On September 11, the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) hosted the 3rd edition of Open Friendly Club – an annual activity organized in Chisinau in order to empower local elected officials from iRi partner communities in the process of good governance at local level. The activity was conducted by Mr. Octavii Ivanov, expert within Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (CALM,) and Ruslan Stanga, executive director, Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi).
Within the first session, the 22 participants (mayors, councilors, secretaries of local councils) discussed the principles of good governance, functional models of cooperation between LPAs and citizens, as well as about a number of difficulties they face, especially mayors, in the process of good governance at local level.
The event promoted the public hearings as a democratic tool for consulting and involving citizens in solving issues of public interest.
“In addition to practical issues such as changes in tariffs, setting taxes, adopting the budget, etc. – public hearings are a democratic and pro-active way of building trust between citizens and local elected officials.” – Ruslan Stanga, director iRi.
A current and common subject often discussed as a cooperation model between LPAs and citizens is the Participatory Budgeting. At the event, the experts discussed with LPA representatives about participatory budgeting programs at the local level and how the community decides where to use the resources.
“The Participatory Budgeting proposes a partnership between LPA and citizens, where the citizens discuss, negotiate and decide the destination of public money.” – Octavii Ivanov, expert within Local Authorities Congress of Moldova (CALM).
The second part of the event was dedicated to topics such as financial resources, local development projects and the importance of transparency in the fundraising process. The local elected officials had the opportunity to exchange ideas and share good practices on the communication process between citizens and LPAs in order to increase citizens’ trust in the act of good governance.
“I had a great pleasure to interact offline and meet new mayors in their first term, exchange ideas and hear the problems that mayors face. We learned new tools for fundraising and ways of involving more active the community.” – Svetlana Racul, mayor of Boscana, Criuleni district.
The activity is part of the project “Governing Together”, implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi) and local partners within the Grant Program “Grassroots Civil Society Development Facility in the Republic of Moldova”, funded by the European Union and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
For more photos from the event, please visit the iRi Facebook page: