An important step towards creating a pool of local NGOs engaged in implementation of cooperation agreements with local authorities.
With this aim, the third Steering group meeting of the project Civil Society In Action For Dialogue And Partnerships, and the first meeting with the Thematic working groups’ members, were held in the town hall of Zavidovici and hosted by the LDA Zavidovici project team members, from 15th to 17th of March 2012.
The two thematic working groups have in this way become functional and will serve as an important pool of expertise in two areas of interest for our action:
1) Working group for implementing the municipal memorandums composed mainly of local self-governments representatives, practitioners and experts;
2) Working group for support to local civil society organisations, composed mainly of NGO practitioners.
During the vivid debate a number of issues have been raised including also inadequate capacity of local NGO-s for co-operation and partnership building relations with local authorities, lack of transparent mechanisms of public consultation and often formal existence of the signed cooperation memorandums mainly perceived as a tool for providing the support to sport, cultural and veterans’ associations.
NGOs active in youth empowerment, democratic participation, gender issues, anti discrimination, environment protection, minorities…are often left without proper support by the local governments.
Most of the members of the Thematic groups expressed willingness to participate and contribute in the forthcoming local debates and awareness raising campaign scheduled in Zavidovici and Prijedor, and will also contribute with their observations and findings as regards the implementation of local memorandums in different municipalities.
Members of the Working group for support to civil society are: Murisa Maric, DON Prijedor, SnezanaSeslija, Resource Centre ToPeer, Doboj, Samir Halilovic, Democratic Centre Novenade, Bihac, Semir Tica, Ecological society, Breza, AgostinoZanetti, LDA Zavidovici and VehidSehic, Citizens’ Forum Tuzla .
Also the second training seminar for CSOs on advocacy skills was held in Zavidovici hotel Maric, with 20 participants, representatives of local NGOs from the partner organisations’ cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.