An UNDEF Kosovo* project works to engage civil society in monitoring local governance to advance transparency and accountability in local governance. After one year of monitoring local government institutions, 12 civil society organizations published their first Annual Performance Report of Municipalities with recommendations on participatory budgeting, transparency, accountability to communities, and consultations with civil society. Coordinated by the Kosovo Democratic Institute, the performance report was presented to to newly elected mayors and municipal assembly members. Speakers included Mimoza Kusari-Lila, new Mayor of Municipality of Gjakova and the first woman elected Mayor of Kosovo; Avni Sahiti, Director of Municipal Transparency at the Ministry of Local Government Administration; and newly elected members of municipal assemblies in Mitrovica, Skenderaj and Vitia.
The recommendations urged elected officials to form Legislative Consultative Committees on education, health and local economic development, with civil society experts and representatives; change the format of budgetary public hearings to enable more citizens to attend; improve public information on upcoming capital projects and important decisions that affect their communities. Leaders of Gjakova, Kamenica, Mitrovica Kacanik, Vitia, Klina and Obiliq committed to taking the recommendations on board while working more closely and regularly with the UNDEF project civil society network.
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)