Establishing of community liaison offices

The project consited in the creation of community liaison offices in regions and Kyiv City with a purpose of receiving of public complaints, and providing legal consultations.

Improving Bulgarian local government integrity

The project builds on a similar project being implemented in Romania and is designed to address the issue of local government integrity in ten Bulgarian big and mid-size municipalities. The overriding goal of the project was to formulate and implement local integrity policies designed to institutionalize civic participation in drafting and instituting procedural and administrative safeguards against misuse of position and institutional corruption in the local administration; ensure that both society and local government are stakeholders of the policies. The overall aim of the project was to develop transparency and integrity of local government in Bulgaria, as a pre-requisite for the development of a truly democratic society, which is able to face and solve problems that might otherwise endanger justice, communication and transparent management of local administration.

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

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.

The citizens and the municipality – partners for transparent and effective local administration

The aim of the project was to increase the transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the municipal administration in Bulgaria by creating bridges between the civil society structures and the local authorities. The initiative included: 1. survey and analysis of the existing working practices of the Bulgarian local administration; 2. development of precise measures for improvement at national level; 3. development and realization of educational seminars and workshops for the targeted groups; 4. dissemination of the results of the project.

Only fish don’t take bait?

The aim of the project was to encourage the development of the investigative journalism, the latter being one of the method of not only revealing corruptive situations in public life, but also exerting a social pressure on politicians and officials to counteract such phenomena. The program had seven editions, starting in 2000 and finishing in 2006. The journalist (press, radio, tv) submitted to the Foundation their materials pertaining to uncovering corruptive situations. In the first edition, 2000, there were almost 80 submissions whereas, in 2001-48, 2002-36, 2003-138, 2004-162, 2005-165, 2006-88 (the high number in the latter years are caused most probably by counting several materials on the same topic not as a one submission but as a single entry). The ‘applications’ were evaluated by a committee and the winners were selected and announced. The winning journalists were awarded with financial prizes, in 2000 the main prize was $5.000, in 2002 it was PLN 12.000 (ca. €3.000), in 2006 – PLN 7.000 (ca. €1.750). Usually there were 3-4 prizes per edition. The awarded reportages were both of the national and local scope.

Partnership between the citizens and the municipal administration – a guarantee for transparency and accountability

The project aimed at increasing the capacity of the structures of the civil society in four municipalities in the fight against corruption. The capacity building refers to the capabilities of the civil society organizations to implement models and methods for monitoring and control over the public services provided by the municipal administrations . The project main activities included: 1. development of a local civil society partnership network; 2. survey of best practices in Bulgaria with regard to services of general interest provided by the local authorities 3. development of a web site for the partnership network in order to facilitate the communication between the target groups as well as to ease the monitoring process; 4. analyses of the existing deficiencies in the provision of services of general interest in the selected four municipalities and development of action plans for improvement; 5. realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society sector and the administration in order to discuss and improve the action plans; 6. monitoring over the implementation of the provided recommendations in the action plans; 6. analysis of the results of the project and dissemination of the good practices achieved.

Civil control – a guarantee for transparent and accessible local authority

The project seeks to improve the role of the structures of the civil society in the city of Gabrovo in the formulation of policies and programs at municipal level. Some of the main project activities were: 1. realization of surveys aimed to define the main problems and deficiencies in communication between the local administration and the civil society at large; 2. monitoring activities regarding the work of the administration and development of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. organization and realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society and experts from the municipal administration aimed to encourage the dialogue and partnership between the two target groups; 4. realization of educational seminars regarding the civil control over the work of the administration; 5. realization of a regional information campaign “Civil society organizations – factor for increasing the transparency and accountability of the municipal administration””.; 6. development of precise recommendations for the public administration on how to incorporate good practices and procedures, which will ease the access to information for the citizens and the business and engage the civil society into the decision making process regarding the provision of services of general public interest.”

Institutional reaction to cases of corruption in Bulgaria

The main purpose of the project was to study the reaction of different institutions and players, who have an attitude to the problem with the corruption, such as media, the political actors, the government, the judicial system, the no- government sector, and the public at large. The project involved the creation of the task-force of experts, investigative journalists, and politicians which monitored and discussed institutional reaction to a number of cases of corruption during a period of ten months in Bulgaria. The “task-force”” organized four round tables discussion with the participation of legislators, heads of administrative agencies, NGOs and journalists.”

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.

Monitoring the Implementation of the FOIA at Selected Public Authorities (on local and regional level)

OAD has carried out a number of monitoring projects concerning the application of the FOIA in practice. The aim of the monitoring has been to identify problems and shortcomings related to the application of the FOIA, highlight them and encourage the affected authorities to resolve or eliminate them.
Efforts have been concentrated on changing or removing certain established practices which were incorrect in terms of the Act, or which were disadvantageous, discriminatory or discouraging for a citizen – information seeker.
Where the law had been breached, OAD sought a remedy through legal means (e.g. appeals) as well as trough filing actions against decisions on non-disclosure of information that contravened the law. Based on OAD’s actions, the courts have delivered several judgments which have changed the practices of the respective authorities in connection with the application of the Act.

OAD, in cooperation with other NGO activists, monitored the implementation the FOIA at the local self-government offices in selected Slovak towns and villages from June to September 2001. This monitoring was focused on both the active information policy and the information provided on request.

Local Civic Groups

From 2000 to 2005 the Batory Foundation carried out a program to develop a network of Local Civic Groups, which were to monitor the exercise of authority by local officials as well as to educate local communities on greater transparency of public life.

The Foundation organized on an annual basis a set of trainings and workshops (9 meetings each lasts 2 days and take place every 4-5 weeks). These leadership trainings intend to prepare local leaders to develop their leadership skills as well as to train them in hard skills, like knowledge of legal regulations and consequences of corruption.

Over the last four years, the programm trained 68 individuals who have established 20 local citizens groups in both small communities and in large urban centers such as Cracow and Warsaw.

The project also provided technical and financial assistance to the Local Civic Group Leaders Association.
A series of advice manuals, practical guides and brochures (e.g..  Notes on Democracy – Citizen’s Anti-Corruption Guide series and Notes for Local Civic Group leaders) have been also developed.

Partnership between the civil society and the administration – a guarantee for transparency, accountability and control

The project aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of the regional and local administrations by providing mechanisms for control over their activities through the establishment of a strategic partnership with the civil society. Some of the activities that the project foresee are: 1. development of information channels between the administration and the civil society through information campaigns, TV channels (24 programs in total), brochures, publications in the media etc.; 2. selection and implementation of best practices with regard to transparency, accessibility and accountability in the selected municipal administrations; 3. realization of seminars, round tables, workshops as well as educational seminars for experts from the municipal administrations with representatives from the civil society sector; 4. realization of a “day of the open doors”” in the selected administrations; 5. development of a guidance document regarding the opportunities that a partnership between the civil society and the administration can offer.”

Public control and effective governance

The general aim of the project was to develop an effective and functional partnership between the structures of the civil society and the municipal administrations through better transparency and accountability of the local administrations. In order to achieve its goals the project aimed at: improving the organizational structures at administrative level and improving the procedures for civil control over the municipal strategies for development. Some of the main activities of the project include: 1. analyses and evaluation of eight strategies for development in eight selected municipalities; 2. defining the role, which the civil society plays in the development and realization of the strategies by analyzing good practices in other countries in the EU; 3. educational seminars for the representatives of the civil society on how can they influence the strategies in order to increase the transparency and accountability of the process. 4. realization of a conference for the dissemination of the project results.

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).

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.”

Introduction of Effective, Ethics based Governance and Non-Governmental Monitoring

In 8 pilot cities in different regions of Ukraine, the experts of the project together with local working groups implemented principles of efficient and ethical governance by establishing a local services registrar and developing informational cards concerning the certain services, by setting out ethical rules and behaviour rules of employees of local government, and creating ethics commisions and public councils on a local level.

The civil society and the regional administration in the South-West region – a model for partnership

The project aimed to facilitate the mechanisms for partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local and regional administrations in the South-west region of Bulgaria. The main project goal was: better transparency, more accountability and control over the work of the administration. Some of the project activities included: 1. analyses, development of recommendations and educational seminars; 2. development and maintenance of an information web site; 3. activities for capacity building for monitoring the activities of the local and regional administration; 4. development of recommendations for improvement of the legal framework, strategic documents or public services provided by the targeted administrations; 5. activities for information and publicity.

Local anti-corruption network project: Monitoring for transparency and good governance at local level

The project aimed to provide a tool for communication, information and knowledge sharing among the NGOs located in different Bulgarian municipalities in order to increase their monitoring and control capacity as a mechanisms for combating corruption practices. Within the framework of the project a survey of the anti-corruption initiatives of municipal councils, municipal administrations, civic organizations and local mass media was carried out.

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.”

Transparent Poland – ‘Certification system for local government units’

This new pilot project within Transparent Poland framework was introduced in 2008. An appraisal of the district and municipality self-governments’ actions was carried out by external bodies. During this initiative 16 districts were examined and all but one were granted with a renewable certificate of ‘Przejrzysta Polska’ (the logo of the program is a blue diamond, which by now should be very well recognizable) for the period 2008-2010. Additionally, among 32 local governments from the PP-Forum phase a contest was organized for the friendliest Public Information Bulletin, which is an official web site that is required by the law, where all public information on a given community should be published.

 

 

Monitoring of the activity of Sofia city council and public register of the municipal property transactions

The project objectives are: Raising the level of transparency at Sofia Municipality and guaranteeing the public character of decision-making through development of a public register of the municipal property transactions and monitoring the activities, related to: economic policy and municipal property; municipal budget; urban planning, architecture and construction; ecology and land use.