Evaluation of Sida Support to Balkan Civil Society Development Network, 2019-2022
Sweden has a new strategy for reform cooperation with the Western Balkans and Turkey for the period 2021-2027. In line with the previous strategy, strategic collaboration with civil society continues to be central in the current strategy. Support to civil society promoting the respect for democracy, contributing to increased trust and improving conditions for accountability is specifically defined in the strategy. Priority will be given to helping build resilience to anti-democratic influences.
The project “Promoting Civic Space – Regional Civil Society Development Hub”, carried out by Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) aimsedat establishing a regional civil society development hub to enhance the cooperation and resilience of civil society organizations in the Western Balkan countries by connecting and empowering them in innovative uptakes of the enabling environment and their practices of accountability.
The project was implemented by BCSDN’s Executive Office in Skopje, North Macedonia with the support of its six Western Balkan members:
MCIC – Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation, Republic of North Macedonia
CI – Civic Initiatives, Serbia
CPCD – Centre for Promotion of Civil Society, Bosnia and Herzegovina
CRNVO – Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations, Montenegro
Partners Albania for Change and Development, Albania
KCSF – Kosovar Civil Society Foundation, Kosovo
As stipulated in the agreement between BCSDN and Sida, an external evaluation should be made at the end of the agreement period. The focus was on the results achieved by the project and the functioning of the fund.
The evaluation provides Sida with input to upcoming discussions concerning the strategic support to civil society organisations in the Western Balkans in general, and more specifically how the collaboration with Balkan Civil Society Development Network, could be further developed during a possible next phase of support.
The evaluation also provided BCSDN with additional input regarding how improvements can be made in relation to the work of the BCSDN hub and the fund.