Towards mutual understanding through advocacy

Svetlana Stefanović

25. November 2019

Towards mutual understanding through advocacy

Dialogue for the Future project activities continued on 24 October, when a thematic regional discussion: New Chances for Social Cohesion: Advocacy for a Better Cooperation was held in Novi Sad. Thematic regional discussion was held within the framework of the Regional Youth Leaders Forum. The aim of the joint regional program is to build confidence within the region through dialogue, to recommend policy and action recommendations in the field of common priorities, thus promoting social cohesion and intercultural understanding. Special focus has been placed on the needs of young people and the importance of their roles in creating the conditions for the implementation of a stable process that will focus on the future activities in the region.

Thematic regional discussion was opened by Svetlana Stefanovic, Program Coordinator of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence who presented the Dialogue for the Future project, as well as the activities carried out so far in Serbia. She highlighted the challenges that would contribute to the positive transformation of the current state of social cohesion in the three countries where the project is being implemented. The results of previous project activities, as well as the recommendations that were obtained internally, were also presented.

Interactive discussion in the second part of the panel was stimulated by Nebojsa Radic, an advocacy consultant and former media director of the Open Society Institute in New York. During the one-hour discussion, the concept of advocacy was presented, as well as its principles, modalities and examples of good practice. He is a participant in the process of mapping strategic processes, as a good starting point for advocacy. Mr Radić then outlined what can be advocated in order to successfully implement policies, both locally, nationally and regionally. Also, participants had the opportunity to identify, through conversation, personal examples of successful advocacy. Finally, future activities that will be organised as part of the Dialogue for the Future project were presented. Participants were also introduced to the U-Report platform, which was officially launched in Serbia and participants were invited to join it.

Joint Regional program “Dialogue for the Future: Fostering Dialogue and Social Cohesion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia”, is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO, financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (UN PBF).