‘Gdynia Civic Sector’ was started in 1995 in Gdynia as the first project of its kind in Poland. Its foundations are a result of partner dialogue between the local government and NGO representatives. ‘The Programme of Cooperation between Gdynia and Non-governmental Organisations’, adopted in 1995 by Gdynia City Council, formed the basis for such cooperation. This document is updated each year and regulates the nature and principles of the cooperation. Its final form is the result of annual consultations with civic sector representatives. The cooperation with NGOs consists of three main areas: i) consulting and co-creating local programmes and undertakings; ii) direct execution of public tasks; iii) participating in the works of standing teams composed of NGO and local government representatives.
Gdynia spends US $ 2 million each year on cooperation projects with local NGOs (three times more than anywhere else in Poland). An NGO division in the City Hall is affiliated to the Mayor’s office and is responsible for: coordination of the contacts; establishing rules and standards for competition; organising meetings; ensuring equal policy; providing advice on setting up an NGO; and offering workshops for NGOs on how to apply for grants or gain other sources of funding. The NGO centre which is affiliated to the NGO division at the City Hall managed to arrange 1100 meetings in their premises in the past year.
The NGO-Forum is always dedicated to a special topic (this year it will be dedicated to ‘young people’ and how to get them interested in NGO work). The aim is to get NGOs more involved in actual decision-making processes and to build sustainability in the third sector. An annual evaluation is undertaken during these meetings. Every second year a consulting committee from NGO members consisting of 12 people is elected during the forum. The committee is actively involved in deciding and advising on the City’s budget. They also evaluate NGO grant applications to ensure a balanced sectoral spending.
The City furthermore gives local NGOs the opportunity to promote their work during the yearly ship race in Gdynia harbour. The possibility for self-campaigning becomes particularly important in the context of the 1% campaign: Gdynia offers every citizen the chance to decide, by stating on their tax document, which NGO they may wish to donate to. The solutions adopted in Gdynia have been recognised as model solutions by many Polish local governments as well as the central authorities.
Gdynia is already a best practice example to all major Polish cities in terms of third sector cooperation and frequently hosts and trains staff from all over the country.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:||community and stakeholder participation|
|Keywords:||Third sector involvement, NGO|
|Short English description:||Gdynia offers every citizen the chance to decide, by stating on their tax document, which NGO they may wish to donate to. The solutions adopted in Gdynia have been recognised as model solutions by many Polish local governments as well as the central authorities|
|Organisation:||Gdynia City Hall (Mayor’s Office)|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|