Local Community Strengthening in the Municipality of Goražde

The basic objective of the project is to give support to direct and indirect beneficiaries in increasing their technical and institutional capacities for more effective inclusion in major decision-making processes at local level as well as for the establishment of inter-sectoral cooperation in areas of common interest and responsibility. The basic strategy of the project for achieving these goals was a program of education (training) and technical assistance that is designed based on previously established real needs for additional training of project beneficiaries in certain areas of their regular activities (competency, mission).
The project is designed so that its main (direct) beneficiaries have the chance not only to acquire new knowledge and skills on selected topics, but also to provide opportunity for new knowledge to be practically applied through participation in concrete actions and activities related to the establishment of inter- sectoral cooperation and participation of citizens in the budget process.
Thanks to CPCD project activities and constant encouragement of local communities, NGOs, business associations, municipal departments to gather themselves first and then work together, a new atmosphere was created in relations between these sectors. Cooperation has been accepted as the benefits that brings new challenges and successes to everyone, as a process in which all of them work together for the general welfare.

Public Policies Monitoring

The basic objective of the project was to reach the positive changes in quality of life in Sarajevo Canton by increased involvement of citizens, and by organized and articulated action of the civil society organizations in process of authorities monitoring, analyzing their previous work as well as advocacy actions for alternative measures in seven areas of public policy. These areas are: transparent spending of budget funds, health care, education, employment and professional retraining, care for old and ill, management of contributions and restricted funds and information services at local level. Particular importance of this project realization was the fact that not only monitoring and criticism of the authority were performed in Sarajevo Canton, but alternative measures for public policy have been offered and defined possible directions of future actions by governments that would led to positive changes in quality of life in Sarajevo Canton. The project was realized in cooperation with the Center for Policy Research and Development.

Public Policy Program “Strengthening of Civic Activism in Bosnia & Herzegovina in Electoral and Post-Electoral Processes”””

The basic goal of this project was to build and promote an efficient, transparent and participative process of creating and implementing public policy in BiH through organized action and citizens’ and CSOs advocacy, with the purpose of building a political responsible and consistent authority at all levels of BiH society. During three-years period, planned project activities were implemented in a total of 36 local communities in both of BiH entities. In 2008, project activities were implemented in 15 municipalities in cooperation with local organizations: Velika Kladuša, Donji Vakuf, Trebinje, Rudo, Vlasenica, Modriča, Kalinovik, Bihać, Livno, Bugojno, Goražde, Tuzla, Sarajevo and Doboj.

For Transparent and Accountable Local Government in Georgia

The goal of the project was to support implementation of the state program “Village Support” by training the LG trustees in territorial units in participatory methodologies, so that they will be able to conduct participatory needs assessments and problem prioritization in their communities. Also, during the project the special training for CBO and local NGO representatives on civil monitoring was organized, so they will be able to monitor the activities of LG trustees in local communities.

Survive Svanetia

The coalition project lead by “Civitas Georgica” was aimed at development of local communities in Svanetia by supporting establishment of active citizen’s groups, monitoring wood cutting, providing policy recommendations for local governments in Mestia and Lentekhi districts, distributing medicine etc. Target group: local population, CBOs, local councils, doctors, local businessmen

Strengthening the Role of Rural Associations in Democratic Processes in Georgia (STAGE)

The goal of the project was to build the capacity of 16 Rural Associations (RAs) in 8 districts of Georgia (Gardabani, Marneuli, Tetritskaro and Tsalka in Kvemo-Kartli region and Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe, Aspindza and Adigeni in Samtskhe-Javakheti region) by improving RA management structures and staff skills; by raising awareness among major stakeholders (local public, local & central governments); and by establishing communication channels with potential partners (national-level associations, other national level civil society institutions and private sector able to advocate for local development with Central Government).

Corruption and FDI in Kosovo

The goals of the project were: 1) Raising awareness about the damage that corruption as well as perceptions about its presence in our society cause to the process of attracting new foreign investments in Kosovo; 2) Support of Kosovo institutions in drafting more sophisticated platform for creating a better conditions, comparable with the countries in the region, for foreign investments; 3) Mobilizing social capacities in treatment of this phenomenon and contribution for development of an atmosphere where fighting corruption is considered as necessity.

Creation of a harmonic administration in twelve municipalities of Varna region

The general goal of the project was to contribute for the improvement of the work of the public administration by achieving better partnerships between organizations from the civil society sector and the administration. Development and implementation of mechanisms for civil society control and monitoring lay at the core of the project. Some of its main activities included: 1. analyses of best practices in twelve municipal administrations in the region of Varna; 2. assessment of the deficiencies in current work of the administrations and formulation of recommendations for improvement; 3. development and dissemination of a report regarding the “best practices”” in the work of the targeted municipalities; 4. realization of educational seminars for experts from the local administrations with regard to transparency and good governance; 5. realization of seminars and round tables between representatives from the civil society and the administration in order to improve and enhance long-term communication channels between the two groups.”

Support to good governance: Project against corruption in Ukraine (UPAC)

The UPAC Project aimed at strengthening Ukrainian institutions’ capacities in their anti-corruption efforts. It comprised three components: 1. Support to the creation of the strategic and institutional framework against corruption; 2. Strengthening of capacities for the prevention of corruption. 3. Strengthening of the legal framework and the enforcement of anti-corruption legislation. Although this was a project implemented by the Council of Europe office in Kyiv, it did involve NGOs into their activities.

Development and introduction of multiple models of self-government units in Bosnia&Herzegovina

The objective of the project was the creation of a new basic model of local self-governance in BIH through the introduciton of multiple structure with different jurisdiction and with differential legal status of local units in order to create enough flexible basis for the functional and fiscal decentralisation of BIH.

Development of Local Governments’ Public Internal Financial Control (PIFC) System

The objective of this project was to enhance the strategic management capacity of public administration at local government’s level and improve sound financial management of public funds.

The specific objective of the project was to introduce and develop the functionally independent internal control and audit systems in local governments of Estonia, in order to meet the EU requirements on PIFC.

Activities

Training (members of municipal councils and municipal administrations of large and medium-sized local governments to facilitate implementing internal audit functions) and analyzing and evaluating the existing legislation concerning PIFC in local governments.

Evaluation

 A questionnaire provided answers concerning the present establishment of internal audit within local governments. Amongst ca. 240 local governments 25 had been chosen by the Estonian authorities in a representative manner respecting different sizes of local governments, small, medium and large ones for example Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu.

Strengthening the Media’s Role as a Watchdog Institution in Georgia

Goals

With funding from the European Union, EPF began the Strengthening the Media’s Role as a Watchdog Institution in Georgia project, focused on increasing public access to high quality, professional, independent information.
Main activities of the project are the following:

• Perform a media landscape study through surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviewing.

• Link the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) with a media association in a new EU member state and undertake activities aimed at institutional development of the GARB.

• Conduct trainings for media and legal professionals on the specifics of investigative journalism, media legislation, access to information.

• Establish the Georgian Media Legal Defence Centre (GMLDC) to provide free legal aid for journalists, media outlets, and lawyers and to advocate for legislative changes.

• Hold TV and public discussions involving all stakeholders to encourage broad, inclusive dialogue on the state of the media in Georgia.

• Conduct targeted grant competitions on investigative journalism.

Results

EPF’s Caucasus Research Resource Center has undertaken a study of the Georgian media landscape consisting of a survey of public attitudes to the media in Georgia, a series of focus groups with media consumers, in-depth interviews with media professionals, and media monitoring of Georgian TV news. The results of the study were presented at the “European Union-Georgia” Civil Society Human Rights Seminar on Media Freedom and Internally Displaced Persons organized by the European Commission Delegation to Georgia in November, 2009. The report provided a comprehensive picture of the current situation in the Georgian media and served as the basis for a vibrant discussion at the seminar.

Source: Eurasia Partnership Foundation. Read more about this project here.

Developing conditions for better transparency and control of the governance through open and transparent procedures of public procurement

The aim of the project was to improve the transparency and accountability of the local administration, transforming it into a reliable business partner, through the application of procedures of good governance in the public procurement processes. The project activities included: 1. focus-groups with representatives of the local administration and business in order to define the major deficiencies in the public procurement process; 2. formation of a work group charged with the task to develop a report regarding the major problems and relevant policies for improvement of the public procurement procedures; 3. development of a “technical guidance document”” for the private sector aimed to help the business in the public procurement tenders; 4. development of an e-learning program for the target groups regarding the governance principles of the public procurement procedures.”

Local initiative for transparency of the administration and governance on the territory of Yambol municipality

The project aimed to increase the transparency of the local administration of Yambol’s municipality by improving the access to information for the citizens and the business regarding the governance priorities in the region.

The project activities included:

1. needs assessment of the civil society structures with regard to the governance priorities in the region;

2. development of mechanisms for better information dissemination regarding the work of the regional and local authorities.

Citizens and local government

This project (Citizens and local government) was realized by the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FSLD). It was a country-wide project designed for small municipalities and districts below 50.000 citizens with an objective to create sustainable and transparent mechanism for cooperation between local administration and local civic organizations and citizens. Overall the FSLD funded 22 grants to local NGOs (total amount equaled PLN 805.400 or ca. EUR 200.000) for sake of creating and strengthening of the cooperation among the NGOs as well as between them and the local administration.
Those actions were envisaged to enhance common trust between the engaged entities, especially towards the local governments and to lower corruption thanks to increased transparency of the decision making processes. Also creation of local organization coalitions was encouraged in order to stimulate active citizens’ participation in public life and to shape sustainable communication schemes between the administration and local communities. Thanks to the latter, local officials could better address the needs of their communities.

Transparent Poland II

This part of the project was designated for those local governments, which accomplished one of the two previous stages and intended to go on with already introduced solutions in order to deepen and fine tune their working. The main focus of the project was again to improve the quality of local governance. In general 127 local governments went on with this initiative and kept implementing brand new tasks (both mandatory and voluntary) within the earlier designed areas.

Transparent Poland – Forum

In 2007 47 local governments from the 3 previous project stages were invited to take further their experiences with “Transparent Poland”” (PP) program. This project lasted from March to November 2007. The invited communities were one of the most active and advanced bodies in introducing previous stages of the program. The PP-Forum offered an opportunity to bring together the governments and allow information sharing and exchange of interesting practices. Moreover, strengths and weaknesses of the hitherto approach were pinpointed. The main goal of this engagement supported by external experts was to work out an internal audit scheme for both effectiveness appraisal and evaluation of local governance enhancing mechanisms enacted during the previous stages of the program. Monitoring and assessment of the at-that-time utilized procedures was carried out and policy recommendations were spell out to fine tune the effectiveness of the local governments’ actions.
Another objective of this stage was to create a set of solutions and recommendations that could be later on shared with other self-governments, which did not participate in this project phase. The final goal was to establish a benchmarking group of advanced in implementation of the program activities local governments, which in further years could be utilized as a reference point for other self-governments, which would like to take on some of the program recommendations. This benchmarking group could also share their experiences with and offer advice to other local governments.
At this stage the program enlarged its geographical scope and pilot projects began in other countries of the region (Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia). The project continued in 2008.”

Facing the administration: Research on the good practices of the Bulgarian administration

The aim of the project was to improve the public perception towards the public administration by identifying and promoting the good practices of the municipal administration. The outputs of the project are: 1. a survey of the good practices in the local public administration; 2. publication of a comprehensive report with precise recommendations based on the findings of the research; 3. realization of six educational seminars for dissemination of the findings within the target groups; 4. media coverage of the project including a national press conference.