Democratic Society Promotion (DSP)

Project completed

Through grants and capacity building, Kosovo's civil society is supported to do advocacy and fulfil its watchdog function, to become more accountable and transparent and to enhance legitimacy by reconnecting with citizens and their constituency. By providing support through a contribution to the newly established donor pool fund administered by the local partner Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF), support to civil society will become more efficient, sustainable and better coordinated.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
01.10.2019 - 31.12.2023
CHF  2’600’000
Background Kosovo has established a modern legislation related to enabling environment for civil society, but yet lacks adequate implementation practice and capacity. The Civil Society Organizations (CSO) sector is vibrant in regional comparison, though mostly with weak constituency relations and high funding and thematic dependency on international donors. A fragmented donor landscape (several granting schemes) makes coordination challenging and impedes on the effectiveness and efficiency.
Objectives The overall goal of the intervention is to support civil society to contribute to a democratic and inclusive society in Kosovo and its EU integration.
Target groups

CSOs, unregistered citizen initiatives and individuals that demonstrate commitment to the goal of the program. Reflecting the overall aim for building constituency, primary beneficiaries will be membership-based organizations, grassroots organizations, issue based organizations and CSOs committed to invest in developing inclusive practices and consistent advocacy.

While indirectly citizens as whole will benefit from the intervention, particular attention will go to supporting initiatives that address the rights and needs of marginalized groups, such as warnen, people with disabilities, minorities, LBGTI and youth.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Civil society uses offered and - where necessary- claims spaces for participation, exercising its participatory advocacy functions in shaping public affairs.

Outcome 2: CSOs have strengthened their constituency relations, transparency and accountability towards their constituency.


Expected results:  

1.1 A diverse range of civil society initiatives and actors has been supported to address relevant challenges facing the citizens of Kosovo.

1.2 Citizens and civil society actors serve as and/or are inspired from role models to contribute to democracy advancement.

2.1 . Capacity of funded CSOs in participatory advocacy, community mobilization and constituency relations strengthened.

2.2 Supported CSOs have improved their internal governance and financial management.

Results from previous phases:   DSP phase 2 awarded 89 grants (64 project and 24 institutional grants) from over 500 applications to CSOs working in the fields of democratisation and good governance. More than 26'000 citizens (43% women) participated in activities of supported CSOs. Some illustrative examples of supported initiatives include: i) GWYA, a youth organization, through systemic advocacy work achieved that the municipal budget of Gjakova has a dedicated budgetary line allocated to youth activities, ii) Let's Do it Peja, a local CSO, organized a tireless awareness raising campaign for the integration of the non-majority Serb community households in the Waste Management Enterprise of the municipality of Peja resulting in more than 30 percent of Serb households signing collection contracts and iii) ORCA, a watchdog organization focused in the education sector, initiated a national debate on the quality of higher education by exposing ways professors at the University of Prishtina use to obtain academic credentials by publishing in fake and predatory journals. As a result, the advancement of 70 candidates for academic positions was stopped.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Other partners
Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF)
Coordination with other projects and actors Synergies with DEMOS, HSD, etc. Pooled funding with Sida (and other potential donors: i.e Norway and Luxemburg). Coordination with other donors active in the area of CSO support and democratization (i.e. EU, US, etc.).
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’253’954
Project phases

Phase 3 01.10.2019 - 31.12.2023   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.07.2014 - 31.12.2018   (Completed) Phase 1 20.11.2010 - 30.06.2014   (Completed)