LACEP 2 supports engagement of stakeholders during the COVID 19 – Budget Consultations

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed not only the way organisations operate but also the manner in which they engage and communicate with stakeholders. Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project 2 (LACEP 2) in partnership with The City of Bulawayo (BCC) ensured that community engagement was sustained by regular information and dialogue for Local Authorities in the South Western region while being accessible and relevant to the community. The COVID 19 protocols which posed various restrictions such as: meetings of not more than 50 people, social and physical distancing. The unprecedented COVID 19 required a shift in how we engage our communities and for us to establish a ‘new normal’. How we interact with our communities to ensure we achieve a balanced and representative response to our projects, was the crux of the partnership between LACEP 2 and BCC.

 

To limit physical interaction and prevent the spread of disease, there was need to use technology for online consultations. This was an opportune time for Local Authorities to reflect how they can adapt traditional consultation tools to virtual techniques to ensure that engagement was inclusive and diverse. Online engagement tools compatible with mobile devices were there primary method for engagement.

 

Citizen engagement was tough long before COVID 19 was the “new normal”, the hard to reach groups now expanded to those not able to access the internet at or home or who would only have more limited immediate access to shared online resources via libraries and social hubs. Community notice boards, local newspapers and online newspapers played a pivotal role on engaging with those that may not have immediate access to the internet.

 

The radio programme, #Budget101, leveraged on the strong community infrastructure and supportive social networks to help communities to withstand and adapt to shocks. #Budget101 enhanced community engagements with different stakeholders. It brought the public and the LAs closer together and ensured discussion on the 2021 budget and service delivery review for 2020 could take place.

 

Listen to #Budget101 Local Authority Radio Discussions Below:

 

  1. Demystifying Local Governance - Focus on Bulawayo City Council 15/10/2020
  2. Understanding your Council budget  22/10/2020
  3. Monitoring Your Council Budget
  4. Understanding Your Bill
  5. Impact of Devolution Funds on Local Authorities Budget processes
  6. Priority Based Budgeting
  7. Gender Mainstreaming
  8. Monitoring Your Council Budget

 

 

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