Resource Type: Report

Case study: citizenship, integration, and the census in south Serbia

Billboard in village Turija, Bujanovac, encouraging people to register together with their families.

This case study analyses support given by Peaceful Change initiative to an alliance of civil society organisations based in the south of Serbia who led an intervention aiming to increase the participation of the country’s Albanian minority in the 2022 census in south Serbia.

It provides context for this intervention within a larger vision for peacebuilding in Kosovo and Serbia and describes the specific areas in which it sought to achieve change. It also analyses the post-census social and political conditions in order to draw conclusions on its broader impact on relations among individuals, institutions, and communities.

The study presents the learning produced by the consortium of civil society organisations with regard to key factors for the future success of such exercises. In addition, the case study highlights lessons for similar interventions in the region, and specifically for the future census in Kosovo, originally planned for 2023.

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Srpski (Serbian)

Shqip (Albanian)

The work described in the case study was part of the project Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development (ALVED), funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund.

Case study: strengthening media as a stakeholder in peacebuilding

This case study describes PCi’s experience of convening a partnership among media organisations working in the Kosovo informational space; a partnership created with a view to drawing out lessons for the ways in which international support can help independent media achieve a greater impact on democratisation, inter-communal relationships and peacebuilding.

The study, which analyses work carried out by Peaceful Change initiative as part of the Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development (ALVED), concludes the following:

  • Independent media in Kosovo have a natural inclination to seek out partnerships, including those that transcend the conflict divide. Such collaborations should be encouraged and supported, but they should look beyond the symbolism of cross-conflict cooperation and focus on the added value that different media can bring to each other’s core business.
  • For partnerships to succeed and achieve some form of sustainability, at least one partner should have a clear idea of the value that they seek to gain from the cooperation, beyond the symbolism of developing broader networks.
  • Professional media consider development projects as being of interest to their readership and are prepared to devote resources to cover them. Development projects should view independent media, and especially local media, as partners in achieving their social change objectives – and should support their development in ways that allows them to maintain their independence.
  • Direct support for media in Kosovo should make allowances for the language gap within the country, allocating resources that allow media to work in both Serbian and Albanian in the interest of building more of a unitary informational space. Concurrently, investments should continue to be made to support multilingualism and language rights.
  • Partnership-focused projects should be designed with a view to strengthening authentic drivers of cooperation. To a great extent, this may mean applying monitoring systems that prioritise process over output – especially at the early stages of cooperation. Close monitoring could allow later-stage projects to draw attention to where opportunities to improve output are being overlooked.
  • Cooperation that is rooted in mutual organisational interests can provide the basis for sustainable collaboration and the transformation of relationships on an individual basis. This does not, however, translate into broader transformations in ways of working. Despite the sense of mutual reward from the partnership, the participants applied conflict-avoidance strategies regarding content that was sensitive for their audiences. Investment in partnerships should be long-term; this would allow partnerships to build resilience and let them apply specific strategies for transcending discourses on sensitive topics.

The case study is available to download and read below:

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The work described in the case study was part of the project Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development (ALVED), funded by the UK Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund.

Analysis of cooperation in the fight against human trafficking and gender-based violence

This publication looks at cooperation in the fight against human trafficking and gender-based violence, and makes recommendations for local authorities on the adoption of best practices. The paper focuses on collaboration between four neighbouring municipalities – two in Kosovo, two in Serbia – which are on key migration and smuggling routes. It also looks at the significance of the Western Balkans in terms of migration patterns and the role of the municipalities as transit zones.

This policy paper aims to explain and compare the legal systems in Kosovo and Serbia and addresses the existing gaps in cooperation between institutions in Kosovo and Serbia. This document also explores the complexity of gender-based violence and the legal challenges associated with tackling the problems of domestic violence.

This analysis was published by the Center for Peace and Tolerance Pristina with the support of Peaceful Change Initiative.

The policy paper is available to download and read below:

Women in media report: Serbia and Kosovo

Cover image women in media report

PCi’s Western Balkans project “Amplifying local voices for equitable development” – ALVED, hosted a series of Media Consultation Dialogues which brought together media professionals from Serbia and Kosovo to discuss and reflect on challenges and opportunities to improve the media scene, reduce divisive narratives, and increase cooperation between journalists and media across the ethnic divide. The Dialogues included topics such as the work of media regulatory bodies; the importance of local media; independent media sustainability; what are the roots and causes of divisive narratives and why is there a lack of empathy for “the other”.

One of the Media Consultation Dialogues focused on “Women in the Newsroom” and looked at the positioning of women in media and the level of (in)equality with their male colleagues and the ways this affects the way that women are represented in the media. A comprehensive questionnaire was sent out to close to a thousand media professionals in both Kosovo and Serbia and PCi is proud to present the results of this study together with a set of recommendations on how these worrying findings can be addressed.

In 2023 it is utterly unacceptable to find out that one in three women working in Serbian media and one in four in Kosovar media have been victims of sexual harassment. Or that around close to 30% of women working in Kosovar and Serbian media have been discriminated due to their age or appearance. The fact that seven out of ten women are considering changing jobs and professions is certainly not a result of a satisfactory status of women in Kosovar and Serbian media.

The comprehensive Report Survey can be accessed below:

Serbia report in Serbian language

Serbia report in Albanian language

Serbia report in English language

Kosovo report in Albanian language

Kosovo report in Serbian language

Kosovo report in English language

Integrating Gender into community-level peacebuilding: Lessons from Libya

Since 2013, Peaceful Change initiative has been supporting community-level peacebuilding initiatives in more than 40 Libyan municipalities. This report captures our experience and lessons learned from nearly 10 years of integrating gender into our programme. Key lessons include: 

  • Using a gender lens to analyse conflict was key to increasing community understanding of why women’s agency in local peace and conflict should not be underestimated 
  • Understanding interests and needs of diverse groups of women helped to offer relevant incentives for them to engage in local peacebuilding activities 
  • Working with men on their attitudes and behaviours and identifying ‘male allies’ helped to create a safer space for women to participate 
  • Funding and opportunities for women to strengthen their leadership skills and implement their own initiatives represented an important tool to deepen women’s participation 
  • Safely raising the visibility of women peace leaders helped shift social perceptions towards women and their role in peace and decision making 

Download the full report

Find out more about the Social Peace and Local Development (SPLD) programme

integrating gender into our programmes

Championing the voices of Libya’s youth peace leaders

The ‘Bader’ campaign was launched on Facebook on 17 February 2021, on the 10-year anniversary of the Libyan uprising. The campaign provided a platform for young leaders from different communities in Libya to talk about their experiences of promoting peace, social cohesion, and women’s inclusion. By amplifying the voices of young peace activists, Bader sought to inspire others to take action. Within a month of its launch, the Bader Facebook page had received 15,000 likes and over 500 stories had been submitted by young activists across Libya. Through the campaign, 3 young leaders were selected to receive grants of up to 20,000 LYD to implement their projects. The profiles of 19 of Bader’s most outstanding participants are outlined in this booklet.

The direct link to this flipbook is here and you can view as plain pdf here

Kosovo: Supporting civic responses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Despite good intentions and efforts to treat all citizens equally, regardless of their ethnicity, the Kosovo government has experienced a lack of capacity to address the needs of all communities living in Kosovo, as COVID-19 mitigation measures have been introduced.  Government institutions have been weakened by the political crisis and the collapse of the government; this has left non-majority communities with a lack of qualitative and timely information, as well as challenges obtaining assistance. Click on the Case Study here

Understanding the relationships between communities and armed groups in Libya

Peaceful Change initiative and AFAQ Libya undertook research at the community level in nine target areas along coastal Libya to help inform planning for the development and democratisation of security provision, so that such processes 1) are responsive to the needs of local communities; 2) are ‘conflict sensitive’, in that they do not result in increased tensions or a return to violence; and 3) provide a platform for future reconciliation between different interest groups in the country.

Download the report in English

Download the report in Arabic

Supporting community peace resources in Syria

PCi is providing support to community peace resources – those individuals and organisations involved in local initiatives to prevent, manage and resolve conflict. The first task of this work was to map such peace resources; this was done in March 2014. PCi captured learning from this research and outlined an agenda for supporting the development and strengthening of community-level resources for peace in Syria.

Download the report in English

Download the report in Arabic

Transformational leadership and conflict management in Libya

PCi worked with Libyan communities to foster transformational leaders able to manage the conflicts affecting their communities. This work was conducted for the European Union, as part of its support to civil society in Libya, and delivered through EUNIDA. Lessons learned from the project were made public in June 2014, along with the training material used. A short video was also released, giving an insight into the challenges for, and role of, local leaders in building peace in Libya.

Download the report and the training guide in English here

Download the training guide in Arabic here