Our project’s final beneficiaries are the citizens of 14 urban communities from Romania for which the project is implemented in two stages.
In the first stage (November 2014 – November 2015), the project methodology will be tested in 7 counties strategically positioned in all development regions of Romania: Brasov, Bucharest, Cluj, Constanta, Gorj, Hunedoara and Suceava, through the mediation of the county libraries project partners.
In the second project stage (February 2015 – February 2016) we will work with 7 additional county libraries, one in each development region, so that the project methodology can be tested in many other locations and will be relevant for transfer nationwide.
In each of the 14 public libraries, the implementation of the system for public participation takes place by following these steps:
- Designing a training program on active citizenship with input from our partners Civis Polonus Foundation (Poland);
- Creating a national network of trainers in the field of active citizenship, using the training centres from 14 county libraries as community learning hubs;
- Selecting 15 volunteers in each community (members of NGOs, government officials, media representatives, other citizens) and developing their skills in the field of active citizenship;
- Installing democracy nests inside the county libraries, following the model of the “reading nest” developed by Mark Reigelman;
- Organizing the 15 volunteers in locally-based Civic Action Groups (CAG);
- Exercising the civic behaviours of the CAG members by coaching them in applying specialized tools (audits of integrity);
- Ensuring the sustainable practice of active citizenship by supporting the CAG members to plan their work on the long term.
In the closing stage of the project (February 2016 – April 2017) the transfer takes place nationwide, through the selection and training of new librarian-trainers from other 26 county libraries and by organizing a final conference for 100 representatives of the civil society that can use the resources developed in the project to develop new initiatives.