Women are empowered to get involved in politics and be part of the decision-making process

September 28, 2023

CALM team

More than 1,500 women were encouraged to get involved in politics and run for mayor or district council through the communication campaign "WHY ME?", implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova (CALM).

At the same time, during this year, over 500 representatives of local public administrations and civil society learned about participatory budgeting at training sessions held by CALM, in partnership with UNDP.

"Participatory budgeting is a very useful tool, through which citizens can become motivated to identify the shortcomings and propose solving problems through concrete solutions and dedicated budgets.  Proposals from residents can aim at modernizing street infrastructure in localities, like: alleys, sidewalks, squares, pedestrian areas, green spaces, playgrounds, accessibility and many other ideas.  By voting, citizens can later decide on a hierarchy of needs, and the authorities collect them to be put into practice," explains Irina Luncașu, project coordinator at CALM.

"It is an open, transparent and innovative process for a fair distribution of the public funds, where the community decides by voting, thus contributing to the decentralization of public decision-making to the advantage of citizens," adds the expert.

With the support of CALM and UNDP, the village of Zubrești in the Străseni district put into practice the participatory budgeting process. The regulation of participatory budgeting was developed, consulted and approved, and 60 thousand lei were allocated from the local budget for the implementation of the ideas proposed by the residents.

"We started with a campaign to inform the residents about participatory budgeting, what are the conditions for participation, and, more precisely, what each resident who wants to solve the problems in their neighbourhood should do. After this came the stage of submitting the forms, and then the voting period for the best project," reports Maria Manoli, mayor of Zubrești.

Thus, three project proposals elaborated by the citizens were financed and were among the most voted on: the installation of bins for separate garbage collection, the renovation of a public well, and the procurement of street lighting based on solar energy.

The communication campaign "WHY ME?" and the training sessions on participatory budgeting were carried out with the support of the "Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections" project, implemented by UNDP and financed by the British Embassy in Chișinău and USAID Moldova.