Promise Made = Debt Unpaid

Call for proposals: Medium and large projects
Project duration: 1 Jan 2021–31 Dec 2022
Project budget: 97,020.00 EUR

The level of distrust in politics has traditionally been high in Slovenia. This deep-seated distrust driven by disappointment in politics represents an important part of the crisis of democracy, which in turn maintains low political participation of citizens and low legitimacy of decision-makers.

According to the Valicon survey The Mirror of Slovenia from November 2019, much less than half of the respondents trusted the government and the parliament (55% did not trust the government and 67% did not trust the parliament). In the Youth Study Slovenia 2018/2019 researchers found that “about a third of young people do not trust political institutions at all”.

Voter turnout rate has also been declining for the past 15 years. About half of the voters take part in the parliamentary elections, less than half in the presidential and local elections, and less than a third in the European elections. All this allows for a lack of political accountability at all political levels, both among political parties and their representatives as well as among employees at ministries.

To address the crisis of political responsibility, we will develop the online platform Promise Made = Debt Unpaid, a kind of a bulletin board of political promises and a constant reminder to politicians to take responsibility for their words and actions to their employers – the citizens. In order to raise public and political awareness of the importance of political accountability, we will combine civic-technological tools with investigative journalism.

At three consultations involving the general public, journalists, advocacy NGOs and civil society organizations, we will exchange information about the needs and wishes of our target stakeholders. This will facilitate the design of a methodology for monitoring political promises and a user-friendly online tool. We will also take care of the exchange of information and ideas between the project team and the public at three public editorial meetings with Oštro journalists.

We want this project to boost the political and electoral participation and engagement of the public.

The project will provide a mirror for politicians, reflecting the effort they make to achieve their goals. The platform will serve as a reminder that the public is following them closely, which will also increase their awareness of political responsibility.

Contact person: Anuška Zavrl Delić

Project promotor: Oštro, a center for investigative journalism in the Adriatic region

Project partner: Today Is a New Day – Institute for Other Studies (DJND)