Across the Western Balkans, the collaboration between local governments and civil society organizations (CSO) is not sufficiently developed. Lack of transparency in financing of CSOs is perceived as one of the main obstacles for development and functioning of civil society. Models in use are often insufficient and discriminatory, do not contribute to a stronger civil society sector, and slows down development of participative democracy.
ReLOaD builds on the good practices of the Reinforcement of Local Democracy (LOD) project, another initiative financed by EU, which also represents the replication model in other Western Balkan countries. The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.
What we want to achieve
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society to actively take part in decision making and by stimulating an enabling legal and financial environment for civil society. Specific objective of the project is to strengthen partnerships between local governments and civil society in the Western Balkans by scaling-up a successful model of transparent and project-based funding of CSOs from local government budgets towards greater civic engagement in decision-making and improvement of local service delivery.
ReLOaD will improve cooperation between local governments and CSOs, while strengthening the capacity of all relevant stakeholders to engage more productively in such partnerships. Importantly, the project will work on introducing and sustaining a transparent, development-oriented and project-based approach to funding of CSOs by local government budgets that contributes to realization of local priorities in line with development strategies. As a regional project, ReLOaD will also offer a platform for networking between participating WB6 for purposes of sharing experiences and lessons learned in providing better services to citizens.
Regionally, the project will support the implementation of 200 CSO projects in selected local governments and it is expected that 38,000 citizens benefit from the project.
In Kosovo, the project will finance at least 20 CSO projects in the 5 competitively-selected municipalities and will reach at least 3,800 citizens.
Results up to date
Capacity Development and Awareness Raising
- 20 municipal officials (30% women) from the 5 selected municipalities have improved capacities on project cycle management, managing grant programmes, and monitoring projects in their municipalities;
- 168 representatives (47% women) from 103 CSOs have stronger capacities on project cycle management and on applying to competitive grant schemes;
- 25 municipalities and 150 CSOs have stronger awareness about transparent