As a part of the project Cult (R) ural – development, protection and promotion of the municipality of Bac, implemented by UNDP and funded by the Swedish government, a meeting was held with organizations working with marginalized groups in the municipality of Bac on the availability of public finances and project funding.
The meeting was organized by the association “Danube 1245” in the capacity of the project holder in cooperation and with the participation of representatives of the municipality of Bac, with the aim of exchanging information and experiences on the topic of public and project financing.
This meeting is also a preparation for the upcoming panel which would discuss in more detail the issue of public and project financing of activities and participation of marginalized groups in the life of the local community, with the presence of a wider circle of organizations and representatives of this target group.
As part of this activity, a focus group meeting was held as an element of research on the following topics:
1. Does your organization participate in project funding competitions?
2. Does your organization have the capacity to implement / manage projects?
3. How to improve our capacity to apply and implement projects?
Participants in the meeting cited their experiences, mostly related to the limited selection and poor availability of public and project funding sources. Mostly the sources were identified at the local level, and the application was accompanied by difficulties in preparing project documentation, difficulties in approving significant funds for the implementation of more serious projects and lack of expertise in the project implementation phase.
The participation of municipal representatives also helped to better understand the party most expected to help and approve local projects, citing issues that accompany the competition in the segment of a small number of quality project ideas and solutions proposed by project documentation, orientation of project budgets on consumption (ongoing maintenance). and renovation of premises, costs of receiving guests, transport costs, salaries, etc.) instead of orientation towards more comprehensive solutions and more adequate treatment of identified local problems.
The necessity of raising the general level of expertise in order to better prepare and implement projects was considered, but not through trainings (given the large number of trainings held so far) but through concrete cooperation with organizations from the region and abroad and participation in joint projects funded by regional or international level. In that sense, the funds of local self-government would be used more efficiently – to attract more significant funds and thus, more significant participation in the development of the local community.
Both the meeting with the target group and the focus group were held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, as expected thanks to the hospitality and kindness of both municipal representatives and domestic participants – the citizens of Bac.