Region: Kosovo

Understanding divisive narratives in Serbia and Kosovo

Peaceful Change initiative is pleased to present research undertaken by Ipsos in order to understand how divisive narratives are generated and disseminated in mainstream media in Serbia and Kosovo. The research is available here: Understanding divisive narratives qualitative research – online focus groups

The findings and recommendations of this research Understanding divisive narratives – media analysis will be used to guide a number of Media Consultation Dialogues (MCD), which will engage media professionals from a variety of backgrounds in order to discuss ways and means of ensuring that divisive narratives become less prominent in mainstream discourse.

This research has been commissioned in the framework of a two and a half year project ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development’; funded from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

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

PCi Stress Management Booklet

Peaceful Change initiative works with societies to prevent or reduce violence that is triggered by radical and divisive change. We aim to mitigate the effects of violence on people’s lives, while laying the foundations for long-term peace and stability. This commitment to making a difference within communities experiencing conflict means that we work in some very difficult places, often very close to the point of violence. This kind of work inevitably places some stresses on PCi team members. The challenge for us is to work together to build a culture that helps manage this stress well.


Knowing that the work we do is often hard and stressful, we wanted to provide team members with some basic tools to help them keep healthy. This booklet provides important information about the nature and symptoms of stress. It is intended to help PCi team members recognise their own symptoms of stress and take some basic actions to manage that stress. Maintaining the wellbeing of our team is crucial to maintaining our peacebuilding impact.

For the PCi Stress Management Booklet in English click here

For the PCi Stress Management Booklet in Arabic click here

Media Consultation Dialogue tackles portrayal of ‘the other’ in Serbia and Kosovo

Peaceful Change initiative held the first of a series of Media Consultation Dialogue, conducted as part of the project: Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development. Media Consultation Dialogues look to engage media experts and professionals from a range of backgrounds and who hold different perspectives, to assess different elements of the media scene and propose new approaches to tackling conflict-generating narratives.

The first Dialogue took place over two separate online sessions on 17 November and 1 December 2020. It reflected on findings of a recent study on divisive narratives in the media in Kosovo and Serbia and discussed critical factors that enable unhealthy portrayals of Kosovo and Serbia in one another’s informational space. The discussions proposed:

  • Finding ways to give media outlets more and more diverse information about their neighbouring country, to help journalists move past worn-out narratives that dominate the present media space.
  • Finding ways to incentivise journalists and media outlets to research, produce and publish different types of stories.
  • Pooling resources, so that media representatives receive more information about one another’s societies on a more regular basis.

A summary of the discussions can be found here

PCi’s partner People in Need (PiN) announces a small grants scheme for communities in Serbia and Kosovo

PCI’s partner in the project Amplifying local voices for equitable development has announced a small grants scheme to support local-level, community-based initiatives that help deal with the impact of Covid-19 on local communities, whilst cutting across ethnic divisions.

Full details of the grants scheme can be found at the following links:

People in Need Kosovo website
People in Need Serbia website
People in Need Kosovo Facebook page
People in Need Serbia Facebook page

The final deadline for applications is 31 January 2021.

Kosovo-Serbia: Addressing COVID-19 – allowing local voices to be heard

PCi works to amplify local voices, especially those of marginalised groups, in support of equitable development. We worked with our partners Aktiv, Civic Initiatives and Peer Educators Network to ensure non-majority communities in Serbia and Kosovo are better aware of – and able to advocate for – municipal services to which they are entitled.

In response to COVID-19, PCi worked with Aktiv to create a ‘Rapid Response Crisis Group’ (RRCG) to ensure that non-majority communities in Kosovo were receiving equitable access to information that sought to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In this first of the video stories which will be produced by all three partners, Aktiv sheds more light on the efforts of the RRCG to ensure equitable access to information. Click here for the film with English subtitles

Improving access to mental health information in Kosovo

PCi are working with partners, among others, to ensure non-majority communities in Serbia and Kosovo have better access to information on COVID-19. The goal of the ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development – ALVED’ project is to strengthen the capacity of citizens in Kosovo and Serbia to advocate for an effective and equitable distribution of public services and for a greater inclusion of non-majority communities in local decision making.

The project is funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of the United Kingdom (CSSF) and implemented by a network of five organisations, including our partner Peer Educators Network (PEN) from Kosovo, who actively work to bring social change through community work led by youth. With their first video-cast published as part of ALVED, PEN is providing information about the effects of the pandemic on mental health, as well as some advice on how to cope with this situation. The video is available in English, Albanian and Serbian language, and was shared across social media by a network of organisations working with diverse groups in Kosovo, including non-majority communities.

PCi’s partner NGO Aktiv advocating for Language Rights in Kosovo

As part of the ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development – ALVED’ project, PCi’s partner organisation Aktiv produced a video-cast that discusses language rights in Kosovo. The video-cast analyses how the pandemic crisis has shed light on weak institutions unable to provide a timely translation of information into Serbian at key moments, leaving members of the Serb and other non-majority communities in Kosovo at a disadvantage. The video is available in Serbian, Albanian and English language.

Understanding divisive narratives in Serbia and Kosovo

Peaceful Change initiative is pleased to present research undertaken by Ipsos in order to understand how divisive narratives are generated and disseminated in mainstream media in Serbia and Kosovo. The research is available here: Understanding divisive narratives qualitative research – online focus groups

The findings and recommendations of this research Understanding divisive narratives – media analysis will be used to guide a number of Media Consultation Dialogues (MCD), which will engage media professionals from a variety of backgrounds in order to discuss ways and means of ensuring that divisive narratives become less prominent in mainstream discourse.

This research has been commissioned in the framework of a two and a half year project ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development’; funded from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

PCi supports civic responses in Kosovo to support the mitigation of COVID-19

In Kosovo, the measures taken by governing authorities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 has mirrored other governments across Europe. However, ensuring such measures don’t negatively impact Kosovo’s non-majority communities has further tested the government’s capacity.

Peaceful Change initiative’s project ‘Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development’ (supported by the UK Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund) has worked through their partner NGO Aktiv, working in Kosovo and Serbia, to establish a Rapid Civic Response Group.

The Group is made up of  22 civil and community activists from across Kosovo representing the Serbian, Albanian, and Gorani communities. It is creating vital channels for the real-time flow of information, thereby facilitating the identification of problems which may otherwise have remained ignored. They include:

  • Poor information dissemination in non-majority languages
  • Poor and/or lack of translation in non-majority languages
  • An increase in security incidents in Serbian communities
  • Challenges accessing economic-aid
  • Inadequate and/or lack of institutional response

Aktiv and the Rapid Civic Response Group have taken steps to lobby the Kosovo government and other relevant actors for urgent steps to address these problems. Their approach includes:

  1. Request to improve communication with non-majority communities addressed to the Government of Kosovo
  2. Op-ed calling for better cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina
  3. Press release on translation challenges, highlighting non-compliance with the Law on the Use of Languages
  4. Open letter to the Ministry of Health and the Ombudsperson regarding the problems faced in accessing institutions
  5. Publication on Covid-19 institutional challenges and proposed solutions
  6. Public statements requesting the broadcasting of RTV MIR and to address non-majority communities’ security concerns.
  7. Public statement on non-majority community challenges accessing the Pandemic Economic Aid package and on the lack of translation to non-majority community languages
  8. Infographics on ‘COVID19 Crisis – Active Citizens Response’and ‘Rapid Response Civic Group – Incidents
  9. A video-cast informing greater audiences on the findings of the RRCG through social media