Civil society - Part 16

posted by julia on 2007/08/04 22:37

[ Civil society ]

The Kosovo Civil Society Foundation has published a Mapping and Analysis of Kosovar Civil Society. The download of the pdf-document from the website does not function, but you can get the document by contacting the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation. Here is an excerpt of the conclusion:

"What has emerged in Kosovo in the last half-decade is a large civil society
that is diverse, vibrant, motivated, and well-regarded by the government, yet
also disorganized, uneven, and short on discipline and professionalism
. The
sector’s composition and the organisations’ missions and activities are driven
more by the latest and motley set of international donor priorities than societal
The lack of earnest public oversight translates into weak accountability
and confusing internal governance. The shortage of resources and necessary
trainings has also hindered the qualities of identity-definition, strategic planning,
organisational management, and program performance.

To expect hallmarks of a mature civil society so quickly would have been
entirely unrealistic. Many of the problems identified in this report – the overlaps,
inefficiencies, and chaos – actually make much sense for a boom sector coming
off the end of those generosities. But far more attention could have been paid
by the international administration and donor community to the more prominent
flaws of Kosovar CSOs. Simply put, the impressive post-war explosion of NGO
energy could have been better shaped and channelled to promote Kosovo’s

I also found interesting a chapter on self-perceptions of civil society organisations in Kosovo:

"Civil Society Organisations gave different perspectives about the definition of
civil society, but nevertheless almost all of them agreed to the fact that civil
society is everything that is not the state, the government and the business or
market sector. As one of the participants further elaborated, this is the reason
why the civil society is called the third sector, having in mind that the government and state structures are the first sector and business community is
the second sector. Having said that, CSO representatives see civil society as a
supplement to the government; they see it as a corpus of organisations and
institutions that serve in general for the “correction” of the government.

“Civil society is a group of people, who are gathered to discuss and advocate
about certain issues that are seen as problematic in one place.”
(CSO Representative, Female, Gjakova)

“It is a group of people that are working in order to fully fulfill certain needs
of the community. It is a kind of a bridge or link between the community and
institutions, a mechanism that speaks for the community’s needs to higher instances, of different institutions.”
(CSO Representative, Female, Prizren)

CSO representatives, while defining what the civil society is and how they see
it, also tried to point out what is the purpose of civil society. There were
different voices about the purpose of civil society, mainly linked to the definitions they had already given, but there were also some very specific remarks.
According to them, one of the purposes of the civil society is to protect the
rights of the people from the lack of accountability and responsibility of the
government. Civil society is also there to fulfill and work for the rights and to
fulfill what the government cannot, as well as serve as a promoter of specific
categories of people in society."



This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
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