The ICAR (Involvement of Community – Actions with Responsibility) project was implemented by a partnership formed by the Foundation Partners for Local Development (FPDL), as main Applicant, and the Association Euro-House Bustuchin, Bustuchin commune, Gorj County, as Partner 1, Association Aurora Hurezani, Hurezani commune, Gorj County, as Partner 2, Bustuchin Commune Mayoralty, Gorj County, as Partner 3, Hurezani Commune Mayoralty, Gorj County, as Partner 4.
The project was financed under EEA Grants 2009 – 2014, NGO Fund in Romania, Component 1 – Engage, Subcomponent 1.1 – Participation In decision-making and community engagement.
The context of the project ”Community Involvement – Responsible Action (ICAR)” is related to the reduced involvement of the citizens in community life, due to insufficient awareness on the role they can play in community development (in social, economic, cultural, administrative area, etc.).
The problem approached by the project was the reduced involvement of citizens of the Bustuchin and Hurezani communes in their communities lives, caused by the insufficient awareness related to the roles they may have in their communities, but also in their personal development, in the social, economic, cultural, administrative areas of their communes.
The aim of the project achieved: Developing community capacity of Hurezani and Bustuchin communes, Gorj County, to mobilize citizens, organizations and institutions to build a coherent framework for action with the allocation of resources on the basis of local community participation for local development.
The main activities of the project: Attending the complex processes of citizen participation in two joint consultation by the use of citizens and promoting their interests before the local authorities and participatory processes of strategic planning for local development.
They have developed and strengthened both in Bustuchin and Hurezani a mixed informal structures (citizens, NGOs – Local Public Administration – Economic / business sector – Socio-cultural sector – and other representatives sectors from communities), called Local Groups for the Implementation and Monitoring Local Development Strategy (GLIMS), with power to influence the decision making of local authorities in the areas of local development.
Also, these structures are able to initiate and propose local public policies, able to initiate, plan and implement local development projects ensuring conditions as local development to achieve participatory planning and Local Development Strategies to be implemented through projects developed.
They have established mechanisms for the meeting work, dialogue and debate between these structures and LPA, whereby community problems and solutions comes from citizens in a structured way through in the decision making process of LPA.
In this project there have been realized through participatory processes in communities the following documents:
- Local Development Strategy of Hurezani commune, 2016 – 2020, with Action Plan for Implementation, 2016 – 2017
- 2 Public Policies of local interest in Bustuchin commune (”Support the creation of jobs” and ”Promoting local customs and traditions art craft”)
- 2 Public Policies of Local Interest in Hurezani commune (”Stimulating birth” and ”Stimulation graduates of 8th and 12th grades continue their studies”)
- 2 Local Development Projects for Bustuchin (”Blackberries for Better” and ”Unique opportunity for growers and traders in villages”)
- 2 Local Development Projects for Hurezani (”Agro–Production” and ”To rediscover traditions”)
The most important products / project results:
- 3 Training and Work Manuals (Sustainable partnerships – Building bridges between local authorities and citizens, Public Policy, Project Manager)
- 5 Training / Work Materials for organizational development of the NGOs working partner and GLIMSs (Organizational Management, Organizational Strategic Planning, Organization and Operation Regulations, Action Plans 2015-2017, etc.)
- 4 Guides Citizens Involvement (Community Mobilization / Organization, Management and Conduct Focus Groups / Public Meetings / Workshops)
- The Booklet “Community Involvement – Responsible Action”, which presents the methodology, processes and the results obtained, as examples of good practice (100 pages)
The effects of the project are sustainable and will continue beyond the funding period by:
- Developed capacity of local teams working within GLIMS Bustuchin and GLIMS Hurezani to use the tools of citizen participation in the initiation and development of projects and policies of local interest to develop their own communities and to elaborate local development strategies by participatory planning process
- Developed organizational capacity of community organizations in the two communes – APLOMB and Euro-House Bustuchin and Aurora Hurezani – to strengthen the functionality of their structures, play an active role in mobilizing and involving citizens in the two joint decision making processes locally, supporting local stakeholders in developing projects consistent with the economic development and social communities needs.
- Deployment Hurezani Local Development Strategy, 2016-2020, related Action Plan and developed local public policies and monitoring all their implementation by GLIMS Hurezani
The main change introduced by the ICAR project is an innovative approach to participatory local development (horizontal approach with dynamic upper circular spiral), which combines / blends traditional approach of top-down with modern approach from the bottom-up, making the participation and involvement together of all the local factors / stakeholders (citizens, NGOs, Local Government, local / regional institutions, local economic sectors, socio-cultural, education, health sectors, other sectors etc.) in the development of sustainable local community, with the support of community trainers and facilitators of local development process.
This approach allows organizations participatory local development / community groups to carry out in partnership with local planning, financing and management of community development.
Through this approach acts directly on community organizations and their associations to form a whole community in order to enhance its capacity for active participation, accountability and effective involvement of citizens. This includes management skills in community organizing, problem identification and prioritization, resource mobilization, negotiation, conflict resolution, teamwork maintenance, monitoring and evaluation.
This approach comprises four phases, which takes up the stakeholders in participatory processes:
- Active participation (community mobilization, public meetings, focus groups, workshops, community needs analysis, using creativity and inventiveness of children and students)
- Education / Training community – integrated approach: experience, reflection, generalization, application (themes: communication, teamwork, decision making, workshops, solving problems, resolving conflicts, community outreach, mobilize stakeholders, developing local strategies, planning participatory analysis of community needs, opportunities fruition, viable partnerships for community development, public policy formulation, writing and project management, community facilitators)
- Accountability community (Local group set up to implement and monitor strategies – GLIMS – mixed structure of stakeholders, community organizations and NGO Development)
- Community Involvement (design and implementation of development projects, local public policies and local development strategies, development partnerships)
This approach certifies that the development community will take the right things and they will get it right, so that it becomes:
“Community of good things and well done!”
Download Manual (PDF – Romanian)
The ICAR (Involvement of Community – Actions with Responsibility) project was implemented by a partnership formed by the Foundation Partners for Local Development (FPDL), as main Applicant, and the Association Euro-House Bustuchin from Buctuchin Commune, Gorj County, as Partner 1, Association Aurora Hurezani from Hurezani Commune, Gorj County, as Partner 2, Mayor’s Office from Bustuchin Commune, Gorj County, as Partner 3, Mayor’s Office from Hurezani Commune, Gorj County, as Partner 4.
The project ICAR (Involvement of Community – Actions with Responsibility) was co-financed by SEE Grants 2209-2014, through the NGO Fund in Romania. For official information about the SEE and Norwegian Grants access www.eeagrants.org.