PASOS project awards grant to boost public participation in policymaking in Albanian city
An Albanian NGO’s proposal for a campaign to increase public awareness of open government and to boost participation in policymaking in the municipality of Kukës, Albania, has been awarded a PASOS project grant to fund the effort.
The National Association for Integration and Development (SHKIZH) was awarded a 2,000 Euro grant for their project “Citizen mobilization towards good local governance.” 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 Institute for Democracy and Mediation, a PASOS member in Albania that is a partner in Advocacy for Open Government, oversaw the grant process that resulted in the award to SHKIZH. The two-month project will launch in September 2016. The campaign will target civil servants, civil society organizations (CSOs), and high-school and college students.
It will focus on increasing awareness of and implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) principles at the municipal level. OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
“Good decision-making requires the knowledge, experiences, views and values of the public. Implementing difficult decisions depends on citizens’ consent and support,” according to a SHKIZH statement about the project. “Unless citizens understand and are engaged in the decision themselves, trust is easily lost. On the other hand, active citizenship is crucial to supporting democratic cooperation.
“However, the majority of the people are not aware of the rights and opportunities they have to become active citizens and contribute to governing processes. Education towards gaining this knowledge and developing and practicing the skills take place in all levels of our shared social life, but schools play a very important role in it.”
Activities planned for the project include:
- Publication and distribution of a leaflet about OGP and how citizens can engage in the initiative
- A public roundtable event with civil servants from Kukës Municipality and civil servants from public institutions
- A public roundtable event with CSOs in Kukës Municipality
- A public roundtable event with representatives from public institutions, CSOs and citizens to brainstorm on concrete commitments to be undertaken by local government in support of OGP