One of the main goals of decentralisation is to make the local authorities more responsive to the needs of the local communities. Still, six years after the start of the process, surveys show that citizens remain unsatisfied with the manner in which the local self-government deals with their problems and how it organizes the life and work of local communities.
In majority of municipalities in the country, the citizens are not participating sufficiently in the decision making processes and creation of local policies, while local authorities are not sufficiently transparent, accountable and responsible in their work. In addition, the citizens are not well informed about the role and importance of municipal administrations in local communities. Therefore, there is a need to provide assistance to the municipal administrations to develop and implement more efficient mechanisms for more transparent, accountable and responsible work, and instruments that will allow for and stimulate regular participation of citizens, local business communities and non-governmental organisations in decision making process and creation of local policies. On the other hand, there are municipalities that implement certain successful practices that yield results and serve as positive example for the other municipal administrations.
For more than a year, three Macedonian nongovernmental associations – the NGO Infocentre, the Centre for Civic Communications and EHO, with the support by USAID, work to increase the mutual confidence and cooperation between citizens, business people, civic organisations and local authorities in Macedonia, through introduction of instruments to ensure more transparent, accountable and responsible operations of local self-governments; encouragement of increased participation of citizens in local decision-making processes, and exchange of good practices between local administrations in the country.