In Macedonia just like elsewhere, municipal councils play an important role in democratic governance at local level. In the past, they were however often unable to perform their tasks effectively due to limited expertise in areas such as financial management, gender issues, and inter-municipal cooperation.
To overcome this, Switzerland recently launched a project to build the capacity of municipal councils in Macedonia, enabling them to become more effective and autonomous bodies, and therefore better at fulfilling their constitutionally assigned roles of legislation, oversight of the executive, and representation. In turn, this project will increase the accountability of mayors towards the municipal councils, and the transparency of municipal authorities towards their citizens. As part of this project, the newly established councils of 24 municipalities in Macedonia will be trained on issues such as municipal financial management and good governance, for which training materials have already been developed.
To ensure that trainings follow best practices in adult learning, a comprehensive three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) took place on 16-18 November 2017 in Bitola. A roster of 33 trainers advanced their technical and didactical skills. The training focused on enhancing trainers’ competences in the use of group learning and active participation methods.
The ToT was organized in the framework of the Swiss funded “Empowering Municipal Councils” project, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The event was organized as part of the project component for empowering the municipal councils through capacity development based on traditional and innovative methodologies. The project will also support municipal councils’ empowerment through financial support (small grants) and through networking.