SDA shared its experience in the field of civic participation in a focus group of the project "Participatory Budgeting for Sofia"

On July 29, 2020, SDA took part in a sociological survey aimed at revealing citizens' attitudes towards public debate and civic activism, as well as ways of cooperation between the non-governmental sector and local government.

The long-term experience of the Association in working with both citizens and the Municipality of Sofia was the reason for the participation in the focus group with representatives of non-governmental organizations on a project of the Save Bulgaria Foundation. Examples of the successful cooperation of SDA with civil society organizations, the scientific community, business and local government are the activities for the implementation of the Strategy for Smart Specialization, the Strategy for Young People in Sofia and the Strategy for Development of Culture in Sofia. The activities include not only intensive work on projects, but also the organizing various events, including Sofia Innovation Camp, a number of hackathons on topics set by Sofia Municipality, and numerous trainings and meetings in the Sofia Innovation Laboratory - SofiaLab, which provides opportunities for young people to develop in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and non-formal education.

Among the participants in the meeting were representatives of various non-governmental organizations. The project team presented examples of good practices in participatory budget management from other European cities, including Warsaw, Cluj and Antwerp. The upcoming activities of the project include holding an open one-month online consultation with the citizens of Sofia, through which to create the framework of the participatory budget, the creation of a report with summaries of focus groups and consultations and its submission to the Sofia Municipality Council with recommendations for future steps aiming at improvement of policies.

We will continue to cooperate and support the implementation of this project, which is directly related to one of the 4 areas of activity of SDA for 2020 - active citizenship.