ICDL – Through inclusion and transparency to equality and quality: Improving local budgeting processes in North Macedonia

DURATION: January 2020 – June 2021

DONOR: The Swedish International Institute for Local Democracy (ICLD)

The purpose of this project is to analyze the actual situation at a local level in 4 pilot municipalities (Valandovo, Shtip, Karposh and Gostivar), to share the previous practices and experiences in the creation and adoption of their local budgets. The main project activities were implemented in four pilot municipalities, but it was expanded to all 81 municipalities by the introduction to the Open Municipality Index, a tool that measures the level of equity, inclusion, transparency and accountability of the local budget process in all local governments in North Macedonia. The project included the implementation of an initial survey of citizens in the four municipalities, analysis of the survey in relation to the issues of interest, field work including interviews and focus groups with the municipalities and citizens in order to improve the state of affairs, development of a web platform for presenting local budgets and engagement of citizens throughout the process and development of the index.

One of the main goals of this project are: 

  • Collection of positive practices of local self-governments in the adoption of budgets and involvement of citizens;
  • Implementation of focus groups with civil society organizations to improve the budget process;
  • Preparation of an index for the level of budget participation;
  • Creating key recommendations for improving the budget process of local governments;

The project is of great importance for more transparent creation of local budgets and increased involvement of the civil sector and marginalized groups in the process of adopting budgets.