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DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOVERNANCE

STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES

USAID is helping Serbia make its governance institutions stronger and more accountable to the people.  USAID assists civil society organizations across Serbia so that they can mobilize citizens to understand, develop and support necessary reforms, while also conducting oversight at the national and local levels.  Support provided to democratic political parties helps parties develop modern policies that respond better to the electorate’s interests.  Programming supports enhanced governmental checks and balances, and improved judicial and parliamentary operations by improvements in court management and building the professional capacities of parliamentary staff and the judicial budget and planning office.  Activities also help strengthen Serbia’s rule of law by improving the transparency and efficiency of the courts, including a focus on misdemeanor and administrative courts, and by assisting independent oversight agencies and civil society in their efforts to make government more open and accountable.  USAID initiatives strengthen parliamentary oversight capabilities as well as the participation of young politicians, minorities and women in parliament.

Current programs that contribute to this process include: 

Civil Society Forward program

The Civil Society Forward (CSF) is a two-year program, launched in November 2012, to strengthen Serbia’s civil society sector.  It will build long-term democratic and social reforms by strengthening the capacity of grassroots and national-level civil society organizations (CSOs) across Serbia.  It will provide the skills, tools and strategies needed to effectively advocate for issues of long-term importance to Serbian citizens.  The program will also work with local CSOs to cultivate local philanthropy, and to support the development of strategic, multi-sector partnerships that promote networking and shared learning.

For more information, please visit: http://www.iscserbia.org/

Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Program

USAID’s five-year Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project was launched in May 2011.  The project strengthens Serbia’s rule of law by improving the transparency and efficiency of the Misdemeanor and Administrative Courts, and by assisting independent agencies and civil society in their efforts to make government open and accountable. 

For more information, please visit: http://www.jrga.org/

Separation of Powers Program

The five-year USAID Separation of Powers Program (SPP) was launched in 2008 to help Serbia move closer to European Union accession by strengthening the judicial and legislative branches of government.

The project increases judicial and legislative independence, by increasing the capacity of the Serbian judiciary and National Assembly to plan, allocate, acquire, and manage their budgetary resources. It also improves court administration, by assisting the Serbian judiciary in making the administration of justice more efficient and responsive to the needs of users.  The project also works to assist courts to improve case management and reduce case backlogs and delays.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.ewmispp.org/en

Political Process Support Program

USAID’s Political Process Support in Serbia Project is a five-year program to develop the institutional capacity of the government, political parties, Parliament and civil society so they can advance key reforms, enhance the policy development process, improve accountability, increase civic engagement, and support elections.

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) advances dialogue on key political and electoral reforms and supports institutions tasked with the implementation of and compliance with reform legislation; strengthens political parties; encourages better linkages between parliamentarians and constituents; and helps marginalized groups engage in political life.

For more information please visit: http://www.ndi.org/serbia

The International Republican Institute (IRI) enhances the responsiveness, transparency and accountability of parties and government through improved citizen oversight; strengthens the role of women and youth in the political process; supports increased access to information between political parties and constituency; and uses political polling to build a professional, effective policy development community.

For more information please visit: http://www.iri.org/countries-and-programs/serbia

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) enhances understanding and compliance with political and campaign finance regulations; and supports improved accuracy of the national voter registry.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ifes.org/countries/Serbia.aspx

Civil Society Enabling Environment Project

USAID has provided over $200,000 to the Government of Serbia’s Office for Cooperation with Civil Society. Over 18 months, steps will be taken to improve the enabling environment of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Serbia by developing a National Strategy on civil society, improving communications between CSOs and the government, sharing best practices in engaging CSOs in the EU accession process, and training government officials on how to best work with CSOs.

DIRECT GRANTS:

 

Empowered Youth for Positive Changes in South Serbia and Sadzak

Civic Initiatives seeks to reduce the marginalization of South Serbian and Sandzak youth by encouraging civic engagement, increasing opportunities, and strengthening partnerships across civil society organizations, the private sector and government, and among ethnic groups. The core objectives are: building the capacity of youth to become community leaders; supporting the growth of a more dynamic civil society; and strengthening communication and cooperation among the private sector, local government and civil society.

 

Media Literacy

The Media Coalition, led by NUNS and including the Journalists' Association of Serbia, the Independent Journalists' Association of Vojvodina, the Association of Independent Electronic Media, and Lokal Pres, will work to raise citizens’ and journalists’ ability to analyze, evaluate and produce media content. This program will conduct research to determine the level of media literacy in Serbia, define knowledge gaps, and identify priorities for the Media Coalition's information campaign. The coalition's multimedia promotion will support media literacy, raise the level of critical analysis, and expand awareness about the importance of professional journalism in a democratic society.

 

Junior Achievement Serbia - You can Change the Future

Junior Achievement Serbia (JAS) strives to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise and understand business and economics. The program integrates economic education with real-life experiences, encouraging young people to become more entrepreneurial by engaging in business ventures. JAS is the only accredited provider of entrepreneurship education in Serbia. USAID has awarded a two-year $260,000 grant, which is expected to generate an additional $300,000 from non-USAID sources.
 

Social Care Reform Initiative

The Trag Foundation will support improvements in the provision of social services in Serbia by strengthening civil society’s engagement in the policy process, providing oversight of the Government's implementation of welfare reforms, and in identifying opportunities where local organizations can work with the government in delivering society services.

Last updated: June 04, 2014

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