ALDA draws attention to the importance of sub-granting schemes in promoting active citizens participation at PDCI round-table discussions
The PDCI (PARTNERS FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE INTERNATIONAL) round-table discussions taking place on November 5th 2014 brought together academia, donors (EU Commission - represented by Jorge Rodriguez Bilbao, Decentralization & Local Governance) and practitioners in the field of local development and citizen participation in the local decision-making.
ALDA, represented by Mariam Khotenashvili, Project Manager and Head of the ALDA Brussels Office used the opportunity to discuss ALDA’s involvement with the Local Democracy Agencies (LDAs) and their role in building the social and human capital needed to reach meaningful participation. She particularly drew attention to the importance of smaller sub-granting schemes to effectively reach out also to marginalised communities. Let’s not forget the smaller NGOs and citizens initiatives she stressed. Here meaningful participation should start.
Bilbao, a former practitioner himself, highlighted the important role of Local Authorities (LAs) in this regard to enable the sustainable and effective development of their respective communities. They were the elected members of their constituencies, unlike the many CSOs also active in the field. Collaboration and alliances between the two actors were vital as both can bring added value to the table. The following highly interactive roundtable discussions proved very fruitful indeed as PDCI’s local members joined other experts in sharing concrete lessons from their own countries. A particular focus was laid on the concept of participation and the challenges and responses to same which were encountered by the participants over the years.