The preliminary results, as well as the focus group discussion left me with more questions to ask…So can you guys share your experience in dealing with the governmental institutions in your country? Anything from municipality to ministries, anything you need(ed) to encounter while working on your specific projects?
Re: Your experience with governmental institutions?
I was not on the meeting in Tblisi, but still might be able to contribute here:
I work for various local groups in the town live. We have a very good co-operation with the local town council and administration and some co-operation with both the district and state government. But you have to know that I live in a small town and a couple of my colleagues and members of the groups I work for are member of town and/or district council. I think it is due to the personal contacts that are the base of this co-operation.
As it should be
The theory is that local policy makers are closer to the people, and the theory seems to be true to the letter for @Burkhardt Alexander Pranke. I just wanted to add that this is not always the case, at least speaking from my experience in Italy. Which is mixed, at best: it seems that attitude trumps role, in the sense that, for civil society, it seems easier to cooperate with a motivated and curious central government official than with a formalistic, bureaucratized city council.
Re: As it should be
It depends, of course. Also on the size of town. The town I live in is about 12000 people. In the neighbourtown with about 3000 people the co-operation is even better. I guess, size matters…
What is the size of town, you are talking about @Alberto ?
I think Inga that perhaps sharing a story…
…and asking how it resonates or does not with people’s experiences might help. Example asking them to compare with the situation for their peers in Western Europe. Last year an open letter to funders and investors was posted here. I think we event turned it into a poster!
So sharing that post and asking people to leave a comment about their experiences might help get the thinking going…You know memory and association patterns are tricky. I at least need to have something to react to to get my memory going…
Great idea, thanks!
Public organization tenders
Only experience: worked for a public organization in France some 10 years ago on the “other side” of the tender process: preparing the RFQs, processing the proposals. A couple of rules inferred from experience, for applicants to governmental tenders:
- strictly follow the procedure - every inch of it. The public organization will take any procedural chance they can to kick you out if they prefer another candidate.
- don't expect the public body to actually answer your questions - it'll only try to demonstrate that you didn't read the RFQ well enough and that your answer was in it since the beginning.
- be prepared to apply several times to a same organization before being chosen (they need time to get used to your applications/your organization when it's new to them).
My five cents
I studied in the 3rd biggest city of Lithuania, about 160 000 people. And it was relatively easy to get involved with the municipality, get their support and funding for various causes and events. Of course, the municipality would work in their own pace, with a lot of papers, but they were welcoming our ideas and initiatives. I could definitely feel that youth activism was one of the main priorities at that time in that place. So I personally did not experience extreme animosity from “the other side”…But again - I guess it differs in each city, town, village and country?
a small meeting
I don’t have personally much experience with the governmental inst’s but I can share what I have ,
it was after the 2011 “revolution” where there was a lot of optimism in the air , I attended a meeting with the local municipality ( chief or like a mayor of the district) . I was among a team from a local charitable CBO and there was other young people from different CBOs and initiatives from the neighboring blocks .
the main objective was to report the deficiencies that are found in our neighborhood (mainly some missing street lights , garbage collecting problem , and so on , not so many severe infrastructure problems )
to put u in context ( was discussed in the focus group) that the local municipalities "chiefs/mayors "are not elected . and they are mostly ex- police generals .
the meeting was about us reporting the problems and he explaining why things are not working - mainly because a lot of bureaucratic procedures -
to be fair after several follow ups between "us " and “them” which I wasn’t involved in , " they fixed some street light bulbs in my street . not sure what happened in the other blocks .
for me it was a big hustle for almost nothing , I knew I don’t have the tolerance for this and its better to focus my energy on something else . As there other complicated problems - more complicated than fixing some light bulbs- that couldn’t be solved with this approach
Re: governmental institutions
I was reading only recently that to make a website successful it is best to catch people viewing the site on a personal level. It just came to my mind that it works the same ways when approaching officials: best if you are able to get them on a personal level. To come to this level you have probably better chances in smaller communities. On the other hand I know about examples where things were achieved which people involved felt they would be impossible. Most of the time due to personal contacts.