Support for the Promise: CVE Communications Campaign
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.
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.
High Level Advocacy for RAE Inclusion and Institutionalisation of their Rights
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
Policy Dialogue: Achieving a Political Agreement and Advance State Building through Reform-Driven Dialogue
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.
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.
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.
Policy Dialogue for Reform-Driven Agreement and Resolution of the On-Going Political Crisis
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.
Inclusive Policy Making in Kosovo and Serbia: Advance Harmony and Peace Through Dialogue, Integration, and Improvement of Services, Jobs and People
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).
Albanians Reject: What Serbs Think of the Association/Community of Serb Municipalities?
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.
The Overall objective includes Survey Serb acceptance (levels of) of the Association for their municipalities
Strengthening Peace and State-building
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
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.
Kosovo: Local Government and Serb integration
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.
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.
Transition in North Kosovo After the Brussels Agreement
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.