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Action projects: Retrospect on the first year of Action project implementation

Action projects: Retrospect on the first year of Action project implementation

In August 2021, it had been a year since the Board of the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) approved the results of the first Action projects. During the year, funding was allocated for the implementation of 11 unforeseen and urgent advocacy initiatives for the total amount of 91,159.75 EUR.

Five of the supported projects implement advocay initiatives of local or regional importance which refer to the interests of relatively few people yet tackle issues that are both emotionally and practically important for these population groups – for example, the people living in the neighbourhoods Imanta and Zolitūde tried to achieve a revision of the decisions of Riga City municipality regarding the design of Rail Baltica in their neighbourhood, while the residents of the historical region of Selonia stand up for broad public participation of high quality in working out a symbol for the nationally most important historical region of Selonia.

Four of the supported projects handle issues of national importance which may impact a great number of residents. For example, LGBT and their friends’ association “Mozaīka” wish to draw lawmakers’ attention to the imperfections within the regulation of couples and the negative impact of the amendments to Article 110 of the Satversme on social cohesion and the social and legal protection of the families of unregistered couples, whereas the association “Sadarbības platforma” incites a revision of the law on state social insurance and changes for the benefit of those working for non-governmental organisations.

Meanwhile, one of the initiatives supported by the ACF promotes the information of residents about the European Citizens' Initiative "Introduction of Unconditional Basic Income throughout the EU”, thus fostering civic participation on European level, too.

Looking back on the implementation of her successfully completed Action Project, Rigonda Bērziņa, representative of the Association of the neighbourhood of Anniņmuiža and creative initiative “Riga Annenhof”, acknowledges: “NGOs without a permanent capacity need critical assistance in dealing with such sudden, negative and difficult situations. If a non-governmental organization is unable to react promptly, constructively, and powerfully to state and fundamental change, then it reinforces in society the distrust of democratic values and the conviction that nothing can ever be influenced.

In her turn, Ance Tīmane from the association “Izgaismo ideju”, which advocated the succession of the implementation of youth policy in the newly established South Kurzeme region, emphasizes: “It was the ACF Action Project that enabled us to react sharply and prepare for change so that we could better represent the interests of young people. In our case, it was an excellent option because there were a lot of unknown factors, but action had to be taken immediately.”

We invite you to get acquainted with all supported projects in more detail in the Active Citizens Fund website, section Supported projects, and below with the goals of all the projects already supported:

  • “Association of the neighbourhood of Anniņmuiža and creative initiative “Riga Annenhof””: To represent the interests of the residents by proposing the revision of the decisions of the Riga municipality and changes in the adopted decision, respecting the framework of the national Rail Baltica project and the right of the residents to participate in the development of the municipal territories.
  • Association “IZGAISMO IDEJU”: To ensure full and sustainable participation and involvement of NGOs in the planning and implementation of youth policy in the future South Kurzeme region.
  • Association “Kopienu sadarbības tīkls “Sēlijas salas”: Ensure a democratic process for the development of the Selonian coat of arms symbol, involving civil society.
  • “Association of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people and their friends “Mozaīka””: To explain the negative impact of the lack of a legal framework for spouses and amendments to Article 110 of the Satversme on social cohesion and social and legal protection of unregistered couples' families.
  • Association “Mūsu mājas Pocelujevkā”: To promote the observance of the principles of good governance in the development of local government development planning documents.
  • Association “Piekrastes Konvents”: To create a plan for the use of the coastal area and a vision for the future development based on the vision of the population.
  • Association “Sabiedrība par atklātību “Delna””: Ensure the involvement of civil society organizations in the development of a viable Code of Ethics for the Prosecutors.
  • Association “Sadarbības platforma”: To represent the interests of NGOs by proposing the revision and changes of the law on state social insurance, respecting the specifics of NGO activities within the framework of projects.
  • Association “Vecdaugavieši”: To update, prepare, and disseminate information in Latvia on the European Citizens' Initiative "Introduction of Unconditional Basic Income throughout the EU".
  • “Latvijas Dabas fonds”: To achieve the establishment of an effective legal framework for the protection of the lesser spotted eagle and other specially protected species of scattered nesting birds in Latvia.
  • “Sabiedrības līdzdalības fonds”: To offer residents a fact-based digital tool for party compatibility in order to facilitate thoughtful voting in Riga City Council elections (project implementation was cancelled due to lack of time).

During the first year, a total of 44 Action projects were submitted, prepared by 41 organizations from 15 different regions and cities of Latvia (according to the previous administrative division), thus representing all regions of Latvia: Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme, Zemgale, Riga and Riga region. The largest number of projects were submitted by organizations whose main area of activity / office is located in Riga - half of all or 22 organizations. Other organizations represent the former municipalities of Aizpute, Daugavpils, Engure, Ikšķile, Jēkabpils, Ķekava, Limbaži, Olaine, Preiļi and Rēzekne, as well as the cities of Jelgava, Jēkabpils, Liepāja and Rēzekne.

Considering that such a continuously open project competition for urgent and unpredictable interest representation activities in Latvia is a new experience for the civic responsible part of the population and their organizations, the work of the ACF regional coordinators in advising organizations has played an important role. During the first year, more than 100 consultations have been provided on the Action projects throughout Latvia, both helping to understand the specifics of the call and pointing out possible shortcomings and risks of the project. As Rasa Lazdiņa, the consultant of Riga and Riga region, concludes: “Often during the consultations we see that the project applicants have not fully understood the specifics of this call and their good civic initiative unfortunately does not correspond to the requirements of this call. However, we believe that any such consultation is important, as it helps achieve our mission as advisors: to ensure that as many organizations as possible are aware of this possibility, so that in the event of unforeseen emergencies, they know that the ACF offers such support.

Inese Siliņa, the manager of the ACF programme, also admits that it is very important to promote the residents’ faith in their own ability to create changes, but at the same time to preserve the basic aspect of the uniqueness and creation of this call: “We are aware that there is a high quality threshold in this call when it comes to criteria related to the relevance of the project idea to the focus of the call, but this is a deliberate decision to make this funding available to civil society only in very specific, very urgent situations which cannot wait for the previously known calls for proposals, because it is necessary to react as quickly as possible - here and now”.




The Action project call of the Active Citizens Fund for the implementation of urgent and unforeseen advocay initiatives will be available until February 28, 2023 or until all the funding provided for the call has been used. An application for implementation of an initiative in the form of a project may be submitted by and civic society organisation registered in Latvia, regardless of the time of establishment, place or financial capacity. The submitted applications are evaluated on average once every four months or sooner, if the project applicant has indicated that the project initiatives must be started as soon as possible and the ACF Board makes such a decision. The next evaluation process of submitted projects is planned for Dec 2, 2021 for the projects that will have been submitted by Dec 1, 2021, 23:59.



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