In February 2021, the NGO Local Democracy Agency of Moldova proceeded to the next stage of implementation of the activities of the project “Local Democracy Network Development“. Thus, with the support of the experts from NGO “Center for Organizational Consultancy and Training” (CICO), the activities of the project were started in an online format, with the involvement of representatives of 5 Local Democracy Agencies in the Black Sea region: Democracy Agency Local Government of the Dnipropetrovsk region (Ukraine), Mariupol Local Democracy Agency (Ukraine), Georgia Local Democracy Agency (Kutaisi) and Armenia Local Democracy Agency (Gyumri), and as a first step in implementing activities, through discussions, situation analysis specific to each Agency, specific priority actions was setup which will be given increased attention. In that context, each representative selected a priority area that needs to be strengthened from those proposed by the CICO: Regulation of organization and functioning; Hiring policy; Employee onboarding policy; Procurement policy; Cost-share policy and also Cost allocation policy. The experts from CICO were elaborated for each LDA, the draft of the requested document in specific policy of the each LDA, which will be discussed and subsequently approved within the Local Democracy Agencies.
Thus, in the next period, each LDA will receive the necessary support to strengthen its capacity in the selected policy area.
In addition to policies and documents developed and adopted within each LDA, in the next period will begin activities related to the development of the Medium-Term Strategy for the development of the network of Local Democracy Agencies in the Black Sea region, the first document in this regard. A workshop will also be organized. The main idea of the workshop is to discuss and draft the strategy for the network in accordance with the Black Sea NGO Forum’s revised Strategic Framework for CSO Cooperation. The strategy will consider different areas of work of each LDA, but also specific areas for NGOs network: Good local governance, active citizenship, active citizenship, youth, environment, network extension, network communication a coordination of activities, joint project and actions etc.
The main objective of the project is to ensure a better engagement of citizens at the local level, by increasing the resilience and sustainability of the Network of Local Democracy Agencies (LDA) working in the Black Sea region. And the specific objectives are: Increase the fundraising skills, institutional capacities and resilience of the Black Sea LDAs with specific focus on resilience and sustainability and elaboration, in a participatory process, of a regional mid-term strategy of LDAs’ network development in the region. As a result of the project the LDA’s network will be strengthen. It will enable its members to learn from each other and work together to address common challenges. Thus, LDAs will play a bigger bridging role between citizens and local governments, thus improving the citizen’s participation in their communities. At the same time, created network will serve as reliable source of information about on-going evolutions at local level in Black Sea countries and the real impact of national policies and reforms on the citizens daily lives. LDAs, being close to grassroots constituencies, will be generators of new policy recommendations necessary for ensuring sustainable development at community level and working as network may generate policy recommendations for the Black Sea region in general. These policy recommendations and documents will be advocated at both national levels and through partners to the entire Black Sea region (mainly through Black Sea NGO Forum). Thus, the network of LDAs will bring an alternative voice, the civil society and local public administrations voice, about evolutions in the region. For the long term, network will expand to other municipalities or regions within Black Sea countries. It will be done on voluntary basis in those localities where a critical mass of CSOs and local authorities will express their openness towards this participatory model.
The project “Local Democracy Network Development” is implemented by Local Democracy Agency Moldova (LDA Moldova), in partnership with Local Democracy Agency Dnipro (Ucraine), Local Democracy Agency Mariupol (Ucraine), Local Democracy Agency Georgia, Local Democracy Agency Armenia in the framework of the “Black Sea NGO Forum Sub-granting Scheme For Activities That Support The Development Of CSO Regional Networks”, within the project „Building CSO Capacity for Regional Cooperation within the Black Sea Region”, implemented by the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND with the financial support of the European Union.