During MCESD Council meetings, it has been noted that there are information gaps in certain sectors, especially when our members are forwarding any policy recommendations for a more sustainable economic growth. Apart from this, it is of paramount importance that from time to time we hear what are the present needs of society and on which sectors we should focus our attention. Two members of the MCESD Council are representatives of the Civil Society Committee and the Gozo Regional Committee. These two members represent a wide array of organizations. For this reason, it is deemed that the best way to extract a wide spectrum of needs and ideas is to use these two committees and reach for the members of voluntary organizations and the general public.

The main aim of this project, which is funded through ESF funds, is to involve the general public to address information gaps and empower the Gozo Regional Committee and the Civil Society Committee. This project will include two actions, one to be carried in Gozo, focusing on the Gozo Regional Committee (GRC) and the other action to be held in Malta, focusing on the Civil Society Committee (CSC). Each action will include public hearings open for the general public, plenary session open for the members of GRC and CSC and recommendation reports, which will be issued focusing on delivering a set of research themes. These will be presented to Council wherein Government is a member and will eventually be published on MCESD website. MCESD will emphasise the need to address the information gaps, for which in collaboration with local research institutions, it will prepare for future research projects.

The need for civil society to be engaged is unquestionable since it confers legitimacy on policy decisions and increases the pool of policy ideas. Public involvement and partnerships continue to legitimise and enhance the social and civil dialogue process and through the public hearings, MCESD will have the opportunity to reach at the grass roots level of civil society and widen dialogue. This will help CSC and GRC as well as the Council to have direct feedback from members of the public.