Regional Programme for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2



The Regional Programme for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2) is a continuation of EU-supported initiatives - Local Democracy Strengthening Project (LOD, 2009-2016) and the subsequently expanded Regional Program for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD, 2017-2020).

As the previous ones, this project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). ReLOaD2 is implemented in the Western Balkans, in particular Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

In the Western Balkans, the collaboration between local governments (LG) and civil society organizations (CSOs) is still underdeveloped. Lack of transparency in financing of CSOs out of public sources is perceived as one of the main obstacles for the development and functioning of civil society, given that there is no clear responsibility in the distribution and spending of these funds. Models in use are often insufficient and discriminatory, do not contribute to positioning and stronger influence of civil society in communities and delay further development of participatory democracy.


The overall objective of the project is to strengthen participatory democracies and EU integration in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society and encouraging young people to actively take part in the decision-making process, and by improving a supportive legal and financial environment for civil society.

The specific objective of the project is to strengthen partnerships between local authorities and civil society in the Western Balkans, by scaling a successful model of transparent project funding of CSOs (LOD methodology) from LGs budgets, which is aimed at greater civic and youth participation in decision-making processes and at improved service delivery in local communities.

Major Achievements

  • Working across the region, ReLOaD2 improves the capacity of LGs and CSOs to engage in productive partnerships and contribute to improving service delivery and realization of local priorities in line with development strategies. 
  • It encourages local authorities to use public funding of CSOs in a transparent and development-oriented manner, recognizing local needs and adopting a project-based approach. 
  • The programme promotes the engagement of youth and provides support with the implementation of youth initiatives, while also working to improve their economic prospects in partner localities.

Strengthening the capacity of local governments and CSOs

to institutionalize and implement transparent and gender responsive grant schemes and deliver quality projects that serve the local community.

Growing capacities of LGs and CSOs

to generate greater participation of citizens and youth in activities at the local level.

Improving regional networking and dialogue

between civil society and local governments across the Western Balkans.