Lokalna akcijska grupa Zagorje-Sutla
Network of associations Zagor
LAG and Zagor work together on daily bases and also on the activities which strengthen young people in the decision-making process. In 2019 we have been piloting PB in partnership.
Involving the youth in the decision-making process in which youth-related projects would be implemented by the town is called participatory budgeting with youth. The goal of the project is to encourage an active involvement of the youth in the process of decision-making in the local community and strengthen the dialogue between the youth and the decision-makers.
Cities and municipalities of Local Action Group Zagorje-Sutla, Krapina-Zagorje County, Croatia
Young people from rural areas need to be provided with access to the opportunities that are available to young people in urban areas. They recognize different problems in local communities and when asked about the main responsibility for solving youth problems, a third of them believe that they are the ones responsible for solving problems, which indicates a certain dose of self-criticism and represents the potential that if young people have the opportunity to decide things they will actively do so. On the other hand, young people have extremely low trust in local government (according to one survey, 60.4% of young people don't trust the local government) which is a threat to local democracy.
The project targets young people in rural areas and small urban settlements, especially from the deprived and underdeveloped communities. Young people will develop and promote projects and will vote on them and in this way participate in the decision-making process. We expect the participation of at least 500 young people, both young men, and women (15-30 y). Local decision-makers will analyze the proposed projects with young people and help with expert advice in their finalization for voting, also will be in charge of implementation and co-financing the projects. This is an opportunity to create a space for cooperation and dialogue between young people and decision-makers and to deepen the understanding of the needs and interests of young people.
The developed methodology of conducting the PB for youth has several steps:
1. Animation of the youth to take part in the workshops
2. Conducting a participatory workshop
A workshop is consisted of five parts and lasts approximately four hours.
a. What is the budgeting
b. The rules of voting are presented by the team members (will be developed with youth focus group before the workshops so all the PB's are following the same rules)
c. A nomination of the youth developing projects
d. Presenting to the decision-makers to check the eligibility of the projects (are there law obstacles or they are above budget)
e. A final agreement on campaign and voting day
3. The campaign implemented by youngsters proposing the projects
5. The implementation of the winning project
Up to 11 PB's for youth in rural areas.
Up to 25 project ideas, 11 selected for implementation.
Up to 100 youngsters proposing ideas.
Up to 350 youngsters voting on the ideas.
The local community will have more knowledge on youth needs and on participatory budgeting.
Youngsters are more motivated to participate in decision-making processes.
There is enhanced trust between youth and local government, especially decision-makers.
Local democracy is strengthened and more opened to ideas of young people.
Evaluation of the entire process within 11 local communities (includes evaluation with young people and decision makers).
The process of participatory budgeting-PB raises the general quality of life for young people and promotes active citizenship. Young people will develop critical thinking, find solutions to identified problems and democratically set priorities. Having a sense of ownership over the results of the process will make them more motivated for future participation in decision-making and participate more actively in the life of the community. The involved local governments will implement selected projects with and for young people, and thus the mutual trust will be strengthened. The whole community will have the opportunity to see an example of participatory budgeting which can encourage positive processes of greater citizen involvement in decision making.
We strongly believe that the future of rural areas is all about community building, a sense of belonging, developing solutions for a better quality of life, and better opportunities for everyone. We believe that young people are present not just future. The only way to do that is to involve youth and create communities in which they will find their place. On the other hand, the good energy and happiness and successes from PB's piloting gave us even more motivation to go one step further. You can see this energy here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NE1-GdiQqg&t=1s
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Implementation of youth projects: 2600€ per project *11 projects=28600€
Workshop costs (materials, refreshments, etc): 150€ per workshop* 11 workshops = 1650€
Election costs (paper for voting, refreshments, venue, etc): 150€ per election*11 = 1650€
Travel costs for project team= on average 15€ per workshop, per election, per person=15€*11*11*3 = 990€
Advertising and public relations = 2000€
Office expenses: 2 organizations*500€ = 1000€
Personnel costs: 4 people*22 events*230€ = 20240€
It would be great to hear your stories of participatory budgeting!
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is causing many difficulties in everyday life our project is live and kicking!
The first three months of implementation we have spent in intense preparation for giving our project visibility, but also in establishing coordination with towns and municipalities in which the project will be implemented. We have started the project’s Instagram profile, created a web page, and established cooperation with local media. With towns and municipalities, all the dates for implementation are arranged and also they will co-finance the youth ideas selected through participatory budgeting.
Spreading the information and good vibrations about the project enabled unexpected turnout of youngsters to the workshop on rules of participatory budgeting - 21 young people enrolled in the rules discussion. We believe this is a good sign for further activities! Youngsters created the rules of participatory budget so the right of proposing and voting of the ideas will have young people aged (14)15 to 30 coming from the town/municipality in which participatory budget is implemented, and all ideas that are aimed at youth and public use are welcomed.
In April we are starting with the first participatory workshops in 4 municipalities and towns, and are very excited to see the ideas youngsters will propose and select!