On Tuesday, May 16, in Gračanica, NGO Aktiv organized a debate on the publication of the research “Digital Transparency of Municipalities with Serb Majority”.
At the conference, topics from the research, published by the NGO AKTIV, related to the digital presence and transparency of municipalities with a Serbian majority were discussed. At the conference it was said that it is of great importance for citizens to actively participate in public debates organized by local governments, and that it is necessary to encourage citizens to demand greater transparency of those they elect.
Research by the NGO Aktiv showed that the municipality of Gračanica is in first place in terms of digital transparency of municipalities with a Serbian majority. The survey showed that the majority of citizens want more active participation in decision-making processes at the local level.
Advisor to the mayor of Pristina, Muhedin Nushi, stated that the results of the report were expected and, accordingly, expressed concern about insufficient awareness and engagement of municipal officials and mayors in fulfilling their obligations.
“Regarding the transparency indicated by this research, I am not surprised. In the latest report of the Ministry of local self-government that we received two weeks ago, regarding the transparency in majority Serb municipalities, I noticed that there was a drop in transparency in the municipalities of Novo Brdo and Parteš, which were previously ranked well,” Nushi said.
The representative of the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), Diana Metushi, emphasized that transparency in local self-government in all 38 municipalities in Kosovo in 2014 was only 16% on average. She explained that public institutions are at the service of citizens, who elect their representatives and pay for all their services.
“Representatives are there to provide us with some service and transparency is connected with the obligations of those workers we employed in public institutions. And we, as citizens, have the right to know how they do their work, how they fulfill those obligations,” said Metushi.
Vladan Trifić from the NGO Center for Peace and Tolerance also spoke about the role of citizens. He emphasized that the responsibility for the lack of transparency lies not only with the representatives of the municipalities, but also with the citizens themselves.
Citing the example of the municipality of Gračanica, Trifić indicated that participation in public debates organized by the local self-government is weak.
“The population is generally dissatisfied, they want better, they want to participate. But, when they are invited to come, when they are told that the municipality has an obligation to hold at least three public hearings regarding the budget, when citizens are asked to come, to give their proposals, no one, or a very small number of party activists or relatives, show up,” Trifić pointed out.
At the conference it was said that it is necessary to work on the education of citizens, especially the older population, in order to familiarize them with digital services.
You can find the complete research at this link https://bit.ly/430dTCE