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Action plan – Novi Pazar, Serbia, 2022 – 2023



Action Plan: Action plan – Novi Pazar, Serbia, 2022 – 2023

Action Plan Submission: 2022
Action Plan End: December 2023

Lead Institution: Department of Information of City Novi Pazar, Department of General Administration of City Novi Pazar, City Council of City Novi Pazar



Dec 2023

Date Submitted

30th November 2022


The city of Novi Pazar has the ambition to ensure a high level of involvement of citizens in the decision-making process, as well as creating a solid partnership with civil society and maintaining a high level of transparency in the work of local self-government. In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to significantly raise the level of knowledge and awareness of citizens, especially young people, about the organization, competences and way of functioning of local self-government.

In accordance with the above, through the process of consulting the public (civil sector, media, academic community, etc.), an action plan of partnership for open government was drawn up, which was adopted by the City Council of Novi Pazar with a one-year validity period. This plan should be implemented in two directions. The first direction is to get local self-government representatives out of their offices and get closer to stakeholders at the level of local communities, of which there are 26 in the city of Novi Pazar. This will be achieved through a series of one-day workshops in at least 10 local communities, with the aim of raising the capacity of citizens in these local communities on the use of partnership mechanisms for open governance.

The second direction, the realization of the action plan of the partnership for open administration, is focused on young people and will be reflected in the organization of a civic academy in the form of an open day of the city administration for high school students in Novi Pazar and the creation of at least 5 video tutorials intended for young people and their familiarization with the organization and responsibilities and the way local self-government functions.

Relevant actors, such as civil society organizations, academic community, media and authorities, will be consulted in the design of these activities as well as in implementation.

Open Government Challenges, Opportunities and Strategic Vision

This subsection details the Open Government Strategic Vision in your local area that should guide the commitments for the action plan period.

What is the long-term vision for open government in your context and jurisdiction?

Long-term vision of City Novi Pazar related to open government is based on two pillars, openness and availability of local self-government data and services and greater participation of citizens in the decision-making process at the local level. The City of Novi Pazar wants to ensure constant and two-way communication with its citizens in order to be able to hear their impressions, attitudes, opinions on certain issues, as well as to get to know their needs and problems, on the one hand, and to enable accordingly the best possible level of services and creates local policies according to the needs of its citizens.

In the past few years, Novi Pazar has achieved a lot in the field of data transparency, and in the coming period, it wants to make the same or greater successes in the field of involving citizens in the work of local self-government in accordance with the principles of partnership for open government.

What are the achievements in open government to date (for example, recent open government reforms)?

The City of Novi Pazar signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the CSO “Citizen Initiatives” consortium through the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government of Republic of Serbia in February 2019.

In accordance with the Instructions for the preparation of the Local Action Plan and the principles of the OGP, the Working Group proposed the following three obligations for the City of Novi Pazar:

1) Development and promotion of the My Novi Pazar application;

2) Publication of data sets in a machine-readable format;

3) Civil academy.

In September 2019, the Assembly of the City of Novi Pazar adopted the Decision on the adoption of the proposed OG Local action plan for 2019-2020 year.

From the three activities listed above, only the second activity (Publishing data sets in machine-readable format) has been implemented to date. The third activity (Civic Academy), which included the organization of an Open Day for high school graduates from Novi Pazar, as well as the creation of multimedia content intended for education on the competence of local self-government, by the participants of the civic academy and representatives of local self-government, was not implemented due to the deterioration situations with the COVID-19 virus. When it comes to the first activity (Development and promotion of the Moj Novi Pazar application), it is also incomplete, due to the lack of technical, personnel and financial resources.

What are the current challenges/areas for improvement in open government that the jurisdiction wishes to tackle?

The citizens do not have an adequate level of knowledge regarding the functioning of local self-government, which is reflected on their involvement in the decision-making process and monitoring process. In the previous period, two activities were carried out from this field. The first activity refers to the area of ​​inclusion of citizens in the budget process of 2019, 2020 and 2021, as part of which local self government conducted a survey among citizens regarding project proposals that would be included in the budget decision for the following year. The survey was conducted in 2019 online and live, and in 2020 and 2021, due to the crisis with the COVID-19 virus, only online. The survey covered 2,583 citizens in 2019, 1,453 citizens in 2020, and 1,328 citizens in 2021.  The second activity related to the organization of voting for the selection of projects in secondary schools in Novi Pazar, where, in cooperation with the student parliaments, voting was conducted for the selection of projects that will be financed in schools outside the regular funding plan.

Experiences from these researches have shown us that citizens do not show a particular interest in monitoring the work of local self-government, as well as participation in the decision-making process in previous period. The feedback received from the experience from previous OG Local action plan indicated a need for increasing capacities of citizens for using of OGP mechanisms for our next OGP Local action plan.

What are the medium-term open government goals that the government wants to achieve?

Although the city of Novi Pazar has done a lot in the field of data openness and its availability in an electronically readable format, the number of citizens who use this data to monitor the work of local self-government bodies is still small considering the total number of citizens living in the area of ​​the city of Novi Pazar. In addition to this, a small number of citizens take direct part in the decision-making process at the local level. The results of the research that we conducted with the support of the OSCE Mission in Serbia in 2019, and with the aim of determining the needs and perceptions of citizens in terms of designing the “My Novi Pazar” application, we determined that the citizens of Novi Pazar want to be asked, and to be asked about everything that they think concerns them and can influence decision-making in the public interest. Accordingly, we determined the following needs when it comes to the area of ​​involvement in decision-making at the local level and monitoring of the work of local self-government:

  • Raising the level of citizens’ information about the organization and way of functioning of local self-government, with a special focus on existing mechanisms for citizens’ participation in decision-making and mechanisms for supervising the work of local self-government;
  • Increasing the level of two-way communication between citizens and representatives of local self-government with a special focus on young people.

How does this action plan contribute to achieve the Open Government Strategic Vision?

Open Government Vision: City of Novi Pazar is a leader in openness and inclusion of citizens in decision making process

OGP Action Plan Focus: Capacity building for bigger involvement of citizens in decision making process at local level as well as monitoring of work of local self government

In order to meet the defined needs and meet the expectations of citizens, to be consulted on issues of public interest, we will focus our activities prescribed by this Action plan in the field of implementation of the OGP principle at the local level in two directions.
The first is opening the doors of local self-government to young people and introducing them to its organization and way of functioning, with the use of innovative multimedia content adapted to the younger population.

The second is to leave the premises of local self-government and make direct contacts with representatives of local communities in the area of ​​the City of Novi Pazar in their local environment, that is, the offices of local communities.

In this way, we want to ensure that as many citizens of Novi Pazar as possible, and above all young people, are always informed about the organization and way of functioning of the local self-government, with a special focus on the available mechanisms for participation in the decision-making process, exercising their rights that are within the domain of competence local self-government, as well as monitoring the work of local self-government.

How does the open government strategic vision contribute to the accomplishment of the current administration’s overall policy goals?

Local-self government of City Novi Pazar works to put people first in all our services and policies. The Open Government Strategic Vision of co-creation, transparency and accountability, is exemplified in approach which is based on opened data, informed and people-led self-government.

Evidence-based policy of City Novi Pazar is supported by its open data program and publication of data on web page of local-self government. Consultation and collaboration in the form of research of citizens needs, public feedback mechanisms, and user-centred program development also contribute to the involvement of citizens as well as civil society in decisions on local level.

Engagement and Coordination in the Open Government Strategic Vision and OGP Action Plan

Please list the lead institutions responsible for the implementation of this OGP action plan.

  • Department of Information of City Novi Pazar
  • Department of General Administration of City Novi Pazar
  • City Council of City Novi Pazar

What kind of institutional arrangements are in place to coordinate between government agencies and departments to implement the OGP action plan?

The Department for the Implementation of the OGP Action Plan, i.e. the Information Department of the city administration for original and entrusted affairs of the City of Novi Pazar, in cooperation with CSO MONITOR and with prior consultations with the public, drafted the Action Plan for the OGP at the local level. That plan was presented to the cabinet of the Mayor of Novi Pazar, who initiated its adoption at the City Council. By adopting this action plan, the city management undertook to provide the Information Department of the city administration with all the necessary technical and professional support in the implementation of the commitments provided for in this plan.

What kind of spaces have you used or created to enable the collaboration between government and civil society in the co-creation and implementation of this action plan? Mention both offline and online spaces.

Following spaces were used for establishing cooperation between the local self-government of the city of Novi Pazar and civil society in the creation of the action plan:

Email submissions​: Individuals and civil society organizations were able to submit proposals, suggestions, discussion papers, resource documents, reports, and emails directly to the Information Department of the city administration for original and entrusted affairs of the City of Novi Pazar.

Public consultations: In person events for individuals, representatives of civil society organizations, academia, media and other relevant stakeholders were organized to discuss regarding action plan and other related issues and share information and updates of this strategic document.

The spaces will be used for implementation of the plan together with:

Online survey​: Respondents will be asked to answer some questions. Respondents will also able to provide qualitative feedback via open text boxes. This space will serve to measure changes in terms of increasing the level of citizens’ knowledge regarding the use of OGP mechanisms, as well as for proposals for improving the process of involving citizens in decision-making.

Community events​: Members of local communities from the territory of City Novi Pazar as well as high school students will participate on in person events, at which they will discuss their feedback and concerns with members of team for implementation of Local OGP action plan.

What measures did you take to ensure diversity of representation (including vulnerable or marginalized populations) in these spaces?

In the communication strategy of the city of Novi Pazar, vulnerable and marginalized groups are recognized as a separate communication public and separate communication channels are provided for them. In accordance with this practice, during the consultations for the preparation of the Local Partnership Action Plan for open administration, special care was taken to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized groups receive invitations for public consultations. Also, it is planned that during the implementation of the commitments provided in this action plan, care will be taken to ensure that among the participants of these activities, representatives of the following vulnerable and marginalized groups are equally represented (members of the Roma population, persons with disabilities, persons from socially disadvantaged families, members of national minorities etc.).

Who participated in these spaces?

– Citizens;

– Youths/students;

– Marginalized and vulnerable groups;

– Civil society organizations;

– Academic institutions;

– Media;

– Councils of local communities.

How many groups participated in these spaces?


How many public-facing meetings were held in the co-creation process?


How will government and non-governmental stakeholders continue to collaborate through the implementation of the action plan?

Stakeholders will be informed on the progression of the action plan milestones, through reports as well as media announcements. City of Novi Pazar will also ensure that the national contact persons for OGP, from Ministry of state administration and local self-government be included in discussions and activities throughout the implementation phase of the action plan.

Please describe the independent Monitoring Body you have identified for this plan.

Cultural Centre DamaD is a non-governmental, non-partisan and nonprofit organization whose mission is building a democratic multi-ethnic identity, multireligious and multicultural communities and the country as a whole, the promotion of culture of peace and tolerance and encouraging dialogue and cooperation, enhancing, protecting and promoting human and minority rights, especially rights to a life without violence, empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality as a precondition for sustainable development, education for democracy, building lasting changes in attitudes and perceptions of people, empowering citizens to actively participate in decision-making, publicly advocating for changes that lead to a more open, democratic and civil society.

DamaD was established in July, 1992 on the initiative of a group of independent intellectuals who spoke out against nationalism, interethnic divisions, intolerance and other forms of political, cultural and social deviation, during the time of war in Bosnia, and in an atmosphere when many rushed to war or were silent before the horrors of war.

In this sense, our work is focused on four strategic priorities:
• Freedom of thought and expression
• Democratization and civic participation
• Equal opportunities, non-discrimination and gender equality
• Culture of dialogue and cooperation

Provide the contact details for the independent monitoring body.

What types of activities will you have in place to discuss progress on commitments with stakeholders?

Members of Department of Information of City Novi Pazar as well as representatives of CSO MONITOR will meet regularly as milestones are reached to discuss progress and advise on actions to reach upcoming milestones. Discussions will also take place with the monitoring body to share milestone progress and goals. Meetings with key stakeholders to inform next steps and provide direction on meeting milestones will also be held throughout the implementation of the plan.

How will you regularly check in on progress with implementing agencies?

Team consist of members of Department of Information of City Novi Pazar and CSO MONITOR will lead regular check-ins on progress with the implementing actors, as well as provide and manage clear communication and open workspace and produce reports to City Council of Novi Pazar as milestones are reached. These reports will also support public reporting to OGP and updates to official webpage of City Novi Pazar.

How will you share the results of your monitoring efforts with the public?

Regular updates to Open Government Action tracker on official web page of City Novi Pazar and related web pages with links to OGP action tracking/reporting to support validation and accountability. We will promote achievements, consultations and progress through our communications teams and channels including social media and encourage civil society partners to do the same. Consistent messaging from partners will help show active collaboration alongside messages of openness to cooperation.

Endorsement from Non-Governmental Stakeholders

  • Aleksandar Ivanović, President of steering committee, CSO MONITOR

Local Action Plan – OGP – Novi Pazar 2022-2023 (Eng)


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