30th anniversary of Local Democracy in Mostar: an history of empowerment and change

Oct 23, 2023

Good governance

In a dedicated effort to celebrate three decades of Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) in the Balkans, LDA Mostar brought together representatives from ALDA, the Balkan LDAs, and organisations committed to advancing local democracy in the Western Balkans. This exceptional event, titled “Seeing is Believing,” served as a platform for the exchange of best practices between the civic sector and local authorities. This study visit, a part of Project Mostar – Spaces to Activate and Rejuvenate, took place from September 20th to September 22nd, 2023, in the vibrant city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For thirty years, Local Democracy Agencies have played a pivotal role in championing grassroots democracy and community engagement

The celebration of this 30th anniversary marks a significant milestone, and there’s no better way to commemorate it than by embarking on a journey to Mostar, a city that embodies the spirit of participatory democracy in action.

At the core of this event lies Project Mostar – Spaces to Activate and Rejuvenate, an initiative that has ignited a revival within the city. By establishing spaces that nurture community engagement and rejuvenation, Mostar has showcased the immense potential of collaboration between local authorities and the civic sector. The results serve as a testament to the power of participatory democracy and provide a wellspring of inspiration for the entire Western Balkans region.

The event’s theme, “Seeing is Believing,” encapsulates the essence of the experience. Participants didn’t merely hear about the transformative power of local democracy; they actively engaged with the people, projects, and practices that are shaping Mostar’s future. It’s a powerful reminder that change is possible, and it often begins at the local level.

The “Seeing is Believing” exchange, organised by LDA Mostar and Balkan Network for Local Democracy (BNLD), provided a unique opportunity to witness the tangible outcomes of participatory democracy and the positive transformation it brings to local communities. This celebration marked three decades of progress, served as a testament to the power of collaboration, and inspired continued efforts to promote participatory democracy throughout the Western Balkans.