Boosting social inclusion in SEE: hackathon policy for municipalities
Inclusion of vulnerable groups into social, economic and political life is an important cornerstone of human rights and democracy.
Local councilors and members of civil society organisations (CSOs) from CEI Member States recently took part in two online modules (15, 16 September) and one offline module (Novi Sad, Serbia on 3-8 October) within a series of courses titled “Boosting social inclusion in see: policy hackathon for municipalities”.
This was a hybrid initiative – organised by the Robert Schuman Institute – aimed at addressing problems of social inclusion and at assisting the development of user-centered, data-driven, workable solutions to these problems in the region at municipality level. They aimed at contributing to a quality change and supporting democratisation through capacity building in the Western Balkan countries.
In this framework, on day one, CEI Project Manager Ugo Poli delivered a seminar on the CEI Local Dimension (LD): good governance as a necessary condition for European Integration. He explained the role of the LD, i.e. supporting cooperation between local and regional entities in CEI Member States and their actions in addressing local challenges in sustainable growth; and outlined the opportunities which could come about from the inclusion of local authorities and citizens in the institutional decision-making process and management of common goods.
The hackathon format and a design thinking approach to policy making were utilized for drafting innovative, effective, human-centered policy solutions, as well as a design thinking (DT) approach to policy making (assessing the needs of the policy end users and designing solutions that address these needs as effectively as possible), aimed to boost informed engagement in all stages of policy shaping.
Participants were provided with the necessary knowledge and skills related to user-oriented policy development to help identify the most prominent inclusiveness policy challenges in respective domains, and design concrete effective solutions for identified problems in specific policy areas. Under the guidance of experts, they worked together to build policy proposals (prototypes) featuring viable solutions to improve ability, opportunity and dignity of vulnerable groups.
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This content was originally published here.