Learner’s Submission: The Millennium Development Goals – What Nigeria Failed to Do

21/02/2015

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals that the world has ever agreed upon. These eight-bound goals target poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development. Nigeria was an enthusiastic signatory to these goals in September of 2000 when they were agreed upon; but have since achieved no results.

The deadline for achieving these goals was slated for 2015. Writing this article today, January 22, 2015, it is safe to conclude that Nigeria failed to accomplish the goals since poverty, hunger, low standard of education,  etc are still prevalent in the country. It is safe to reach this conclusion because it is very unrealistic to think that the Nigerian government can achieve these goals between now (January) and December. It cannot be denied that the Nigerian Federal Government made attempts to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but the money allocated to the actualisation of the project ended up in the pockets of few individuals as a result of corruption, the major virus of the Nigerian state. The eventual victim had to be innocent and poor citizens who had to be deprived of the change that the implementation of these goals would have attracted. But this was possible because the government failed to monitor the entire process.

It has to be said that the Nigerian government is always guilty of being at the wrong side of decision-making. This is simply because the government is yet to imbibe the culture of engaging its citizens in policy-making.

Citizen engagement is important because it guarantees the surest strategy of accomplishing any target. Citizens who have networked and speak with one voice have the potential to serve as powerful agents who have an impact on policy-making and enforcement of new and existing policies.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is a social responsibility in which citizens would have been engaged in a number of ways, one of which would have been the involvement of members of the various Civil Society Organisations. A vibrant and informed Civil Society has a vital role to play in building enduring democracies, underpinned by good governance practices. It is not without doubt that the role of Civil Society goes beyond advocacy. Civil Society have a crucial role to play in promoting democracy and popular participation at country level, service delivery especially in the social sector where government resources and capacities are stretched and supporting to articulate and fashion appropriate strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

So, with the failure of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria, it is hoped that the Nigerian government will think of new ways of implementing subsequent programmes, and one of which should be the engagement of its citizens in various capacities. It might also be necessary to introduce a monitoring system to guarantee transparency and accountability which will ensure the delivery and successful implementation of the programme.” – Elias Ozikpu – Lagos, Nigeria

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Learner’s Submission: Citizen Engagement in Public Governance for the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals

22/07/2014

“Citizen engagement facilitates inclusive decision making that enables more complete fulfilment of the democratic right to influence government systems, policies and processes.  It entails citizen involvement in “a wide range of policymaking activities … in order to orient government programs toward community needs.”[i]  Consequently, citizen engagement helps to produce equitable and long-lasting development benefits and promotes good governance.

The Committee System at the Jamaican Parliament provides an avenue for the exercise of good governance through citizen engagement in the legislative process.  The operation of the committees in this respect rises to the level of consultation on the continuum conceptualized by the International Association of Public Participation.[ii]  The Parliament refers matters to the committees, which may then issue public notices inviting comments.  They may also write directly to entities that have an interest in the subject.  Those who respond are sometimes called upon to appear before the committees which may incorporate their views into their reports to Parliament.[iii]

Not only does the Parliament seek to practice good governance through citizen engagement; it plays a greater role in advancing this ideal by considering and approving enabling legislation and other relevant documents.  Good governance requires transparency, as reflected in media freedom and the exchange and free flow of information.[iv]  Hence, the Millennium Declaration contains a pledge to “ensure the freedom of the media to perform their essential role and the right of the public to have access to information.”[v]  Further, target 8A under MDG8 is to “develop further an open, rule based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system.”[vi]   Parliamentary consideration of documents relating to transparency and improving the financial system has benefited from citizen participation in parliamentary committees.

At least fourteen civil society groups, representing the media, the library fraternity, the legal profession, civil servants, the private sector, human rights organizations and others, made contributions to the deliberations of the Joint Select Committee on the Access to Information Bill, which submitted its report to Parliament in March of 2002.  The report reflects that the bill “seeks to preserve certain fundamental principles underlying the system of constitutional democracy, namely, governmental accountability, transparency, and public participation in national decision-making.”[vii]  As regards citizen’s contributions to the deliberations, it is stated, among other things, that “strong representation was made by various special interest groups…that no fees should be charged for the application to access an official document” (p. 10).  It appears from the proposal in the committee’s report that the words ‘prescribed fee paid or payable in respect of an application’ be deleted from clause 12 of the Bill (Appendix 1) that they accepted this recommendation.

The Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Report on the Review of Jamaica’s Defamation Law[viii] reveals that entities with an interest in communication were invited to make presentations and the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), the Media Association of Jamaica (MAJ) and a private telecommunications firm accepted the invitation (p. 2).  Recommendations in the review committee’s report that were endorsed by the MAJ include abolition of the distinction between libel and slander (p. 4) and removal of the offence of criminal libel (p. 9); these changes were drafted into the Defamation Bill (2011) at clauses 6 and 7, respectively.[ix]

The committee that considered a green paper on tax reform and submitted a report to Parliament in 2012[x] received numerous comments in submissions from 23 entities (pp. 1-2; 12-34), with a proposal for the removal of discretionary waivers receiving the most attention from civil society (pp. 25-29).  Additionally, the committee on the Banking Services Bill (2014) indicated in its report[xi] that the bill seeks to remove legislative inconsistencies relating to various types of deposit-taking institutions even while preserving their distinctive character, and to grant rule making powers to the Bank of Jamaica (p. 4).  Five non-governmental entities made submissions on the bill.  While the sources of specific ideas are not identified in the report, with amendments to 94 clauses and 8 schedules plus the insertion of three new clauses, it may be assumed that citizen participation had some impact on the committee’s decisions.

The consultative function of parliamentary committees permits citizen engagement while building the legislative framework for an inclusive and transparent democracy as envisaged in the Millennium Declaration.  The examples above illustrate their role in creating mechanisms to improve press freedom, access to information and the regulation of the financial system, all of which are embodied in commitments made under MDG8.  Notwithstanding resource constraints, the Committee System remains a key factor in the drive to achieve good governance in Jamaica.” – Tracy Cohen – Wisconsin, United States

Footnote

[i] UN Public Administration Glossary. “Citizen Participation.”
[ii] UN Public Administration Glossary. “Citizen Participation.”
[iii] Standing Orders of the House of Representatives of Jamaica, 1964 as amended 2007, Orders 68-80. http://www.japarliament.gov.jm/images/pdf/STANDING-ORDERS-OF-THE-HOUSE.pdf
[iv] UN Public Administration Glossary. “Good Governance.”
[v] United Nations (2000). Millennium Declaration (2000). paragraph 25.
[vi] United Nations (2008) Official List of MDG Indicators.
[vii] Houses of Parliament (2002) Report of the Joint Select Committee to Consider and Report on the Bill shortly entitled, “The Access to Information Act, 2002” http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/ai/rti/international/laws_papers/jamaica/Report%20of%20the%20Joint%20Select%20Committee%20on%20The%20Access%20to%20Information%20Act.pdf
[viii] Houses of Parliament (2010) http://www.japarliament.gov.jm/attachments/540_Report%20of%20the%20Joint%20Select%20Committee%20To%20Consider%20and%20Report%20on%20the%20Report%20on%20the%20Review%20of%20Jamaica's%20Defamation%20Law.pdf
[ix] Houses of Parliament (2011) http://www.japarliament.gov.jm/attachments/339_Defamation%20Act%202.pdf
[x] Houses of Parliament (2012) http://www.japarliament.gov.jm/attachments/744_Report%20of%20the%20Special%20Select%20Committee%20on%20Green%20Paper%20(Tax%20Reform%20for%20Jamaica).pdf
[xi] Houses of Parliament (2014) http://www.japarliament.gov.jm/attachments/1289_Banking%20Services%20JSC%20Report.pdf

Learner’s Submission: How can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the MDGs in Nigeria

15/08/2013

“Introduction:

At the UN Summit in September 2000 in New York, USA, eight MDGs were ratified. They are: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Achieve universal primary education (UPE); Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce child mortality; Improve maternal health; Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Ensure environmental stability; and Develop a global partnership for development. Nigeria is a party to this ratification. However, with less than three years until December, 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, Nigeria is still wide-of-the-mark to achieving these goals. Despite all the natural resource wealth Nigeria is endowed with, yet Nigeria lags behind in meeting the 2015 deadline. The greater challenge remains to make the citizens completely aware of the MDGs and the significant values they can add in achieving the MDGs.

It is against this background that this article examines the various ways Nigerian citizens can contribute alongside the government in achieving the MDGs. There is no exhaustive list in this regard. Given the foregoing, highlighted below are ways Nigerians can contribute to the achievement of the MDGs:

  • Involvement:

Greater results will be achieved when citizens are involved in the policy making processes that affect their lives alongside the government. If people are not involved or do not get themselves involved in the process then the end product of MDGs is a mirage. Nigerians seem to be out of the loop of what goes on in the economy. Many Nigerians are oblivious of who the leaders of various government institutions are, hence are unable to know who and for what to hold accountable. Progress in MDGs will be quite elusive if citizens are not conscious of the political and economic activities in the country.

  • Volunteerism:

Volunteerism is an area that has remained unexplored in Nigeria over the years; hence the multiplier effects accruing from volunteerism are lost. The interesting thing about volunteering is that it gives volunteers a first class experience of the challenges facing the areas they are working on, the recognition of the positive impacts on the lives of people in the economy, and the self satisfaction of being part of a team that fosters change on ground. Given Nigeria’s youth bulge, Nigeria is placed at a vantage position of what could be the most transformation in the history of Nigeria if the demographic dividends are harnessed to impact on the MDGs.

  • Empowerment:

Citizens make their voices heard through effective participation in monitoring and reporting of their daily life experiences. An average Nigeria owns a mobile phone and is able to communicate at a basic level. Given this context, creating an initiative where citizens can monitor economic and social activities through text messaging or calls has the great potentials of yielding positive results. Through these they can hold governments accountable on the promises they make.  MDGs cannot be achieved in isolation; people need to be empowered to empower others; and it goes on like a chain reaction.

  • Believe in Nigeria:

Across Nigeria, there is a wind of despondency blowing, especially in the minds of young Nigerians. Albert Einstein rightly said that “weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” The way Nigerians perceive Nigeria and react to issues that affect Nigeria makes a big difference in solving challenges that behold Nigeria. However, the mindset of the people determines their thoughts; their thoughts direct their behaviour; and their behaviour forms the general belief. Nigerians need to develop a dyed-in-the-wool spirit for Nigeria; a spirit that Nigeria is for all; hence Nigeria’s failure is a failure for all.

  • Collaboration:

The sixth MDG that is concerned with combating HIV/SAIDS, malaria, and other diseases needs collaboration among people for much headway to be made. This goal requires high-priority of hygiene, which is not solely exclusive to an individual. Diseases are spread from individual to individual; hence fight against spread of diseases can be promoted from the pragmatic stand point that involves everyone to maintain high level of hygiene.

 

  • Respect for one another:

There is poverty of respect for human dignity among Nigerians. This is manifested in the ways Nigerians treat each other. Nigerians see themselves with different perception of identity. Intolerance among Nigerians has eroded the respect for each other. This poses a greater challenge in bringing people together to work for a common purpose, hence mounting a severe strain on the MDGs. The love, strength and faith labored by Nigeria’s heroes past as reflected in Nigeria’s coat of arms should be upheld by Nigerians in dealing with each other to build a unity of purpose needed to make headway on the MDGs.

Conclusion:

Achieving the MDGs is a collective effort of every Nigerian and not an exclusive role of the government. Given the lag in delivering on the MDGs it has become a clarion call for every Nigerian to put hands on deck to add value, no matter how little, in achieving the MDGs. In this regard, everyone has a role to play; MDGs are everybody’s tasks; every effort you make in the process adds a great value; your little effort today can foster change and make a big difference. To conclude, Nigerians need to sacrifice their comfort zones and get involved in the tasks of the MDGs.” – Chukwuma Okonkwo – Abuja, Nigeria


Learner’s Submission: How can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the MDG’s in India ?

07/06/2013

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) emerged during the major international development summits of the 90s is challenge for developing countries and countries in transition. The MDGs are 8 goals (time bound goals and measurable targets) – to be achieved by 2015 – that aim to meet the greatest global challenges. It stem from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration, which was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state during the Millennium Summit in September 2000. These 8 MDGs  associated with 17 quantifiable targets and 48 indicators

The 8 Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) are as follows:

Goal 1:- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2:-Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3:- Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4:- Reduce child mortality
Goal 5:- Improve maternal health
Goal 6:- Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7:- Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8:- Develop a global partnership for development

As far as first goal of MDGs is concerned ,India has been moderately successful in reducing poverty. However, eradicating hunger remains a key challenge.On second goal of MDGs, India is on-track and in some cases, ahead of targets that relate to universalizing primary education. On third goal of MDGs ,given current trends, India is moderately or almost nearly on track. On fourth goal of MDGs, India would still fall short of the target of 42 per 1,000 live births by 2015. On fifth goal of MDGs, by 2015, it is expected that India will be able to ensure only 62 percent of births in institutional facilities with trained personnel. On sixth goal of MDGs, much of decline in HIV/AIDS can be attributed to greater awareness and increasing condom use. Malaria diagnosis has declined from 1.745 percent in 2005 to 1.52 percent in 2009  and prevalence of TB has steadily declined. On seventh goal of MDGs, Forest cover has increased to 21.02 percent and protected areas cover to about 4.83 percent of the country’s total land area. The overall proportion of households having access to improved water sources increased from 68.2 percent in 1992-93 to 84.4 percent in 2007-08. On eight goal of MDGs, The Indian ICT industry, in particular, the IT software and services and ITES sectors have managed to catch up with the global leaders.

The Citizens in India can contribute in their own way in the achievement of MDGs :

(a)    By continuous  awareness- By spreading the continuous awareness regarding the merits and benefits of MDGs,to make it a matter of discussion. This can ease the process and then at last every citizen think its moral duty to contribute in the achievement of MDGs.

(b)    By Forming Self Help Group- The SHGs can be formed in related areas to MDGs and this will first of all create group awareness regarding MDGs and then societal perception regarding it.

(c)    Audio-Visual Medium- The citizens can also create significant impact upon the society regarding the benefits of achievement of MDGs through Audio-Visual medium.

(d)    Educating- The citizen have to educate the individuals alone and in group regarding the benefits out of the MDGs.

(e)    Volunteering-The volunteering will be an effective citizen tool in advocating the benefits from the proper implementation of MDGs.

(f)     Advocacy- Citizen advocacy group in favour of MDGs can be also vital in contributing the achievement of MDGs.

(g)    Favourable Public Opinion- There is need of creating favourable  public opinion in the favour of MDGs and this is possible only through citizen groups and veteran citizens.” – Vivek Kumar Singh – Bihar, India


Learner’s Submission: How Can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) in India

06/06/2013

“Citizen participation in nation-building process can be traced as far back as Plato’s Republic. It’s nothing new to Indian society also. History tells us how the citizen participation has brought freedom to India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The tradition continues and people of India still participating for the betterment of the nation. Below I’ve list some of my ideas how the Indian citizens can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the MDGs:

Right to Information Act,2005

I’ll say, RTI is the best gift to the people of India in the 21st century. Using this powerful tool every citizen can access the public information (except some which may be threat to our national security). Thus people can get information, analyse them, what’re the lacunas in the policy and act accordingly. Whistle-blowers also use this tool to expose the corruption!!!

Representative Democracy

India is the largest democracy in the world. In a democratic country, people hold the authority via their representative who is elected through universal adult franchise. Thus citizens can write to their representatives about the social problems.

Right to Public Service

Though this act is not implemented in every state in India, but some states enjoy the benefits. It provides time-bound delivery of services (public services) to the people. If anyone is deprived of this, she/he must approach the appellate authority. This enables the people preserve their basic rights.

Non-Governmental Organisations

Several NGOs are working towards poverty alleviation, better health care, education, women empowerment. Some of the NGOs working in India for this purpose are Sammaan Foundation, Akshaya Trust, Pratham, Deepalaya etc.

Public Awareness Events

Awareness is the enemy of sanity, for once you hear the screaming, and it never stops. Various awareness programs should be organised especially in rural areas about HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, social inequality etc. so that the educationally backward people will have some knowledge of the MDG.

Campaigns

The purpose is same, but the domain is large. It exceeds to the urban area also. One of the most famous campaigns now-a-days in India is the “I Lead India” organised by the Times of India group. It also helps in achieving the goals by some ways.” – Ansuman Mansingh – Odisha, India


Learner’s Submission: Achieving the MDGs in India

19/11/2012

“The Millennium Development Goals with their 18 global targets serve as the blueprint for the international action plan that the world is collectively striving to achieve.

As per the case study report of UN, 2010, India has contributed to large reduction in global poverty. Measured at the $ 1.25 a day poverty line, poverty rates are expected to fall from 51% in 1990 to 24% in 2015. However extreme poverty is prevailing in an India where income is very unequally distributed on average more than 30 children everyday arrive to Delhi looking for a better life. They try to escape from grinding poverty, violence, drunk parents, arranged marriage or they simply get lost in.

The Mahatma Gandhi Global Indian Foundation,  The Saalam Baalak Trust, Don Bosco for instance and many NGOs are providing  million of street children with basic health care, shelter, giving them love and care, educating them and helping find their parents. Many schools are here and there in India where due to lack of rooms, pupils are taught outside without proper teaching facilities.  Although many efforts have been made, a large number of children are driven out of school in India till now. As per the Government declaration, till today 12 crore children have been brought under the mid-day mill program.

Several NGOs and community based organizations are actively dealing with women empowerment both in urban and rural areas. Like Gender Resource Center, OKhla, of Delhi, many more Organizations are striving to achieve gender equality in India. They are providing women with training about basic IT education, how to manufacture bags, embroidery products, and all skills that will help them find suitable job.  Creation of Self Help Group (SHG) is very remarkable here.

Because of low school enrolment of girls in rural India and early marriages, girls here in India are less educated and have less chance in society. Due to dowry system, honour killing and bride burning, there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality. Even the rule of law on marriage against dowries, against foeticide, against violence inside family, against discrimination of lower caste and fostering their participation in political life are not being manifested in many parts of the country yet. Government organizations and several NGOs and trust are trying to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6 that is maternal care, child mortality, HIV/AIDS and other diseases but India has still a long way to go to meet MDGs.

However the active role of citizen, potentially the youths is the key for the achievement of the MDGs.The MDGs are about people, about goals that represent basic human needs and basic rights and these goals can only be achieved through global commitment. Citizen can contribute to achieve the MDGs in the following ways:

1) Contribution in everyday life: There is a direct link between little things we do every day in our daily life and the global challenges identified by the MDGs. If we would only become a little more frugal in our everyday habits without undermining our living standards, we would help the lives of million in the world.  As for example, only in Europe food production industries throw away 90 million tons of food, worth 100 billion Euros for clear market logics each year. The food thrown away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over  . What we need to do is to expose companies and governments. As consumers we can put pressure on the food retailer, food suppliers to know how much food they waste. Conscious citizen should prompt people to start asking questions to them. And thus citizen can make a difference.

2) Educating:  Rising awareness among family members , friends , colleagues about the global challenges ,inequality , poverty , the MDGs after all and the development cooperation undertaken to tackle them is a policy in itself .Citizen should practice this policy to meet MDGs.

3) Advocacy: Citizen can play a decisive role in influencing decision making and the allocation of public or private resources through advocacy policy. By this policy they can bring media to the communities to give people a say .Organizing street action, solidarity walks also are the mediums to draw the notice of the concerned authorities. The policy, advocacy aims at the implementation of rights existing under the constitution and laws which have not been enforced yet.

4) Volunteering: to make volunteering a mass movement is a great way to achieve the MDGs. Youth involvement in the collective effort plays a great role.

5) Partnership: To establish partnership is the key to the development. Partnership between donors and recipients can create a fertile ground for citizens from three continents to work together, discuss the challenges of the MDGs and find a way to tackle them on an equal footing as partner.

6) Building your own project: Citizens, especially the youth can develop project proposal to build their own project with the help of local governments and the international donors to meet the challenges.

7) Multiplication: To inspire young people to become successful multipliers in their societies using the knowledge, experience and skill s acquired during the course of the project.

8) Cultural Dialogue: To create a culturally diverse work environment and increase intercultural dialogue between the youth of various nations.

In conclusion it is said that citizen should execute their duties to their society with global commitment.” – Dr. Mahabur Rahaman Mondal – Kolkata, India


Learner’s Submission: Achievement of the MDGs through Active Participation of NGOs in Serbia

12/11/2012

“Active work in the NGO sector, in the past 10 years, gave me competence in the study of mechanisms for citizen involvement in decision-making in the democratic changes in Serbia. I gained my experience within CeSID – Center for free elections and democracy – http://www.cesid.org, which is a non-partisan and non-profit organization, composed of citizens to contribute to the establishment and promotion of democratic values ​​and institutions in Serbia, I worked as a member of many observation missions in Serbia, than Kosovo voter registration, and as an instructor in training observers, which was designed for 2000 elections. CeSID was established primarily in order to organize an impartial observation of elections in Serbia, including media monitoring and research, observation and parallel vote counts, analysis of the electoral process and procedures, training of observers and voters, and turnout campaign in the elections.

Citizen’s participation in public life of the community is considered one of the main prerequisites for the establishment of full democracy and an important mark of quality of life. In transition countries, like Serbia, it is far more important for citizen participation to educate them in order to empower them to comprehend, promote and ‘‘consume’’ citizen’s participation in the decision-making processes.

One of the major concerns of modern democracy, including democracy in Serbia is the alienation of citizens from political processes. In this context, as in many others, civil society is an important element in democratic processes. Civil society offers to the people of Serbia an alternative way, besides the one offered by political parties and lobbies, so that they are able to channel a different view of things and at the same time it provides a diversity of interests in decision-making processes. Increasing awareness should be the foundation of the national policy of Serbia and requires development of formal education (civic education), creating programs for education, particularly the elderly population, through seminars, educational campaigns, internet online free education, social networks and other communication with citizens, and wilder cooperation with the organizational forms of civic activism, such as NGOs.

Non-governmental organizations in Serbia are to support avoiding the existence of passive citizens and to give them the prospect to say what they consider important for the development of local communities. In addition, non-governmental organizations are also noteworthy for the general education of citizens and intensifying their awareness of the importance of their participation in public life, as well as informing them about important issues in the local community.

Besides the legal framework for direct citizen participation, which is presented in the Serbian Constitution, the Law on Local Self-Government Act, the Referendum and Initiative, the Law on Free Access to Information, Statutes of cities and municipalities, NGOs and organized civil society are important contributors development and civic participation, realization of democracy and respect of  human rights.

The contribution of the NGO sector for public participation in decision-making processes is reflected in public advocacy. Triggered issues are related to interests and needs of specific user groups, diverse viewpoints or general public interest, which are not covered by legislation or other policy documents, mechanisms or measures.

Informing and increasing awareness on the Millennium Development Goals, belong compatibly to NGOs and public authorities in order to share information, together with representing members, users and key groups of citizens and more to act as channels through which citizens are accessible, and can respond,  be heard, listened, and informed.

In competence and education, there are experts with knowledge of particular issues who play crucial roles in determining the political agenda. Their analysis and research identified the current and future needs of society and provide important perspectives in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

In innovation, there is the development of new solutions and approaches, along with revealing how they can come in into the political agenda.

In distributing services, they are key players in shaping policy, also in creating alternative services, or those that do not exist for certain groups of users.

On the other hand the responsibility of public services include: sharing information with others, which must be updated, truthful and well-timed information in a format that is accessible to all interested parties.

Develop and follow procedures, which must be transparent decision-making processes, so as to afford clear, open and accessible procedures for participation.

Afford funds that will be empowering the active participation of civil society through, for example: budget allocations, supported in the form of tangible aid and administrative services.

To provide rapid response and active involvement of representatives of relevant public authorities, in order to listen, respond and deliver feedback.

Poverty and low living standards, honestly speaking everywhere, accordingly in Serbia, lead people generally, but then again especially youth, to unenviable position and situation, where they are not able to go on face to face seminars and other courses outside  Serbia. They cannot travel without money. They are also deprived of e-learning, which is very suitable kind of education, and so common in developed countries. I must admit that I belong to privileged minority to have the opportunity to attend oniline trainig course Citizen Engagement and the Millennium Development Goals.” – Dragana Sreckov Djakovic – Novi Sad, Serbia


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