Accountability, transparency and cooperativeness

Background/Summary/Basic info

With the process of decentralization the municipalities and the mayors in RM have received larger responsibilities not only on local issues but also on issues such as the economic development on local and regional level.
Through the introduction of the second phase of the decentralization vast majority of the municipalities have gained with a mechanism for gathering bigger revenue and by that creating the opportunity to increase the quality of life of the local communities. However, by getting the revenues increased the municipal authorities have faced challenges such as accusations of corruption, bad planning and budget execution and closed and not transparent functioning of the municipal apparatus. As one of the shortcomings of the current system, the lack of mechanisms for check and balance can be pointed out. The low interest of the citizens and the level of knowledge on issues, on which they can be inclusive, in particular in the processes of policy creation and decision making, is also one of the challenges. The surveys are showing that lack of capacity raises as an obstacle for efficient and transparent functioning of the Municipalities, still emphasizing the political will to actually apply the concept of accountability. The issue of responsiveness towards the citizens needs in the process of creating the plans, programs and sub-programs, further on to the budget planning, than the public procurement and the accountability of the Mayors towards their constituency and the municipal councils is also one of the challenges to be addressed rather sooner than later.

As a result of the stated above, MOST began to implement the project "Accountability, transparency and cooperativeness of the local self government”. With this project MOST for the first time directed its activities and capacities towards the field of local government.

The experience that was gained through the implementation of projects at national level was of great importance in creating and implementing the project. Target group of this project were the local self governments in Macedonia. At this stage of the process included 6 municipalities: Kriva Palanka, Stip, Gostivar, Oslomej, and Debarca.

Overall objective
Contribution towards increased citizens’ participation in the policy creation and decision making processes on local level and improving the accountability, responsiveness and the transparency of the Local Self-government.

Specific objectives

  • Increasing awareness and improving the knowledge about the ways and opportunities on the ways citizen’s, CSO’s, business and interest groups can participate in the process of policy creation and decision making on the local level;
  • Raising awareness among the Public administration in the Local Self Government and the elected members of the councils on the ways and opportunities of citizen’s and CSO’s participation in the process of decision making on local level as well as anti-corruption and transparency principles;
  • Increased information flow on the work and performance of the Local Self Government councils among the citizens/constituency;
  • Enabled channel for two way communications among the stakeholders in the process of local policy creation and decision making.

Period of implementation
February 2010 – June 2011

Achievements

  • Published  and distributed 12 reports on the work of the councils of 6 municipalities (Kriva Palanka, Stip, Gostivar, Debarca, Oslomej and Mogila);
  • Published 6 White lists with 65 priority problems of the citizens out of which 20 were incorporated in the budgets of the 6 municipalities;
  • Published Guides for citizens participation in the policy and decision making processes in the Local Self Government for the citizens and public administration.


This project was funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and CIVICA Mobilitas Programme, financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)