The Funky Republic

The Funky Republic
- creating a local network of NGOs to encourage civic participation -

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Motivation

In most settlements in the country, there is no coherent framework for constant dialogue between citizens, NGOs and local authorities. Out of the 105.000 local NGOs, only half are active, most in urban areas. In projects such as the Civic Caravan in 2019, we discovered that although many small settlements have several NGOs and active informal groups, they do not work with each other or do not know about the existence of others. We believe that authorities and citizens do not actively dialogue because they lack a real model, a successful precedent from which to draw inspiration.

The local level is the optimal one for a paradigm shift of the civic and political involvement of the citizens, with fast and impactful results, which can stimulate citizens to repeat the initiative. The interest for a continuous involvement in the public administration is small, although the turnout for local elections is exceeded only by the presidential elections. There is no strong culture of public participation, unlike in the Northern countries, for example. Moreover, the law governing decision-making transparency at the administration level provides a minimal framework that's outdated since 2003.

Goals

  1. We want to create a network of local organisations to support the development of active citizenship, as well as to stimulate constructive dialogue between authorities, citizens and local civil society representatives.
  2. Creating a methodology, with the help of Norwegian partners, to provide a framework for continuous dialogue focused on solving local problems, oriented on local budgets, decision-making in local public administration, civic education and journalism / fact-checking.
  3. Implementing the model of involvement in the local decision-making process in 8 communities through a series of 32 trainings in the 4 priority areas and by creating an index of transparency and openness of local authorities.. Produced annually, the index will be a communication and advocacy tool for the network.
  4. Organizational development of Funky Citizens, through internal trainings and formalization of procedures, in order to streamline internal activity and prepare us for the role of "umbrella organization".

Activities

  1. Sociological and market research to identify the geographical areas we will focus on and the current needs at the local level
  2. Creating a network offer consisting of trainings and educational materials for member organisations
  3. Developing the capability of the network through 32 trainings for associations and citizens from the chosen communities
  4. Inauguration of the network through a 2-day event with members
  5. Development of an index that will efficiently and objectively measure the quality of civic life in Romanian settlements
  6. Advocacy at local and national level as a follow-up to the index

Beneficiares

We will develop replicable tools and resources and we will implement a model of involvement in the decision-making process in 8 communities of different sizes: Bucharest, 2 large, 2 medium, 2 small cities and a village.As a coordinating organisation, we will also monitor the advice of stakeholders to ensure the smooth running of activities.

Calendar

2 years and 2 months
15th of March 2021 - 15th of April 2023

Funding and partners

The project benefits from a budget of 276.980 euro of which 246.000 are awarded through the Active Citizens Fund Romania.

We launch with two strategic partners: Bjerkaker Learning Lab from Norway and RISE Project from Romania.

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The project is implemented by Funky Citizens in partnership with Bjerkaker Learning Lab and Rise Project Romania and benefits from a 276.980 Euro grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.

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