INVOLVEMENT OF CITIZENS AND COMMUNICATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT - MUNICIPALITY OF SHKODRA
Information included in this report presents the current status of local government leaders’ relationship with citizens in the context of citizens’ involvement and engagement in local decision-making. This report provides a clear picture of Shkodra Municipality and the communication channels used to bring citizens closer to local government with regard to public services, economic development and the functioning of local democracy. One of the objectives of the workshop held on 19 March 2021, enabled by the bacid.eu programme, was to map existing forms of citizen involvement in local government and identify new forms implemented in the city of Shkodra. The ways of communication used by the local government to inform the public or to take part in public debates were part of the debate and analysis in the workshop organised with representatives of the Municipality of Shkodra but also with active voices from the city. From these discussions, two essential issues were identified that seem to redefine the nature of the relationship between citizens and local leaders to address concerns and the common good in these times:
• The nature of the problems requires greater cooperation and an approach that allows external institutional partners, such as citizens, to be involved. In this context, the right form and path to satisfactory results require action.
• The new form of technological communication not only reduces financial costs, but accelerates interaction and problem solving. The difficulty in going through this process is related to the human and financial resources of the institution itself. The complex nature of the problems, and in many cases the inability to find solutions to them, has, of course, set political decision-makers, local decision- makers, the media, academics and civil society in motion - towards new ideas and reflections on how public decisions should be taken today.
This report presents exactly these ideas by engaging the voices of all actors involved in the participatory governance process. This report presents opportunities and strategies to be followed for continuous communication. In recent years, almost all over the world, there has been a strong trend and an outbreak in the interest for the opportunities in and creation of advanced forms of direct public participation in government. This is certainly happening through the lens of democracy revitalising, providing local community drivers for engagement, and with the ultimate goal of improving the services provided.
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