has a local team that works on the project. Health and education mediators work with the Roma communities in the neighbourhoods.

Ирина Файон

Team Leader of ZOV Programme

Irina Faion is an experienced and dynamic professional with a successful background in international policy-making and program management, strategic planning and developing international networks of cities and non-profits.  Her areas of expertise are: local governance and service delivery, social inclusion, education management and social entrepreneurship.

Irina Faion is currently the Team Leader of the Project Management Unit implementing the ZOV Programme, Inclusion of Roma and other Vulnerable Groups of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). She has experience with leading international programmes in international organizations and NGOs in the US and Europe.

She carries an MA degree in International Relations from Yale University (1997).

Lilia Gouneva

Expert on Health of ZOV Programme

Lilia Gouneva is currently working as expert for the Health component of the ZOV Programme, as from May 2013.

Previously, she was working as National Programme Officer for the health related projects within the Swiss Cooperation Office in Sofia (1996-2008). She has also worked for the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kazakhstan, as well as for the Embassy of France in Bulgaria.

Lilia graduated from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia and holds an MA in Healthcare Management from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.  

Iva Tontcheva

PR and Communications

Iva Tontcheva is an expert on PR and communication in the ZOV Programme, as of January 2016. She is graduated from the Faculty of Journalism at the Sofia University.

Iva has worked at the BTA, Bulgarian News Agency and at the Bulgarian section of BBC – World Service. As of 2009, she is working as PR and communication expert of key for Bulgaria projects in the fields of sustainable development, social inclusion, judicial reform and nature protection.

Currently, Iva is the media focal point at the Swiss Embassy in Sofia and Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme.