Urban Partnership Program (UPP II) Social Sustainability and Citizen Engagement
Implementation Period: 2015-2017
Donor: The World Bank
Fund: 199,995 (USD)
Implemented in: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro
Implemented by: Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development and I2UD Institute for International Urban Development
Co-PLAN, in collaboration with the Institute for International Urban Development (I2UD), are implementing the Social Sustainability and Citizen Engagement (SSCE) project, under the Urban Partnership Program (UPP II). The SSCE builds upon the lessons and best practices that emerged during the first phase of the UPP (UPP I), while enhancing the focus on the Citizen Engagement component. The project expanded Social Sustainability Audit in 9 cities in the Western Balkan region to increase knowledge and awareness on social accountability among local stakeholders including civil society, government officials, and marginalized urban residents; and to strengthen integrity in public service delivery by increasing the demand for good governance, social accountability, and civic participation in a regional perspective. The scope of the project for phase II has expanded to include a total of seven countries, namely: Albania (Elbasan), Bosnia & Herzegovina (Tuzla), Croatia (Karlovac), FYR of Macedonia (Kumanovo), Montenegro (Ulcij and Kolasin), Kosovo (Gjilan), and Serbia (Pancevo and Sabac). The envisaged activities are being implemented in synergy with other UPP II components, such as Integrity Building Initiative, Municipal Self-Assessment and Urban Audit. Apart from coordinating the project at the regional scale, Co-PLAN worked closely at the local level with the Municipality of Elbasan, in conducting a thorough analysis on the levels of social accountability and transparency, including various consultation with the community, in the forms of group discussions, interviews and workshops, concluding by drafting an action plan in tackling challenges and increasing citizen engagement in decision-making.
Co-PLAN contributed for creating an updated analytical and methodological framework and work plan in measuring Social Sustainability and Citizen Engagement in local governance, and the conceptual coordination between UPP II components.The key results for 2016 included:
- 9 City Analytical Reports in the region, giving a full snapshot of the challenges faced in each of the cities by marginalized groups, including a detailed city profile and the level of service delivery;
- More than 40 FGDs (focus group discussions) and more than 80 IDIs (in-depth interviews) were conducted in all 9 cities of the region, to obtain community-level information about vulnerability, service deficiencies, and social exclusion, which are not found in city surveys or censuses.
- 9 Participatory Scenario Development (PSD) workshops were held in each of the cities to present initial findings from FGDs and IDIs to a broader range of stakeholders. The workshops also served to map out solutions to reinforce socially sustainable city developments and integrity in public services and consider alternative futures through agreeable and realistic scenarios;
- Action Plans were drafted for all 9 municipalities of the region in forms of road maps, project proposals, municipality practices, etc.
- 9 Synthesis Report were prepared for all the municipalities, summarizing the entire process of assessing social sustainability and citizen engagement in local governance and presenting the all-inclusive solutions to the problems identified;
- Drafting of a Roadmap in collaboration with the Municipality of Elbasan on Participatory Practices at the local levels, a toolkit to support public participation in municipal decision making.