Projects

This activity aims to identify the best and most tangible ways and initiatives of enhancing regional cooperation in the Western Balkans by identifying and focusing on the most significant regional initiatives which can bring about practical benefits for all citizens in the region, as many are unaware of the many initiatives in the region and the benefits they bring. The three-year project “Elevate peace & state building agenda and advancing European agenda” targets a broad range of stakeholders who affect change, such as civil society, governments, political parties and media.

Overall Objective: Elevate peace, state-building, and European agenda, through consensus building, inclusive policymaking, expert input, increasing political and societal support for peace, educating political representatives, supporting regional cooperation, and advancing the implementation of reforms.
Through this project BPRG will provide an opportunity for all leaders, elected men and women, important public figures, ombudsperson, constitutional courts and other institutions, local actors and personalities and international supporters to be a major part in the locally led campaign and forum to promote the change of the quota. This project aims at providing information in an accessible language to reach a public beyond the gender specialists. Men and women with varying knowledge and levels of gender awareness and gender analysis skills need to know about the range of possibilities and legal requirements. This project will produce one of the biggest outreach campaigns that will push for the initiation of changing the quota. BPRG will later help the government and the assembly in the process of amending legislation. The campaign will serve the purpose of brining the quota change issue back to the agenda and mobilise support for it.

Overall Objective: Promoting the change of the women representation quota by launching a digital campaign calling for change and endorsing Gender Equality.
This project aims to further strengthen the Women Caucus’ impact and expand its reach throughout Kosovo’s seven (7) districts. The Project activities aim to establish networks with the minority women in the municipal Assemblies in addressing gender issues both at the local and national level. The project will improve media representation of the work of women MPs and initiate public discourse at the local and national level, forging a sustainable relationship between the caucus and the media through continuous activities (e.g. conferences, workshops and televised interviews).

Overall Objective: Strengthen the Regional Outreach and the Media Relationship of the Women Caucus.
This project aims to advance Kosovo’s EU Agenda through strengthening institutions, and regional cooperation with participation from all levels of society. The two year project targets a broad range of stakeholders who can affect change, such as civil society, governments, political parties and media. Activities encourage and promote participation from women, ethnic minorities and youth to fully empower decision making processes and build a culture of inclusion. The project is structured into three major components, Political Dialogue, Regional Cooperation and Enhancing Checks and Balances.

Planned activities foresee high level, roundtables, research, capacity building, providing expertise, partnership building and outreach.

Specific Objectives: Foster dialogue and consensus of political parties by encouraging inclusion of women, youth and civil society and educate future political leaders. Promote and support dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, bi-lateral relations between Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina, and enhance regional cooperation by engaging institutions, media and civil society. Strengthen good governance and rule of law through research and debate of legal gaps and construct harmony between the constitution, political system and governing branches.
This grant supports BPRG to enhance its impact on the Policy Dialogue, Policy Forum and the dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. With regards to the latter component, one of the main project aims is to advance cooperation between CSOs of Kosovo and Serbia, and mobilise efforts to support a formal consortium of think-tankers whose aim will be to support the normalisation of relations between the two states and societies.

This grant has resulted in the formation of the Think Tankers Policy Forum (BPRG, KCSS and D4D)

And the Kosovo Serbia Policy Advocacy Group (KSPAG)

Objectives:

The Project aims to achieve greater impact of think tank production through four separate but mutually supportive component:

Policy Dialogue

In reaction to the persistent political crisis, BPRG has designed and launched a locally-driven Policy Dialogue between the ruling parties and the opposition in hopes of halting the crisis and achieving a reform-driven agreement. The Dialogue roundtable was successfully launched in March 2016 by BPRG, where we act as an impartial mediator and facilitator, as well as an adviser on expert policy matters. The project timeframe of Policy Dialogue is one to three years starting March 2016. The aim is to foster political stability and establish a culture of dialogue cooperation between political actors, institutions and CSOs.

Policy Forum

Balkans Group is in the course of establishing a POLICY FORUM, a high-level advocacy of think-tankers in Kosovo. Bearing in mind the limited capacity of the civil society to impact policy change, BPRG took the lead to develop a project aimed at amplifying the ability of CSOs to affect policy-making. We plan to initiate a dialogue between think tanks and institutions, through joint publications, joint research and advocacy initiatives with fellow CSOs. Through this intervention, we aim to pool expertise of think tanks on cross-cutting issues, produce common research and policy papers, organise coordinated and joint public events, and to mobilise institutions to work on topics that consolidate Kosovo’s state. This activity will strengthen local think tanks’ ability to effectively advocate on their way to becoming sufficiently empowered to trigger change at the state-level. Dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia

Dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia

The Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia has been severely criticised by the opposition and civil society in Kosovo, where nationalism has already gained grounds against what is perceived as a corrupt governing elite making too many concessions to Belgrade. BPRG, on the other hand, perceives any setbacks to the Dialogue as damaging to the fledgling state of Kosovo, and plans to engage think tanks in Kosovo and Serbia in designing and developing joint programmes that are conducive to the normalisation of relations. We are hopeful that the project will conclude with the establishment of a joint consortium between local think tanks and their counterparts in Serbia. Indeed, BPRG has already initiated and spearheaded drafting of a joint letter by Kosovo and Serbian think tanks calling on the EU institutions and member states to support civil society in its efforts to enhance normalization of relations between the two countries at state-to-state level but also at societal levels. The initiative arose an interest of the EU High Representative to support creation of a consortium of Kosovo and Serbian CSOs for the normalisation of relations, under the leadership of the Balkans Group.

Policy Reporting

BPRG is committed to continuing to produce quality reports based on field research, and to actively advocate for institutional reform and policy-change. We aim to utilise our expertise to support progress in areas crucial to Kosovo’s state building and EU integration efforts, namely institution-building democratic consolidation, community integration and reconciliation and rule of law.
Led by BPRG, this project seeks to promote and communicate the benefits of the EU facilitated technical dialogue on the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia to the wider public by focusing on a number of communication and outreach activities, peer to peer cooperation, research and local engagement.

Objectives include:

Broaden the support for the Belgrade-Pristina EU facilitated dialogue Review the citizens perspective on the dialogue and its processes Facilitate cooperation and networking among youth, CSOs, opinion makers and media Enhance communication and foster citizen’s progressive perspective Establish a standing group of CSOs and think tanks capable of advocacy and support The Kosovo Serbia Policy Advocacy Group, will implement this action and is composed of 8 regional CSOs: Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG), Democracy for Development (D4D), Kosovo Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), and NGO AKTIV in Kosovo; Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), European Movement in Serbia (EMinS), Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP), Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) in Serbia.
This project aims to advance Kosovo’s EU Agenda through strengthening institutions, and regional cooperation with participation from all levels of society. The two year project targets a broad range of stakeholders who can affect change, such as civil society, governments, political parties and media. Activities encourage and promote participation from women, ethnic minorities and youth to fully empower decision making processes and build a culture of inclusion. The project is structured into three major components, Political Dialogue, Regional Cooperation and Enhancing Checks and Balances.
Planned activities foresee high level, roundtables, research, capacity building, providing expertise, partnership building and outreach.

Specific Objectives:
– Foster dialogue and consensus of political parties by encouraging inclusion of women, youth and civil society and educate future political leaders.
– Promote and support dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, bi-lateral relations between Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina, and enhance regional cooperation by engaging institutions, media and civil society.
– Strengthen good governance and rule of law through research and debate of legal gaps and construct harmony between the constitution, political system and governing branches.
Nëpërmjet hulumtimit nga zyra dhe në terren, projekti synonte të kuptonte dhe lehtësonte ndërtimin e një ambienti më të favorshëm për hulumtim, shkollim, dhe inovim, me fokus të veçantë në ngritjen e kapaciteteve për absorbimin e mjeteve të BE-së për rajonin e Ballkanit Perëndimor. Vlerësimi rajonal ndikoi drejtpërsëdrejti në komunikim me institucionet relevante shtetërore, me qëllim të vënies në pah dhe investimit në zonat e shënjestuara. BPRG e udhëhoqi komponentin kosovar.
The overall goal of the project is to improve the capacity of journalists for reporting on the rule of law progress in Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina and to support better inter-sectoral cooperation between bar chambers, journalists and civil society within each country and in the region. In order to achieve the overall goal specific objectives will be:
  • Tracking the quality of media reporting on specific issues
  • Empowering professional journalists for professional reporting and respect for the presumption of innocence, protection of minors, securing the identity of protected witnesses, etc.
  • Raise the level of communication and exchange of information between advocates who are well introduced to fair trial standards and journalists
  • Creating a sustainable united front for tracking the rule of law implementation in all five partner countries
  • Creating new lines of communications between bar chambers in the region and CSOs
The project is aimed at strengthening BPRG’s internal capacities (i.e. provision of staff trainings, acquisition of statistical software) and improving the quality of its outputs. The grant enables BPRG to fully utilise its existing and incoming human capacity and increase its ability to successfully advocate for policy change. Objectives: The proposed project seeks to achieve the following objectives:
  • Enhance the quality of research outputs of BPRG experts by acquiring advanced quantitative skills and tools
  • Boost the development of a new programmatic area and complement the existing expertise with the necessary instruments for high quality research and analysis
  • Develop tools and human resources for better visibility and impact of BPRG’s work
  • Employ innovative tools to increase the interest of institutions, media and public in the work of BPRG
  • Consolidate internal governance structures to fully utilise the potential of the Board of Trustee and the Advisory Board for contributing to BPRG’s further development.
The project is aimed at encouraging reforms that contribute to democratic consolidation through an improvement in the quality and intensity of civic engagement in policy-making. The project activities (i.e. Policy Forum, briefings and policy one-pagers) are intended to offer policy alternatives to the most burning institutional problems, foster informed public debate on major issues, pool their resources and advocacy influence to effect tangible change, and fill in existing gaps in institutional functioning.
Objectives:
The specific goals of the programme are to; Improve the ability of civil society to advocate to policy change by enacting innovative advocacy tools
Enhance the quality of public policy-making and decision-making by increasing expert input from civil society on specific policy issues related to institution-building, rule of law, and public administration Encourage more active citizen participation in public debates through provision of accessible information on major policy questions, and foster the ability of citizens to hold institutions accountable Encourage administrative procedural reforms as a means of improving public confidence in and attitudes towards institutions (local and central).
Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG)facilitates the Mediation Dialogue between leaders of the government and the opposition in Kosovo since march 2016. BPRG became the first and only local organisation to succeed in bringing senior political leadership of the five key parliamentary parties to the negotiating table. As an independent and impartial think tank, BPRG was able to successfully steer political developments towards stability and a more democratic approach.

The purpose of this project is to:

To include minorities in the process of fostering a culture of dialogue that strengthens political stability and democratic principles;
To involve parliamentary and women caucuses on building consensus on key policy issues; to reach consensus on key EU-integration reforms;
To strengthen the role of youth in politics and contribute to a new wave of changes within political parties.
The project consists of a comprehensive communication campaign aimed at increasing civic awareness on the consequences of extremism and religious radicalism in Kosovo. The main activities (i.e. FDGs, open debates) located in the municipalities of Ferizaj, Vushtrri and Drenas, where a high number of fighters joined to fight for jihad in Syria and Iraq.

Project Objectives:

To affect Actions/Behaviors: Encourage target audiences to seek more information about the consequences of extremism and religious radicalism and proactively take preventive measures to prevent extremism in cooperation with relevant institutions and partners.

To affect Social Norms: Promote the prevention and report radicalisation amongst our target audiences, in all stages of the recruitment process. This includes preventing and reporting recruitment sites, identifying their goals, beliefs, means of persuasion, etc.  Our campaign will also try to affect social norms so that our target audience talks to their peers about the great risks of becoming directly involved in terrorist activities.

Raise public awareness and knowledge about the consequences of radicalism and the importance of countering VE ideologies in both words and practice. In close collaboration with other teams, “Support the Promise” will offer audiences an opportunity to learn about extremism and religious radicalism, as well as voice their concerns and address the relevant questions in the post-campaign forums that we organise.
BPRG will be developing an Advocacy Strategy to help implement the 4-year programme for institutionalisation and social inclusion of the RAE community needs. BPRG will serve as their primary advocacy channel in advancing dialogue with central government and donor community.

The project is led by HEKS Foundation and implemented by Terre des hommes, Delegation in Kosovo and Voice of Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian (VoRAE) covering country wide with specific municipalities depending on the intervention. In order to achieve successful institutionalisation of interventions that have proven to be successful in improving the quality of life of RAE communities in Kosovo, the implementers are supported by the Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG) in the advocacy efforts towards the social inclusion and integration of RAE communities in Kosovo.

The overall objective of the project is to improve social inclusion and living conditions of the RAE communities. This shall be achieved by fostering a policy dialogue, consolidating, up-scaling (crowding-in) and institutionalisation of interventions that were tested and proved successful in the previous phase. The main fields of interventions of the project are policy dialogue, migration counselling, child protection, education, settlement/house-upgrading, employment and income.

Objectives of the mandate

Provide detailed feedback on the institutionalisation plan prepared by the implementers
Facilitate the high-level advocacy activities regarding the institutionalisation undertaken by the implementers
Support the implementers in developing an advocacy strategy for the implementation of the institutionalisation plan
Provide technical expertise to implementers in relation to the advocacy activities of the project
The project promotes democratic consolidation, cooperation, reform dialogue, and thus ends the political crisis through its Policy Dialogue discussions. The Dialogue roundtables are an activity of BPRG which were successfully launched in March 2016 as a pilot that brought together senior members of political parties at a roundtable focused on finding a way out of the crisis.

Objectives:

The overall goal of the project is to resolve the political crisis and prevent violence from taking place as well as to advance Kosovo’s state-building agenda.

By helping to develop working relations among all political parties, a more “normal” working atmosphere will be established which will contribute to returning institutions back to their full functionality, especially the Parliament.

By identifying themes and issues of common interest, the project will lead to a reform-driven political agreement addressing the major points of dispute while bringing about concrete reforms and policy solutions.

The project makes an important contribution to preventing state failure that has been lurking on the horizon for almost two years.

Objectives include:

To build consensus on key policy issues for Kosovo (including dialogue with Serbia)
To enable the full functioning of the institutions (including a return of the opposition parties to the Parliament)
To develop a culture of political dialogue in Kosovo.
The project promotes democratic consolidation, cooperation, reform dialogue, and thus put the political crisis to an end through its Policy Dialogue discussions. The Dialogue roundtables are an activity of BPRG which were successfully launched in March 2016 as a pilot that brought together senior members of political parties at a roundtable focused on finding a way out of the crisis. The grant was used to support Dialogue discussions organised from March to May 2016.

Goal:

The overall goal of the project is to resolve the political crisis and prevent violence from taking place as well as to advance Kosovo’s state-building agenda.

By helping to develop working relations among all political parties, a more “normal” working atmosphere will be established which will contribute to returning institutions back to their full functionality, especially the Parliament.

By identifying themes and issues of common interest, the project will lead to a reform-driven political agreement addressing the major points of dispute while bringing about concrete reforms and policy solutions.

The project makes an important contribution to preventing state failure that has been lurking on the horizon for almost two years.

Objectives include:

To build consensus on key policy issues for Kosovo (including dialogue with Serbia)
To enable the full functioning of the institutions (including a return of the opposition parties to the Parliament)
To develop a culture of political dialogue in Kosovo.
The project aims at contributing to the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, through integration of respective minorities/communities and addressing their interests and needs for better services and jobs. 

The first component, to be implemented in North Kosovo, is focused on identifying mechanisms and actors that would prompt integration of local public companies vital to the life of the northern Serbs. 

The second component, to be implemented in South Serbia, is focused on obstacles that hinder institutional integration of Albanians and issues that are crucial to advancing minority rights. 

The first component is implemented in cooperation with Team for Social Research (TDI) while the latter is carried out jointly with Centre for Advocacy and Democratic Development (CADD).
The goal is to present Serb’s views on the August Agreement on the Association of Serb municipalities to the Kosovo-wide audience. Kosovo and Serbia agreed on the principles/protocol for establishment of the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities in Kosovo on 25 August 2015, which included a four-month period for preparation of the statute.

Objectives:

The Overall objective includes Survey Serb acceptance (levels of) of the Association for their municipalities

In depths analyses of Serbs views, thinking and expectations on newly agreed Association of the Serb municipalities, in face of massive opposition by Albanians
Assess and survey the impact of the turbulent political crisis in Pristina on the Serb Community and their views about the Association/Community and integration
Make Serb views and their concerns heard in Pristina and part of the public discourse and debates about the benefits and gains.
The project aims to support Kosovo-Serbia rapprochement by helping Kosovar and Serb leaders at all levels understand one another’s views, goals and interests, and how their policies affect the lives of people on the ground. We aim to foster the integration of the Serb community, using our unique and extensive network of contacts in northern Kosovo. We aim to help consolidate Kosovo state institutions and the rule of law.

Our second goal is to pass on the legacy of Crisis Group’s fifteen years of work in Kosovo by building the capacity of national civil society organisations. Like Crisis Group, Balkans Group employs researchers and analysts of all ethnicities equally and will build a fully mixed team of highly qualified and trained researchers and policy analysts. Balkans Group is the only local think tank with Albanians and Serbs working together closely, doing joint research, drafting reports and engaging in advocacy. Working with the Balkans Group will give Albanian researchers experience with the Serb community of northern Kosovo and Serb analysts’ experience with the Pristina government. All staff will receive training in research, analysis, drafting and advocacy skills to a high international standard.

Our ambition is to establish the leading multi-ethnic think tank of Kosovo. After working with the Balkans Group, former staff will be well suited to take positions in civil society and government, passing on the skills and standards they have acquired. Our network of relations across the ethnic divide will be an invaluable asset for Balkans Group alumni. The goal is to establish a group of Albanian and Serb researchers and analysts under Balkans Policy Research Group, whose thoughts and ideas influence policy makers and international actors, and dedicated to building a strong, stable and prosperous society in Kosovo and the western Balkans.
Strengthen the state institutions and peace in Kosovo; enhancing Kosovo’s capacity to deliver governance, services, and access to key human rights, including in a decentralised context for minorities

The project aims to survey, identify and analyse obstacles and weaknesses in two broad areas as well as offer a series of policy recommendations on how to improve:

State-building, strengthen state institutions, including increase of service-delivery quality and enhancing citizen’s rights. And identifying ways for improvements Peace-building, institutional and human capacity building, first survey effectiveness and use of the local governance by the communities, particularly in the Serb areas. Survey the impact of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement on ordinary citizens and ways to empower new institutions.
The project aims to develop practical policies that address the ways for improvement. The report aims to produce persuasive findings and recommendations that will mobilise domestic and international support for policy discussions and policy change.

The overall objective is to identify and remove the most salient obstacles or weaknesses in two broad areas;

a) Effective use of municipal governance by local communities, especially minorities

b) Effective access to key rights

The first specific objective is to identify through research, fieldwork and outreach the ways in which people seek to realise their rights to local self-government and their basic human rights and are, for reasons of government weakness or malfeasance, unable to do so.

The second specific objective is to develop practical policies that address those weaknesses, with reference to the experience in the region and best practices.

The third specific objective is to publish our findings in a succinct, persuasive way and to mobilise domestic and international support for our policy recommendations
The fourth specific objective is to mobilise cross ethnic analysts and researchers to promote those findings and recommendations, through;

a) adapting programmes to support local governance in the north
b) With support of Balkans Group, Albanians and Serb researchers jointly engage in monitoring of those policies and furthering-and gaining other projects- the monitoring of the government policies with the aim to advance those key rights and increase the efficiency of the local governance.
The project was developed in response to the flawed elections that took place in North Kosovo in 2013. Project activities included interviews with Kosovo’s leadership, mayors, members of the Serbian enclaves in municipalities where Albanians are a majority, focus groups with students, doctors, and CSO representatives among others. The output is a report outlining policy solutions for enhancing integration of Serbs in North Kosovo.

Objectives:

The aim of the project is to write a report outlining policy solutions for enhancing integration of Serbs in north Kosovo.

The first goal of our recommendations is to change policy. Our second goal is to clarify the policy debate and set the agenda.

Balkans Group will interview the full scope of Kosovo leadership, including government officials, mayors, deputy mayors for communities, community representatives, local leaders and selected assembly members in the ten Serb-majority municipalities. Residents of Serb enclaves in Albanian majority municipalities: Peja, Istog, Prizren, Rahovec, Gjilan will also be interviewed. Other interviews include, faculty and administrators at north Mitrovica University, focus groups will consist of students, doctors, Gracanica medical center staff and civil society organisations. Serbian Government and international actors: EULEX, Embassies, UNMIK and UNDP, KFOR, USAID and others will also be involved.
Objectives:

The goal of the project is to give Belgrade, Pristina and interested international actors a sound understanding of the views and options of the northern Kosovo population and leadership, and to craft policies for northern Kosovo that can secure local support and buy-in in the context of the Brussels Agreement.

A second goal is to explore how implementation on the ground can help overcome the remaining differences between Belgrade and Pristina.

The key issues relate to civilian implementation of the Agreement: municipal administration, establishment of a regional administration (“Community/Association”), elections, police and judiciary. Transfer of police to Kosovo jurisdiction should be smooth but building capacity and community trust and support are challenging goals. Closing the Serbian court in Zvecan town is easy, but the Kosovo court in North Mitrovica cannot work without local acceptance, as recent barricades (which forced the court to cancel hearings) have shown. The biggest challenge by far will be working out how this region will be administered in practice, and doing the work needed to secure meaningful participation in elections and the institutions created thereby.



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appartment no. 7,
Prishtina
10000, Kosovo


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