Directions of activity

 

Problem awareness

Any type of action at the local community level must be preceded by a good understanding of the local contexts and problems that need to be addressed. Currently, available data and research regarding developmental issues of Romanian settlements are largely deficient. Even basic statistical data (e.g., demographic size of towns and villages) can be accessed only for prohibitive fees. We believe that these shortcomings hide major deficiencies and territorial imbalances, hinder monitoring and policy impact assessments, and prohibit a real and effective territorial targeting of investments. Moreover, we note that important topics of public and legislative agendas are found too little in the public debate and are not sufficiently covered by research institutions.

These are some of the subjects that are of interest to us, and our aim is to engage them through such actions as: conducting advocacy measures for no-cost publication of data of public interest, developing effective and innovative measures of data visualization and processing, engaging in research projects in fields in which we have particular interest, or offering support to researchers and institutions from the country or abroad that are working on subjects of relevance on/for Romania.

Political response

Once the current context of problems, determinants, and effects has been understood, the next step is to obtain a competent, effective and consistent response by the authorities. The elaboration and implementation of public policies in support of local communities is a responsibility of both local and central authorities. The former are the best positioned to understand and meet local challenges and opportunities. The latter, however, are responsible to provide an enabling environment for local constituencies in terms of legislative, macroeconomic, and fiscal frameworks. In addition, both must be connected to the knowledge pool of trends, external signals, and expertise (EU policies and priorities, global issues, etc.).

We aim to support local authorities to improve their policy process. We also intend to work with associations of local authorities to meet problems and opportunities of relevance for local authorities and the communities they serve as well as facilitate access to and adopt best practices globally.

Tangible and effective intervention

Our concrete actions, with the participation of and benefit to local communities, will seek to reach a large number of localities nationally. We aim to develop innovative solutions implemented first as pilot projects and then support their replication for the benefit of other communities as well. We believe it is important to have an integrated approach to development processes, recognizing that often communities’ shortcomings are rooted in different aspects of the local and national contexts. In our opinion, the key success factor of our projects is the extent to which the projects will involve and will be assumed by the local communities, thus becoming self-sustainable by generating internal resources and being foundationally supported by local commitment.