Digital Advocacy #DEVPOLHACK 2022 – Belgrade


In September 2022, Helvetas Eastern and Southeastern Europe hosted the 4th Regional Advocacy Network Meeting in Belgrade, bringing together passionate individuals and organizations committed to driving positive change in the region. Among the workshop’s events was the #DevPolHackBelgrade, a collaborative space where participants tackled a real challenge using co-creation and innovative thinking. Practitioners from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Austria co-designed solutions responding to the challenges of the partnership between citizens and government on service delivery!

#DevPolHackBelgrade took place in a hybrid manner in two sequenced sessions (problem identification and solution ideations). Three challenges were identified out of four applications. The challenges were identified by applying How might we (action) (audience) (insight) (end results)? approach.

The qualified challenge was: How we might use digital advocacy tools to make waste management across Albania a service that is owned and delivered not only by relevant institutions but also influenced and monitored by citizens?

The Proposed Change

Four teams (approx. 7-8 members) of various backgrounds (project and partners from various nationalities) proposed 4 interventions. The teams went through a process of (i) ideation; (ii) reverse idea: creativity phase; (iii) idea development. A resource person/mentor (representing the client) was associated with each team. A jury, composed of core beneficiaries and field experts, selected the best idea after an online pitching session.

The winning solution was proposed by the Voyage group “Welcome to Dino’s World.” (https://1drv.ms/b/s!AtPUHtd1AThmuRfe1YkVOQLE2O91?e=hwlTgJ) The solution will be implemented in Albania by Tirana Municipality through Strong Municipality Project, funded by SDC.

Lessons Learned

#DevPolHack Belgrade showed the power of reverse ideas! The group dynamic peaked when “evil” ideas were transformed into good ones! Additionally, #DevPolHack Belgrade discovered the power of good questions. Sometimes the process of formulating a meaningful question can be time-consuming, requiring analytical thinking, changing views, innovative approaches, embracing failure and moving forward, and thinking out of the box.

The # DevPolHack Belgrade showcased the power of collective problem-solving and innovation in advocating for positive change. Solving together is better!