Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (2021 - 2024)
The collaboration between local governments (LG) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Western Balkans 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.
Factsheet about ReLOaD can be downloaded here.
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.
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 governments 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.
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.
List of NGOs grants can be downloaded here.
ReLOaD2 will achieve the following results in 63 local governments in the Western Balkans:
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.