Researching good governance in Poland
At Warsaw University, a project is underway to create tools for engaging local communities and authorities in dialogue.
"Today, the public dialogue in Poland is increasingly limited to a narrow segment of society" said Anna Giza-Poleszczuk at the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology in Warsaw. "Local communities and citizens groups have difficulties participating in agenda setting and provoking debate." With support from the EEA Grants, Giza-Poleszczuk and her research team are now investigating how to stimulate and encourage more transparency and debate in Poland.
"We believe the key barrier to the development of civil society is the fact that people lack the means, skills and reliable information to raise demands," continued Giza-Poleszczuk. According to the research team at the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, there are four main obstacles that hinder the "bottom up" flow of ideas and demands; incomprehensible official information; conflicting data creating distrust in official statistics; lack of access to true evaluations of the service provided by public institutions; and the lack of a real platform for public debate. "If social policy is not grounded in people's real needs, it cannot be effective," continued Giza-Poleszczuk.
An evaluation of Polish public services will now be carried out, alongside an assessment of the main barriers to civic participation. The research team is also launching a web portal making official facts and indicators easily accessible and comprehensible to the general public. The project is carried out in close collaboration with the organisation Klon/Jawor Associsation, one of most influential NGOs in Poland, and both local and national authorities will be involved in the project.
Through informing and engaging local citizens, while making institutions of governance more inclusive, transparent, and responsive, the project aims to secure long-term, sustainable change. "This has the potential to form the basis for a reliable, modern way of monitoring the quality of governance in Poland, and for a new, rational way of debating social and policy issues," concluded Giza-Poleszczuk.
Civic participation: diagnosing barriers and creating tools upgrading good governance
Type & project assistance:
Warsaw University, the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology
Type of institution:
Grant agreement date:
26 June 2008
The purpose of the Project is to create tools for engaging local communities and authorities in a dialogue, with the overall objective of strengthening civic participation by enhancing access to information and promoting 'best practices' in the field of communication and good governance. Reference is made to the application, dated 7 November 2007, and any subsequent correspondence through the Focal Point.
The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:
- quantitative research (including field-work);
- qualitative research and analysis;
- methodology preparation;
- educational workshops and public debates;
- information portal, presentations, publications and publicity;
- project management.
The Project Promoter is the Warsaw University, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology. Subject to the national law, the Project will be implemented in partnership with the Klon/Jawor Association.
The Focal Point shall ensure that the Ministry of Higher Education and Science provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project cost.