Civic Engagement Project

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Civic Engagement Project Fact Sheet
Civic Engagement Project Fact Sheet
USAID/North Macedonia

BACKGROUND

An active civil society is at the heart of every functioning democracy. North Macedonia’s robust civil society organizations (CSOs) face new challenges as they seek to contribute to the country’s accession into the EU and further Euro-Atlantic integration. USAID contributes to this country’s efforts to promote inclusivity, engage youth in social and economic opportunities, reduce corruption, and increase government transparency and effectiveness.
 
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
 
The Civic Engagement Project facilitates dialogue between citizens and the Government of North Macedonia on important social issues. This program strengthens constructive engagement by CSOs on policies and issues that target anti-corruption, transparency, and rule of law, and it increases and sustains youth engagement in public life. Through this program, USAID partners with North Macedonia’s democratic institutions to help the country implement strategic reforms focused on accountability, transparency, justice, and corruption to advance EU accession.
 
ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPACT
  • Supported more than 80 individual CSOs and CSO networks across the country to deal with target issues, including election support, public service improvement, openness of municipalities, gender equality, economic development, and support to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Reinforced collaboration between CSOs and the government, which resulted in the introduction of 51 public policies with recommendations on improving the current legislation related to the Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest; the National Strategy for Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest; the Government’s Strategy for Transparency; public procurement; the Law on Social Enterprises; elections; and the Law on Free Access to Public Information.
  • Introduced the “Open City Initiative,” an innovative concept for transforming local governments into more transparent, open, and accessible entities that are in regular contact with citizens and continuously work toward meeting citizen requests. This  initiative strives to build more fair and inclusive local communities. It helps local authorities and residents create and use open data to improve communities; identify and fill data gaps that are published in a format that is useful; and understand how local authorities can partner with residents to use data to improve the quality of life in the community.
  • Launched the Open Government Partnership web platform (https://ovp.gov.mk/) together with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, adding new sets of open data related to budget, public procurement, staffing, tax revenue collection, and a register of official vehicles. New data sets continue to be uploaded as more state institutions become engaged in these efforts.
  • Increased civic participation in the fight against corruption and conflicts of interests. Published relevant information and educational materials to increase access for citizens and provided more than 60 citizens with free legal aid to file complaints and report cases of corruption or conflict of interest.
  • Empowered 107 young people as leaders to implement community-level activities and build partnerships with institutions, businesses, and academia. The 91 small-scale projects promoted EU and NATO values; addressed fake news; increased social inclusion and cohesion, youth employability, gender equality, community activism, environmental awareness, human rights, and anti-corruption efforts; and engaged more than 3,000 young people throughout the country. 
  • Honored nine young individuals, three informal youth groups, and nine youth CSOs for their outstanding contributions in engaging, educating, and empowering young people across the country through the annual Youth Civic Engagement Award. Nearly 400 young people were included in the activities carried out by the award winners.

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Last updated: October 01, 2021

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