74 employees from 22 municipalities were trained to use OpenOffice.org within the training prepared by Metamorphosis Foundation and USAID’s project for successful decentralisaiton – Make Decentralisation Work Project. The training was held in Riviera Hotel in Ohrid, from 15 to 20 January, 2007.
Mutual characteristic of the participants was the fact that they were from small municipalityes without employed IT expert (system administrator). The participants of the training are employed in the municipality departments for tax, finance, local economic development as well as members of municipality councils.
Representatives of the following municipalities attended the training (municipalities with blue colour on the map): Arachinovo, Berovo, Bogovinje, Valandovo, Vinica, Dojran, Zhelino, Karbinci, Kratovo, Krushevo, Lipkovo, Mavrovo and Rostushe, Makedonska Kamenica, Mogila, Novaci, Novo Selo, Plasnica, Saraj, Sopishte, Studenichani, Tearce and Centar Zhupa.
The training was conducted within six days, while participants were grouped into three groups. The training for the first two groups was in Macedonian language, while the training for the last group was in Albanian. Each group attended two-day training.
Team of trainers included Nikolche Mickoski and Jordanka Petrushevska, Xpert certified trainers from Metamorphosis Foundation in Macedonian language, IT professors Burim Baftijari and Arben Murati.
Curriculum of the training was dedicated to Writer (text processor) and Calc (spreadsheets). Each of participants received OpenOffice.org tutorial , as well as Get your job done CD.
Since the survey conducted by Metamorphosis Foundation in May 2006 shown that most of Macedonian municipalities use pirated software, the trainers explained the importance of use of free and open source software (FOSS) as legal alternative as well as compatibility of the OpenOffice.org with Microsoft Office.
Part of the participants had basic computer skills, but it was not an obstacle for successful acquiring of knowledge from the training. Although most of these municipalities do not use internet as an instrument for communication with the citizens, all the participants expressed their opinion that new technologies contribute significantly towards improving efficiency of their municipality.