The online platform www.mapthegap.net, created as part of the project of the same name, found its way to users thanks to a presentation given at the EU Info Centre by the NGO Montenegrin Youth Forum (MYF). The aim of the platform is to bring together relevant actors at the local level – the youth, public, and private and non-governmental sectors in order to solve local problems.

The project “MAP the GAP – Ways of Enhancing Youth Participation in Local Communities” is implemented by the Youth Council of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with the organisations: Young European Federalists of North Macedonia, Zone Franco from Italy, Youth Council of Slovenia, Montenegrin Youth Forum, Youth Council of Republika Srpska, The Toy Youth Association of Turkey, the National Parliament of Serbia, and the European Foundation Razwoy Czlowiek from Poland, are supported through the European Union’s Erasmus plus programme.

The project participant, Jelena Maras, spoke about the events within the project that preceded the creation of the platform. She said that the aim of the project was to find a modern and digital solution for linking relevant actors at the local level (the youth, government, private sector, and non-governmental sector) to solve local problems. The project duration is 18 months.

“Out of the planned five, four activities have been implemented so far. The fourth activity was the hackathon in Eskishekir, Turkey. On this occasion, IT experts, together with youth workers, developed innovative solutions to increase local youth activism. This web platform is the result of a series of activities: workshops, trainings, non-formal education, research, and hackathons,“ Maras explained.

The www.mapthegap.net web platform is aimed at networking decision makers, NGOs, the private sector, and the youth. A student from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and a project participant, Marko Vucurovic, explained how the presentation works.

“The basic idea from which the creators of the application were guided by is the lack of participation of young people in local communities, but also the reasons why this may be so. We, as participants in the project, had different ideas, and this platform brought everything together. It is innovative and provides an opportunity for young people to express themselves and identify some local problems, but also to connect with adequate competent institutions with the aim of solving or helping with the problem,” added Vucurovic.

Milica Zugic, the MYF Secretary General, added that the aim of the presentation was for everyone present to test the platform so that it could be refined and ready for use starting April.

“What we need from you is  feedback, describing the problems you had while using the platform, or what you liked and what you didn’t like about. This information will be sent to the developers so that they can refine the platform and make it fully functional,” said Zugic.

The final conference within the project will be held in Sarajevo at the end of March.During the conference, representatives of partner organisations will talk about the resolved local initiatives, a finalised platform will be presented to the general public, as well as two brochures created within the project.