2022 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
Union of Dannieh Municipalities: Engaging the citizen to be part of the Emergency Response Plan to fight against COVID-19
In 2020, to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union of Dannieh Municipalities created an Emergency Response plan from 15 committees of highly educated and specialized young volunteers to respond to the needs of the local community, in collaboration with the Union's 17 municipalities. He relied on the contributions of civil society for funding and support, as well as the use of technology, for data collection and communication, despite the difficult situation in Dannieh, effectively connecting volunteers and civil society and encouraging them to be more active and involved. The initiative discovered community empowerment as a tool for localizing sustainable development goals and bringing opportunities to the region, as well as a local solution that relies on youth to overcome the crisis. They played a key role in mitigating the crisis, and they went on to become an active body inside the union, participating in project execution and continuing after the crisis was well over. These committees worked to assure the needs of the residents despite the already challenges exacerbated by the crisis. They were divided according to their specializations and preferences into different committees, (15 committees), each of which has a specific work headed by a coordinator with several volunteers to perform the tasks assigned in a participatory approach. The Union has facilitated for them the necessary equipment, means of transportation, and methods of protection.
Subsequently, as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic and the inability of existing hospitals to respond to the urgent needs imposed, we recently established an advanced Medical Center to serve people infected by COVID -19, and to provide them with the necessary medical services under the supervision of a specialized team of doctors and nurses 24 hours a day. It is now a state- approved AstraZeneca Vaccine Center.
Furthermore, we have developed the Dannieh Sustainable Development Centre (DSDC), which serves as an incubator for MSME's, connecting, engaging, and initiating the people of Dannieh by giving chances for personal and economic growth
At the same time, due to the increased relevance of data in enabling connections and implementing initiatives, we established the Dannieh Center for Data and Statistics based on GIS to facilitate our mission.
All of our best practices contribute to achieving the SDGs and should be shared globally.
The main obstacle that has hindered our innovation from progress is the lack of awareness of locals and residences about COVID-19. Moreover, the lockdown has affected people’s work and income which made it harder to apply lockdown guidelines imposed by the government. Financing was also a challenge for our innovation because the budget is limited and the needs are excessive. Despites of these challenge, as for the region, the initiative can be considered as very innovative in terms of activities, people involved, and outcomes. It gave the youth the opportunity to play a role in their community and to feel responsible of themselves and others. They are now a part of the Union. Locals and residents became more cooperative and aware. The initiative did not stop at this point, it became the cornerstone for larger, more elaborate, and comprehensive projects. It is now more credible and includes more people and cover larger areas.
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