By the end of August 2021, over 6,700 citizens from North Macedonia have received support for the use of public e-services and tools within the ICEDA e-Government Support Centers established in Skopje, Prilep and Kicevo. The three centers are supported through the small grant scheme of the project Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda-ICEDA co-financed by the European Union, and this type of centers exists in 5 countries in the Western Balkans that receive the same support. You can read more about the work of the centers here.
Local e-Government Support center – Kičevo
This month, the Metamorphosis team visited the e-Government Support Centers in Skopje, Prilep and Kičevo, and managed to talk to the organizations that manage the centers and regularly help citizens to apply more easily for e-services or subsidies from public institutions electronically. In addition to setting up and maintaining the centers, grantees have had several successes, including creating new synergies with various stakeholders, making new commitments in the latest National Open Government Partnership Action Plan, promoting the centers and main goals through interviews and media articles, and more. The main challenge they face is attracting more citizens and providing support directly to their centers, mostly due to the pandemic that makes people afraid to move indoors and most often seek support online, via email or phone. The last local elections also proved to be a challenge as there was a complete change of mayors where these center function which is an additional burden for them due to the fact that they have to rebuild trust with the institutions and re-advocate to get support from them in the centers.
Smart Up – Laboratory for Social Innovation
In the heart of the capital, SmartUp-Laboratory for Social Innovation in cooperation with Skopje manages their center Skopje Lab which is located in the City Park within the premises of the City of Skopje and it is open to the public every day. Here citizens can get support through direct meetings, via email or by phone. SMART UP also provide support to citizens through their web portal where citizens can find out and use some of the e-services of the City of Skopje and get support in their use.
Association for Civic Tolerance and Cooperation – ACTAC
Association for Civic Tolerance and Cooperation – ACTAC operates in the municipalities of Dolneni and Prilep, mostly with marginalized communities including Roma, low-income citizens and citizens with low levels of education. Besides the e-services stands that they organized at 20 locations to reach the citizens and directly help them to use certain e-services, the center in which they provide support is located on Pirinska Street, no.62, Prilep, but you can also reach them by phone and e-mail. More information can be found here.
The Rural Coalition operates in Gostivar, Vrapčiste, Kičevo, Krivogaštani and Dolneni, and provides support to farmers and locals to use e-services. If you need help using certain e-services for which the Rural Coalition can help you, we advise you to go to their Citizens Support Center for using e-services located at 4th of July Street no. 6250 Kičevo. They can also support you by phone and e-mail, and you can find useful information on their rural platform https://e-zemjodelskiuslugi.mk/.
Тhe project Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA is co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation (North Macedonia), Academy for e-Government (Estonia), Levizja Mjaft! (Albania), CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Serbia), NGO 35mm (Montenegro) and ODK – Open Data Kosovo (Kosovo).