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Practitioners from local governments from Western Balkans discussed the good practices in the establishment and support of the social approaches during the 3rd Regional Exchange Event of the Learning Clusters

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Over 70 participants coming from 31 local governments of Western Balkans attended the 3rd Regional Exchange Event of the Learning Clusters on 14 and 15 June 2022, in Skopje, North Macedonia.

The local government practitioners presented and discussed with their peers the good practices in the establishment and support of the social approaches related to day-care centres, mobile outreach teams, increasing the awareness of the rights of the vulnerable groups, social dialogue forums and minority commissioners, as well as, inclusive disaster risk management. In addition, the social mapping experiences and findings from 16 local governments were presented in this peer exchange

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Marija Risteska, the Resource Person in the Social Mapping Learning Custer presented the results of social mapping experiences and findings from 16 local governments. She highlighted the importance the social mapping methodology as a very important and crucial step in identifying the needs of the vulnerable groups and creating needs-based policies.

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Boran Ivanoski, from NALAS had presentation about the overall achievements of the project, where 7 Local Government Associations and 54 Local Governments coming from 5 economies of Western Balkans were supported. During these 3 years there have been a lot of learning opportunities , 7 webinars delivered and more than 600 people attended. Also, 5 e-learning courses were developed, there were 9 delivery sessions, and 140 participants successfully finished the courses.

In addition, 6 learning clusters were conducted, 27 municipalities were involved, and 56 peer exchange events were organised. Moreover, 12 municipalities implemented different social approaches and 27 municipalities were supported with COVID-19 rapid measures, where 548 children from disadvantaged families were provided with IT devices and 394 children with disabilities were provided with better conditions in 9 day care centres .

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The next phase of the project, SoRI III, will focus more on strengthening the multi-level cooperation, NALAS regional working group for social inclusion to be established, more social mappings to be conducted, and strengthening the multisectoral models for economic inclusion for disadvantaged groups through funding employment opportunities and social mentoring.

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The local governments were represented by the Association of Local Autonomy of Albania, Association of Albanian Municipalities, Association Municipalities and Cities of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, Association of Towns and Municipalities of Republika Srpska, Association of Kosovo Municipalities, Association of the Units of Local Self-Government of Republic of North Macedonia, Standing Conference  of Town and Municipalities of Republic of Serbia

This regional exchange event was organised within the framework of the ongoing NALAS project “Enhancing local capacities to implement the 2030 Agenda and the Leave No One Behind Principle”, implemented in cooperation with GIZ regional project on Social Rights for Vulnerable Groups II (SoRi II) commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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