m!M participated in an info session for the award of small grants

A representative of the NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro (m!M) attended the online info session: WeBER 2.0 small grants competition. A call for project proposals has been published for civil society organizations involved in monitoring public administration reform at the local level.

The info session was organized through the Zoom platform, on September 24 at 11.00.

It is a regional project, within the WeBER project and includes six organizations from across the region. Given how important the link to the local level is, a component of small grants has been designed to stimulate organizations in each country.

Public administration reform is a broad concept, but in this case it is understood according to the SIGMA principles of public administration. Organizations are required to consult the SIGMA material linked to in the call and to link their idea to some of these principles.

Unlike the previous call, now the priorities for Montenegro relate to optimization, the number of employees at the local level in the broadest sense. The second priority is the transparency of consumption, which this time is related to Covid-19, but not strictly. Given that the overall spending of local governments during this year is in some way related to the epidemiological situation, it should in some way be included and shown the public what the money was spent on when a municipality said it was spending money to mitigate the consequences caused by Corona. The third priority is the development of e-services at the local level. In Podgorica it is very dynamic and we have a new e-service almost every day, but in other local governments it is less transparent. In all municipalities, we do not know what their strategies are and what their vision is, whether it is done systematically, what problems there are, whether these services are available to everyone, what the quality is and the like. The fourth priority is public participation in decision-making processes, which means meaningful public involvement in the process. It is encouraged that this year there is a project that deals with this topic. We need to move to a new phase – not only to count the participants, but to know whether this inclusion makes sense, that the proposals are of good quality and whether the given proposals are adopted.

The project may cover one or more local governments, at the level of Montenegro. The guideline is to make a sample of local governments to deal with, or if the focus is on only one self-government, to justify it with the depth of the topic, that in-depth research you have chosen within that one self will be conducted. The guideline to expand the focus to more municipalities is because in certain areas you can get completely different results on the same topic. Therefore, it is good to make a sample, but it is not necessary.

As for the activities, it is encouraged that these be analyzes, that the product that will be at the end of the project will be analytical. This means analysis, publication, something in which you will summarize your findings.

The activity of consultation with citizens is mandatory, in the broadest sense. The call for project proposals lists some of the ideas on how to organize consultations. It is very important for the very spirit of the project to have contact with citizens, because everything we do is for the sake of citizens, and public administration reform should study all points where the administration faces citizens and whether citizens benefit from it or not. Contact with citizens should be as direct as possible: what citizens think, satisfaction with certain services should be measured, if they are the winners of some funds, it should be checked whether they are satisfied with the process, whether they really received those funds, etc.

The budget is up to 8000 euros per project, and up to four projects in Montenegro will be supported.

The deadline for sending questions regarding technical matters is the end of October, and the deadline for submitting applications is November 1. Contracts will be signed in January, and the project will start to be implemented in 2021. Projects can last six months or one year.

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