Analysis of Development Plans from the Perspective of Involvement and Civil Initiative
The article analyzes 30 local government development plans in Estonia.
The sample is based on the different government types in local government for the purpose of ensuring a variety of cooperation patterns. The development plan has to combine strategic planning process with regional planning. This research paper focuses on cooperation between civil society and government authorities. The citizen participation in preparing the development plan is set forth in the Local Government Act. Every local authority has to present the draft of the plan before voting in local government council. This is a passive participation tool. Government authorities mostly use meetings with citizens, polls and participation in working groups. Local authorities mostly combine different methods to ensure the large participation. Small local authorities use participation tools less because the connection between government official and citizen is open as it is.
The cooperation between local authorities and NGOs is mostly on the financial level – a local authority finances the NGO’s activities. Forward-looking local authorities also involve NGOs in the public service improvement process. The cooperation mostly takes place in the social service, sports, culture and village issues. The local authority wants to involve youth and heads of villages in the decision making process.