Raising citizen participation in drafting and implementation of local cultural policies

The project intended to encourage local government to consider culture as a strategic development resource, as well as in fostering citizen participation in the drafting and implementation of cultural policies. Project tools included; debate forums, research, media campaigns, advocacy and the documentary. These tools were designed to promote a system to decentralize the management of culture, prioritize culture in public policies, utilize cultural potential for local development and activate involvement of the cultural community in local decision-making. Furthermore, the goal of this project was to encourage social debate in order to promote the values and benefits of a structured cooperation between local government and civil society through an effective advocacy for greater citizen participation in the development of cultural policies in the city of Prizren. Main activities
Within this project the following activities have been undertaken:

  • Research on the potential of citizen participation in the development of cultural policies at the municipal level in Prizren,
  • Series of debates on citizen participation in the development of cultural policies at the local level for discussion of research findings,
  • Publication on the citizen participation in the development of cultural policies at the local level, including the research results, reports from the debates and political analysis,
  • A short documentary about the culture and cultural policies in Prizren.

This project managed to foster the debate on cultural policies, to produce clear policy options for the local government and to further mobilize the cultural community of Prizren. During the implementation of this project two surveys were organized – first one with the citizens of Prizren and the second one with cultural organizations in Prizren. In addition, several debates were organized on the following topics: Local cultural policies in Prizren, Cultural funding policies at the local level, Culture and cultural heritage in the programs of political parties and Consumption and local cultural offer. These debates  were broadcast on the local television show, TV Opinion. An informative ad was also produced on the funding of cultural activities by the Municipality of Prizren, as well as the documentary “Prizren, a cultural city” in which the citizens, the artists, representatives of civil society and of municipal institutions give their take on the culture, the importance and difficulties of the culture as a whole in the city of Prizren. This project was supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Kosova through the Kosovar Civil Society Foundation.