Democratic Consolidation: Civil Society for Policy Change
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.
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).
Empowering Women and Girls, Promote Security and Inclusiveness by Fostering Political Dialogue in Kosovo
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:
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.