At the beginning of 2008, the Executive Board of PORAKA decided that in the first trimester of the year, workshops should be organized and realized in every municipality where PORAKA has local branch. The goal of the workshops is to review and determine the strategic directions for action on local level (needs, priorities and actions) in the period 2008 – 2010.
One of the continuous activities of the Republic Center fro Support of Persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA is coordination and methodological support of the activities of the local branches. The support that PORAKA provides for its local branches is directed to improvement of the work of the local branches, especially in the area of creation new social services and for providing the sustainability of the existing services. Also, support is provided for the activities of the local branches for realization of the human rights of the persons with intellectual disability on local level. This kind of support is organized on regular basis, on demand of the local branches or when PORAKA recognizes the need for support to some of the local branches, but also when new trends and innovative approaches occur in the working methods for the services and for the work of the local branches in general.
In this period, the need for methodological support for more effective realizations and enforcement of the program activities of the local branches has been identified. Therefore, the team of PORAKA has realized separate workshops in every local branch.16 workshops were held in the period February – March 2008. The goal of these workshops was to discuss the strategic plans for development of the local branches in the period 2008 – 2010. The workshops had different agenda, because the members of the local branches – the persons with intellectual disability and their families, are facing different problems in different municipalities. Also, the municipalities have different resources for overcoming the problems and the difficulties. Therefore, every local branch was setting up its own priorities and action plan for realization of these priorities.
The strategic planning and the strategic management are issues that have to be agreed by all stakeholders in the organization. Therefore, the workshops were organized as a debate between all relevant local actors: the parents – members of the Assemblies of the local organizations of PORAKA, the volunteers and staff from the services of PORAKA, the representatives of the local authorities and public institutions (centers for social work, schools, health services etc), and other interested citizens.
At the same time, the workshops were used for discussing issues and questions in regard to the organizational structure and statutory relations between the Republic center for support of persons with intellectual disability – PORAKA and its local branches, including the services. Also, answers were given to parents in regard to the rights their children with intellectual disability have within the systems for social protection, education, health care and employment.