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The city matters. Social analysis of budgets.

Civic participation Completed
City of Kalisz, Kalisz, Poland
2014-10-01 - 2015-12-15
182 363,09 PLN
161 100,00 PLN
public finances, accessing public data
Project description
The project was conceived out of the need for reinforcement of the dialogue and partnership between citizens of the City of Kalisz and the local government. Instead of relying on pre-conceptions, we asked “why” the communication between citizens and authorities is perceived as unsatisfactory by all parties involved (citizens, officials, city and district councilors as well as non-governmental organizations), what created grounds for an analysis of the current state of play in communication. By the same token, we recommended a series of meetings to address key challenges indicated by respondents, what allowed us to put forward new themes for the public debate and shift the attention to joint problem-solving. Following the debate, the President of the City appointed a team consisting citizens, officials, activists and local government officials to develop public consultation principles. The City Council keeps a public register of all contracts made and plans to launch live online broadcast of council sessions and committee meetings at Kalisz City Council. There are also plans to introduce a roll-call vote scheme.
The analysis of the city budget empowered citizens to co-decide about their own city. It came as a response to citizens’ poor knowledge of the budget as well as insufficient transparency standards adopted by authorities in relation to its operations and the public information. Incomprehensive municipal budget format was translated into a user-friendly one. Seven publications were released providing overview of budget structure and management as well as the efforts of local authorities. On the other hand, local government members and officials were encouraged for the very first time to step beyond their usual roles to see the budget from the perspective of an ordinary citizen.
Beneficiaries of the project are citizens of Kalisz, representatives of local NGO’s and representatives of the local authorities.

Experts of the Partner, City Hall of Kalisz, trained the project team, provided support during the analysis of budgetary data, reinforced project promotion via municipal media and ensured seamless flow of information between the project team, Town Hall employees, and representatives of Kalisz local authorities.
We use the grant for capacity building