Human security through civil society in post-war Kosovo

This research, entitled ‘Lessons learned: challenges to building gendered human security through civil society in post-war Kosovo’, identifies and explores the challenges to building gendered human security through local and international NGOs in Kosovo’s post-war NGO boom period.

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Index

Abstract

Kosovo’s transitional period was not just post-war, but post-communist; it lacked not only basic infrastructure, but a functioning political system. The international community, development theorists and academics focused Kosovo’s post-war reconstruction and development efforts towards the creation of a strong civil society, as it was and is a necessary and “stabilizing factor, and an instrument to bring about social cohesion” (Nietsch 2006: 6). Civil society is lauded as representative of the interests of citizen groups, including the marginalized and disadvantaged, as capable of monitoring human rights, being a ballast to the government, and capable of building bridges between communities.

Civil society is a fundamental part of a healthy, secure, democratic society. It is comprised of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) which I divide into three categories: 1. International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs); 2. Local Non-Governmental Organizations (LNGOs); 3. Community Based Organizations (CBOs). Many development-focused CSOs aim to promote democracy, peace, stability, or human security through their interventions, especially in post-crisis situations. Transcending human rights, human security provides a more holistic way of looking at security for nations and individuals, because to focus on the “real security needs of living people” is to focus on the needs of a nation (Licht 2006: 201). As a major pillar of human security is the respect for women’s human rights, customized ways of responding to gendered human security is critical in a post-crisis/post-war context because of the unique set of challenges women face.

In a ‘donor boom’, newly-created LNGOs (at times formed from a parent INGO) must build gendered human security into their organizational design as much as into their projects. To have scalable and sustainable interventions, to create a longer-term positive impact and ‘do’ more effective development, organizations must engage with human security to thrive. But what must they do to survive? This research identifies and explores the challenges to building gendered human security through LNGOs and INGOs in Kosovo’s post-war NGO boom period, focusing on five principal areas that threaten the survival of organizations.

About the author

Elizabeth Zherka is a graduate student at the University of Washington, Seattle pursuing a Master of International Studies from the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and a Master of Public Administration from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. In 2012 she was certified by the Evans School in International Development Policy and Management. She is a 2013 graduation candidate.

1) Research Goals

It is my contention that gendered human security can be created through projects/interventions by CSOs (namely LNGOs/INGOs) and through the organization’s internal operations; the organization can build gendered human security for the project beneficiaries and the staff/organization members. However, for LGNOs/INGOs to carry out appropriate human security focused interventions/projects that recognize the multifaceted and gendered nature of human security needs, they must also succeed in five key areas of challenge or common failure which this research explores. Supported by large bodies of literature on NGOs, civil society, human security, and non-profit management and the data collected by the LNGO ‘Advocacy Training and Research Center’ in 2008 and 2009, I have sought to confirm the five areas I have identified that must be focused on, in addition to gendered human security, to avoid organization collapse and project failure.

Already being familiar with organizations in Kosovo that ‘do’ gendered human security internally and/or externally (some with an explicitly women-focused mission), the goal of this research (1) was to better understand the challenges to building human security that newly created LNGOs in particular faced and continue to face. This empirical research was an opportunity to test the literature against the reality.

Below are the core questions that drove my research:

  • Is the current literature and data reflective of the opinions and experiences of current and past LNGO/INGO Directors in Kosovo?
  • How have organizations responded to the changing civil society climate in Kosovo which has been marked by three overlapping and compounding negative phases: donor fatigue; volunteer fatigue; and a high suspicion of corruption of all successfully operating businesses/organizations?
  • How have organizations met the challenge of ‘capacity building’ for their staff/team?
  • How have organizations met the challenge of obtaining ‘community buy-in’?
  • How have organizations met the challenge of ‘ownership’, of exercising decision-making and bottom-up driven agendas?
  • How have organizations met the challenge of ‘transparency’ in a highly suspicious climate?
  • How have organizations met the challenge of ‘sustainability’ in a period marked by a flood of funding and then severe donor drought?

In focusing my research on understanding the challenges to building human security, for both women-focused and non-women’s organizations alike, I desired to establish patterns and common themes. These themes would then form the base of a tool to be applied in future post-crisis settings as ways of avoiding common areas of failure/challenge that, if not engaged with, can bar an organization from building human security, or can ruin an organization entirely.

2) Research Findings

Kosovo’s post-war history has been a decade of NGOs; the post-crisis environment has even been popularly referred to as a ‘Disneyland’ for NGOs.(2) As UNMIK focused on its pillar of civil administration, the pillar of humanitarian assistance coordinated by UNMIK was “the largest contingent of INGOs in the shortest time ever seen in a post-war setting” (Sterland  2006: 18). Focusing on localized projects, donor funding made large amounts of money available for short periods of time leading to a sharp rise in the number of LNGOs.

“In 2001 everyone rushed to open an LNGO, there were so many donors but all our projects were donor dependent…we had to follow what the money [or donor] wanted to support not what our community needed” (Interviewee #39, 2012).

“The arrival of NGOs on the scene was described by some as a ‘feeding frenzy’ of crisis junkies. Some NGOs arrived to offer help without demonstrating experience or competence to serve the people they intended to help. Instead of defining their own missions and building on prior field experience, some providers sought to promise whatever donors were willing to underwrite. Several hundred non-governmental organizations became involved.”(3)

Nietsch argues that the flurry of support for and by international civil society’s building of programs led to artificial and inflated numbers of NGOs. Llamazares and Reynolds Levy propose that the “funding frenzy that characterized the immediate aftermath of the war meant that many LNGOs emerged due to the demand of INGOs rather than careful assessment of the real needs of their own communities” (Llamazares & Reynolds Levy 2003: 21). My interview subjects, project beneficiaries and LNGO staff alike, widely agreed with this assessment that the sudden and uncontrolled deluge of foreign money and interest created short term and inevitably unsustainable organizations that were as much about creating employment opportunities for friends and family as they were for helping their war-torn nation.

Based on Nietsch’s data, gathered from the NGO Liaison and Registration Unit in 2004, Figure 1 in Appendix 2 illustrates the ‘boom’ in LNGO creation, followed by a sharp tapering which she argues is not uncommon in post-crisis settings, citing Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia as examples (Nietsch 2006: 12). In 2003, there were a total of 2,079 registered LNGOs in Kosovo (Llamazares & Reynolds Levy 2003: 18). According to the 2008 Human Development Report: Civil Society and Development, the most recent statistics provided by the Department for Registration and Liaison with NGOs report that there are 447 INGOs in Kosovo and 4,917 registered LNGOs of which fewer than 300 are ‘active’ (United Nations Development Program 2008: 22).

“We used to have more than fifty local organizations in just the city of Gjakova, now there are maybe five that are currently operating. We were all doing the same thing, helping people, sometimes even in the same ways…but we were also doing it differently. I can name more than 10 organizations that I know, at some time or another, made courses for women to take to educate them so they could get a job…hairdressing, sewing, English language, secretary work, offering them a certificate at the end. Some of these organizations were only wanting to help women but others just had the focus of making society better and that meant helping women to learn and to get jobs. We [organizations] were all trying to do the same thing, but doing it without each other. We didn’t collaborate much with other organizations—we had our own funding and our own projects to run. I don’t know why we didn’t see the chance to really put our resources together in the beginning, maybe it was because everything was chaos” (Interviewee #55, 2012).

NGOs in Kosovo can be categorized by their activities and work on the following: transparency, civil rights, community development, disability, economic development, education, good governance, health, judicial reform, ethnic reconciliation, humanitarian aid, social welfare, youth, and women (Advocacy Training and Resource Center 2009: 15). According to 350 NGOs operating in Kosovo that were surveyed by the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) in 2005, many of them have participated in various types of training. Figure 2 in Appendix 2 was generated based on the information provided in KCSF’s report “Mapping and Analysis of Kosovo Civil Society”, page 43.

Much of the academic literature concerning the post-war NGO ‘boom’ in Kosovo addresses the high volume of money, staff and volunteers that poured in with either short time frames or small projects. Due to lack of coordination there was a great deal of duplication of efforts and even instances of competition between already established LNGOs and INGOs.(4) Donor dependency, some argue, has undercut civil society’s bottom-up approach (5), and has produced a ‘Darwinian approach’ to NGO development, where only a fraction of LNGOs created are active a year after creation (6). After three years of INGO involvement, the donors and funds began to dry up as other crises demanded attention; as so many LNGOs were directly dependent upon international support, they suspended operations indefinitely.

“Donor funding was important to the development of our country, but the type of funding that was given [either as INGOs or to newly created LNGOs] was always short term. The ‘donor boom’ was a short term mission, vision and projects. They did the job and went home” (Interviewee #65, 2012).

Barriers to Success

The most significant challenges that LNGOs faced in operating in Kosovo’s post-war period can be broken into the following five core areas that each directly influence one another. It is in these areas that organizations have been seen to stumble, or fall entirely, and become an ‘inactive’ organization. Struggling in these areas significantly challenges any chance of an organization succeeding in building gendered human security either within their organization or through their interventions. The five areas below were identified through the current literature, in comparison with interviewee responses, as the most significant barriers to successful organizational management and project realization; they therefore pose the greatest threat to an organization being a conduit for gendered human security.

a) Capacity building:

  • There was a lack of training for the partners and/or staff of INGOs
  • There was a lack or mismatch of training given to LNGOs by parent organizations and/or donors.

A lack of training of the local staff working for INGOs or else their local partners acted as a barrier to full participation, especially in decision-making, which in turn kept the ownership of the organization (#3) firmly in the hands of the donors/internationals. In instances where training was provided, however, KCSF reports that the kinds of training offered by the international community did not match the needs of the organizations/local staff. While it appears that a good portion of those organizations surveyed (7) by KCSF received more than one type of formal and practical training, according to their interviews with these organizations “participants in this study often cited training in areas of NGO management as being greatly needed, including financial management, fundraising, project management, and human resource management. The field of human rights was another area that a surprisingly large number of NGO representatives expressed a need for professional development and training in. In addition, a large number of NGOs mentioned that there is a need for legal training in relation to NGOs, as well as a need for advocacy and lobbying training” (Kosovo Civil Society Foundation 2005: 43). Other interviews by KCSF revealed that INGOs and the international community were more concerned with having local partners/organizations as “dependent vehicles for the delivery of external support”, and were not viewed as long term partners or potential beneficiaries of human security (Kosovo Civil Society Foundation 2005: 39).

In interviews with currently successfully operating LNGOs (most of which were formed by a parent INGO post-war) they identified training and education on the side of the donor or parent organization as critical to their success.

“They didn’t just set up their branch or their international non-profit here and fund projects, they gave us training, they passed us their skills and with their guidance we were able and capable to become a local organization, without them” (Interviewee #4, 2012).

“They gave us all the training they thought we needed and then gave us what else we wanted to learn. We knew they weren’t going to help us for more than a couple years and so we asked to learn grant-writing, so that we could continue once they left” (Interviewee #41, 2012).

“We were teachers, expected to raise our country (and women) up with economics, by giving others necessary information to succeed. The best thing our parent org did was to make us all, every member of staff, successfully complete a ‘Training of the Trainer’, TOT. I know I have gotten my last two jobs because I know this material and can prove with working that I know it” (Interviewee #40, 2012).

b) Community buy-in:

  • INGOs/LNGOs were often seen as corrupt and self-serving and out of touch with the current needs.

The past decade of NGO involvement in Kosovo has been marked by three distinct and overlapping changes that have directly affected the public perception of the efficacy of civil society. The first change was the decline in donor funding, the second was the end of the spirit of volunteerism, and the third was a highly suspicious environment.

“It makes sense but it doesn’t make it right. You don’t put the right or the smartest people on your project or in your organization, you just put your family first and your close friends. These families that had entire organizations that became LNGOs ended up with nice apartments or new houses and a brand-new car…this is while we were getting angry about how to pay for bread. To ‘get’ a donor was to get një jetë të artë [a golden life]” (Interviewee #65).

A rapid change in lifestyle of those working with or for an INGO (or those who had established their own LNGO) served to alienate them from their local community. This divide only deepened as fewer and fewer INGOs remained operating in Kosovo, and those who had managed to continue employment with an organization were viewed with jealousy.

“Things got better after the war; but how could they have gotten worse? But after a couple years the international organizations we relied on for support and for jobs began to disappear. We were being forgotten. But those still with NGO jobs, driving their expensive jeeps, were fine; they made sure their families were taken care of with these organizations, while we all struggled for jobs” (Interviewee #9, 2012).

“I saw myself that the organization had money, just a little to give to volunteers, but because they wanted to keep it, they would say that they had no money. In one very big LNGO here in Kosovo I worked on a project where we were supposed to get € 4 a day for food as volunteers. They gave us some qebap (8) and water and it was less than € 1 …they kept the rest…we were almost 40 volunteers! I don’t believe for one second that that money went into another project. I know it went into the pocket of the director. What could I do? Tell their boss in Prishtina? It was their relative! I don’t volunteer anymore” (Interviewee #18, 2012).

Stories such as the one above are numerous and have circulated widely, contributing to the ever growing public consensus that it is not just the government that is corrupt, but any currently succeeding organization in which the fruits of the organization’s labor are not visible and the lifestyle of the staff are far above the average.

After extensive conversations with the local communities I was able to create a shortlist of organizations currently in operation that are deemed to be trustworthy and do ‘good work’. These organizations that have escaped being stamped with the mark of ‘corruption’ were asked why organizations saw them in such a positive light; their responses are as follows:

“Having a good reputation as an LNGO is important; they know me as the director rather than the organization and its full official name. They know that I do not tolerate corruption and I take steps to make sure that no one can ever suspect me. I make our salaries public, and they are modest. I do not drive a car for the organization with the logo. I freely send out all documents with the organization’s information if anyone requests it. My character is connected to the organization….for those where people say their organization is corrupt, maybe it is, but it is because usually they don’t trust the person running it…they don’t trust their character” (Interviewee # 61, 2012).

“Getting the community to believe in you, getting the ones you want to help to believe in you is about showing them that they are not just at the end, getting something, they are the reason you exist; it is for them that you write projects, it is for them that you work. You MUST research the needs of your beneficiaries and be professional…know their needs like a business knows its customers” (Interviewee # 57, 2012).

“It is a lot easier to be seen as not corrupt if you have a really, really good and strong parent organization that the local community trusts. When you become an LNGO you get that trust too because of the association with that organization remains” (Interviewee # 59, 2012).

“Some organizations that were more focused on the rights of women did not get a popular view from the local community. This is not because we are misogynist. But why do you focus on the rights when some of the women you should be helping do not have enough food or cannot pay for electricity? These organizations are foolish and even if they are local they are not seen as local, as serving our people, they are still with the ‘internationals’ doing this ‘feminist’ work” (Interviewee # 46, 2012).

“Work that can be easily seen and measured is easier to give credit for, so rights organizations and ‘womens problems’ is harder to support in our community because we cannot see any progress they are making. If they want to work on women’s problems and really make their lives better, they need to ask the women what they need. They need to say, what is difficult in your life? What do you need? Where do you need help? And to then actually do something about it” (Interviewee # 54, 2012).

c) Ownership (Top-down vs. Bottom-up):

  • INGOs and LNGOs often have donor-driven agendas, especially in the case of LNGOs whose mission statements and projects are variable due to intermittent funding.

According to Sterland, the LNGOs that were created during the post-war period had the characteristics of being single donors, with the parent INGOs maintaining administrative control through management positions (Sterland 2006: 18). (9)

In a conversation with one civil society expert, she articulated the significance of a top-down method and its relationship to other LNGO challenges: “Corruption and culture are easy ways to explain away this LNGO/civil society failure, but these are incorrect solutions and answers. It is a lack of community buy-in, a lack of trust, not asking and meeting their local needs, as it is top-down and donor driven; it is foreign. Since 2005 there have been a lot fewer INGOs, and LNGOs are donor driven” (Interviewee #27, 2012). An agenda that is driven by donor priorities, without careful assessment of local needs and a lack of community buy-in, compounds the problem.

For those INGOs or donors that focused on meeting the first challenge of ‘capacity building’, ownership was not often a significant barrier to success. Because the organization took the time and resources to train its staff, thereby empowering them, they also gave them greater responsibility and involvement in active and participatory decision-making.

“We were an INGO for 3 years before becoming our own LNGO. When we were under their organization we were treated as equals. Everything was highly collaborative and there were even daily meetings held, for all the staff, in which all were expected to actively participate. This made us, even though we didn’t hold the money or ultimately the control, feel as though we had control over what was happening with the organization” (Interviewee # 58, 2012).

d) Transparency:

  • A lack of active boards or assemblies and clearly defined stakeholders contributes to a general suspicion of corruption for many organizations.

All LNGOs in Kosovo must have a board of three or more members when they first register. These board members are allowed to serve for two years and then for a second term, for a total of four years. Board members are seldom changed after the initial registration of the organization, even though the necessary forms may be submitted at any time, without a fee, to their local ministry office. Board members are expected to act in this capacity for free and drive the policy of the organization. Their active presence significantly contributes to the transparency of an organization. An inactive board, or a board comprised of individuals who are not widely trusted, directly impacts the level of trust by the general public. In interviews, only one organization willingly makes internal information public, such as the ins and outs of their budget or staff salaries. The overwhelming majority of those interviewed do not deem it necessary or important to be transparent in terms of salary, budgets, board or assembly action or to clearly define stakeholders. When inquiring whether or not they could produce an annual publication or else put it on a website (as possible solutions at transparency) the responses were as follows:

“Making a publication takes funds, so in order to do it, we need to get more money. Who will read this publication, just so it can sit on our office bookshelf? How does this help the people we are trying to help? It doesn’t. They know we are doing good work, if the rest think we are corrupt, there is nothing we can do about it” (Interviewee # 36, 2012).

“We don’t have a good website. Web design and maintenance are expensive. It would be nice, but for what we do, we don’t need to have the online presence” (Interviewee # 31, 2012).

“What would be the point, of either publishing something or making it on our website, to show people how much money we spend and on what? If they already believe we are corrupt, they won’t believe our publication or website information…so what’s the point?” (Interviewee # 59, 2012).

“Corruption is everywhere…sometimes participating a little is the only way to get your project, or to give your community what they need…who cares if being not transparent actually makes us able to do more and better work?” (Interviewee # 58, 2012).

e) Sustainability:

  • INGOs can gain community reliance, but, because of their short-term aims lack a mechanism to transfer support onto either another CSO or a government program.
  • LNGOs, which are created in the post-crisis boom, lack a long-term financial sustainability plan.

“Donors pulling out was like pulling the plug of a light from the socket. We didn’t have funding or the necessary skills to survive in the darkness” (Interviewee #65, 2012).

The issue of sustainability is not unique to Kosovo’s post-war donor boom. In research conducted by KCSF, focus groups revealed that donors are partially blamed for the situation of non-sustainable LNGOs in Kosovo, as they have “seldom encouraged or required local NGOs to develop long-term sustainability and self-financing plans” (KCSF 2005: 39). In my interviews with successful LNGOs, all identified financial sustainability as one of the strongest factors in their success. This was then directly tied by the interviewees to the importance of capacity building, wherein the donors or the parent organization (INGO) was directly involved in preparing the organization for surviving without their support.

“The organization I work for was an INGO/LNGO collaboration. We were a very small organization, only 4 full time members of staff. A year ago we were told that we could not count anymore on external funding/support, that we would need to find our own grants to continue. None of us had any previous NGO experience; the only experience we had was from the tasks directly with our projects. We didn’t know even how to go about the first steps of finding funding” (Interviewee # 9, 2012).

Lacking a long-term strategy or full analysis of the long-term impact of their work and presence in the post-war environment, combined with a focus on short-term projects, means that INGOs have less of a chance of successfully becoming an LNGO.

3) Policy Implications and Recommendations

“While the collective economic and social good is the goal of all development, the ultimate aim is that of human security of each individual” (Truong 2006: 277).

Transcending human rights and the security of national borders, human security encompasses “protection from ethnic violence, and the ability to control one’s own future by having a secure home, adequate health, education, environment and civil administration” (Sampson 2003: 138). The United Nations Commission on Human Security (CHS), in the UN Secretariat, within the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), states that the purpose of human security is to “‘protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment’” (Kaldor & Glasius 2006: 6). Building human security into CSOs so that it is not just a part of interventions, but a part of  long-term development plans, by including it inside organizations would avoid many of the critiques of both INGOs and LNGOs. If INGOs view local partners, or the LNGO they support, as being in equal need of their human security being met as their beneficiaries, and if newly created LNGOs applied the same internal human security focus, many of the root causes of the current critiques would be eliminated. Appropriate training, for example, is just one area in which the post-crisis local individuals engaging with CSOs can experience a form of human security in the shape of ‘empowerment’ through knowledge, confidence building, and acquiring a skill-set. This is of particular importance when considering the impact that a more nuanced form of human security, that is ‘gendered’ human security, could have on women, especially in a post-crisis setting.

Post-war is a critical period in which to address human security, not only because of the significant need, but because of the unique opportunity that presents itself through INGO involvement and LNGO creation, thereby establishing organizations within civil society that are capable of building gendered human security through their interventions and especially within their organizations. Human security is about freedom. It is about the ability to feel secure and live in dignity. While poverty and violence are significant issues that human security may address, it is not limited to those areas. Power and access to resources are based on gender and human security must not just acknowledge this, but engage with it, because “the possibilities for female freedoms to develop their potential and capacities are generally more limited than those of the male” (Truong 2006: 277). Civil society, through INGOs and LNGOs, can directly facilitate gendered human security, specifically, in transition or post-crisis societies.

Human security does not just have to be thought of in terms of the projects or interventions that they pursue; but how human security can be made a critical part of the project life cycle should also be considered. Human security can be built through staffing, empowerment and a long-term vision for handoff to stronger local partners. In post-crisis settings, it has become the norm for there to be a spike in LNGO registration/creation. It is in this critical period that INGOs who are either funding these newly created LNGOs, or creating their own branches must consider whether gendered human security is being accomplished both internally and externally. For those organizations or foundations giving funds/grants to the often newly created LNGOs that have emerged as a response to the abundance of funding there must be a way to audit/evaluate the organization/their projects to examine whether human security is both being internally and externally addressed. I propose such an audit in the ‘Conclusions’ and Appendix 3.

4) Conclusions

“The Charter for Human Rights states that the primary question of every human security activity should not be: ‘What can we do?’ It should be: ‘How does this activity build on the efforts and capabilities of those directly affected?” (Glasius & Kaldor 2006:13).

For INGOs and LNGOs (or those funding them) that seek to address gendered human security, a tool for self-auditing is included in Appendix 3. This tool is a gendered human security empowerment tool that may be applied on two levels: internally – through staffing/capacity building/successful handoff; or externally – through projects/interventions. It is flexible and may be applied in multiple ways: (1) to a newly-established LNGO as a form of self-check; (2) by a parent organization/INGO as a form of self-check; (3) by donors to assess the work of the grantee. The tool can be informal and part of an internal guide for a local organization, or can be more formally applied and included as part of reporting back on the side of the grantee (e.g., in a semi-annual report/progress report). The set of questions in the self-audit that check that gendered human security is addressed (both externally and internally), follows the timeline of the project life cycle (from project design to implementation to close-out), and focuses on the five core challenge areas previously identified (capacity building; community buy-in; ownership; transparency; sustainability). Addressing the questions as individuals and as a team, revisiting them during the project lifecycle and examining the responses, will help organizations and donors alike to engage strategically with the five core challenges.

Footnotes

1)  Interviews in 2011 were conducted in person during site visits in Prishtina and Gjakova, Kosovo from June-July and were supported by the author’s Boba Fellowship from the University of Washington. Interviews in 2012 were conducted in person in the municipalities of Prishtina, Gjakova, Prizren and Gjilan and were supported by the author’s Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Fellowship from the US Department of State. No interviews were recorded and interviewees were granted anonymity per HSD study #40748. Interviews were semi-structured and varied from 20-120 minutes in length. On occasion, a set of questions were sent via email to the interviewee because of scheduling challenges.

2) In an interview, Ed Greenwood, CEO of FINCA Kosovo, called Kosovo a ‘Disneyland’ for NGOs (Ohanyan 2008).

3) Humanitarian aid worker (Independent International Commission on Kosovo 2000: 202-3).

4) The LNGO Motrat Qiriazi set up a center for traumatized women and children in Prishtina in September 1999. Two months later, without warning, an Italian NGO set up an almost identical center, seeking to assist the same pool of beneficiaries. On the same street a Danish organization changed its activities so that by the end of that year, there were three NGOs in the same area, competing for the same beneficiaries. See Sterland 2006: 19 for further details.

5) See United Nations Development Program 2008: 40.

6) See Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development 2005: 7.

7) Refer to Appendix 2, Figure 2.

8) A type of fast-food.

9) Sterland acknowledges that this type of “artificial insemination of civil society can produce viable progeny” as the majority of the very few remaining active LNGOs trace their roots to “direct INGO intervention” (Sterland 2006: 18).

Appendix 1: Interviews

Interviews in 2011 were conducted in person during site visits in Prishtina and Gjakova, Kosovo from June-July and were supported by the author’s Boba Fellowship from the University of Washington.

Interviews in 2012 were conducted in person in the municipalities of Prishtina, Gjakova, Prizren and Gjilan and were supported by the author’s Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Fellowship from the US Department of State.

No interviews were recorded and interviewees were granted anonymity per HSD study #40748. Interviews were semi-structured, varied from 20-120 minutes in length, and were guided by my questionnaire matrix (found in English in Appendix 4 and Albanian in Appendix 5). On occasion, a set of questions were sent via email to the interviewee in advance because of scheduling challenges.

  • Interviewee #1, 2011: Policy Officer (Prishtina)
  • Interviewee #2, 2011: Medica Gjakova staff member
  • Interviewee #3, 2011: Medica Gjakova staff member
  • Interviewee #4, 2011 & 2012: Medica Gjakova staff member
  • Interviewee #5, 2011: Medica Gjakova staff member
  • Interviewee #6, 2011: NGO expert
  • Interviewee #7, 2011: NGO expert
  • Interviewee #8, 2011: Journalist and academic
  • Interviewee# 9, 2011 & 2012: NGO expert
  • Interviewee #10, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #11, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #12, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #13, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #14, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #15, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #16, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #17, 2011 & 2012: NGO expert
  • Interviewee #18, 2011 & 2012: LNGO volunteer
  • Interviewee #19, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #20, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #21, 2011 & 2012: LNGO volunteer
  • Interviewee #22, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #23, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #24, 2011 2012: Journalist
  • Interviewee #25, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #26, 2011: University student
  • Interviewee #27, 2011 & 2012: Civil society expert
  • Interviewee #28, 2011: Civil society expert
  • Interviewee #29, 2011: NGO/Civil society expert
  • Interviewee #30, 2011: Gender studies expert and academic
  • Interviewee #31, 2011 & 2012: LNGO volunteer
  • Interviewee #32, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #33, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #34, 2011: General public
  • Interviewee #35, 2012: LNGO volunteer & political activist
  • Interviewee #36, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #37, 2012: General public
  • Interviewee #38, 2012: Gjakova Municipality government employee
  • Interviewee #39, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #40, 2012: Civil society expert
  • Interviewee #41, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #42, 2012: Academic
  • Interviewee #43, 2012: Civil society expert
  • Interviewee #44, 2012: Local member of government (Gjilan municipality)
  • Interviewee #45, 2012: General public/LNGO beneficiary
  • Interviewee #46, 2012: General public/LNGO beneficiary
  • Interviewee #47, 2012: General public/LNGO beneficiary
  • Interviewee #48, 2012: General public/LNGO beneficiary
  • Interviewee #49, 2012: General public/LNGO beneficiary
  • Interviewee #50, 2012: Academic
  • Interviewee #51, 2012: Academic
  • Interviewee #52, 2012: University student
  • Interviewee #53, 2012: University student
  • Interviewee #54, 2012: General public
  • Interviewee #55, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #56, 2012: INGO staff member
  • Interviewee #57, 2012: INGO staff member
  • Interviewee #58, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #59, 2012: LNGO staff member
  • Interviewee #60, 2012: General public
  • Interviewee #61, 2012: INGO staff member
  • Interviewee #62, 2012: Gjakova Municipality employee
  • Interviewee #63, 2012: University student
  • Interviewee #64, 2012: University student
  • Interviewee #65, 2012: NGO expert

Appendix 2: Figures

Figure 1

MappingNGO

Based on Nietsch’s data, gathered from the NGO Liaison and Registration Unit in 2004, the graph above illustrates the ‘boom’ in LNGO creation, followed by a sharp tapering which she argues is not uncommon in post-crisis settings, citing Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia as examples (Nietsch 2006: 12).

Figure 2

CapacityBuilding

The above graph was generated based on the information provided in KCSF’s report “Mapping and Analysis of Kosovo Civil Society”, page 43.

Appendix 3: Gendered Human Security Empowerment Tool

Area of Focus

Appendix 3: Design Phase Questions

Capacity building
  • Have I included my partner(s) in planning and design?
  • How much do I understand the culture in which I seek to work?
  • Do all parties understand the project proposal and work plan in the same way?
  • Will this partnership positively affect my beneficiary/partner’s long-term sustainability?
  • Have I established contact and developed a rapport with the donors/beneficiaries/partners?
  • Has the donor/partner included me in decision-making from the beginning?
  • Have we assessed, together, the project plan?
  • Are there clear plans to assess the capacity and potential of the staff/beneficiaries?
  • Are there clear plans to support professional development for the staff through training/certification(s)/conferences?
Community buy-in
  • Have I established contact and developed a rapport with my stakeholders/those in the community I seek to serve?
  • How much do I understand of my beneficiary’s culture?
  • Are there plans in place to create a board of stakeholders?
  • Are there plans in place to require regular stakeholder meetings?
Ownership(Top-down vs. Bottom-up)
  • Have I selected the right partners for me and for my project goals?
  • Do we all work well together and what can be done to improve the relationship?
  • Have we determined what type(s) of communication will be used and how often?
  • Have I worked with my partners to establish a way to track the budget?
Transparency
  • Have the stakeholders of both the organization and the projects been clearly identified and engaged with?
  • Have I worked with my partners to establish a way to track the budget?
  • Has a monitoring and evaluation framework been built?
  • Will regular stakeholder meetings be documented and reported on?
  • Do all parties and stakeholders understand what is being expected?
Sustainability
  • Have we agreed upon a theory of change and clearly stated the vision and mission of the collaboration?
  • Have I established contact and developed a rapport with the donors/partners?
  • Are/should there be controls on funding?
  • Is there a long term financial sustainability plan in place?

 

Area of Focus

Appendix 3: Implementation Phase Questions

Capacity building
  • Are our interactions effective?
  • Do we have a strong team?
  • Do we have a plan to engage with internal project challenges like staffing and collaboration?
  • Are our interactions creating power imbalances?
  • Are we maximizing support/funding for professional development/human resources through such activities as conference participation, and training and certification in fields critical to the work performed in the organization and the individual’s growth?

 

Community buy-in
  • Have we established a way to respond to concerns or changes within the organization and in the interventions?
  • Are the needs we perceive to be meeting in the community those which are identified as ‘needs’ by those in the community? And if they are different are we finding a way to respond to those challenges?
Ownership (Top-down vs. Bottom-up)
  • Have we established how to communicate regarding work plans?
  • Is there flexibility in reporting progress; are expectations clear?
  • Does our communication system include all equally in important discussions and decisions?
  • Are expectations on all sides being met?

 

Transparency
  • Has funding gone where it was expected/ agreed?
  • Are monitoring and evaluation plans being managed effectively?
  • Are findings being disseminated during the project?
  • Am I receiving the information I want/need to see?
Sustainability
  • Have we established a way to respond to concerns or changes within the organization and in the interventions?
  • Are we (the local staff) prepared to take control of the project when our partner/donor leaves? Have we prepared the local staff to take control of the project when we leave?
  • Are we frequently revisiting our plan for the organization’s long-term sustainability?
  • Is the well-defined mission statement reflective of the organization’s work and vision?

 

Area of Focus

Appendix 3: Close-out Phase Questions

Capacity building
  • Are my partners prepared to take control of the project once my organization leaves?
  • Are my partners empowered/trained to continue the work?

 

 

Community buy-in
  • How well did I manage cross-cultural relations? In what areas did I make mistakes?
  • Did face-to-face visits improve communication/trust?
  • Does the community in which we operate trust/respect the organization?
  • Does the community in which we operate trust/respect the work of the organization?
Ownership (Top-down vs. Bottom-up)
  • Were my partners active participants and engaged in decision-making?
  • Were the local partners/local staff in the driving seat?
Transparency
  • How will final findings and reports be communicated?
  • How will I evaluate the project?
  • Are we accountable, at the end of each project, to a body external from the staff, such as a board, assembly or donor?
Sustainability
  • Will the organization continue now the handoff has occurred/the project has ended?
  • How has this partnership affect my partner’s long-term sustainability?

Appendix 4: Semi-structured Interview Matrix Questions (English)

  1. Members of adjacent communities:
  • Professional Background/Education Level
  • How would you categorize your relationship with international NGOs in Kosovo?
  • How would you categorize your relationship with local NGOs in Kosovo?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how valuable a contribution do you feel international NGOs have made to the lives of Kosovars post-conflict?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how valuable a contribution do you feel international NGOs have made to the lives of Kosovar women post-conflict?
  • What do you see as the greatest accomplishment/initiative by international NGOs?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how important is the work of civil society organizations? (in regards to the development of Kosovo today)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how effective is the work of civil society organizations in facilitating human security, in improving the lives of Kosovoan women?
  • What do you see as Kosovo’s greatest challenge/problem?
  • What does human security mean to you?
  • Who is responsible for providing human security in Kosovo?
  • What do you think of the current status of women in Kosovo?
  • What is the greatest challenge to human security, to women, that Kosovo faces today?
  • What do you think of civil society organizations in Kosovo, in general, does their work make a positive difference?
  • Do you contribute to, or are you involved with, any local NGOs or international NGOs? (in both your personal life and your professional capacity)
  • To what area of development do you feel there has been the largest improvement/contribution to the lives of Kosovoans? For example: Economic, social, political, medical, educational services…
  • In your opinion, do local NGOs/international NGOs play an important role in the development of Kosovo today?
  1. General public questions:
  • Professional Background/Education Level
  • Do you contribute to any LNGOs?
  • In what capacity to you contribute?
  • Do you contribute financially or in any other way to organizations? Why, why not?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how valuable a contribution do you feel INGOs have made to the lives of Kosovars post-conflict?
  • What do you see as the greatest accomplishment/initiative by INGOs?
  • To what area of development do you feel there has been the largest improvement/contribution to the lives of Kosovars?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how effective is the work of CSOs in facilitating human security, in improving the lives of Kosovar women?
  • What do you see as Kosovo’s greatest challenge/problem?
  • Who is responsible for providing human security in Kosovo?
  • What do you think of the status of women is in Kosovo?
  • What is the greatest challenge to human security, to women, that Kosovo faces today?
  • In your opinion, do LNGOs/INGOs play an important role in the development of Kosovo today?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how important is the work of CSOs?
  • What do you think about NGOs in Kosovo, LNGOs and INGOs?
  1. Members of organizations:
  • What does your organization do?
  • To you, what is the most important thing your organization does?
  • In your opinion, do non-governmental organizations play an important role in the development of Kosovo today? (both international and local organizations)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how important is the work of non-governmental organizations? Why?
  • Do you ever use the term human security?
  • What language would you used to describe the work you do (if you work on women’s issues)? (e.g., Feminist? Feminism? Women’s issues? Gender focused? Women’s empowerment?)
  • What is the greatest challenge to human security, to women, that Kosovo faces today?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how effective is the work of NGOs in facilitating human security, in improving the lives of Kosovoan women?
  • What impact do you feel your organization has had on human security?
  • To what degree do you feel your organization promotes human security?
  • Where do you feel your focus in creating human security lies: In providing services, in raising awareness about an issue, in empowering women, or in advocating on behalf of women?
  • Do you raise awareness about an issue inside Kosovo, or to the international community? Why?
  • What support do you have for promoting human security?
  • What do you think of your relationship with international NGOs? (Very good, good, OK, bad, very bad) Why?
  • What is the nature of your relationship with INGOs?
  • How often do you meet with them or are in contact?
  • What is your relationship to the government? How would you categorize your relationship?
  • What is your relationship to businesses? How would you categorize your relationship?
  • What are your plans/goals as an organization for the next year?
  • What has made your organization succeed?
  • What has been your organization’s greatest challenge? (e.g., access to resources/financial uncertainty/international NGO relationship/volunteers)
  • What do you see as Kosovo’s greatest challenge/problem?
  • Do you think most Kosovoans share your view?
  • What are your thoughts concerning the current societal/economic/social position of Kosovoan women?
  • How do other LNGOs/INGOs perceive your organization? (e.g., do they seek you out to collaborate/are they jealous/do they work well with you)
  • How do you see your organization, compared to other LNGOs? More/less visible, effective?
  1. Institutional actors:
  • What is your relationship to civil society organizations in Kosovo in your professional capacity, in particular local NGOs?
  • Do you contribute to any LNGOs?
  • In what capacity to you contribute?
  • How much involvement did and do you have with external organizations whose focus is development/human security?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how valuable a contribution do you feel international NGOs have made to the lives of Kosovars post-conflict?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how valuable a contribution do you feel international NGOs have made to the lives of Kosovoan women post-conflict?
  • What do you see as the greatest accomplishment/initiative by international NGOs?
  • Have other areas since independence been prioritized over women and gender issues?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how important is the work of civil society organizations? (in regards to the development of Kosovo today)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how effective is the work of civil society organizations in facilitating human security, in improving the lives of Kosovoan women?
  • What do you see as Kosovo’s greatest challenge/problem?
  • What does human security mean to you?
  • Who is responsible for providing human security in Kosovo?
  • What do you think of the current status of women in Kosovo?
  • What is the greatest challenge to human security, to women, that Kosovo faces today?

Appendix 5: Semi-structured Interview Matrix Questions (Shqip)

  1. Anëtarë të komuntiteteve të afërm:
  • Kualifikimi profesiona/ Niveli i edukimit
  • Si e kategorizoni marrëdhënjen tuaj me OJQ-të ndërkombëtare në Kosovë?
  • Si e kategorizoni marrëdhënjen tuaj me OJQ-të lokale në Kosovë?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa të vlefshëm e mendon kontributin e bërë të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare në jetën e kosovarëve që nga periudha e pas luftës?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa të vlefshëm e mendon kontributin e bërë të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare në jetën e grave kosovareve që nga periudha e pas luftës?
  • Çka e sheh si arritjen dhe iniciativen më të madhe të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa efektive është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile? ( në aspektin e zhvillimit të Kosoves deri me sot)
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa efektive është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile në lehtësimin e sigurisë njerëzore, në përmirësimin e jetës së grave kosovare?
  • Çfarë sheh si sfida/problemi më I madh i Kosovës?
  • Çka do të thotë për ju siguria njerëzore?
  • Kush është përgjegjës për ofrim të sigurisë njerëzore në Kosovë?
  • Çfarë mendoni për statusin aktual të grave në Kosovë?
  • Cila është sfida më e madhe për siguri njerëzore, për gra, me të cilën Kosova ballafaqohet sot?
  • Çfarë mendoni për organizatat e shoqërisë civile në Kosovë, në përgjithësi, a arrin puna e tyre ndonjë ndryshim pozitiv?
  • A kontriboni apo a jeni të përfshirë në ndonjë prej OJQ-ve lokale apo ndërkombëtare? (në jetën tuaj personale dhe kapacitetin tuaj profesional)
  • Në çfarë fushe të zhvillimit mendoni se është arritur përmirësim më i madh për jetën e kosovarëve? Për shembull: ekonomike, sociale, politike, mjekësi, arsim           …
  • Për mendimin tuaj, a luajnë OJQ-të lokale dhe ndërkombëtare ndonjë rol të rëndësishëm në zhvillimin e Kosovës sot?
  1. Pyetjet për njerëz të zakonshëm:
  • Kualifikimi profesiona/ Niveli i edukimit
  • A kontriboni në ndonjë OJQ lokale?
  • Sa kontriboni?
  • A kontriboni financiarisht, apo në ndonjë formë tjetër të këto lloj organizatash? Pse, pse jo?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa të vlefshëm e mendon kontributin e bërë të OJQ-ve lokale në jeten e  kosovarëve që nga peridha e pas luftës?
  • Çka e sheh si arritjen dhe iniciativen më të madhe të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare në Kosovë?
  • Në çfarë fushe të zhvillimit mendoni se është arritur përmirësim më i madh për jetën e kosovarëve?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa efektive është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile në lehtësimin e sigurisë njerëzore, në përmirësimin e jetës së grave kosovare?
  • Çfarë sheh si sfida/problemi më I madh i Kosovës?
  • Kush është përgjegjës për ofrim të sigurisë njerëzore në Kosovë?
  • Çfarë mendoni për statusin aktual të grave në Kosovë?
  • Cila është sfida më e madhe për siguri njerëzore, për gra, me të cilën Kosova ballafaqohet sot?
  • Për mendimin tuaj, a luajnë OJQ-të lokale dhe ndërkombëtare ndonjë rol të rëndësishëm në zhvillimin e Kosovës sot?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa e rëndësishme është puna e Organizatave të shoqërisë civile?
  • Çka medoni për OJQ-të në Kosovë, ato lokale dhe ndërkombëtare?
  1. Anëtarëve të organizatave:
  • Çka bën organizata juaj?
  • Për ju, cila është gjëja më e rëndësishmë që organizata juaj bën?
  • Për mendimin tuaj, a luajnë OJQ-të ndonjë rol të rëndësishëm në zhvillimin e Kosovës sot? (lokale dhe ndërkombëtare)
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa e rëndësishme është puna e ogranizatave jo-qeveritare? Pse?
  • A e përdorni ndonjëherë termin siguri njerëzore?
  • Me çfarë termi do të përshkruanit punën tuaj (nësë punoni për çështje të grave)? (p.sh Feminist? Feminizëm? Çështje të grave? Fokusim në gjininë? Mundësi për gra?)
  • Cila është sfida më e madhe për siguri njerëzore, për gra, me të cilën Kosova ballafaqohet sot?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa efektive është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile në lehtësimin e sigurisë njerëzore, në përmirësimin e jetës së grave kosovare?
  • Çfarë ndikimi mendoni se organizata juaj ka pasur mbi sigurinë njerëzore?
  • Në çfarë shkalle mendoni se organizata juaj orfon sigurinë njerëzore?
  • Ku mendoni se duhet përqënduar më shumë per të krijuar sigurinë njerëzore: duke ofruar shërbime, duke ju japur më shumë mundësi grave, apo përmes mbrojtjes në interest ë grave?
  • A rritni ju  vetëdijësimin për një problem brenda Kosovës, apo në komunitetin internacional? Pse?
  • Çfarë përkrahje këni për të ofruar sigurinë njerëzore?
  • Si e mendoni marrëdhënien tuaj me OJQ-të ndërkombëtare? (Shumë mirë, mirë, disi, keq, shumë keq) Pse?
  • Cila është natyra e marrëdhënjes suaj me OJQ-të ndërkombëtare?
  • Sa shpesh takoheni me ta, apo a mbani kontakt?
  • Çfarë marrëdhënje keni me qeverinë? Si do ta kategorizonit këtë marrëdhënje?
  • Çfarë marrëdhënje keni me bizneset? Si do ta kategorizonit këtë marrëdhënjë?
  • Cilat janë planet/synimet tuaja si një organizatë për vitin tjetër?
  • Çka e ka bërë organizaten tuaj të jetë e suksesshmë?
  • Cila ka qenë sfida më e madhja e organizates tuaj? (p.sh gjetja e burimeve/pasigurija financiare/marrëdhënja me OJQ-të ndërkombëtare/vullnetarët)
  • Çka e shihni si sfidën dhe problemin më të madh të  Kosovës?
  • A mendon se kosovarët e ndajnë të njejtin mendim me juve?
  • Çfarë janë mendimet tuaja karshi pozitës sociale/ekonomike të grave kosovare?
  • Si e përceptojnë OJQ-të tjera lokale/ndërkombëtare organizaten tuaj? (p.sh a kërkojnë bashkëpunim/a janë xheloz/ a punojnë mire me juve)
  • Si e shihni ju organizaten tuaj në krahasim me OJQ-të tjera? Më shumë apo më pak efektive, të dukshme?
  1. Veprimtarëve  institucional:
  • Cila është marrëdhënia juaj me organizatat e shoqërisë civile në Kosovë në kapacitatin tuaj profesional, veçanërisht  me OJQ-të lokale?
  • A kontriboni në ndonjë OJQ lokale?
  • Sa kontriboni?
  • Sa përfshirje keni pasur dhe keni me organizatat e jashtme fokusi i së cilave shtrihet në zhvillim/sigurisë njerëzore?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa të vlefshëm e mendon kontributin e bërë të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare në jetën e kosovarëve që nga periudha e pas luftës?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa të vlefshëm e mendon kontributin e bërë të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare në jetën e grave kosovareve që nga periudha e pas luftës?
  • Çka e sheh si arritjen dhe iniciativen më të madhe të OJQ-ve ndërkombëtare?
  • A kanë pasur fusha të tjera përparësi më shumë karshi çështjeve gjinore/grave që nga periudha e pas luftës?
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa e rëndësishmë është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile? ( duke konsideruar zhvillimin e Kosovës sot)
  • Në një shkallë 1-10, sa efektive është puna e organizatave të shoqërisë civile në lehtësimin e sigurisë njerëzore, në përmirësimin e jetës së grave kosovare?
  • Çfarë sheh si sfida/problemi më I madh i Kosovës?
  • Çdo të thotë siguria njerëzore për ju?
  • Kush është përgjegjës për ofrim të sigurisë njerëzore në Kosovë?
  • Çfarë mendoni për statusin aktual të grave në Kosovë?
  • Cila është sfida më e madhe për siguri njerëzore, për gra, me të cilën Kosova ballafaqohet sot?

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