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The principle of good governance was one of the three Programme pillars, while the activities in this area were conducted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in partnership with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM).
The Swiss PRO understands good governance as a continuous process, defined by a set of normative principles, that are shaping the way the public interests are being identified, defined and carried out, as well as the manner the public authority is being exercised and the public duties are being executed.
The ultimate objective of this process - which involves public and private sectors, citizens and their organisations, is to improve the quality of citizens’ lives, by creating an environment that continuously enables strengthening and improving accountability and rule of law; transparency in executing public duties; citizens participation in public policies and decision making processes; an environment that observes and works on improvement of human rights, provides mechanisms for fighting discrimination and improves equality, and finally fosters efficient and effective execution of public duties and responsibilities.
The Programme provided support for local self-governments in the application of the principle of good governance, ensured the exchange of Information and knowledge, encouraged the development and application of local regulations and policies, stimulated the establishment of local eGovernment services and contributed to raising the awareness of the benefits of applying the good governance mechanism.
Through its comprehensive capacity-building intervention, Swiss PRO facilitated the institutionalisation and formalisation of the process of applying good governance principles in the work of local self-governments and achieved visible systemic changes based on which 37,205 beneficiaries gained access to services and improved their knowledge.
This was achieved in cooperation with the SCTM through the development of 446 local regulations applied by 62 LSGs, improving the fulfilment of public duties and responsibilities, while the capacity-building activities helped 164 LSGs improve their staff’s knowledge of good governance at the local level.
Particular attention was devoted to improving access to e-services by improving e-Government in 70 LSGs, as well as to improving public service delivery in 27 LSGs. Furthermore, public participation in budget-making improved the efficiency of budget spending in the communities’ interest in 16 LSGs.
The Annual Award for the Best Practices in Applying Good Governance Principles at the Local Level was introduced in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and SCTM, with the support of the Swiss PRO Programme. The Annual Award, accorded for four years now, is a long-term Serbian Government measure aimed at improving good governance and administration at the local level.