Kosovo community governance project completed

Action, research and documentation (ECMI Synergy Wheel stories) - European Centre for Minority IssuesEuropean Centre for Minority Issues and partners have successfully concluded a one year project to improve community governance in Kosovo, reports ECMI Kosovo.

ECMI Kosovo has now concluded the project Supporting Effective Governance for Minority Communities in Kosovo. The completion of the one year project was marked with a conference within which the main achievements were presented.

The overall goal of the project was to contribute to stable inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo by improving governance of community issues. It targeted a wide range of government institutions as well as civil society organizations (CSOs), and focused on sustainable tools for policy, capacity-building and monitoring purposes.

Mainstreaming community rights

One of the key activities of the project was to contribute to mainstreaming community rights within the Kosovo civil service, as a means to ensure a more effective implementation of the legal framework. To this end, ECMI Kosovo, in close co-operation with the Kosovo Institute of Public Administration (KIPA), developed a comprehensive and interactive training curriculum on community rights and gender mainstreaming for civil servants.

The curriculum was tested through a series of pilot trainings conducted in June and July 2013. The trainings were attended by about 40 local and central level civil servants.

In order to ensure the implementation of this training beyond the duration of the project, a group of individuals were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the training through a ‘training of trainers’ in October and November 2013, and concerted efforts were made to integrate this curriculum into the regular Kosovo civil servants training programme.

To date, it has been successfully incorporated into KIPA’s database of trainings.

Piloting rights indicators

A further component of the project was to contribute towards a more effective system of the monitoring and evaluation of community rights in Kosovo. To work towards this goal, ECMI Kosovo conducted extensive research and completed a working paper presenting the proposal to develop, test and introduce an indicator-based community rights ‘monitoring and evaluation system’ for the Kosovo context.

As a result of broad consultation, an agreement was reached to implement a pilot phase on language rights indicators, specifically on the work of the Assembly of Kosovo, in co-operation with the Kosovo Office of the Language Commissioner under the Office of the Prime Minister.

A comprehensive indicators matrix was developed and corresponding data collected; the findings of this pilot phase have been compiled into a final draft report that was presented at the mentioned conference. Various stakeholders have praised the value of the approach adopted, reports ECMI Kosovo, and the Language Commissioner has expressed intentions to continue working on and using language indicators in 2014.

Input to government bodies

Within the framework of the project Supporting Effective Governance for Minority Communities in Kosovo, ECMI Kosovo also monitored the work and provided inputs to various government bodies and mechanisms dealing with communities in Kosovo, including the Consultative Council for Communities and the Working Group on Employment of Non-majority Community Members established under the auspices of the Office of Community Affairs under the Office of the Prime Minister.

Publications and tools developed

A series of practical and interactive tools and publications on minority communities in Kosovo were also developed or updated under this project:

  • The Ethno-Political Map of Kosovo, featuring a wealth of interactive socio-economic, political and demographic information on communities in Kosovo;
  • A Community Rights Legislative & Policy Database, offering easy access to all key legal and policy documents related to community issues in Kosovo;
  • The guidebook Communities in Kosovo: A guidebook for professionals working with communities in Kosovo;
  • The booklet Communities: Know Your Rights – A booklet for communities and their members;
  • The booklet Civil Society Participation in Decision-Making Processes.

Community rights and advocacy skills programme

Finally, a comprehensive ‘community rights and advocacy skills programme’ was implemented. The aim was to strengthen the skills and knowledge of CSOs from minority communities to advocate more effectively for their rights.

For further information on this programme, see the website on ECMI Kosovo’s ongoing projects Empowering Civil Society to Participate Effectively in Policy and Decision-Making Processes through Dialogue with Government Institutions.

Operation and funding

Supporting Effective Governance for Minority Communities in Kosovo was administered by ECMI and implemented by ECMI Kosovo. The project was made possible by financial support from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The ‘community rights and advocacy skills programme’ and the guidebook on Civil Society Participation in Decision-Making Processes was co-funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

Read also

Mainstreaming of Minority Rights in Kosovo civil service
ECMI Kosovo launches empowerment programme for civil society organizations
ECMI issues guidebook on civil society participation
ECMI Kosovo catalyze debate on indicator-based monitoring of minority rights

About ECMI Kosovo

ECMI Kosovo became active in Kosovo as a field office of European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in 2001.

After Kosovo declared independence in February 2008, ECMI Kosovo became a locally registered NGO in July of that same year, while maintaining its co-operation with ECMI and thus continuing to benefit from international oversight, specialized expertise and comparative experiences.

ECMI Kosovo’s vision is a stable multi-ethnic Kosovo in which the human and minority rights of members from all communities are realized in line with domestic and international standards.

With a view to contributing to this vision, ECMI Kosovo engages in a wide range of activities aimed at stabilizing inter-ethnic relations and ensuring the effective implementation and functioning of the legal, policy and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of minority rights.

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