The objective of the project was to achieve a higher degree of cooperation, development and integration of civil society in the cross-border area through a greater exchange of ideas and knowledge between CSOs, community groups and local self-governments in the programme area.
The project focused on increasing capacities of CSOs and community groups in the targeted area, and development of good models of cooperation between CSOs, community groups and local self government.
In the first half of the project the activities were focused on strengthening human resource capacities of the CSOs and community groups in topics such as advocacy, social inclusion, community mobilization and citizen participation. Through their participation in four training events and two workshops, representatives of 12 CSOs from Montenegro and 10 community groups from Albania had the opportunity to Improve their knowledge and skills with regard to these topics and to actively participate in the preparation of a Draft Strategy on Advocacy, Draft Community Mobilization Plan, Strategy Proposal on Social Inclusion and six other initiatives.
These initiatives were submitted to the competent authorities in the municipalities and communes covered by the project. They are related to the opening of an old peoples home, the construction of shelters for abandoned animals, the supply of drinking water, the creation of a Social Youth Centre, and tackling problems of children’s education in elementary school.
The second half of the project implementation comprised a regional conference, a publication and two study visits. The regional conference on “Participation of citizens and cooperation between NGOs and local self-governments in Montenegro and Albania” was dedicated to the presentation of models of good CSO / local self-government collaboration and mechanisms for citizen participation in decision-making processes at local level. Conference participants had also the opportunity to become familiarized with the existing legal framework and forms of cooperation between local self-government and NGOs/citizens.
During this stage the publication: “Participation of citizens and cooperation between civil society and local authorities in Montenegro and Albania” was prepared and published. At the end of the project two study visits were organized, one in Montenegro and the other in Shkodra, Albania, with the aim to promote cross-border mobility in terms of active citizenship, as well as to strengthen inter-cultural and inter-sector cooperation.
The main results of the training activities were improved knowledge and practical skills of representatives of CSOs from Montenegro and community groups from Albania on the topics of public advocacy, community mobilization, social inclusion, and citizen participation in local policy.
The main results of the workshops and the publication of the project were a higher level of information and improved knowledge on good practices in cooperation between local self-governments and civil society, as well as improved cooperation and communication between civil society organizations and local self-governments.
The study visits gave practical information to the participants on good practices in cooperation between local self-governments and civil society in Albania and Montenegro, as well as information on the way that local government, community groups and NGOs are functioning.
Aspects of good practice
All planned project results were achieved. This was a successful initiative in building capacities of CSOs through cross-border activities and innovative in bringing civil society and local self-government closer to each other.
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