Community development, Education and research

The island lighthouse - strengthen the connection

Strengthening chains of communication between decision makers and island communities by establishing a know-how platform for information and communication


Who is behind this?

Paula Bolfan

Island Movement



Idea pitch

There is a gap between local municipality and island communities in Zadar archipelago, although there are representatives of the municipality on each island, formed in local boards. Work of local boards’ members is voluntary and they have no authority or budget.By establishing a KnowHow platform stakeholders will be able to use this tool for participatory involvement of community in decision-making processes, as well as replicate it to all other areas with communication gaps between stakeholders

Where will your project idea take place?

Inhabited islands governed by City of Zadar (Islands Ist, Iž, Molat, Olib, Premuda, Rava and Silba)

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The biggest societal challenge is to help the community to accept the process of learning and understanding lines of authority and then to use the knowledge and the platform to articulate and communicate their needs to decision makers to achieve positive results for local communities. The community often tampers local board members with a number of issues and demands, but the local boards have no power (authority or budget) to affect the municipality and are overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be performed and the expectations the community has towards them. The challenging part is to make islanders feel comfortable addressing their needs and accepting the help from outside of their communities, which will empower them and help to establish communication with decision makers.

Who are you doing it for?

This project aims to strengthen the general population of the island communities including citizens, members of local boards and authorities. The focus will be on young and middle aged people who will be empowered with knowledge and tools in order to contribute to their local development, as well as to assist in the process of understanding local government policies and procedures. Citizens often want to participate but are missing knowledge to express their needs and address them properly. Members of local board organise community meetings but are unable to understand the needs of the community because the community doesn’t understand the processes. Local boards often adress needs and problems in the wrong place and in the wrong format so they sometimes they never find the solution.

How do you plan to get there?

The project is planned to involve seven islands who are governed by the City of Zadar - Ist, Iž, Molat, Olib, Premuda, Rava and Silba. On the start a research will be conducted of all levels of municipality (local, regional and national) and their jurisdictions for different types of processes who concern inhabitants of the islands.The research documentation will be used for live activities - educational and practical workshops programmes which will be held on four out of seven islands. The programme will include educational workshops based on the conducted research, as well as the interactive part in which the participants will share their experiences and problems they faced while trying to meet basic living needs that include dealing with municipalities.
Results of the workshop, in addition to conducted research, will be used to make, establish and fill content to a KnowHow platform, which will primarily be used by inhabitants of Zadar islands, but could be replicated to all the other rural districts of Croatia. During project activities will last a campaign whose goal is to include as many participants as possible whose opinions and experiences will contribute to the better development of the KnowHow platform, to inform the public about project activities and steps that need to be taken to bridge the communication gaps between decision and policy makers and their communiti

What are the expected results?

The expected results are better understanding of legal procedures and processes for the communities, as well as empowering local board members in their work. The community will be able to express their opinion in an appropriate way to their representatives, local boards, who will then have a better view on the needs of the community, but will also know where to address the needs. The communication between communities, local boards and municipalities will become easier and will lead to Municipality allowing the community to engage and participate in their work because they will know that boards and communities understand procedures. All of the above will lead to higher engagement level of participatory involvement of community in decision-making processes.

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

Community members will get actively involved in a social or political issue in their local community because they will be provided with tools and information about all the possible ways they could get involved in. The KnowHow platform will provide the information about all the possible ways of participating and giving opinions to decision making and implementation processes, such as dates and times of public consultations, information about different levels of jurisdiction, contact numbers, adressess, format examples for request and other types of formal communication etc. They will also have the opportunity to contact someone from the network who could give them directions for finding requested information.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team consists of Members of the Island Movement network whose work is based on the sustainable development of Croatian Islands. Paula Bolfan lives on Silba island and was a member of the local board for two years. She has experience of successful implementation of an EU project about a socio-cultural center on the island Šolta. Maja Jurišić is the founder of the Island Movement network and has dedicated her knowledge and experience to protection and development of island communities by continuously cooperating with all levels of municipalities and island communities. Mirna Dalić is an employee in Island Movement and has great graphic design skills and is not connected with any island which gives her an opportunity to have an objective judgement to all activities and requirements.

€ 34200,-

Total budget

€ 34200,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

PERSONNEL COSTS - 15,500. eur
VOLUNTEER COSTS - 1,000.00 eur
RESEARCH COSTS - 3,000.00 eur
OFFICE RENT - 2.000,00 eur

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to hear feedback from those who have implemented or worked on similar fields of interest, as well as recommendations for improvement. We would like to hear the kinds of challenges they try to resolve in other countries, what tools they recommend and what limitations they face.



Mirna Dalic

Andreja Baraba

Idea created on April 26, 2021

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