Democracy and participation, Urban and rural development

SOLIDARY MOLDOVA – civic groups in rural areas

Twinning villages inside the region. A mechanism for citizens to become more active in their communities as well as a framework for collaboration among rural areas to foster regional cohesion.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Dan Radu

MDM - The Movement for Developing Moldova (Miscarea pentru Dezvoltarea Moldovei)

http://miscareamoldova.ro

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

The rural areas are practically civic deserts.
The project will activate local and regional development by
encouraging citizens to take action
prompting collaboration
enliven regional cohesion and identity
By the end of the project the region will find support in:
a scalable model of societal mechanism for citizens to participate at the decision making process
eight civic experimental groups in rural areas, active for one year
a platform (website + FORUM) for regional communication

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will involve 8 small rural communities, one from each county of the Moldova region.

What is the local challenge?

GDP per capita in Moldova (8 counties and 4 mil inhabitants) was 39% of the EU average/2017.
There is no such thing as involving citizens in the decision making process.
There is no real dialogue between citizens and administration, especially in rural areas.
There is no co-operation between towns and villages of Moldova, no shared initiatives, no transfer of good practices.
The pandemic crisis showed a fractured region with hospitals that refused patients with Covid-19 from other counties of Moldova.
The project aims to:
 identify solutions to overcome the lack of civic engagement in decision making process, a model that could be adopted at regional level
 create a collaboration pattern between communities
 foster cohesion and regional synergy to trigger development

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

In small rural communities, administration doesn’t involve community in decisions.
- Public debates organized in selected villages will create a venue for active citizenship to coagulate for the first time in a local civic nucleus.
- Experience exchanges and mutual visits between the communities selected for the program will lead to:
 getting to know each other
 Knowledge transfer
 Understanding each others’ needs
 Networking
A valid, effective and scalable model of co-operation among small rural communities will emerge.
- The ideas, solutions and good practices resulted will be promoted on the website MOLDOVA SOLIDARA (Solidary Moldova) of MDM under the name “Bank of ideas for developing in Moldova region”, to serve as a source of inspiration for other regions.

Who are you doing it for?

We will initiate open public debates on topics of major problems and we will support the setting up of a civic nucleus comprising the most involved and persuasive voices of that rural community.
This civic nucleus will be the delegation that visits another village from the project, for exchanging ideas, experiences and good practices in administration.
The delegation will be well balanced having members of the local administration, business environment, education workers, active citizens, local minorities (rroma, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Polish) or other groups usually overlooked by decision makers.

How do you plan to get there?

- 16 localities will be preselected (two from each county). Online and on field research will be followed by choosing 8 of them for deploying the project.
- Criteria for selection of 8 communities cover good governance, local initiatives, events transformed in local brands etc.
- MDM will schedule and moderate public debates with local authorities, guests on topics related to main issues in the community.
- Civic nucleus will emerge comprising local citizens eager to commit to develop their communities.
- The nucleus, plus the town hall representative and other local actors will be part of the delegation to visit the community to be “twinned” with. The visits will be mutual.
- 8 villages, 8 delegations, 8 mutual visits. Communities will interact in pairs.

What are the expected results?

It will be for the first time when a civic nucleus appears in rural Romanian communities.
The impact upon the region will be demonstrated by:
-8 civic groups in each of the 8 communities set to be supported by MDM for one
-16 local debates about community problems
-8 mutual inter community visits
-Several solutions to main lingering issues in the communities will be identified
-A public database of ideas, solutions, good practices for problems in small communities will be published, as a source of inspiration for other decision makers
-A public final report will be released as a guide for approaching community problems
-8 communities from the region will be “twinned”
-A framework of civic engagement in rural areas
-A model of collaboration between rural communities in Moldova

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Moldova is just an example - pushed to alarming negative values of social, cultural and demographic depression - emerged from the classical European vision of economic development through the accumulation of differences between the centre and periphery, Moldova being at the eastern margin of EU.
Moldova is the most devastated region of Romania during communism, which resulted in deep fractures at society level, acute lack of solidarity and civics.
In a Europe of regions this project is the first step in creating a regional cohesion that will help this old historical region of Romania to become prosperous again.
And at a practical level, in a civic desert as rural Moldova is, we will have 8 civic nucleuses that take part at debates and local decisions.

What is your story?

MDM promotes the development of Moldova, for increasing regional cohesion and sense of regional identity.
MDM aspires this region to be part of the European regional concert, through development and beneficed contribution.
The development of inter community collaborations mechanism, exchange and good practices are essential for progress.
These can’t be achieved without actively engaged citizenship, at the grass root level, that is the small rural communities.
Regional cohesion drives solidarity, which leads to development.
That’s why this project is aligned with MDM mission and in perfect conformity with what we promote:
 Increasing civic engagement as pressure factor for good governance
 A consolidated sentiment of regional identity.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 75000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

1.travel and accommodations – 18000 euro (includes 3000 euro from other sponsors)
2.office [2 persons: 1 project manager, 1 communication specialist] – 12000 euro (6000 euro will represent voluntary work)
3.personnel costs – 32000 euro (10000 euro will represent voluntary work)
4.public relations – 5000 euro (includes 2000 from other sponsors)
5.final report/event – 5000 euro (includes 2000 from other sponsors)
6.office expenses – 3000 euro (includes 2000 from other sponsors)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Are there any similar regional NGOs that support regional development and cohesion in the countries participating at Civic Europe projects?
Do you have models of participative governance, cooperation mechanisms and good practices among small localities that could support in applying our ideas?

Team

MDM

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

Write comment