National Conference: Participation and Responsibility of Civil Society in Local Government Processes
On 22.12.2020 Gender Alliance for Development Center in partnership with the members of POP Network (Juxtaposing Political Offers), and with the support of the Swedish Government through the Olof Palme Center and the National Endowment for Democracy organized the National Conference “Participation and Responsibility of Civil Society in Local Government Processes”. This activity took place at the premises of Rogner Hotel as well as with the participation of 140 people online from 9 municipalities in the country.
During this meeting, experiences of cooperation between POP member organizations with the municipalities that have been monitored were exchanged: Tirana, Durrës, Kukës, Puka, Vlora, Fier, Kamëz, Pogradec, Shkodër. As well as discussions regarding the work of the municipalities in terms of meeting the community priorities drafted in the Social Contracts and monitored for two years.
Among other things, in this conference it was also discussed about
- The impact of POP methodology on local democratic processes.
- Challenges encountered during the work of member organizations.
- Exchange of experiences between municipalities.
- Participatory budgeting process.
- Commitment of mayors to continue cooperation and advance local democracy and cooperation with citizens and CSOs.
- Impact of COVID-19 and other issues on local life.
- During 2019 - 2020 out of 101 main priorities drafted in the Social Contracts in 9 municipalities, 58% of them have been partially addressed, 17% have been fully addressed and 25% of these priorities, although consulted, have not yet received the green light for addressing and fulfillment .
The meeting was attended by mayors and deputy mayors of nine municipalities under the monitoring of the POP network, in place or online. In the Antigonea hall we had the pleasure to welcome Mrs. Romina Kuko, Vol. Minister of Interior covering local government. Mrs. Voltana Ademi, mayor of Shkodra, Mrs. Florian Tahiri Deputy Mayor of Durrës and online link Mr. Johan Schmid, Head of Southeast Europe, The Olof Palme International Center.
Some of the conclusions drawn at the end of the conference were:
- POP is a neutral platform and as such this project has been successful in local democracy by engaging civil society and the community;
- The POP network itself is composed of local organizations and has helped increase the capacity of these organizations;
- POP is open for cooperation with other civil society organizations, either in existing municipalities or in new municipalities to follow the same methodology;
- The network enables the sharing of experiences between different municipalities, under the monitoring of Social Contracts, municipalities that have signed or have not signed them;
- POP has contributed to the community receiving information that their public participation is a necessity in the local government decision-making process;
- POP has a very important partner which is the community of these municipalities and the network serves as a voice conductor and bridge between them and local government representatives.
- 6 contracts were signed, we expect to sign 3 more with the commitment of the municipality of Shkodra, Kukes and Puka by the beginning of 2021