New project in Moldova: Inform, Empower, Act. Civil Society for good budgetary governance in Moldova

EESC is happy to announce its participation in the project “Inform, Empower, Act. Civil Society for good budgetary governance in Moldova”, which is to be implemented over three-year period from February 2019 until January 2022. The activities are supported by the European Commission and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The general objective of the project is to enhance civil society contribution to higher transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of budgetary formation and execution at the local level through participation and oversight.

1. To increase the level of information, awareness and motivation among the population and civil society at the local level about the budgetary process: importance of analyzing the local budgets, discussing spending priorities, monitoring the budgetary execution, with emphasis on procurements for large investment projects;
2. To empower the population and civil society at the local level with appropriate knowledge, tools and frameworks to take a more active role in consultations, contribution and oversight of the local public policies and budgets;
3. To enhance the involvement of the population and civil society in public policy development, budgetary processes, monitoring and oversight activities of the public spending.

The objectives will be achieved by three Pillars of project activities:
(i) Awareness:
Under this pillar, there will be developed the project framework, will start the implementation of the information and awareness campaign and will be elaborated the necessary tools that will be used by relevant stakeholders for participation in the budgetary process. Three clusters of activities under Pillar 1 will be implemented:
Activity 1.1: Creating the local coalitions, (5 regional implementing partners will be selected from 5 development regions and 25 local coalitions will be established/ developed with about 750 members of local communities involved) (months 0-9)
Activity 1.2: Launching the information, awareness and visibility campaign (months 2-12)
Activity 1.3: Developing the instruments for participatory budgeting (months 2-12)

(ii) Empowerment:
Under this pillar, based on the information framework and instruments created under the first pillar, there will be organized a series of capacity-building activities aimed at empowering the local agents of change to take active and effective part in the budgetary process at the local level. The capacity building activities will form a motivated and capable CSOs and citizens to be vocal in relation to the budgetary process at the local level and hold the local governments accountable in the budgetary process. We distinguish two clusters of activities under Pillar 2:
Activity 2.1: Capacity building of 5 local implementing partners (months 5-12 and half-year 3)
Activity 2.1: Capacity building of 5 local implementing partners (months 5-12 and half-year 3)

(iii) Action:
Under this pillar, the project will facilitate the effective involvement of the local coalitions, led by the local implementing partners, in the budgetary process at the local level. These set of activities will represent the most impactful part of the project, because it will represent the part when the project beneficiaries will implement the tools and knowledge gained under the previous two pillars and, in this way, will start making the desired changes in the way how inclusive, transparent and effective the local budgets are being planned and executed. Thus, by means of project infrastructure, framework and tools created under pillar 1 and developed capacities under pillar 2, the members of the local coalitions and LPAs, together with the project implementation team will de facto implement the tools for participation in the budgetary process and monitoring budgetary execution at the local level. Overall, the activities will be focused on the central government, LPAs and CSOs. Hence, this pillar will contain 3 sets of specific project activities (clusters):
Activity 3.1: Promoting the improvement of the budgetary process at the local level (throughout the entire year 2 and year 3)
Activity 3.2: Stimulating the participation of local coalitions in the budgetary process
Activity 3.3: Promoting changes in the budgetary processes at the central level (throughout the entire year 2 and year 3)

Target groups and final beneficiaries
The main target group is represented by CSOs and activists at the local level. Further the members of local coalitions from 25 LPAs, created and led by 5 regional CSOs acting as key local implementing partners in North, Centre, South, Gagauzia and Transnistria regions (on average, 5 LPAs per implementing partner). It is estimated that each local coalition will include around 30 members (CSOs and local activists, as well as representatives of LPAs), making a total of 750 final beneficiaries of the project throughout the country. The entire population of beneficiary localities will be the final beneficiaries of the action, which could account to about 400 – 500 thousand people.

Implementation consortium:
The project is implementing by a consortium of 4 organizations, 2 local and 2 EU based:
1) Independent Analytical Center “Expert-Grup”, as lead partner, which has more than 12 years of experience in the area of economic public policies and promoting budgetary transparency and participation in Moldova;
2) Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE), with expertise and experience focused on monitoring public policies and building capacities of CSOs;
3) Konrad Adenauer Stiftung e.V. (KAS), Germany, is running a country programme for Moldova since 2009 focusing on supporting civil society initiatives, civic participation, political education and monitoring public policies; KAS will in particular support the implementation of the sub-granting scheme of the project;
4) Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) from Vilnius, Lithuania will provide with EU best practices in terms of participatory budgeting and EU economic governance principles.