Raising participation in decision-making through social media in Prizren and Gjilan/Gnjilane

The social media project is a venture for encouraging young people of Prizren and Gjilan/Gnjilane to participate in local decision-making processes through innovative and educational approach, as well as to help their better understanding of civic rights and responsibilities. Moreover, this project aims to bridge the gap between municipal government and the youth and supporting them through different activities in the field and in the community by using social media which are increasingly available. Specific objectives of this project are: a) to strengthen partnership and interaction between the youth and government through direct and interactive communication between both parties, b) for young people to better understand their civic rights and responsibilities by using and developing social media, with the long-run goal of increasing their participation in decision-making and political process of local governance monitoring, and c) to increase public interest and better understanding of civic rights and responsibilities.

Main activities
Activities that will enable the implementation of targeted objectives of the project are:

  • Monitoring the youth departments,
  • Advocacy for inclusion of youth in decision-making,
  • Meetings of the youth with municipal officials,
  • Design of the website,
  • Creation of online modules for participatory budgeting, the voicing of concerns and online/electronic petition,
  • Arranging debates in schools and universities,
  • Researches on the youth activism,
  • SMS information platform,
  • Direct engagement of the youth in the project,
  • Documentary on the “Youth Activism in Prizren and Gjilan/Gnjilane”,
  • Media  and public information campaign, and
  • Design of social media applications for smart phones.

To date, a web platform with three online modules and the SMS platform were developed. The three online modules are: E-petition, wherein people may create online petitions for any issue of their concern; participatory budgeting, where citizens can submit their proposals on capital investments they think are necessary to be carried out in their municipality; and the complaint module, wherein citizens can report their complaints about issues, occurrences and concerns in the city, neighbourhood, community, school, parkland, and so on.

The publication of the analysis “Youth and Transparency: Excluded or Ignored?” has revealed the insights of the youth of Prizren and Gjilan/Gnjilane on the local policy-making, decision-making process, participation and use of the social media. The debates in secondary schools, colleges and public and private universities are designed to inform and involve the youth directly in this project and in the local decision-making process. Project’s Facebook page contains all the information and project activities, being one of the important tools of interaction among all project beneficiaries. Detailed information about this project, activities and the achievements can be found at http://www.online-transparency.org/rpms/. This project is supported by the UNDP Kosovo Office, whereas in Gjilan/Gnjilane this project is implemented through local partner – Kosovo Centre for International Cooperation (QKBN).

Project Coordinator
Laura Lutfiu
[email protected]