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Istanbul Covenant - Annual Report 2015

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The annual report of 2015 activities and commitments for 2016

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Istanbul Covenant - Annual Report 2015

  2. 2. Istanbul for All Intiative (IHG) - 3 Main Goals • Support citizen participation in local government • Facilitate citizen monitoring of local government • Develop an understanding of the need to monitor; and create an environment conducive to citizen monitoring of local government (its institutions, bureaucrats and elected officials) The “Istanbul for All İntiative” has 3 Main Goals
  3. 3. IHG - MISSION • Guiding document is the “Istanbul Covenant” • Independent of all political parties and governments • Main goal is to create awareness around the concept of subsidiarity • Supports initiatives and policies which promote citizen participation. Aims to create knowledge around this topic and make it easily accessible for public access • Identifies initiatives which will strengthen local administrations and render them sustainable; then develop these areas to the extent that İHG’s resources permit
  4. 4. # Towards a new understanding of governance # To redefine our rights in Istanbul’s changing urban climate # To reestablish our ties to the past # To plan for the future together ISTANBUL COVENANT – “a civilian urban constitution”
  5. 5. Istanbul Covenant Brochure I live in Istanbul I am signing the Istanbul Covenant so that I may live in a better Istanbul. With its its greenery, its waterfront, its culture and history my city is an important part of the world heritage; I am responsible for its future and its development. My neighborhood, with my neighbors and all its colors, is a shared space and I vow to hold on to it. We deserve honest and transparent governance: I want to partcicipate.
  6. 6. As signatories to this covenant, we want to assume responsibility and participate in the decision making process focused on Istanbul’s development, administration and future. We take responsibility for of our city and we ask that those who are candidates for administering our city also take responsibility for it it. No matter which political party is in power, our expectation is that our city will be governed in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity, participatory democracy and transparency. And we, both the governed and those who govern, promise to work together in keeping with the principles outlined in the Covenant. To read and sign the Istanbul Covenant click here. ISTANBUL COVENANT – “a civilian urban Constitution”
  7. 7. ISTANBUL COVENANT PROCESS Prior to the 30 March local elections: • More than 20,000 citizens • 3 İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayoral Candidates, and • more than 50 local mayoral candidates signed the İstanbul Covenant • 6 other cities have developed covenants of their own modeled on the İstanbul Covenant. Following local elections: • We are monitoring the progress made by the mayoral candidates who won the elections, using the principles laid out in the Istanbul Covenant; • we are working to increase the visibility of the Istanbul Covenant; and • to get citizens to take ownership of the Istanbul Covenant.
  8. 8. We are signatories to the Istanbul Covenant because each signature is a pledge from one citizen to the other to work towards a better Istanbul. Every pledge that we make is also an open invitation to those who are candidates to govern the city: “We ask that you sign this Covenant first as a citizen; then as candidate, promising to adhere to the principles laid out in this document,” We citizens are signing the Covenant and with each signature we are saying to those who administer our city, “I’m watching you.“ Istanbul Covenant Brochure
  9. 9. 4 of the mayors elected on 30 March have signed the Istanbul Covenant: • Adalar Mayor Atilla Aytaç • Beşiktaş Mayor Murat Hazinedar • Kadıköy Mayor Aykurt Nuhoğlu • Şişli Mayor Hayri İnönü We have met with these Mayors and have informed them that that we will be monitoring and reporting on their adherence to the principles laid out in the Istanbul Covenant. Our initiative in this area continues. Istanbul Covenant Brochure
  10. 10. PROJECTS WHICH HAVE BEEN COMPLETED IN THE AREAS OF STRENGTHENING LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND LOCAL PARTICIPATION When my neighborhood is governed well, Istanbul is governed well. “Meet your Muhtar” Project and the Report on the Muhtarlik Institution What You Can/Should Do Right Now Public and local administration Expert Local Governance: Stories of Success
  11. 11. 7 ways to participate in your local government 1. Meet your muhtar (neighborhood official) 2. Become a member of your neighborhood council 3. Volunteer for municipal neighborhood duties 4. Participate in the development of the strategic plan for your municipality 5. Monitor the workings of the municipal institutions dedicated to gender equality 6. Monitor the workings of the City Council 7. Sign the İstanbul Covenant Infographics and videos available; social media activity Click here for the infographics WHAT YOU CAN DO HERE AND NOW FOR TRANSPARENT AND PARTİCİPATORY LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  12. 12. In the spirit of participatory local government, the aim of this project is to: • encourage the citizens of Istanbul to get to know the muhtars responsible for their own neighborhood; • through visits with muhtars, develop an understanding of the current situation on the ground Sample findings: • Political parties are taking over the services provided by (-or- responsibilities of) muhtars. • The influence of muhtars over their neighborhoods is being weakened (by the central government.) • Muhtars have little confidence in participatory democracy. • Neighborhoods are becoming increasingly politicized and polarized. (Infographics and videos, social media activity, local visits and reports.) To read the report on the findings from the muhtar visits, click here (Turkish). ** Muhtar: elected official with primary responsibility for the neighborhood: a non political position unique to Turkey GET TO KNOW YOUR MUHTAR**
  13. 13. We have collected success stories on local government and citizen participation from Istanbul and other provinces to help spread the word. Success stories from: • Antalya City Council • Bursa Nilüfer Municipality Neighborhood Committees • Çanakkale Fevzipaşa Neighborhood Initiative • Sahrayıcedit Neighborhood Parliament • Silivri Neighborhood Council (Video, social media activity, and visits with local officials.) Click here to watch the videos of these success stories. LOCAL GOVERNANCE: STORIES OF SUCCESS
  14. 14. To promote understanding of the responsibilities of local municipalities and increase citizen participation, we interviewed subject matter expert Fikret Toksöz (academic, governance specialist.) Sample Questions: • Why should citizens participate in local government? • Where are the decisions regarding my neighborhood taken? • Where do I direct my complaints regarding zoning plans on my street? Videos and social media activity Click here to watch the Fikret Bey videos ASK FİKRET BEY: WHAT EXACTLY IS LOCAL GOVERNMENT?
  15. 15. AUDITING THE MUNICIPALITY BUDGET • Working with the group Kamu Harcamalarını İzleme Platformu (Platform for Monitoring Public Spending) we have begun a fiscal review of the the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. • This fiscal review of the Istanbul municipalities encompasses the 7- year period from 2006 to 2013. The final report will provide the public with easy access to a comparison of the budget with actual spending; sources of income; and a breakdown of the long term debt for their local municipality. Click here to access the “Kamu Harcamalarını İzleme Platformu" website:
  17. 17. • Everyday Istanbulites are witnesses to bulldozers and cars polluting our air and seas; and stealing (appropriating) our green spaces resulting in the loss of our quality of life. We want to put a stop to this. • To document the losses and the damage being done to our city; and to encourage Istanbulites to reflect on their relationship with their city, IHG organized a photo contest the theme of which was “ISTANBUL FOR NO ONE” • To ensure maximum participation and make it easy for people to participate in the contest, contestants were asked to submit their entries via Instagram. • The jury, comprised of world famous photogapher Ara Güler, Murat Germen, Selva Gürdoğan, İpek Akpınar and Levent Erden, selected the top 3 photographs from among the more than 1200 entries received. An additional 7 photographs were deemed worthy of an honourable mention and 100 were selected to be exhibited. IN A CHANGİNG İSTANBUL, WHAT IS THERE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO LOSE? Done
  18. 18. • Municipalities are legally bound to develop their strategic plans within the 6-month period following local elections. We informed all the municipalities of our desire to participate in the strategic plan development process. • We received a positive response from 3 of the municipalities. We have shared our thoughts and recommendations on participatory, local and transparent governance with these municipalities. Click here to read our evaluation of the Şişli Municipality Strategic Plan. PARTICIPATING in the DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL MUNICIPAL STRATEGIC PLANS
  19. 19. WHAT WE WEREN’T ABLE TO ACHIEVE THIS PAST YEAR • We have not achieved our target for increasing citizen awareness of participatory local government. • We have been less than successful in promoting our initiatives. The intensity of the national agenda and lack of interest on the part of the media are two important reasons for this. We need to develop creative solutions to overcome these obstacles. • While we have faced serious challenges promoting our initiatives and our goals locally, our work on strengthening local democracy has resonated with a variety of EU institutions.
  20. 20. OUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT TERM • During the 2015 general elections, we asked the Istanbul MP candidates to sign the Istanbul Covenant. Furthermore, we will ask them to put the major issues facing Istanbul on the Parliamentary agenda. We will also be evaluating their performance vis-a-vis their commitment to the principles outlined in the Istanbul Covenant. • Focus on the effective use of social media to promote awareness of subsidiarity. • Continue to promote citizen awareness of and increase knowledge on citizen participation in local government. All of our initiatives will be presented in an easy to access “Guide to Participating in Local Government.”