Developing the watchdog capacity through the Alliance for a Clean Romania
Summary of project results
In Romania, the civil society needs a coherent watchdog activity at a national level in order to monitor the public spending and the public servants integrity. The objective of the project is to extend the watchdog activity performed by the already existing coalition (the Alliance for a Clean Romania), which functions through the web portal www.romaniacurata.ro . The goal of the Alliance is to contribute to the development of civil society’s capacity to inflict normative constraints on the corrupt behavior of state authorities and thus increase the transparency, responsiveness and accountability of these entities The Alliance plans to enroll more volunteers at regional and local level and thus decentralize its national monitoring activity, which has been carried out mostly from Bucharest. The project will benefit the local communities from all over the country by involving a greater number of volunteers in monitoring public expenditures and public integrity.
The collaboration with Vellenes Fellesorganisasjon led to an improvement in the knowledge and understanding of civil society’s impact, with a notable aspect consisting of involving volunteers in attempts to solve matters of common interest. Bilateral collaboration has also aided the consolidation of the project thanks to the exchange of information that took place. The Norwegian partner’s designated expert was university professor Harald Koht. Prof. Koht was involved in the project in a variety of ways. During an interview with the project’s journalists, he spoke about how the relationship between authorities and citizens needs to stop being a one-way affair. Members of the Romanian team were provided with relevant examples on how Norway tries to follow and comply with the good governance ideas of their citizens. Prof. Koht also presented his work, “Neighborhood civil society. Norway: a case study”. The history of Norwegian civil society was presented: information concerning topics like the first Norwegian NGOs, the total number of NGOs in Norway, their purpose, issues with authorities, was presented along with potential solutions for Romanian civil society in relation with authorities. The Predeal Summer School, which the professor attended as a special guest, was much appreciated. The professor gave a lecture on "Grassroots democracy. From the Norwegian ideal to the Romanian needs”. Professor Koht also attended the Bucharest launch of the Local Authorities Transparency Ranking (where he met with Romanian NGOs and the press). His presentation was on “Norwegian Good Governance”.
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