CRPM report: Online citizen portal needs more government attention

January 26, 2015

aogPublisher: Center for Research and Policy Making, Macedonia

The Macedonian government needs to better publicize and track the use of an online portal intended to make the process of lawmaking more transparent, according to a Center for Public Policy Research analysis conducted as part of a PASOS project to support open government.

The recommendation to boost the government’s support of the ENER web portal is one several contained in the report that emphasize the use of electronic tools to increase citizen awareness and participation in policymaking. ENER provides Macedonians with an online opportunity to offer opinions, comments and suggestions on proposed legislation.

Open Government Partnership: Calls for Participation was produced as part of Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.

Other recommendations contained in the report call on the government to:

  • Improve the web site of the Department for Cooperation with CSOs (www.nvosorabotka.gov.mk) so as to make it more informative and interactive for CSOs and government institutions
  • Cooperate more closely with the Department for Cooperation with CSOs and publish more information on the www.nvosorabotka.gov.mk website; create a list of information that all government bodies must communicate to this department
  • Offer the possibility to join mailing lists and subscribing to newsletters as an efficient way of maintaining good communication and cooperation with interested citizens and applied by all institutions

The report, which contains a comprehensive analysis of the state of open government in Macedonia, also reports on the results of polling done to measure the level of citizen participation in policymaking. The polling found that a majority of citizens say they do not use participatory tools and that they lack trust in their ability to influence policies.

“This is likely an indicator that the poor public relations and communication of institutions with the citizens has played a major role in the distrust that stands between them,” the report states. “As communication through electronic means for the purpose of transparency and policymaking is constantly promoted and increasignly used, it will certainly carry positive impact in this relationship.”

Download: Open Government Partnership: Calls for Participation

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