Ten municipalities included in the second phase of the Empowering Municipal Councils Programme

The municipalities of Aerodrom, Karposh, Arachinovo, Negotino, Shtip, Prilep, Kriva Palanka, Bogovinje, Debrca and Novo Selo are the first ten municipalities to be included in the second phase of the “Empowering Municipal Councils” Programme after they were selected through a public call for participation to which 30 local self-government units from the country applied.

In the next 18 months, about 150 councillors from these municipalities will have the opportunity to participate in the Capacity Development Programme for Municipal Councillors, which includes trainings on a total of 11 topics related to public financial management, spatial and urban planning, good governance and fight against corruption, inter-municipal cooperation, gender equality, environment and crisis management at the local level.

At the same time, each of the ten municipalities will have the opportunity to use a grant in the amount of 40,000 to 60,000 dollars for projects that will be selected through direct consultation with the citizens through Community Forums. The projects financed through the programme will aim to improve the social services for the most vulnerable categories of citizens, while equally addressing their needs regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other affiliation.

In addition, each of these municipalities will receive financial support in the amount of 10,000 to 12,000 dollars intended for the introduction of innovative tools to improve the accountability, transparency and participation of citizens in the work of the municipal councils.

By 2027, the programme will include 30 additional municipalities that will also be selected through three new public calls.

“Empowering Municipal Councils – phase 2” is a programme with a total value of 6.6 million dollars, financed by the Swiss Government and the Ministry of Local Self-Government, and co-financed and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with national and local partners.

In the first phase of the programme, which was implemented in the period 2016-2022, a total of 24 municipalities were included. In addition to the successful implementation and the support received by the municipalities, the innovative tools for greater transparency and accountability created within the framework of the programme won the third prize at European level at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit held in Seoul, Republic of Korea in December 2021.