Increased ethnic distance between citizens, particularly among the youth

Lack of effective co-operation between the local civil sector and neighbourhood community centres in meeting the increased demands for participation at local level

Lack of trained/skilled human resources at neighbourhood community level for conflict prevention and conflict resolution skills/techniques

Necessity to develop sustainable mechanisms for better performances of neighbourhood community centres in regard with citizens’ participation

Necessity to develop communication strategy of the community centres with the all groups of citizens

Necessity to facilitate inter-ethnic communication at local community level

2.3 Who are the actors involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)?

The final beneficiaries of the project are:
– 72 neighbourhood community centre representatives (36 centres, 2 persons)
There are 36 neighbourhood community centres in Municipality of Subotica, which represent the local government units in every district of the town. The project includes 36 professional secretaries and 36 elected community council presidents, representatives of different political parties.
– 9 members of the Municipal Council for interethnic relations (elected councillors);
– 15-20 NGOs representatives – members of the network of local civil organisations SU Civitas;
– Ethnic minority NGO-s (around 20), including Hungarian, Croat, Bunjevacs, Roma, Ruthenian, German communities in Subotica.

Main target groups are:

  • Neighbourhood community centres (assembly, working bodies)
  • Municipal Assembly (67 members)
  • Local non – governmental organizations, youth groups (around 80 registered)
  • Ethnic minorities’ organisations in Subotica
  • Local public

2.4 What are the objectives and expected results?
Overall objective(s)

  • Developing local democracy in multiethnic communities
  • Support to inter-ethnic tolerance as a source of development
  • Fostering inter-cultural education, dialogue and tolerance
  • Help transferring good practices/knowledge gained in EU countries
  • Encouraging effective participation of minority communities in decision making
  • Enhancing co-operation and partnerships between local public and civil sector
  • Helping disseminate examples of good practices in local governance, conflict management and reconciliation

Expected Results

  • Training of Trainers seminar (20 participants, potential pool of local trainers for follow-up actions)
  • Series of 5 Training seminars in neighborhood community centers (25 participants each)
  • Direct communication between the local decision makers, neighborhood communities and citizens groups (thematic Round Table)
  • 500 copies of Handbook of Tolerance in four languages (Hungarian, Serbian/Croat and English)
  • 180 questionnaires for target groups before and after the project implementation in order to measure the newly gained knowledge
  • Media campaign/project promotion publications/visibility actions
  • Skills clinics – Open hour offices in 5 neighborhood communities (once a week for four months) Project Partner 2

Preparatory activities include:
press conference to announce the programme and its objectives; preparation/design and publishing of the project promotional leaflet/info sheets to be distributed in neighbourhood community centres and to NGO-s. Municipal Citizens’ Information Centre will also be used as a point for the project promotion.(Project partners 1,2)

Training of Trainers (TOT) on ethnic conflicts prevention and resolution: in three stages: Preparatory activities including local recruitment of the potential participants, collecting letters of interest from local civil organisations (Local partner 2); Training programme design/ needs assessment/defining the programme and the contents/designing the handouts/elaboration of case studies/drafting the Handbook of Tolerance (Senior Trainer in collaboration with Partner 1); TOT (5 day residential training, up to 25 participants)– communication with participants/needs expectations analysis/conducting the training/ feedback analysis: Senior Trainer in collaboration with Partner 1. Evaluation of TOT: questionnaires/interviews/feedback analysis/case studies’ elaboration and adjustment to local context: Senior Trainer in collaboration with Partner 1.

5 Training Seminars in neighbourhood community centres (2 days, 20 participants in each training) Locations: neighbourhood community centres in Subotica: MZ Centre III, MZ Prozivka, MZ Gat, MZ Mala Bosna, MZ Zeleznicko naselje. Preparatory activities, recruitment of participants, information campaign in community centres, training programme design following the evaluation of TOT: Local Partner 2 in collaboration with the local trainers (two trainers per training session, one local expert per training); Training seminars organisation and implementation; feedback analysis, possible impact evaluation and design of follow-up activities within respective community centres: Local Trainers, Local Partner 2.

Round Table: Interethnic Tolerance in Subotica – challenges and perspectives (One day, in Subotica) The Round Table is designed as a public event gathering around 40 participants including local elected councillors, experts on inter-ethnic relations, representatives of NGO-s, minority groups, ethnic minority councils, local youth groups, Local/Regional Ombudsperson, media representatives; The main thematic issues to be discussed include: legal framework of human/minority rights protection, implementation of EU standards, human minority rights in local community, challenges and perspectives of intercultural education, managing multiethnic local communities, presentation of interim evaluation/results achieved and information gathered within this project, overview of engagement of local civil organisations on enhancing interethnic tolerance; conclusions and recommendations for local self-government (Partner 1, Partner 2)

Skills clinics: designed as a form individual communication with ethnic community members, members of marginalized groups, inhabitants in respective neighbourhood communities; Open hour offices in community centres, support clinics and group/individual consultations with citizens operating as a specific focus groups to be consulted by the community centres on different issues. Open hours will be established in five respective community centres as a follow-up activity of the training seminars, (one hour per week in each centre, duration five months): Local Partner 2 in co-operation with the local trainers.

Handbook on Tolerance: design/preparation of a practical guide on ethnic conflict prevention/resolution intended mainly for neighbourhood community centres, local trainers, NGO-s: including introductory notes and the project description, main provisions of European human/minority rights standards, chapters on modern approaches and techniques, practical introductions into communication skills, managing conflicts in multiethnic communities, basics on participatory planning process, trainers’ notes, case studies elaborated on the basis of experiences and data collected during project implementation in Subotica. Handbook will be published in A4 format, 500 copies and colour printed, in Serbian, Croat, Hungarian and English (Senior Trainer, Partner 1)

Evaluation: Internal evaluation based upon questionnaires/interviews with the participants in the project; feedback analysis after each project activity and responses of local actors involved, including NGO-s and community centres. Additional evaluation/feedback will be received during the skills clinics sessions in community centres. Entire progress of project activities will be monitored and evaluated by the Partners network of LDA Subotica during the Annual Partners Meeting. The Partners network consists of Lead Partner (Wolverhampton City Council), representatives of Buskerud County Council and Narwik municipality Norway, as well as the LDA host town authorities. Project Management Team will have two evaluation sessions in the course of project implementation for interim and final evaluation.