Foundation for Local Government Reform
2006/12: Best Practice in the Social Sphere 2006

This year over 170 innovation practices were submitted to the FLGR on-line data base. The most of them 52 - are in the category Social Activities. Practices are submitted by Bulgarian local governments and their civic and business partners.

As result of the big interest in the social category FLGR decided to announce a competition on Best Practice in the Social Sphere 2006. It aimed at recognizing those who had put so much effort in 2006, as well as at motivating colleagues from the rest of Bulgarian municipalities to work successfully in the future.

At the thematic seminar Best Practice in the Social Sphere, 8 December 2006, innovators from all over the country participated and shared their experience.

National priorities and tendencies in the social sphere for 2007 were presented by Theodora Lyubenova, Chief Expert Methodology of Social Services in the Social Assistance Agency.

Within the work meeting were presented success stories from Village of Kapitan Dimitrievo (Mrs. Stoyanka Ivanova), Municipality of Sopot (Mrs. Ivanka Yancheva) and Municipality of Bratsigovo (Mrs. Petya Georgieva her presentation was performed by a colleague because of the impossibility of Mrs. Georgieva to attend the event).

What makes an implemented project a success story and a tool for sustainable development? The topic was discussed in the form of brainstorming. Other discussed topics were:

- personal capacity and skills of people involved in project development and implementation;

- good knowledge of local issues, needs and environment opportunities;

- good organizational and financial capacity;

- role of the organization at local level;

- partnership with other organizations, local government, networking;

- access to information sources.

At the end of the work meeting, Mrs. Ginka Kapitanova, FLGR Executive Director, awarded winners in the competition.

It was the first time that FLGR awarded The Most Active Innovator Award in the thematic competition The award was handed to Mrs. Atanaska Hristova from Municipality of Straldzha, who had submitted 9 practices within the year.
It was the first time that FLGR held on-line voting for a practice within the thematic competition Best Practice in the Social Sphere. Over 400 visitors of the FLGR webpage voted for a practice. With 78 votes the practice Youth Initiative for Strumyani, presented by Mrs. Svetla Petseva, Village of Mikrevo, Municipality of Strumyani, Community Center Bratya Miladinovi, won the title Practice Choice of the Public within the on-line thematic competition.

The choice of the jury for best practice in the competition was extremely difficult. All the presented practices were valuable since they had a positive impact on life in the community.

In order to be objective, the FLGR jury identified the following criteria:

- timing ,

- originality and

- best correlation costs - results.

Winner in the thematic competition for Best Practice in the Social Sphere in 2006 became Mrs. Stoyanka Ivanova, Village of Kapitan Dimitrievo, Municipality of Peshtera, Community Center Sergei Rumyantsev and her practice COMMUNITY CENTER - OPEN GATE FOR EUROPE AND COMMUNICATION. The project resulted in provision of Internet which helped to overcome information isolation of inhabitants. The Internet changed life in the community and now it is an opportunity for the local school, the kindergarten, all the families and the 250 children. The Community Center provided free Internet access for the inhabitants of Village Kapitan Dimitrievo for following 5 years. This initiative of the Community Center had been built on by three more projects within 2006.

Congratulations to the winners !

FLGR would like to thank to all innovators for their dedicated work and to wish them many creative and professional achievements in the future!

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