ACT Supports 14 CSO Projects for Higher Citizen Engagement at the Local Level

Belgrade, 20 October 2020 – At the online ceremony #SIGNACT_LOCAL, thirteen CSOs and one informal group of citizens signed their contracts for Community Boost and Local Advocacy projects and initiatives within the project “For an Active Civil Society Together – ACT”.

The ACT project is funded by the Swiss Government through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swiss NGO Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Belgrade-based NGO Civic Initiatives.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Ms Sascha Muller, Head of the Department for Democratic Governance of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Jens Engeli, Regional Director of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation for Eastern Europe, and Maja Stojanovic, Executive Director of Civic Initiatives wished the organisations success in the realisation of their projects.

A total of six grants were awarded to boost local communities in Lajkovac, Surdulica, Bor, Novi Sad, Alibunar, and Subotica. Proposed citizen initiatives and actions aim to solve problems of public interest in their local communities with the active participation and support of the citizens. Those projects will be implemented in the next six months.

Eight grants were awarded for public advocacy at the local level in Uzice, Nis, Leskovac, Kraljevo, Novi Sad, and Belgrade in the municipalities of Zemun and Stari Grad. The selected projects will help empower civil society to participate in the decision-making and policymaking processes more efficiently and more actively through advocacy, and to mobilise the support of citizens and represent their interests in the decision-making processes, particularly at the local level.  These projects will last a year.

In addition to financial support for the implementation of their projects, organisations and informal groups of citizens will go through a specially designed and tailored training programme, in order to improve skills and knowledge in the field of advocacy and citizen engagement.

The Government of Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has allocated funds in the amount of 4.8 million euros for the implementation of the first phase of the project.