Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2)


Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2) is a continuation of a regional project effort funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in six following Western Balkans countries and territories: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

Civil society organisations in Western Balkans act as an important component in the context of local governance, due to their contribution towards inclusion, participation in public affairs, and reducing disparities within public service delivery. However, there is insufficient cooperation between local governments and civil society organisations and low capacities of NGOs. Civil society organisations remain largely dependent on financing by foreign donors, which is due to a combination of factors including limitations in public funding and lack of transparent mechanisms for funds disbursement. On the other side, the challenge of low youth participation remains. Youth alienation and disengagement, limited job opportunities and inadequate skills are direct consequences of outdated educational systems that fail to respond to the needs of the labour market, restrict prospects for the positive transformation of societies in the region and Montenegro.

ReLOaD2 works across the region to enable better collaboration of local governments and civil society organizations, establish concrete partnerships and improve service delivery, all in line with local priorities and development strategies. It emphasizes local needs and helps local government adopt a more project-based approach. ReLOaD2 also focuses on encouraging the participation of young people and supports the implementation of youth initiatives and strives to improve the economic prospects in their respective communities.


The overall objective is to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society and youth to actively take part in decision-making and by stimulating an enabling legal and financial environment for NGOs. 

Specific ReLOaD2 objective is to strengthen partnerships between local governments and civil society in the Western Balkans by enhancing transparency in the funding of NGOs from local government budgets and promoting youth and civic engagement in decision-making and community development.

The project will support the implementation of 300 CSO projects in 63 partner local governments. It is expected that 35,000 citizens will benefit from projects in local communities. In Montenegro, five clusters of local self-governments are chosen to participate in ReLOaD2 through transparent Public calls.

Central region - Podgorica, Cetinje, Golubovci and Danilovgrad

Coastal Mates - Budva, Herceg Novi, Kotor and Tivat

Tara - Mojkovac, Kolašin and Pljevlja

Together for North - Andrijevica and Berane

Together Nikšić and Plužine - Nikšić and Plužine




  • Preparation of Analysis of the existing (budget) mechanisms for the distribution of public funds of NGOs in each selected new LSG;
  • Alignment of local regulation and practices for allocation funds to NGOs to the LOD methodology – a guide that provides a simple, comprehensive, and flexible way to explain the entire local-government funding process of NGOs, step by step, including preparation, management and implementation of project proposals;
  • Capacity development and mentoring support on project cycle management provided to local government officers in the field;
  • Capacity development of NGOs for project cycle management and mentoring support in project writing;
  • Analysis of local development priorities, needs of NGOs and their beneficiaries - consultations with NGOs;
  • Publication of public calls for submitting project proposals of NGOs, selection and contracting of NGOs;
  • Mentoring support for cluster LGs – in designing and implementation of Calls, information campaign, evaluation, monitoring;
  • Monitoring the implementation of the NGO projects through combined monitoring teams.

Programme youth component includes:

  • Implementation of activities to strengthen youth activism and youth involvement, including trainings, workshops and youth lead initiatives funding;
  • Implementation of support activities aimed at internship for youth; and
  • Implementation of grant schemes for youth (youth NGOs and NGOs dealing with youth issues).

Expected results:

ReLOaD2 will achieve following key results in 15 local governments in Montenegro:

  • Strengthen 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.
  • Local governments and NGOs use transparent and project-based model for funding of NGOs from the local self-governments budgets
  • 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.

More information about LOD methofology for allocation of funds to civil society organisations is available here.

The infographic with the key results of the first phase of the ReLOaD is available for download here.

Factsheet with information about ReLOaD2 is available for download here.

List of approved projects within first public call download here.

*All references to Kosovo should be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

Video about the first phase of ReLOaD



January 2021


December 2024




Bosnia and Herzegovina


United Nations Development Programme











Full Project information