In July 2017 – August 2018 Office for European Expertise and Communications (OEEC) implemented the “Good Neighbour” project to engage local communities in addressing local issues with citizens’ active participation.
One of the strategic aims of the OEEC is capacity building of local communities and non-governmental organizations in Belarus. Since 2014 OEEC is implementing the program “Leadership in Local Communities”, more than 50 leaders were trained and implemented local initiatives in their communities. The analysis of the needs assessment results carried in local communities showed that the community representatives are mostly concerned about the household issues, building the infrastructure in the house yards, houses and similar.
In 2016 we decided to share experiences of addressing local community issues with the wide public as there is a demand from other communities on how to solve local issues with citizen’s active participation, which technologies, tools and good practices could be applied, how to mobilize local resources and constituencies for addressing local needs. As the result we started the “Good Neighbour” project.
During the project, experts shared the examples of good practices in addressing local issues with citizens’ active participation with local activists, representatives of state institutions and organizations, practitioners and mass media.
224 participants learned good practices of work in local communities on ten “Good Neighbour” workshops. Workshops gathered active citizens from Minsk and other towns who want to know how to create an eco-house and eco-yard, how to build a playground in the yard, how to mobilize resources, etc. The short videos about workshops topics got more than 7000 views on Facebook and YouTube.
During the project, 25 local activists got consultations and expert support, 12 local communities implemented their own initiatives and solved local problems.
More than 120 people took part in the “Good Neighbour” festival on exchanging experiences of addressing local community issues and presentations of good practices. 20 experts provided various useful workshops and discussions. Here you can find the video of this Good Neighbour Festival.
The Good Neighbor project was implemented by the Office for European Expertise and Communications with the support of the Small Grants Program of the US Embassy in the Republic of Belarus.