Strengthening Democracy in North Macedonia: A Look at IFES's Recent Event in Veles

Strengthened Institutions Conduct Fair and Efficient Election Process, Innovative initiatives - political parties, Events

On 22 November 2023, the Municipality of Veles saw a lively and constructive dialogue as relevant stakeholders assembled to explore the domain of monitoring electoral promises. The event, titled Advancing the Concept of Monitoring Electoral Promises – Insights and Learnings from Municipalities and CSOs, had the goal of heightening the awareness of the Monitoring Matrix and its use, but also knowledge- and experience-sharing by municipal representatives and civil society organisations, with the aim of strategizing future directions.

As emphasized by the event’s moderator, the objective of the Monitoring Matrix is to pursue the monitoring of promises systematically, with objectivity and evidence-based rigor, thereby feeding back not only on the extent of fulfilment but also municipalities’ accountability and transparency in the process. Similar outlooks for their respective municipalities were also articulated by representatives of the Municipalities of Butel and Aerodrom, who underscored the changing milieu and the advance of a new generation of elected officials who place great value on citizen-oriented policies.

In the concluding panel discussion, participants weighed in on the utility of monitoring, learnings from past efforts, and future needs of municipalities and civic organizations. Representatives of CSOs active in different social spheres, such as Majka (Mother), ESI Nelis and ZEOOOP shared what they deemed were the most tangible benefits of this design of innovative initiatives, whereby the concurrent flow of monitoring and mobilisation activities were seen as the chief amplifiers of citizen involvement and public information dissemination. Other CSO representatives advocated for the continuity of such initiatives, particularly in rural zones, to facilitate their inclusion in decision-making processes.

Syntheses of conclusions and recommendations, derived from the day’s rich dialogues and insights, brought the event towards its conclusion. A final video segment provided a reflective look into the implemented community mobilization strategies and their resulting impacts.

As networking opportunities unfolded, participants wove together connections and collaborations, perpetuating dialogue all aimed at strengthening and advancing the mutual vision of converting electoral promises from mere words into impactful, tangible actions.