2001 - 2003


USAID/OTI began its Macedonia program in October 2001 after a political settlement brought the country's armed conflict to an end. USAID/OTI's Confidence Building Initiative (CBI) was a two-year program designed to mitigate political and ethnic tensions during the implementation of the Framework Agreement. CBI supported the rapid implementation of community-identified and prioritized projects as well as other confidence-building activities to allow time for political reforms to take place.


CBI worked at the local level to bring together diverse groups of citizens to identify shared priorities and to help their communities develop and implement confidence-building projects designed to reduce tensions. CBI's objectives were fourfold:

  • Support positive, community-based interaction among diverse groups of people;
  • Promote citizen participation in community decision-making;
  • Foster transparency, responsiveness and accountability in the relationship between citizens and local government; and
  • Increase citizen access to balanced information and diverse points of view.


  • CBI assisted informal groups of citizens in identifying their community's shared priorities and finding constructive ways to address them. Community-identified and implemented projects, such as rehabilitation of schools and community centers, were a means to encourage cooperation among diverse groups and promote more participatory decision-making at the local level.
  • CBI worked with locally elected leaders to facilitate more effective relationships between citizens and their local governments in order to address issues of common concern. CBI also supported formal civil society groups, such as local associations and non-governmental organizations, to promote participatory decision-making at the local level, improve citizen access to local government institutions and encourage constructive community engagement.
  • CBI supported a wide range of media activities including print and electronic news media, film, music, cultural performances and other artistic means of communication and expression. Media grants were designed to increase confidence and reduce tensions through the dissemination of balanced information and the promotion of positive examples of multicultural cooperation. Media coverage was also integrated into other CBI projects to amplify their scope and influence, both locally and nationally.
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Last updated: March 29, 2019

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