PASOS grant helps Kosovo NGO boost open government
A Kosovar NGO has launched a campaign to increase transparency, accountability, and public participation in their municipality, thanks to a PASOS project grant that will be used to fund the effort.
The Network of Peace Movement (NOPM) was awarded a 2,000 Euro grant for their project “Increasing and enhancing municipal transparency and accountability in the local government.” The grant was made as part of Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded PASOS project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.
The project targets Kamenicë, a town of about 35,000 in the east of Kosovo. The Riinvest Institute for Development Research, a PASOS member in Kosovo that is a partner in Advocacy for Open Government, oversaw the grant process that resulted in the award to NOPM.
“Firstly, Kamenicë/Kamenica municipality partly fails to be open and transparent, accountable for their deeds and to maintain a professional administration, depoliticized and in the service to the citizens,” according to a NOPM statement about the project. “Secondly, even if the municipality has approved regulation on transparency, organized public and budget hearings and public discussions, it still lack much information on budget expenditures and citizens’ suggestions and proposals are not taken into consideration and not incorporated.
“These shortcomings only discourage residents from actively engaging in public affairs and more seriously prevent them from understanding issues and thereby addressing them to the relevant municipal authorities or departments. In other words, the flow of information is inefficient and needs to be improved.”
NOPM is holding a series of events to help address these issues, including:
- A workshop on municipal transparency for the town’s mayor, deputy mayor, directors of departments, information officers, legal officers, civil society organizations and media representatives.
- A one-day training on good governance, transparency and accountability at the local level. Participants include the town’s mayor and deputy mayor for communities, head of personnel, information office, citizens’ service center, civil society and media representatives.
- A Municipal Open Door Day to give the public an opportunity to meet with their local representatives, acquaint themselves with the mayor’s major responsibilities, his team and the most important administrative services; acquire basic knowledge about the work and structure of the municipal administration; and become more involved in municipal issues/decision-making processes.