Kosovo wants to build a strong democracy. Helvetas supports the country's 38 municipalities in improving services that are designed to meet the needs of all 1.7 million inhabitants. Political decisions are being decentralized to achieve this.
Project NameDEMOS: Decentralization and Municipal Support
Project Phase2022 to 2025
FundingThis project is an SDC mandate.
Thematic focusVoice, Inclusion & Cohesion
Strengthening underrepresented voices
What use is a park bench that people with walking disabilities can't reach? Who wants to walk on a busy street without a sidewalk? And who should benefit from the infrastructure in towns and villages, if not those who inhabit them?
Municipalities often prioritize things that don’t align with citizens’ biggest needs. For citizen’s voices to be heard, they must be able to participate in the community.
The DEMOS project works with local governments, ministries and other stakeholders to provide support in three key areas:
1. Strengthening local democracy by involving citizens more in decision-making. The inclusion of women and marginalized groups is a priority.
2. Improving financial management and transparency, thereby strengthening accountability to citizen. Decisions on how public money is spent should be based on more sound data.
3. Improving delivery of services to citizens.
Effective laws, policies and reform programs
Performance-based grants are at the heart of this project. DEMOS supports communities based on their performance: The better communities do in this regard, the higher the annual grant they receive from the project. The entire cycle — from data collection, assessment, allocation and management of funds to final reporting and auditing — is integrated into Kosovo's government systems.
To ensure that nothing stands in the way of effective decentralized governance, Helvetas supports the central government in conducting detailed analyses, developing policy options, offering policy advice, and coordinating with relevant stakeholders.
The project has expanded geographically to cover all 38 municipalities of Kosovo. In this (third) phase, these processes are gradually being transferred from Helvetas to the ministry responsible for local government.
Dafina Alishani, municipal assembly member in Prizren
The DEMOS project is a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) mandate implemented by Helvetas.