“In the framework of the LADDER project, the job shadowing experience proved to be an excellent opportunity for intercultural exchange and understanding” stated Maja Knezevic from SKGO (Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, Serbia) at the end of her short-term mission at NALAG (the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia) in Tbilisi.
The LADDER project is currently investing in capacity building and peer-to-peer education activities, including an ongoing job shadowing initiative that involves all co-applicants of the consortium. The job shadowing initiative consists in a four-day working experience that aims at fostering peer-to-peer exchanges of ideas and best-practices on DEAR (Development Education and Awareness Raising) programme. The main goal is to promote cooperation between the host and guest organizations, and increase peer-to-peer learning in the field of development education.
During her recent job shadowing experience at NALAG in Tbilisi, Maja Knezevic participated in several meetings with local authorities and NGOs representatives and acquired a better understanding of the programs and initiatives promoted by NALAG. Georgian and Serbian systems of local government were deeply discussed and compared, with a special focus on the implementation of strategies for culture and gender equality at the local level. According to Maja’s final impressions, one of the best achievements has been discovering “the differences and similarities between Serbian and Georgian people, systems and histories”. As a result, Maja would like to introduce NALAG’s best practice to encourage experiences of intercultural exchange and dialogue among colleagues and partners at SKGO organisation.
Along the same lines, during her job shadowing experience at Birgu Municipality in Malta, Mariana Ivanova from UBBSLA (Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities) particularly enjoyed the “absolutely amazing atmosphere” characterizing the final phase of the Birgu Fest 2016 organization. The Birgu Fest 2016 is an annual event proposing activities on environment protection and promoting cultural heritage as well as moments of social interaction. According to Mariana’s feedback, this successful event, based on the personal contribution of both local community and tourists, is a valid showcase of the potential achievements that a cooperative approach could reach in DEAR field of action.