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Partnership Initiatives Grants
The project of the Government of Switzerland (“For an active civil society together – ACT”) opened a call for the development of partnerships between civil society organizations (CSOs) and local governments (LGs) in creating joint initiatives that will bring innovative mechanisms and tools for citizen participation in decision making and for the provision of services to citizens at the local level, as well as monitoring the work of local authorities. For the purpose of this call, partnership is defined as a way of working and cooperation between public authorities and civil society in the processes of identifying citizens’ needs, projects, decision-making, but also in providing various services to citizens and monitoring the way they work.
The CSO and LG partnerships aim to implement and promote reforms in local self-government that improve citizen participation in decision-making processes, transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of local authorities. CSOs and LGUs may decide to launch new initiatives, or to improve existing, ongoing ones that are already being implemented.
This Call will strengthen the partnership between CSOs and LGUs through the mandatory definition and adoption of the missing regulation, as well as the launch, development and implementation of joint initiatives that will create innovative mechanisms and tools for:
• greater citizen participation in decision-making processes;
• better monitoring of the work of local authorities;
• improving the provision of public services.
Project proposals aimed at GREATER PARTICIPATION OF CITIZENS IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES should aim at mandatory definition and adoption of the missing regulation in this area and thus contribute to at least one of the following results:
ensure citizen participation in the decision-making process on measures, programs and policies at the local level at the earliest stages – e.g. part of the budget, local development plan, local anti-corruption plan, local action plan for gender equality, local strategies and programs for financing social protection, environment, employment, youth, etc .;
promote changes in the practice of local self-government with citizens by encouraging dialogue, cooperation and building trust between local governments, civil society and citizens in the process of creating public policies from the earliest stages – presenting new instruments and tools to involve citizens, CSOs and interested public. consultations on draft public policies;
support creative and innovative platforms that encourage cooperation between different actors at the local level in decision-making processes.
Project proposals aimed at BETTER MONITORING THE WORK OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES should aim at mandatory definition and adoption of the missing regulation in this area and thus contribute to at least one of the following results:
ensure greater transparency, openness and accountability of public administration through monitoring the work of local authorities – e.g. in the field of fiscal transparency – creating a platform, an application for monitoring local budget spending, such as a budget portal, which allows data visualization and a simple and pictorial way of displaying all budget items, so that citizens who are not necessarily financial experts money as taxpayers;
monitor the implementation of local development strategies and action plans and inform citizens about the progress made – e.g. participation of representatives of civil society organizations and citizens in local forums, committees, bodies where provided by law;
ensure proactive disclosure of information available to local governments – use of mechanisms to strengthen the right to information and open access to information available to the administration in the fight against corruption, e.g. public procurement monitoring;
promote and initiate the implementation of oversight mechanisms within local parliaments, e.g. organizing public hearings on certain topics of interest to the local community, establishing and using the institute of “empty chairs”, representatives of citizens / civil society organizations at the sessions of the local parliament.
Project proposals aimed at IMPROVING THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC SERVICES should aim at mandatory definition and adoption of the missing regulation in this area and thus contribute to at least one of the following results:
provide more efficient and better services to citizens – introduction of a platform for reporting communal and other problems of citizens that they encounter in everyday life, and they concern, for example. non-issuance of fiscal invoices, parking, damage to roads, waste disposal, etc .;
improve the process of providing services to citizens by local self-government, and in accordance with legal competencies – e.g. supporting local governments to gain better insight into their achievements by collecting citizens ‘opinions and identifying opportunities to upgrade and improve them (different types of ways, instruments and tools for examining citizens’ satisfaction with different segments of local government);
improve the implementation of local development