Strengthening the Watchdog Role of Minority Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo

Strengthening the Watchdog Role of Minority Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo

Background:

Currently, governance on minority issues in Kosovo suffers from a lack of accountability and transparency, with minority civil society playing a weak role in this process due to their low capacity, experience and resources. On paper, the legal framework and institutions created for the protection of minority communities in Kosovo are very comprehensive. However, to date there is little evidence that individuals are feeling the benefits of these laws and policies in their everyday lives. Sources continue to point to the unequal treatment of minorities across Kosovo society, from restricted access to essential services such as social security, health care and education to ongoing problems in accessing personal identification.

There is thus an observable gap between Kosovo’s legislative and institutional framework for the protection of minority rights and the actual situation facing minority communities in Kosovo. The civil society sector should be playing an active role in monitoring government activities and holding it accountable to its performance, but is often plagued by uneven and weak capacities to play this ‘watchdog’ function. In spite of plans to formulate a more constructive approach and collaboration between government and civil society, several challenges thus remain to ensure that civil society can effectively fulfil its role as a key actor in the development and strengthening of a pluralistic and accountable democracy in Kosovo.

Objective of the project:

Overall goal: Strengthen the ‘watchdog’ role of minority civil society in ensuring transparency and accountability of public authorities

Specific objectives:

  1. To create a civil society driven monitoring and evaluation system of minority rights, specifically pertaining to local government.
  2. To strengthen civil society’s capacities to monitor, evaluate and advocate for minority rights obligations.
  3. To improve the communication of CSOs’ activities to the general public and governmental institutions.

Activities:

Activity 1: A monitoring and evaluation system will be developed and implemented, resulting in two evaluation reports. Each report will evaluate minority rights implementation by Kosovo’s public authorities in general, while at the same time analyzing a specific issue, such as language rights, discrimination or education, in more detail.

Activity 2: ECMI Kosovo will implement a capacity building program to increase minority CSOs’ awareness and strengthen their ability to effectively monitor, evaluate and advocate for minority rights implementation by public authorities.

Activity 3: In order to ensure that follow-up takes place based on the findings of the monitoring and evaluation actions, advocacy activities will be organized by ECMI Kosovo in cooperation with participating CSOs.

Geographic coverage: The project will be implemented in the following municipalities: Graçanicë/Gračanica, Kllokot/Klokot, Leposaviq/Leposavić, Mitrovicë e Veriut/ North Mitrovica, Novobërdë/Novo Brdo, Partesh/Parteš, Ranillug/Ranilug, Shtërpcë/Štrpce.

Implementation period:

1 October 2015 – 31 March 2017

Funding:

This project is funded by Advancing Kosovo Together – Local Solution, a USAID funded Program


Contact person:

Gazmen Salijević

Project Coordinator

salijevic@ecmikosovo.org

+377 (0) 44 777 751

+381 (0) 38 224 473

 
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