Norway Grants help bring people and ideas together in Kysuce
The Kysuce region in north-western Slovakia aim to roadmap its way forward in a participatory development project supported with €300,000 from Norway Grants.
The Kysuce region, which ranks among the poorest regions in Slovakia, has for a long time worried about their lack of strategic plans for development since this is a precondition for applying for funding under the EU structural funds. But when Norway and EEA Grants held its first call for project proposals in Slovakia in spring 2006, Kysuce seized on this opportunity to gain the support needed to develop a comprehensive plan for development.
"The F.A. Hayek Foundation was contacted by local actors in the region to help them develop a project under Norway and EEA Grants," said Matúš Pošvanc, project coordinator and Senior Fellow of the liberal think-tank. Participatory development was a fundamental goal for the region, and in the developed project the citizens of Kysuce will actively help identifying local needs and priorities.
A match for the 'regional policy' priority sector in Slovakia, which supports activities that strengthen competence and capacity at local level and foster good governance in public administration, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway awarded the project a €300,000 grant in January 2007. The Kysuce project includes the development and implementation of five regional and local-level strategic development plans, trainings for public officials and extensive cooperation across sectors.
The project already enjoys strong local support. The ilina self-governing county, the municipalities of upper and lower Kysuce, the Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia and its local branch in Cadca are among the participants of the 12 planned workshops on the development strategies. Local and nationwide NGOs have also voiced their interest, including the Women of Kysuce, the Civil Association to Encourage Free Society, and the Slovak Union of Environmental Activists. Additionally, young people will be engaged through essay competitions staged by local secondary schools and through supplementary young leader forums.
The scope of the project will also contribute to strengthen the cooperation between Norway and Slovakia, which is an overarching aim of Norway Grants. A previous cooperation between the F.A. Hayek Foundation and the Norwegian consultant Erik Svindland will be expanded within the project.
Community control over public money
Trainings for public officials form another integral part of the project. Public administrations in Kysuce will be trained in topics such as financial management and performance-based budgeting, expected to make public spending more efficient by linking expenses directly to programme goals and measured results.
Cooperation across sectors is present in the set-up of the training schemes, and NGOs from the region will provide educational services to local administrative staff. The F.A. Hayek Foundation believes the strategic development plans and the new form of budgeting will increase both transparency and efficiency in the region. "The municipalities will be able to spend public money more properly and effectively, and the new level of transparency and information-sharing will make it easier for municipalities and NGOs to cooperate", Pošvanc said.
The F.A. Hayek Foundation has previously carried out a similar project in cooperation with the city of Trenèín, the seventh biggest city in Slovakia. Following the implementation of the programme budgeting tool and the development of strategic plans, the city’s rating was improved by the Slovak rating agency, an integral part of European Rating Agency. "This is a direct impact which also the Kysuce region aims to see with this project," Pošvanc said.
The modern Kysuce - implemetation of the dream of generations
Regional policy and cross-border activities
Type & project assistance:
F. A. Hayek Foundation Bratislava
Type of institution:
Grant agreement date:
27 September 2007
The purpose of the Project is to develop and implement a strategic regional development approach and increase strategic capability on municipality and regional level, with the overall objective of supporting the political, economic and civil transformation process towards a prosperous and a positive development in the Kysuce region. Reference is made to the application, dated 17 November 2006 and subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point dated 4 January 2007.
The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:
- Preparation of the regional strategy for Kysuce region;
- Training of public officials in strategic planning and workshops between public, private and academic stakeholder;
- Development of strategic documents on the municipality and regional level;
- Strengthening the capacities of the public administration in the area of strategic planning, financial management and performance based budgeting;
- Establishment of partnerships between the public administration and stakeholders
The Project Promoter is the F. A. Hayek Foundation Bratislava.
The Project Promoter shall provide at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project cost.