Public Sector and NGOs 2008 / 3rd Place /

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Public Sector and NGOs 2008 / 3rd Place /

  1. 1. Categorie:Government and municipality and public sector campaignsTitle of campaign:Facilitating the Establishment of Developmental Co-operation Policies, Increasingthe Understanding of Involved Parties, and Establishment of Positive Attitudesshort common description of the campaign::Developmental cooperation refers to the offering of assistance to poorer and lessdeveloped countries so as to promote their sustainable socioeconomicdevelopment. The Latvian national programme for EU integration speaks to thetaking over of EU obligations in the area of developmental cooperation as apriority in foreign policy planning.The Cabinet of Ministers plans and implements the policy. There are documentsand normative acts which define policy goals, strategies and available resources.The increased amount of funding from the national budget, however, has notensured a satisfaction of requirements set out by the European Council ofMinisters-that funding for developmental cooperation be equal to at least 0.17% ofGDP by 2010. Latvias government must understand why this is necessary, whatLatvias responsibilities are,how this can affect the countrys prestige, and whatinfluence the relevant projects have on socioeconomic and political processes inLatvia and the world.
  2. 2. research work done during the campaign:In order to determine the level of knowledge in the target audience, to find outattitudes toward development cooperation and to identify problems in thecommunications processes, there was analysis of existing research - a 2005 studyconducted by the EUs Developmental GD on the attitudes of EU residentsvis-à-vis developmental co-operation, also looking at public opinion aboutthe Millennium Development Goals; a study conducted in 2005 by a publicopinion survey company in Latvia - "Public Attitudes About DevelopmentalCooperation".There was a review of existing assistance projects from the governmental andnon-governmental sector, looking for the most successful project results andsurveying experts who could offer competent views and participation indiscussion.Before the discussions, the experience of relevant government ministries wasstudied, as was the potential of the various sectors to become involved indevelopmental co-operation.The research data and the analysis of policy documents and programmes in thearea of developmental cooperation showed that all in all, the target audience does
  3. 3. not know much about developmental cooperation or its meaning and importance interms of the development of Latvia, the European Union and the rest of the world.In consultation with policy experts, arguments were prepared for ministryrepresentatives so that they could make convincing statements about the need fordevelopmental co-operation.strategy:The project involved roundtable discussions for officials from all governmentministries. During the discussions, people talked about the situation withdevelopmental co-operation at each ministry, also indentifying those problemswhich could be resolved with the help of political support.The target audience for the project was made up of senior officials at ministries -ministerial advisors, state secretaries, deputy state secretaries and parliamentarysecretaries, or 51 officials in all. These officials are responsible for developmentalco-operation policy and the relevant planning and implementation of projects.This cannot be done at an acceptable level of quality without in-depth understandand positive views about developmental co-operation Knowledge andunderstanding in this area will help officials to take proper decisions and toincrease the overall competence of governing institutions in areas related todevelopmental co-operation. The target audience was selected because it plays a
  4. 4. decisive role in policy implementation.The discussions on the subject were held in the autumn of 2007. Three officialsfrom each relevant ministry were invited to take part. Ministries were joinedtogether on the basis of joint projects and related areas of operations. During themeetings, people talked about the existing situation in developmental co-operation- are ministries involved, to what extent are they involved, what difficulties havethey encountered, what investment in developmental co-operation policies in theirsector of operations could they offer or might want to offer, etc.In each discussion, the political scientist Visvaldis Valtenbergs offered aneducational presentation about the essence, goals and tendencies of developmentalco-operation. Also on hand was the deputy state secretary of the Foreign Ministry,Maija Manika, along with NGO representatives. The events were chaired by thepopular journalist Ansis Bogustovs.Officials were given information that will allow them to convince the public andthe media of the need for such policies on the basis of pragmatic considerations.The discussions were closed to the media so as to avoid tension and so thatministry employees might speak freely and learn answers to questions which wereperhaps unknown to them.
  5. 5. Results of the campaign and evaluation::This was an innovative project in that for the first time developmental co-operationissues were discussed with the involvement of all 17 of Latvias governmentministries. Never before had the issue been discussed so broadly in Latvia. Therewere four roundtable discussions with participation from all 17 ministries - 51officials in all.The information brochure "Latvia Helps", which speaks about developmentalco-operation and the results of the roundtable discussions, was published. Thebrochure is used as a visual instrument to bring up the issues and to provideinformation.After the project, a spoken survey of discussion participants showed that ministryofficials had greater understanding of developmental co-operation policies, thatinterministerial co-operation in this area had been enhanced, and that there was agreater circulation of information. This has helped to deepen understanding andcreate more positive attitudes vis-à-vis developmental co-operation, thusallowing officials to take proper decisions and to enhance the overall competenceof institutions of government when it comes to developmental co-operation policyissues. This, in turn, will ensure higher capacity in implementing the relevantpolicies in the long term.
  6. 6. The project will be followed with educational program for journalists and, withtheir help, the public at large.

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