The Swiss Government will support thirteen (13) municipalities through the Swiss PRO Programme to establish Citizens’ Advisory Services (CAS), which will focus on improved access to rights for over 5,000 vulnerable men and women. Local self-governments (LSGs) will use the support in the amount of over 200,000 EUR to establish a permanent, systematic and publicly available mechanism to improve the situation of vulnerable groups at the local level, which will contribute to their social inclusion.
Citizens’ Advisory Services will be established in Babušnica, Bela Palanka, Ćuprija, Čajetina, Knić, Krupanj, Malo Crniće, Medveđa, Rača, Svilajnac, Sjenica, Surdulica and Žagubica municipalities, as their projects have been selected as the best ones under the Call for Proposals (CfP), which was open from 18 March until 16 April 2019 to towns and municipalities in Šumadija, West, East and South Serbia, in the II, III and IV groups according to their level of development.
“Thirteen of the selected local self-governments have shown the willingness to be more accountable and transparent with regards to access to rights of vulnerable groups, by establishing Citizens’ Advisory Services. Special focus will be placed on the population in rural areas, so the majority of municipalities will form mobile teams and organise visits to local community offices, so as to enable equal access to rights for all men and women, particularly from vulnerable groups,” Nataša Ivanović, Swiss PRO Programme Officer for Social Inclusion, said.
The Swiss PRO Programme will, in addition to awarding grants for the establishment of the CAS, provide also technical support to the LSGs, in the form of methodology developed for CAS functioning and for keeping records of service users. Simultaneously, LSGs will design and implement campaigns to inform vulnerable groups about new opportunities and municipal services available for the fulfilment of and access to their rights.