5 988 municipal experts trained through NAMRB project
In 2018 the project "Improving the capacity of public servants to deliver quality services” implemented by NAMRB was successfully completed. It was supported by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The project budget was over 2.3 million euro. The project activities were performed for 28 months period, starting from 1st of September 2016 to 31st of December 2018.
The project main target group were municipal experts from all 265 municipalities in Bulgaria in specific municipal activities directly related to the basic public services. It main goal was to increase the knowledge, skills and qualifications of employees in the municipal administration to improve the professional and expert municipalities management. It also had to strengthened the role of NAMRB as information and training center for the development of the municipal administration and increasing the qualifications and capacity of municipal employees in the areas of their competence in order to be able to provide high-quality public services. It contributed to the expanding of municipal capacity to develop and implement effective local policies, to improve the organization and to enhance the quality of the public services provided to citizens and business, and also to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth and employment.
The main project activities were: trainings, upgrade of existing NAMRB internet platform and conduction of distance trainings though it, as well as the development of practical Handbooks.
For the trainings ten training modules were elaborated in the following thematic areas: "Municipal property; "Territory development"; "Disaster prevention"; "Public order and security"; "Education"; "Social activities"; "Local taxes"; "Municipal budgets"; "Waste management" and "Water management". The training materials were entirely practical, focused on innovations and good practices. They also combined theoretical foundation with practical case studies and examples, presented in an easy-to-understand manner.
The trainings were held from February to October 2018. The interest to them by the municipal experts was very high. Totally 180 trainings were conducted with the participitation of 5 462 municipal experts. All costs for trainings participation were covered by the project, except for the travel expenses to the trainings venues and vice versa. 15 Bulgarian cities were hosts of the trainings. The participants rated as positive the trainings conduction in various venues throughout the country, which allowed them to choose the most appropriate one and thus to minimize their absences from work.
According to the evaluation data, over 80% of participants in the training said they were very interesting and useful. As the most useful are ranked discussions and practical activities, followed by lectures. Most of the trainees emphasized that the presence of more practical case studies and more debates on the legal system in the training will make them even more useful. The trainers were 21 experts from local and central administration.
The distance training sessions took place within 4 weeks in the period October-November 2018 and they were organized on the new Internet platform for distance learning https://obuchenie.namrb.org/ . More than 310 municipal experts, who want to pass through individual courses participated. The trainees appreciated the distance form, as an extremely convenient, as it can be implemented with minimal time and resources. Each participant had access to materials and tests from his/her own computer and could choose independently the most convenient for his/her tempo of work.
All trainees received certificates, after the successful competion of the final test. In the final stage of the project 10 practical Handbooks on the core trainings modules were developed. The manuals are posted on the internet platform for training and can be used for free.