Democracy and participation, Community development

Unlocking the voice of islanders

By introducing a structured community dialogue, we encourage mutual understanding and bridge inadequate planning of island's development and needs of the local communities.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Maja Jurišić

Pokret Otoka / Island Movement

http://www.otoci.eu

Croatia

Who is joining forces?

OTRA - Local development agency (Cres/Lošinj - island lighthouse)

http://www.pplr-otokcres.info

Croatia


KORA - Local development agency (Korčula - island follower)

https://www.kora.hr/hr/

Croatia


OTRA and KORA are strong local partners with relevant capacities (staff) for support the execution of the project. They will also provide logistical support in order to carry out project activities.

Idea

Idea pitch

Is it enough just to love them? Or we need to do something to maintain their uniqueness and authenticity? How to channel desired visions to do something concrete for islanders? Good will is not enough. We need tools on how to participate in creating the sustainable development of the island. A tool that gives us immediacy, directness, space to share ideas no matter how contradictory or visionary they look at first glance. Space where the local community has the opportunity to be heard and act.

Where will your project idea take place?

Islands Cres and Lošinj - lighthouse; Korčula - follower; other Croatian islands - online community

What is the local challenge?

The lack of transparency in the decision-making process and the inactivity of the local population leads to disproportionate development of the islands. This is not in accordance with the local needs and is increasingly undergoing massive tourism development which threatens the existence of the island system. Islanders are poorly included in the planning and development as well as not informed about different opportunities. Additionally, islands face a lack of human capital, an aging population, poor quality and diversity of education, undistributed economy etc. The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly contributed to the insularity being never more prominent, priorities being re-examined and many characteristics of island communities becoming more outstanding than ever.

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

Specific circumstances require customized solutions and social innovations, we want to bridge the gap and get the life back to the islands by creating an online platform focused on island sustainability with series of webinars and educational material. At the same time, we will develop a tailormade program for strengthening all stakeholders in local communities on 3 islands to work together on the development of their local strategies and plans. In our project, the focus is placed on strengthening the democratic culture and civic engagement of the island community, motivate the island community to participate in local development planning, educate the island stakeholders to create sustainable systems in their community and to raise awareness and educate local communities.

Who are you doing it for?

This project aims to strengthen the general population of the island communities including all society pillars (local authorities, businesses, academia representatives, NGOs, and citizens). The focus will also be children, young people, and women who will be empowered with new skills in order to contribute to their local economic development, especially in the areas of self-sufficiency and energy. The key result of this project will be a series of interactive webinars that will use a new innovative approach to collective problem-solving, we will create a space for local island communities to identify critical issues, express their passions and concerns, learn from each other and, where appropriate, take collective responsibility for finding solutions.

How do you plan to get there?

1. Virtual platform and education program development - 2 employees, volunteers, and experts will design the platform and set up the virtual community tools in parallel with developing an educational program and engaging experts (5)
2. Execution of the educational program and community building - The physical workshops will be organized on Cres, Lošinj, and Korčula. They will include a series of practical sessions with local stakeholders. In parallel the educational platform will include the wider island community to follow the program online (series of 8-10 webinars).
3. Online meetings and conference - The last phase of the project will include online meetings and conclusions for the project continuation as well as the final conference with presenting the results of the project

What are the expected results?

All participants and beneficiaries of this project, but also those who are not directly involved in the implementation and activities, will have information and the opportunity to connect with experts in the areas of interest. Through this project, we will create one place that will gather all the important information, messages and advices that will help individuals who want to get involved in decision making, to improve their political power as a citizen, to influence their local community. During training and workshops, efforts will be made to gather as many local people as possible - especially young, unemployed, women, but also representatives of different social pillars to learn about their rights related to planning and execution of the self-sufficiency and energy transition process

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Our goal is to educate people about their opportunities to participate in decision-making and create their own independent communities. Due to the age and population living on the Croatian islands, this is absolutely necessary, but taking into account the entire population of the Croatian state - individuals are still not aware of their rights and are quite apolitical consequently, because they do not know how much influence they can have. By implementing concepts such as local acting, political involvement, participation in decision-making and coauthoring strategic and action plans in public discourse, incorporating these phrases into public debate, the number of individuals who come across this information and who will be able to deal with these issues will increase.

What is your story?

As stated, the association fights to preserve the island community and recognize the island population as a vulnerable group in society given the geopolitical and geographical context in Croatia. The association consists of employees and volunteers from our islands who share the same vision, want to contribute to their community on the island, and work on strengthening the island's vulnerable groups (unemployed, women, youth). The mission behind this project idea is to make Croatian islands independent communities in the long run within their (currently untapped) opportunities because mass tourism and consumerism are destroying what little is left of a community that can feed itself and secure its own energy, food and other goods independent of city and mainland.

€ 49300,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 49300,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel costs (2 employees, 14 months) - 30.000 EUR
Experts (education program planning & execution) - 7.000 EUR
Volunteer costs - 3.300 EUR
Visual identity and web - 2.000 EUR
IT tools (for online events: webinars, conferences, meetings) - 1.500 EUR
Equipment (laptop, projector) - 1.500 EUR
Operational costs - 2.000 EUR
Public relation and promotion - 2.000 EUR

Team

pokretotoka

Mirna Dalic

Andreja Baraba

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

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