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New project|Widening the Democratic Space through Citizens Engagement in Decision-Making

Widening the Democratic Space through Citizens Engagement in Decision-Making

Phase I: 15 July 2020 – 31 January 2022

SUMMARY

The current level of activism and citizens’ participation in Albania remains weak, while the actual political development indicate a strong need for citizens’ participation and engagement in political realm as a counter-reaction and safety measure to the polarized political arena. Actions that trigger the engagement and participation of the citizens would be beneficial to the democracy and good governance in Albania. Therefore, deliberating on parliamentarism actually brings the core of politics back where it belongs.

In this context, the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), in partnership with the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC), are implementing a project that aims to create an enabling environment for substantial civic engagement in political and legislative processes in Albania as a means for citizens to demand for accountability and transparency from elected representatives (MPs) or mandated officials.

This initiative is being implemented in the framework of the “Support to Parliament and Civic Education in Albania” (PACEP), a project of the Agency Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by the OSCE Presence in Albania and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). To sum up, over the next two and a half years, IDM and AHC in close coordination with PACEP implementers, will bring skills and tools to local stakeholders all over Albania to shape their involvement in and contribution to legislative processes.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
  1. Establish mechanisms to strengthen the relationship of the citizens and CSOs with the Parliament for an effective contribution and participation through the Local Civic Networks. The interaction of citizens with parliamentary representatives will be empowered through the Local Civic Networks (LCN), while access and participation will be supported by the online platform, expertise and activities.
  2. Intensify citizens’ involvement in political and legislative processes through civic education.

    Civic education will engage political and legislative institutions in alliance with CSOs and educational institutions to outreach citizens at national level, and deliver educational programs, information and awareness campaigns on citizens’ involvement in political and legislative processes.

  3. Support and strengthen community-level leadership and capacity to influence parliamentary processes and decision-making through  innovative and participatory instruments of deliberative democracy.