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The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pej?inovi? Buri?, has issued a toolkit for governments across Europe on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 Toolkit (available in several languages)
Implementation plan of the Hungarian Best Practices of Local Governments program 2020
With support of Centre of Expertise for Good Governance of Council of Europe TÖOSZ implement Best Practices of Local Governments program since 2008. With coronavirus pandemic a new era began in the p?rogram as well, because it is sure that innovation and the development of local public services, local cooperation and community building will be more important than ever for our local communities.
The Steering Committee of Best Practices of Local Governments program in Hungary after a long consideration and discussion has decided to continue and announce the 2020 application phase of the program, modifying the rules of procedure and methods. With this decision, we want to confirm that we continue to believe in the power of local communities, the power of local democracy, the empowerment of local governments, and we do every effort we can to help our local authorities address the new challenges. Program operators will do their best to make this capacity building tool work, even in new ways. Many professionals work from home and, with the help of modern technology, there is still the opportunity for local governments to learn from each other. A number of well-established methods and innovations have been created at Hungarian municipalities. In our modified program, we would like to make these live tools available to local governments.
The Steering Committee and the organizations participating in it (Ministry of the Interior, e-Democracy Foundation, Ministry of Human Resources, Homo Oecologicus Foundation, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Hungarian Village Association, Hungarian Association of Municipalities, Hungarian National Association of Local Authorities, National Union of National Guard), encourages municipalities to take advantage of each other's innovations by joining an online knowledge program; learn from each other, think together for common goals.
Aim of the program
The aim of the program is to identify the Local Governmental Best Practices and introduce them to other municipalities in the country and the creation of a knowledge base from the best practices. Dissemination of new and innovative local solutions or rather the knowledge of such local government who owned a best practise could result in better public services and higher level performance in leadership among the local governments who are facing similar problems. The knowledge transfer process initiated by the program however could not only help those municipalities, who receive new methods, but those as well, who owned the best practise. Surely the process of transferring the knowledge is not only realized by written information but with open days and consultation with other colleagues. These consultations provide possibility for receiving new ideas by the owner of the best practise for further development of their activities. Besides getting awarded for Local Government Best Practise the local governments receive official acknowledgement of their which is regarded as a success for the employees and the inhabitants of the local governments as well. The further results of the program is that it raises the awareness of state organizations to the necessity of support of innovations and better local government public service provision through strong and highly responsible local governments.
One main topic will be announce for application in Hungarian BPP in 2020:
Recovery and reconstruction to mitigate damage caused by the epidemic - proven innovations in local government
There are five sub-topics to apply for, all of which focus on good practices that have already been successfully applied and will be useful in recovery and re-starting after the epidemic:
1. Good practices for local economic recovery and attraction of municipal investments
2. Good practices in social inclusion - effective local methods to combating poverty
3. Local Public Security Good Practices
4. Municipal good practices in elderly care
5. Innovations of local governments - well-functioning activities already carried out within any municipal competence (outside the four topics above)
Schedule of the program in 2020:
- Announcement of the 2020 call for proposals: 4 May 2020
- Deadline for submitting applications: 2 July 2020
27 applications were received in the program, from which the Steering Committe selected 19 to the short list of the possible winners. However all the applications were useful in many respects, due to the frames of the program was it necessary to made this selection. We will organize an international online conference to introduce all the relevant initiatives.
- During the application phase, there will be 5 online conferences in the 5 application topics: We are organizing a Zoom conference that anyone can join between May 1st, 2020 and June 1st, 2020.
- Written evaluation of proposals received: 17 July 2020
- Expert reviews and interviews on the spot / online meetings: 30 September 2020.
A significant change from the previous methodology is that, if the epidemiological situation continues to warrant, online on-the-spot meeting will be carried out. This means that applicants are expected to allow a half-day conference call via the Internet with key persons pre-designated by the experts. Intensive professional exchange of half-day, accurate agendas, and online mediation with the local responsible nominated by the applicant will also allow all Steering Committee members and experts to be involved in the on-site “visits”.
- Offline / online preparatory training for the short listed applicants in October 2020
- Final (offline or online) closing conference on 25Th of November 2020
- Online or offline local professional days for winners between 25th of November 2020 and 31th of March 2021
During the application period we organized 5 online (Zoom) conferences in the 5 topics. These conferences were open for joining for everyone. (Summaries are available at the webpage of the program.)
The duration of these conferences was about 2-3 hours. We asked for presentation of prepared experts, who had presentations in maximum 10 minutes on the relevant framework condition of municipal operation area fixed in the call for application of BPP program 2020. After them moderated discussion was held. The aim of the conferences was to clarify the topics of BPP 2020 program, speak about the future possibilities, plans and provide inspirations and collect them from each other.
Due to the new global crisis, a new local element will be added to Hungarian BPP 2020 : through our international network of local governments we present effective local responses and solutions of local governments in other European countries; and we are also promoting domestic results. We will put permanently the available information to COVID-HUB as well.
Our goal is to help municipalities with a living knowledge base for better efficiency and new solutions.
On the 18th of August 2020
Update: On 25 November was held the final competition and conference. Please find attached the winners and their summaries on best prectices.