Make a team
If you want to put together an OCM first, make a team. One person alone could manage the website of the OCM in a medium-sized town, but the OCM project is more than a website: it is cultural shift that requires citizens to know about and learn how to use the tool. It is processing the citizens’ enquiries, it is managing email and social media to keep neighbours in touch. It is about dealing with the town council and fighting for results. In short, an OCM is about making transparency and participation a reality in the municipality. And all of this is hard for just one person to do alone.
Building a team
At the end of the day it simply means to bringing together a group of people who like the project, normal people like any of us, who sympathize with the purposes of the OCM and feel glad to offer any of the following:
“OMG, that’s a lot! But right now I’m alone, where can I start?”
We suggest contacting groups, entities and people in your town who may especially like the idea of setting up an observatory: Neighbours’ Associations, Social Centers, local assemblies, entities working in economical subjects and/or transparency, local reporters…Be creative!!
It’s about finding the people who may dedicate a small amount of their free time for an empowering initiative for the neighbourhood of their town. It’s not about making intensive efforts, but about being constant.
Ask us for help
Be sure that from PACD we can put you in contact with people who, like you, have shown interest to carry out an OCM in their municipality. Once you have a group of people interested in the project, you can ask us to do presentations or workshops to solve any doubts you might have.
Evaluate your town council
While you are setting up your OCM, we suggest to assess what is the situation in your town council regarding transparency ans citizens’ participation. Remember this is the reason why we want to make a citizen’s observatory in the first place, to pressure it to get better.
Here you can find a document made by citizens who have started with the first steps in their municipality.