Macedonian citizens want to participate in the decision making process, but do not know how to do it in an easy, fast and simple way. Therefore, at today’s closing conference of the “Good Governance Action Network” project, the mobile application Picodemocracy was presented as a simple model through which we can hear the opinion of citizens on issues that are important to them. The project was funded by the European Union, and implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation, in partnership with the Macedonian Center for European Training and Reactor – Research in Action.
At the closing conference conference held at the EU InfoCentre in Skopje, the head of the EU Delegation, Aivo Orav noted that development of ICT tools, such as the Picodemocracy mobile application, provides the opportunities to benefit from the new technologies and utilize them towards a civil society which is integrated in the decision making process.
“Initiatives like the ‘Good Governance Action Network’ project, which combine capacity building of civil society organisations with sub-granting, enable local and grassroots organizations to work on particular good governance issues that affect the communities and to contribute to civil society development”, stated Orav.
The Ambassador noted that having a good, legitimate and effective governance is at the heart of the European development policy.
“The EU consistently works on ensuring that the EU institutions work on the principles for good governance: being transparent, participative, accountable, efficient and coherent. This is crucial for achieving a sustainable development of the society, but also to ensure that all, including the most marginalised and vulnerable, are protected and empowered”, said Orav.
He added that according to the Progress report of the European Commission for 2014, an empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system and should be recognised and treated as such by the government.
The director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, Bardhyl Jashari outlined that through the implementation of the project and the activities conducted with the partners, it was evident that citizens wanted to participate in the decision-making process, especially because the decisions directly affect the quality of their life. However, they want to do it quickly and in a simple way.
Nevertheless, according to Jashari, citizens do not know how to participate in the decision-making process because the web-mechanisms that exist both on a local and a central level, are very complex and the citizens are discouraged to use them. And when they do use them, they either don’t have enough time or their proposals are not taken into consideration.
“Therefore, we have tried to develop a model called Picodemocracy within the framework of this project. It is a mobile application that provides the citizens with an opportunity to quickly and easily express their views on issues that are important to them. The decision makers should take those views into consideration when making decisions or adopting laws,” said Jashari.
Following the keynote speeches, speakers at the closing conference discussed on the topics of good governance, corruption, transparency and accountability.
Sixteen micro grants were awarded under this project, to the civil society organizations forming the “Good Governance Action Network”, as a platform for cooperation between civil society organizations, informal initiatives and individuals working in the field of good governance, aiming to promote good governance as one of the fundamental prerequisites for democratization of society and progress in the Euro-Atlantic integrations.
During the conference, grantees of the Good Governance Action Network presented their projects, as well as their experiences and lessons learned from their implementation.