Local NGOs and media – promoters of public services in the regions
For two years, the Association of Independent Press (API), in partnership with several civil society organisations and local and regional media, carried out an extensive information and public awareness campaign on quality local services in the regions and the support provided by the EU for the modernisation of the Republic of Moldova. The results and impact of the activities of the project “Civil society and regional media in support of European reforms, sustainable development and citizen participation in strengthening local democracy” were presented on 25-26 October 2021, in a public event.
One of the key components of the project was the EU-funded Local Grants Programme (LGP) Media and Communication, through which 21 organisations carried out 23 information and awareness projects for citizens.
At the beginning of the event, Petru Macovei, API Executive Director, mentioned that the EU Local Grants Programme has contributed to strengthening the capacities of non-governmental organisations and local media outlets not only to inform but also to mobilize residents to contribute to community development and of the country. “I am convinced that what we have done together in these two years is a bridge for other equally interesting activities and projects, with even greater efficiency. We have laid the foundation for good future results in your communities,” said Petru Macovei.
The beneficiaries of the LGP Media and Communication said that they have tried to find the most creative ways to reach as many people in the local communities as possible. Elena Cobăsneanu, director of AO Info-Dava, Soroca: “During the project we informed over 80 thousand readers and users of our media platforms about the environmental problems in Soroca district, the pollution of the Dniester River, the lack of treatment plant, etc.“. Vitalie Hotnogu, AO Cahul 2030: “I am proud of the project I implemented. With just a mobile phone and a drone, my colleagues were able to film five episodes of a show ‘Following the EU funds invested in Cahul district’, they visited 27 localities by bicycle in two weeks. We talked about infrastructure, water and sewerage projects, waste, about the EU for Moldova Programme, where Cahul is a key region.”
Media institutions are catalysts for social change
Valentina Pleşca, Head of the Citizens’ Empowerment Unit, GIZ Moldova, highlighted that the beautiful results of the projects are appreciated not only by external partners, but primarily by Moldovan citizens. “People were informed qualitatively and interestingly about challenges in terms of environmental protection, waste management, water, sewerage and energy efficiency. I believe that regional media organisations can be considered part of the mechanism for improving these issues.”
One of the conclusions of the event was that any challenge, both in the field of public services and in other areas, must be addressed from the perspective of partnerships between central and local authorities, civil society organisations and citizens.
The event was organised within the Action “Citizens’ Empowerment in the Republic of Moldova” (2019-2021), funded by the European Union and implemented by the German Development Cooperation through GIZ, in coordination with GIZ project ‘Modernisation of local public services in the Republic of Moldova’. The partner for increasing the action outreach and citizens engagement potential is the Association of Independent Press (API).