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:
Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Program
USAID strengthens Serbia’s rule of law by improving the transparency and efficiency of the judiciary, in particular the misdemeanor and administrative courts. It improves the integrity and openness of government operations by supporting independent agencies' and civil society's efforts to make government open and accountable.
For more information, please see: http://www.jrga.org/
Divac Youth Funds project
Divac Youth Funds 2.0 is a two-year project implemented in partnership with the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. The program empowers youth to advocate for local resource mobilization and youth participation in local policy development. This project builds on the success of the initial USAID-supported Divac Youth Fund project.
Enhancing Accountability and Responsiveness of Elected Officials in Serbia
Enhancing Accountability and Responsiveness of Elected Officials in Serbia is a two-year direct grant implemented by the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID). The project brings citizens throughout Serbia in direct contact with their elected representatives at both the national and local levels and it creates opportunities to discuss issues of public importance.
For more information, please see: http://www.cesid.org
Matter of Choice project
Matter of Choice is a two-year direct grant implemented by the National Coalition for Decentralization (NCD), a local network of sixteen civil society organizations based in the south of Serbia. The project supports increased public participation in democratic electoral processes and advocates for better and closer interaction between Serbian citizens and their elected representatives. It also raises public awareness of the importance of citizens’ representation in a democratic society and supports citizens’ participation and activism in government.
For more information, please see: http://www.decentralizacija.org.rs
Open Parliament Initiative
For legislative bodies to be effective, they must be comprised of legislators connected to their constituents. Furthermore, their constituents must have the means and channels to make their positions known to their elected representatives. The Open Parliament Initiative (OPI) is a two-year direct grant implemented by the Center for Research Transparency and Accountability (CRTA). OPI’s purpose is to establish and enhance links among the Serbian Parliament, Serbian citizens, and Serbian civil society organizations (CSOs). By increasing transparency and outreach of the Parliament, this activity will ensure that there are more opportunities for government policies and decisions to be debated, scrutinized, and subjected to public opinion.
For more information, please see: http://www.crta.rs/
Philantrophy for Local Communities
Building on previously successful initiatives, Philanthropy for Local Communities is a two-year direct grant implemented by the Trag Foundation, a Serbian civil society organization (CSO). The project’s goals are to increase civic participation in local communities and promote local philanthropy across Serbia. To achieve these goals, the project helps Serbian CSOs increase direct contact with their local constituencies, diversify their funding sources, and contribute to the development of local philanthropy—an issue of great importance to ensure CSO sustainability in in the country.
For more information, please see: www.tragfondacija.org
Towards a More Sustainable and Innovative Civil Society in Serbia
Towards a More Sustainable and Innovative Civil Society in Serbia is a two-year direct grant implemented by Smart Kolektiv, a Serbian civil society organization (CSO). This project increases the capacities of CSOs to establish cross-sectoral partnerships, engage in social entrepreneurship, and diversify their funding resources. At the same time, the project works with the business community to increase its engagement with CSOs and promote innovative philanthropy mechanisms and corporate social responsibility (CRS).
For more information, please see: www.smartkolektiv.org
Women’s Leadership Academy
The Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) is a two-year direct partnership with the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE). WLA supports women leaders in increasing the participation of women in local governments and advancing gender equality agendas.
For more information, please see http://www.bfpe.org/en/
Judicial Academy Support Project
USAID supports critical reforms necessary for Serbia to transition into the European Union (EU). The Rule of Law Assistance - Support to the Judicial Academy project implemented by the Judicial Academy (JA) is a two-year, $500,000 initiative to strengthen the JA’s program and management capacities. The overall purpose of the JA is to improve the professional, independent, unbiased and efficient performance of judges and prosecutors and support staff.
For more information, please see http://www.pars.rs
Institutional Strengthening of the High Court Council Project
USAID works with courts and other judicial institutions to strengthen the rule of law in Serbia. The Institutional Strengthening of the High Court Council project is a two-year, $500,000 initiative to develop the administrative and technical capacity of the High Court Council (HCC), the body responsible for administering Serbia’s judiciary and improving the delivery of justice.
For more information, please see http://www.4digitsconsulting.com/
Strengthening Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities Project
USAID supports projects committed to building a more inclusive society and strengthening the rights of persons with disabilities. The Strengthening Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) project is an 18-month, $296,250 initiative to strengthen the political participation of people with disabilities. Increased PWD participation will generate greater respect for and protection of human rights, expand social inclusion, and help the Serbian government to be more responsive to its citizens’ needs.
For more information, please see http://www.cilsrbija.org
Play Unified Project
USAID supports projects committed to building a more inclusive society and strengthening the rights of persons with disabilities. The Play Unified Project is a two-year, $249,815 initiative to provide opportunities for youth with and without intellectual disabilities to work together to create socially inclusive communities.
Real Say on Policy Project
The Real Say on Policy project is a one-year activity implemented by a coalition of civil society organizations (CSO) lead by theCenter for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA)(link is external). The project is focused on helping citizens to interact with candidates and elected officials on issues of public concern.
The project works with Trag Foundation, the National Coalition for Decentralization (NCD), the Slavko Curuvija Foundaton (SCF) and 20 other CSOs to inspire citizen engagement in the policy process through open discussions based on facts and evidence.
For more information, please see http://www.crta.rs/
Support for Local Response to Refugee Crisis Project
The Support for Local Response to Refugee Crisis project is an 18-month activity implemented by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. The project improves the capabilities of select local self-governments, volunteer organizations, and civil society organizations to respond to the current European migration crisis. By its design the project also helps municipalities to develop strategies and structures to aid them in the event of future manmade and natural crises.
The project works in: Adaševci, Šid, Preševo, Krnjača, Principovac, Tutin, Sjenica, and Mitrovgrad. These sites may change depending on migration patterns.
For more information, please see http://www.fondacijadivac.org/
Last updated: August 23, 2016