Photo Credit: Christopher Reardon


After years of conflict and political uncertainty, Kosovo’s independence in 2008 posed great challenges, including healing ethnic and political rifts while building the nation’s economy and infrastructure. In 2008, we began working with civil society organizations in Kosovo to help ease the country’s transition to an inclusive and democratic government.

Through our Kosovo Civil Society Strengthening Project, ISC assisted ordinary citizens and civil society organizations to successfully influence public policy, hold government accountable, and make their communities better places to live. Moreover, ISC and our partners worked to ensure that Kosovo has the legal and regulatory framework to support the civil sector‘s work.

Ultimately our goal has been to ensure that civil society organizations can both serve and advocate on behalf of their constituents, and that all citizens—Albanians, Serbs, and other minorities—have a voice in helping to shape Europe’s youngest country.

Tangible Benefits

  • With capacity building from ISC, 48 organizations successfully advocated for legislative and policy changes on such issues as solid waste management, access to health care, good governance and transparency, climate change, education, and disability rights.
  • Our Kosovo Summer Youth Leadership Academy brought together a diverse group of young adults and prepared them to be effective leaders and agents of change in their home communities. 
  • Our model of providing training and mentoring alongside funding resulted in substantial increases in the effectiveness of our nonprofit partners and helped them strengthen their organizational systems.
  • ISC collaborated with Kosovo's Department for Registration and Liaison with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to build upon existing resources, launch a bilingual online database to improve its service for all organizations, and improve outreach to minority NGOs.

Lasting Change in Kosovo

In April 2011, ISC’s “Lasting Change—It’s Possible” event celebrated the many successes of Kosovo’s civil society, drawing public attention to the ways in which civil society organizations are working to achieve a healthier environment, more responsive government, opportunities for youth, and a more peaceful nation.


Launching Kosovo's Eco Movement

Eco Movement is the first grassroots, community-based network in Kosovo that can address environmental issues and challenges on a national level. Utilizing hands-on approaches such as park and river clean-ups, as well as hiking and cycling tours that promote alternatives to automobiles, the network is helping ordinary citizens see the local, tangible impacts of their environmental protection efforts.


Young Kosovars Reach for the Future

In August 2009, 23 young Kosovars gathered for the Kosovo Summer Youth Leadership Academy, a unique residential program for high school students who are dedicated to improving the lives of their peers in Europe's youngest country. The academy brought together a regionally and ethnically diverse mix of Kosovo's youth, and helped prepare them to be effective leaders and agents of change in their home country.


Persons with Disabilities March to Promote their Rights

Heavy rain did not stop Kosovo’s persons with disabilities, many of them in wheel chairs, from marching through the wet streets of Pristina on December 3, 2010. With one hand pushing the wheels and the other holding umbrellas, their t-shirts spread the message “There is No Democracy Without Us.”