Held on Thursday the 15th of August 2019.
Target Group: Local community leaders and members of the community.
Number of Participants: 25
Invited Guests: Two representatives from the Ministry of Rural Development
The activity created a space for engagement between communities and statutory authorities on the issues faced by the former, and also build relationships and local capacity for effective engagement on community issues.
The forum was a day long event with sessions led by Dialogue Fiji staff, Ministry of Rural Development Staff and facilitated concern collecting sessions, where citizens were provided an opportunity to articulate issues they faced and engage in dialogue with state representatives on those issues.
The location for this activity was Sigatoka, which has rural communities that are removed from the administrative, decision and policy making centres of Fiji and therefore have limited engagement with state entities.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Rural Development who contribute to policy making in the ministry were part of this forum. In addition to hearing concerns of communities, the Ministry representatives also informed communities of government’s development plans, provide information on service delivery, and procedures and processes for citizen engagement in decision and policy formulation.
Inspired by the Betzavta methodologies, and using materials developed by International IDEA’s Youth Democracy Academy, Dialogue Fiji hosted a 2-day long workshop on democracy education developing knowledge and skills of the participants to become active democratic citizens of their society.
The seminars also aimed to increase understanding of, and passion for democracy amongst young participants to address the issue of youth political apathy, and Fiji’s historical realities of struggling with democracy.