CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

Press release

PUBLIC SERVICES RESPONSIVE TO CITIZENS
BH citizens want municipalities that will ask them about improvements that could be made to municipal services. Municipal workers want clear lines of responsibility and computerisation

(Sarajevo, 9.9.2004.) - Results of a survey published today show that a great majority of BH public strive for a civil service more responsible to the public. A better organised administration at all levels, with clear lines of responsibility is a model supported by 83% of ordinary citizens who also ask the international community to restrict its activities to key issues such as lack of justice, high welfare costs and low employment.

Press Conference in Sarajevo 09.09.2004
From the left to the right Mr. Mladen Ovadija, Script Editor, "Our Town, Our Future"; Marika Djolai, Project Manager "Our Town, Our Future"; Dr. Renzo Daviddi, Deputy Head of EC Delegation in BiH; Dr. Colin Irwin, Center of Study of Ethnic Conflict, Queens University Belfast.

Results are published as part of the «Our Town, Our Future» project, which uses radio drama, along with extensive outreach work, to strengthen democratisation, good governance, and the rule of law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The BBC World Service Trust is conducting this project from 2004 to 2006 in partnership with a regional NGO, the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe. Local partners on this project are BH Radio 1, Radiotelevision of Republika Srpska and Mediacentar Sarajevo. The aim of the project is to use the format of popular radio drama to change the attitude of staff in municipal authorities pointing out good examples of their approach to work, as well as illustrations of cases of malpractice. In a series of 12 radio drama episodes of an educational and entertaining nature, project initiators hope to offer solutions to problems faced by employed in local municipalities in performing everyday tasks. It will also incourage clients, people that live in these municipalities to take more active aproach in finding solutions for the problems of their living environment.

First radio drama episodes will be broadcast in second half of 2005. In line with the last episodes of drama series being broadcast across B&H next year, CDRSEE – as partner organisation on the project, will organise three two-day conferences for over 300 municipal workers. The aim of these conferences is to put together a series of recommendations for improvement of professional standards and co-operation of municipal authorities across ethnic borders. This project is aiming to visibly improve the quality of 144 municipalities across BiH. At the same time, the production process for radio drama will enhance the skills base of local media and further increase their capacity for self-sustainability.

BBC WST is in the midst of gathering a creative team who will start creating the plot of the radio drama. A call for directors and scrpitwriters has been advertised in all national media, and remains open until 20th September and 10th October respectively.

«With a Script Editor already appointed, it will be a pleasurable but difficult task to selected scriptwriters and directors among many great candidates that applied for this position said Marika Djolai, Project Manager. «This project has been put together with a lot of detail and responds, at the right time, to the needs of the BH society at large. I am exteremely happy to be able to contribute» added Zlatko Ivanicevic, BBC Senior Drama Advisor. In line with first phases of the project, 6 municipal workers together with the newly formed creative team and representatives of local broadcasters will visit Northern Ireland where they will familiarise themselves with the organisation of local administration in divided communities and ways of using drama to reduce conflict in such. The call for participants for the visit to Northern Ireland is open to municipal workers of Sarajevo Novi Grad and Centar municipalities, Brcko District, as well as Banjaluka, Tuzla and Mostar City administrations.

«I am very excited to be working on a project that deals with local problematics and that will eventually bring about change for many people. It will be a pleasure working with my local colleagues and I think we will do our job to a high standard – said Mladen Ovadija, Script Editor on the project.

This project is financed by the European Inititive for Democracy and Human Rights and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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