Association for Research, Communications and Development – PUBLIC
Public – association for research, communications and development is an independent, policy oriented-research and advocacy organization. They follow events in the field of social inclusion; social entrepreneurship, social innovation and social impact, with special emphasis on sociological phenomena that contribute to democratization processes in society. Their mission is to create positive social change by promoting social inclusion and participatory policy making, and their vision is to shape inclusive society with equal opportunities for marginalized groups.
What makes Public different than other organizations, is that they bring into public debate the insights of marginalized people. Public is publishing the street paper for sustainable development “Face to face”, from 2012, that is also a work integration social enterprise that today provides work engagement for 40 marginalized persons. If you were ever approached by a polite and smiling person offering you to buy the newest edition of the street paper “Face to Face” you have been introduced to the most recognized and most visible brand of “Public”. The street paper is the main tool to educate general audience on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goals. The magazine is an open platform for collaboration, co-creation, multi-stakeholder partnerships, progress, knowledge, activation among different social stakeholders such as communities, civil society, public institutions and the business sector.
“Face to Face” demonstrates in practice the bottom up approach “PUBLIC” uses in defining and developing public policies in the field of social inclusion. By constantly communicating with groups of vulnerable people they manage to identify their specific needs and challenges. This bottom up approach is completed with the strong partnerships with an increasing number of organizations and institution in the public, civil and the business sector.
Engaging audience, businesses, institutions, civil society, citizens, local municipalities and other stakeholders, Face to face represents a wide, open platform that raises awareness, activates and promotes important topics and issues that are left on the margins of mainstream media. Being a social enterprise, it also involves vulnerable people, providing them social inclusion through work integration, influencing them becoming active citizens.
The main programs of “Public” are: social inclusion, social economy and social change.
Social inclusion is the first pillar with main focus on providing support and advocacy for employment of marginalized groups in Macedonia and the region.
“We are highly devoted to promoting decent work for marginalized groups. We work with organizations, mostly social enterprises that work directly with socially excluded and persons with low educational attainment. We have developed an innovative program “social mentoring” that represent a structured, individualized approach to lead a marginalized person from exclusion towards inclusion. Since 2012, among the major achievements are the following: provided work engagement for more than 100 beneficiaries (persons with disabilities, homeless and youth from the street), 8 persons employed in the business sector and 6 vendors enrolled in secondary education.” – explains Klimentina ilijevski, Executive Director of Public.
Public is a leader in Macedonia in tracing the road to a developed eco-system for social enterprises both in the country and the region, through research, analysis, impact measurement, policy influence and capacity building.
„Through the years, by running our own social enterprise Face to face, through research and mapping existing social enterprise practice in Macedonia and direct work with social entrepreneurs we developed our institutional capacity to analyze the entire eco-system for social enterprises. Policies should be developed by the existing, it shouldn’t be the other way around. Following the conclusions from research and the inputs of social entrepreneurs we initiated the development of the National network of social enterprises (www.sen.mk). Afterwards, the Ministry of labour and social policies gave us the mandate to coordinate the process of developing the first National Strategy of Social Enterprises. The strategy was developed in the spirit of full participation and inclusiveness, including more than 120 stakeholders”. adds Klimentina.
As part of their effort to make social impact, PUBLIC has introduced the first innovative instrument for measuring social change which can be led by civil organizations, consequently enabling the civil organizations to identify their capacity to foster social change.
The organization is also implementing the change management methodology Theory U, developed by MIT professor Otto Scharmer and Presencing Institute.