A success story: Montenegrin CSOs brought closer the budget and the citizens

With the support of Institute Alternative, nine projects that brought budgetary aspect of national and local public policies closer to citizens were successfully implemented in the past six months.

From January to July 2019, nine projects aiming to ensure effective oversight of public spending were implemented in six municipalities. These projects were implemented within our grant scheme of the project “Money Watch – Civil Society, Guarding the Budget”.

These projects enabled citizens to learn more on revenues and expenditures of the state and local budget, how their money is being spent, public debt, concessions, money allocated for employment of persons with disabilities, Roma inclusion, public health etc. This was conducted through interactive forms such as exhibitions, street campaigns, TV shows and media reports and publications.

Projects were implemented by the Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, Association of Professional Journalists of Montenegro, Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro, Institute for Legal Studies, Roma Youth Organization “Walk With Us – Phiren amenca”, Natura, Democratic Centre of Bijelo Polje, HOPE and Regional Development Agency – Business Association of Ulcinj – in municipalities of Podgorica, Bijelo Polje, Berane, Kolašin, Herceg Novi and Ulcinj.

Capacities of more than 80 representatives of other CSOs were strengthen through these projects. They were provided with trainings and interactive workshops where they learned about budgetary side of different public policies, while decision makers were offered nearly 80 recommendations for improving public policies.

Institute Alternative has conducted grant scheme with the financial support of the European Union and co-financing of the Ministry of Public Administration, lead by idea that managing budget and public finances should not be an exclusive competence of a narrow circle of expert organisations and institutions.

Monitoring of preparation, adoption and budget managing must become an integral part of the work of all organizations that advocate for changes in public policies or want to monitor their implementation, in order to critically assess and propose recommendations.

Total grant for these projects was 84 548 euro, and the individual project value ranges from 9.000 to 11.000 euro.

Overall objective of the project “Money Watch – Civil Society, Guarding the Budget”, implemented by the Institute Alternative, in partnership with the Institute for Public Finances from Zagreb and NGO New horizon from Ulcinj, is to contribute to the fight against corruption by more effective scrutiny of public spending.

Ana Đurnić, grant scheme coordinator

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