Toolkit of GOOD PRACTICES on Citizen Participation!


Temporary use of places for non-governamental organitazions


Country: Slovenia

Context

Initiative of the Municipality of Novo Mesto (a suggestion of Zavod Zora, Društvo Rokoroki and Regional NGO centre) regarding the temporary use of places by non-governmental organizations. NGOs have urged the Municipality of Novo Mesto to prepare a list of places (buildings and lands) owned by the municipality or the state that are not used, and to make the list ​​public. NGOs could use these spaces as collection points for their members, as well as for the implementation of their activities.

Measure

The initiative aims to provide more spaces for the functioning of non-governmental organizations, and thus indirectly benefits citizens, too. The abandoned spaces in the center of Novo Mesto represent particularly well a missed opportunity to develop additional activities in the city center and thereby contribute to its revival. This way citizens would participate in the preservation of these areas and at the same time in the revitalization of the city center with its projects and associations.

Target Group

The target group are broadly all citizens who are actively involved in NGOs, but in more precisely NGOs who are actively involved in initiatives of public interest and especially in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Methodology

The basic method is via citizensí initiatives and collection of signatures, along with the support of non-governmental organizations. Tools in relation to this initiative are resources for expansion of ideas through various media, modern sources of communication, person to person communication and social networking.

Stakeholders

The main stakeholders are local authorities (in this case the Municipality of Novo Mesto).

Assessment

Local authorities as property owners can help NGOs in public interest and social enterprises in the sense of lowering costs. The payment for rented workspaces is not in cash but in social innovations and other non-profit benefits, as for example obtaining better social services, which could not be done without this support.

Impact

By activating unused spaces, the Municipality of Novo Mesto would make ​​a big step forward for the development of the NGO sector, providing a supportive environment for their operations without additional costs. Meanwhile the citizens would also have a place where they could contribute to the wider society with their activities.

Swot

1. Strengths:
Empty and unused places are used and held in good conditions
Encouragement for individuals to develop and realize new ideas, because costs are lower (no rent)
Greater options for more active participation of NGOs and other organizations
Encouragement for new groups of people to start an activity
Encouragement to social entrepreneurship
 
2. Weaknesses:
Uneconomical behavior of potential users
Users have no idea of the real costs of business activities
 
3. Opportunities:
Starting new activities
Development of social innovations
Creation of new organizations, working in the public interest
Creation of new branches in social entrepreneurship
Creation of places for cultural and other events
Revitalization of urban centers
Social inclusion
 
4. Threats (elements in the environment that could cause trouble to the measure):
No interest in political work
Negative feedback of market-oriented players and as a result negative feedback from the general public

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