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Where is my money?

The municipality budget is the product of taxpayers, which would be prepared jointly with them. Accountability of municipalities starts here and continues with a series of obligations in relation to the executive (government) where legal obligations, despite their local government autonomy, legally oblige all municipalities to account in relation to their expenditures of public money. The main goal of the project “Where is my money?” was to create responsible and accountable institutions at a local level. This was achieved by conducting a survey for the six biggest municipalities in Kosovo, in terms of how municipalities plan, spend and report their budget. The research was conducted over a period of five (5) months with a focus on the methods that municipalities apply while involving taxpayers in the budgeting process. Further, the report identifies weak and strong segments of each municipality and it concludes with specific and concrete recommendations on how to improve their performance and transparency based. The main source used for this report is The Kosovo Progress Report. The report also addresses the legal obligations municipalities have in terms of communication with citizens about their public fund expenditures. Additionally, the report describes the current situation, municipal initiatives to strengthen budget transparency, and defines the role that responsible institutions have in monitoring budget expenditure transparency procedures.

Reached objectives of this project are:

  • To create responsible and accountable institutions.
  • Identify the weak and strong segments of each municipality and come up with specific and concrete recommendations on how to improve their performance and transparency.
  • Raise awareness on how citizens should be involved in the decision-making processes.
  • Rise of the public debate on budget transparency.
  • Awareness of citizens for their rights on budget spending.
  • Awareness of Government for the transparency responsibility.

Mentorship Program

The  Mentoring  Program intended to assist young women to learn from their mentors through an ongoing skill-building and problem-solving process, with a  capacity-building approach. The scope of the program was to provide career development guidance and coaching to senior female students on how to get involved in institutional life after graduation.  This project was implemented by female KUSA members in collaboration with the University of Gjilan “Kadri Zeka”, public institutions of the Republic of Kosovo and various NGOs.

Reached objectives of this project are:

  • Encouraged  an experience-exchange  discussion among mentors  and mentees, who have faced  difficulties as women during their  professional careers and work experience  and sharing tips on how to balance their  professional career and private life as well  as their commitment to avoid gender discrimination  and other challenges;
  • Promoted  communication  and cooperation  among female students  and women who are in senior  and leadership positions within  the institutions of Republic of Kosovo,  political parties, private companies and NGOs;
  • Mentored  and guided  female students  on their job-hunt  after graduation, on  their approach in the  institutional and public  life, on their job interview  preparation, on their behavior skills  while working as a team member in an  organization and on their “obstacles-training” towards  reaching career success;

Through the process  “Learning by doing”  the 10 mentees were placed in 7 different institutions of the mentors where they had a chance to enhance their professional capacities on management, leadership, work methodology, communication. They also had the chance to learn on the preparation of official documents, representation of institutions, advancement of inter-institutional communication, participation in meetings and conferences etc.

Respect my Language

Kosovo’s legal framework imposes extensive obligations on central and local Institutions to ensure that there is equality of all official languages used in Kosovo. However, the Law on the Use of Languages remains only partially implemented due to insufficient human and official resources, often accompanied by an insufficient understanding of Institutional obligations. Often, the official documents are provided with a poor translation which causes reputational damage and sets a very bad example overall for Institutions.

The project “Respect my Language”  focused on raising awareness on Institutional responsibilities in respecting, promoting and protecting the languages in Kosovo in accordance with the  Law on the Use of Languages. The aim of this project was to initiate a debate on a better understanding of multilingualism as an efficient mechanism to integrate non-majority communities in Kosovo. In order to achieve this, KUSA in cooperation with Language Commissioner organized a conference “Multiculturalism: value and/or obligation”, which gathered representatives of central and local institutions. The conference addressed the importance of encouraging multiculturalism within Kosovo, as to position it as a multilingual country. It assessed the current situation and challenges to the implementation of this process to promote Kosovo as an inclusive society. During the conference, the institutions complained that the lack of resources hinders that the respect for the law should not be repeated, and the use of the law for official languages must be prioritized by the leaders of the institutions. During the conference, the institutions complained that the lack of resources hinders that the respect for the law should not be repeated, and the use of the law for official languages must be prioritized by the leaders of the institutions.

Reached Project Objectives:

  • Participants discussed and reflected on the overall situation and obligations of local and central government in fully implementing the Law on the Use of Languages.
  • The increase of accountability of local and central institutions towards citizens.    
  • Raising awareness on society and developing a  multi-language environment in Kosovo through a wide spectrum of Institutional actors.

Removing Ceiling for Equal Opportunities

Equal opportunities in decision-making processes for women in Kosovo society continue to remain a challenging path. There is a great need to advance women’s position in this structural level, in order to benefit the overall society.  The persistent issue of lack of equal opportunities is hindering half of the populations’ potential to take an active role in political, economic, social, cultural and other fields of social life.

The project “Removing  Ceiling for  Equal Opportunities” was designed to remove some of the impediments related to these barriers. It provided professional development trainings for a selected group of women coming from the different professional background. The training modules were within a framework of certification program, which equipped participants with necessary skills to exercise a decision-making position, and it changed attitude and practice by reducing gender stereotyping in the workplace. The majority of participants in the training sessions of the project were KUSA Alumnae who gained knowledge on how to achieve and hold decision making positions. This project increased awareness about the glass ceiling that professional and competent women in Kosovo face when they are eligible to hold decision making positions within private and public institutions.

The certification program was designed to cover key areas of corporate governance and decision making and was organized in two stages. The first stage was implemented in 2016, consisted of the following modules:  

  • Marketing and Public Relations which was lectured by Debatik Hoxha, Head of Business Development at Gjirafa.
  • Corporate Governance, a part of which was delivered by the guest speaker Edward Nolan – Chief of Party at Empower Credit Support Program and expert in the field of corporate governance.
  • Human Resource Management and People Development was lectured by Linda Shala, Managing Director at Data Project Electronics.
  • Auditing and Internal Control, Risk Management and Corporate Compliance, part of which was delivered by the guest speaker Besnik Osmani – General Auditor of Kosovo.
  • Legal Framework was lectured by Ardi Shita, Member of the Board of Governors (Sec-Gen) at American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo.

Traffic Safety

In  Kosovo, more than a hundred people are killed in road accidents every year and around fourteen thousand  (14.000) were injured in 2015. A number of these people are handicapped for life. Many of the victims are young citizens, therefore this determines whether they will have permanent injuries or they will pass away. In order to substantially reduce accident and casualty problems in Kosovo, KUSA implemented the project “Traffic Safety”. The overall objective of the project was to raise awareness among drivers, pedestrians and traffic safety police officers regarding the topic. The project addressed the problem of Traffic Safety that citizens face every day aiming to establish sound, safe and sustainable road transport system.

In honor of the World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims, KUSA in cooperation with Kosovo Police, OSCE, and Kolegji “Tempulli”, organized an awareness campaign consisted of different activities taking place each day. As part of this awareness campaign, KUSA has created three video clips of injured persons whose main purpose was to raise awareness and enhance the care of citizens in traffic. Videos were broadcasted in all local TV channels, as well as different social networks. (Please find attached the links in the bottom of this description)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac9XOVKLrL8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLym37oN2ys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB3a8O2dIdg

The project “Traffic Safety” was proceeded with the following activities:

  1. On the first day of the campaign, interviews were conducted in all electronic and written media, where apart from the discussion on the history of this day, weekly activities were launched during this period.
  2. On the second day of the campaign, at Zahir Pajaziti Square, KUSA and other project partners organized a day for blood donation for persons injured in traffic accidents, where around 70 citizens donated their blood.
  3. On the third day, 96 candles were lit in front of the National Theater and recorded video clips were launched to commemorate the 96 victims who passed away in traffic accidents.
  4. On the fourth day, an International Conference was dedicated to the World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims with local, regional and international representatives, which took place at Sirius Hotel, Prishtina. After the conference, all the participants together with the Kosovo citizens marched at Main Square in Prishtina.