The innovative instrument Civil Rights Watch, created by the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” (BSoP), was presented at the forum “Policies and new instruments for civic and NGO participation” organized by BlueLink and Obshtestvo.bg. Civil Rights Watch is an interactive internet page, where, through the completion of a series of tests, anyone interested could check his or her knowledge on how the institutions in the country function and to what extent he or she knows his/her rights and obligations as a citizen. The project aims to measure the level of people’s knowledge about their civil rights and to strengthen their desire to actively participate in the process of decision-making.
“We started making Civil Rights Watch with the idea that people are not aware enough of their constitutional rights, but the results so far proved us wrong” – said the Executive Director of the BSoP Irina Alexieva, who told how the idea was born, what is the intention of the website and how does it work. Although it is rather soon to draw conclusions, yet some facts can be mentioned.
From the launch of the website on 25th November 2015 until now, over 1650 people have completed the tests and the analyses point that we know best the areas “Rule of Law” and “Local authorities”, i.e. the issues that affects us directly. The question: “Who ensures the public order in the country?” proved to be the most difficult one. Barely 11% of the respondents have given a correct answer.
The average achieved performance of correct answers in the completed tests is 79.50%, which shows a good knowledge of the Constitution.
The meeting “Policies and new instruments for civic and NGO participation” was intended to present existing and new electronic tools for the promotion and support of citizens’ participation in the process of decision-making, the opportunities they have of direct contact and impact on the institutions’ actions and on the policies that regulate them. The forum was attended by representatives of civic initiatives and by citizens with a proven interest in the active use of online opportunities for interaction and feedback to the institutions.
If you haven’t completed the Civil Rights Watch yet, you can do it by following the link: http://grajdanomer.bg