Yllka Hoxha

Yllka has been the Finance and Human Resources Manager at BIRN Kosovo since February 2019.

She previously worked for eight years in the development department, in human resources, administration and finances at BIRN Kosovo and Internews Kosova.

She finished her studies at the University of Pristina and holds a master’s degree in marketing. She is a member and student at the Society of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Kosovo and is attending its certification programme for accountants.

Institutional Support

BIRN Kosovo

Enhancing public participation in decision making processes by improving accountability and transparency of public institutions in Kosovo.

Information Sheet

Summary:

BIRN Kosovo aims to provide momentum to the consolidation of democracy in Kosovo, by fostering an environment of transparency and accountability as the cornerstones of sustainability. In this regard, we seek to utilize professional, balanced, and objective information through media channels, thus helping reduce barriers to internal stability and keeping the powerful accountable. BIRN Kosovo also utilizes an established arm of monitoring public institutions, and regularly reporting on their work. This includes encouraging public debate, in which transparency is sought from public officials who are held to account for their performance. BIRN team produces regular news stories, investigations, analysis and debate shows for TV broadcast. The team also publishes online news and analysis, feature stories and investigations. In this regard, we also publish and broadcast reports that result from the monitoring of the courts, judicial system, public procurement and public services

Donor:

MOTT Foundation

Main Objective:

Enhancing public participation in decision making processes by improving accountability and transparency of public institutions in Kosovo.

Specific Objective:

Combining hard-hitting journalism and civil activism to encourage people to be informed and engaged in this critical period of Kosovo’s history

Main Activities:

Investigative Reporting

  • Production of the televised programme, Life in Kosovo; on current affairs;
  • Production of the weekly televized programme, Justice in Kosovo;
  • Publication of Prishtina Insight and Balkan Insight
  • Gazeta Jeta në Kosovë newspaper
  • Training and on-the-job training;
  • Monitoring of public services, public administration and public procurement;
  • Publications and Roundtables;
  • Media element: Publications and Broadcasting;
  • Cooperation with other organizations and local NGOs to follow all  significant cases and send complaints for the ill practices in the public services to all relevant institutions.

Target Groups:

The groups that BIRN targets through its activities are mainly political representatives and public service institutions with a focus on courts, health and education structures, under-represented communities, local and regional civil society organizations and media institutions.

Specifically, the beneficiaries include: the audience of about 350,000 who watch the TV programs produced by BIRN Kosovo (Life in Kosovo and Justice in Kosovo); judges and prosecutors who will be getting detailed reporting on the monitoring of their trials, analyzing their work and recommending areas for improvement; journalists, monitors, researchers and civil society activists who participate in BIRN workshops envisaged to take place within two years time; over 26 Kosovo municipalities which will have their court, education and healthcare services monitored; approximately 1,000 speakers, interviewees and panellists from businesses, the political sphere, culture, health, etc., communities who will participate in BIRN Kosovo programs yearly, namely policy makers, political representatives, civil society activists and marginalized social and ethnic groups including women, youth, ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, religious minorities, and disabled persons; about 70 speakers and panellists representing more than 30 local civil society organizations; local politicians and the local population that participate and watch BIRN Kosovo local governance and election TV debates; the international community living in Kosovo and the region, who read Prishtina Insight and Balkan Insight content produced by BIRN Kosovo in cooperation with BIRN regional office.

Highlights:

2,100 written articles covering issues of public administration, public procurement, and public services related to municipal debates organized during the electoral campaign, covering different promises and public statements delivered by public officials, also covering issues of public services and management of public funds 364 articles with fast facts published on a general overview of the situation in the municipalities and local governance of Kosovo

79 long articles published related to the Brussels-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Main implementer:

BIRN Kosovo

Partners:

Local partnerships:

  1. Radio Television of Kosova;
  2. Internews Kosova;
  3. Crossing Bridges Productions;
  4. Institute for Advanced Studies, GAP;
  5. Advocacy Training and Recourse Centre;
  6. Kosova Democratic Institute, KDI;
  7. Fol 08 Civic Initiative;
  8. Media Center in Gracanica;
  9. TV Opinioni (Prizren);
  10. TV Syri (Gjakova);
  11. TV Vali (Gjilan);
  12. TV Dukagjini (Peja);
  13. Radio FushëKosova;
  14. Radio Gorazhdevac;
  15. Nansen Dialogue Mitrovica;
  16. Initiative for Progress, NGO (Ferizaj);
  17. Caritas (Mitrovica);
  18. Syri i Vizionit (Peja);
  19. Community Building Mitrovica, CBM;
  20. Forum for Civic Initiative;
  21. Kosovar Institute for Journalism and Communication;
  22. Institute for Advanced Studies – GAP;
  23. Group for Legal and Political Studies, GLPS;
  24. Dokufest;
  25. Institute for Development Policy – INDEP;
  26. Iniciativa Ambientale për Zhvillim Lokal – IAZHL;

Regional partnerships

  1. Youth Initiative for Human Rights;
  2. B92 Television;
  3. BIRN Albania;
  4. BIRN Serbia;
  5. BIRN Macedonia;
  6. BIRN Bosnia and Hercegovina;
  7. TV Aldi, Presheve.

International cooperation and partnerships

  1. National Institute for Democracy, NDI;
  2. Global Radio News;
  3. Jane’s Defence Weekly;
  4. Investigative Journalism School;
  5. International Debate Association;
  6. Columbia School of Journalism;
  7. Safer World;
  8. Dart Foundation;
  9. Frontline Club;
  10. Youth Project of the World Bank;
  11. Balkan Sunflowers;
  12. BBC Training Centre.

Monitoring and Reporting on Kosovo’s Public Services and Public Spending

BIRN Kosovo

Monitoring and reporting on Kosovo’s public services, public spending and public Administration, civic oversight of the Kosovo-Serbia Agreement implementation.

Information Sheet
Main Objective:

Monitoring and reporting on Kosovo’s public services, public spending and public Administration, civic oversight of the Kosovo-Serbia Agreement implementation.

Specific Objective:

  • Supporting transparency, accountability, and functionality of the system for public services in Kosovo with specific focus on courts;
  • Increasing accessibility of media and the civil society to decision-making processes regarding courts, public services, public administration, and public procurement;
  • Improving transparency and accountability of public procurement and tender awarding processes at the local and central level, namely municipalities and the ministerial level;
  • Encouraging transparency, accountability, and meritocracy in the public administration process with the special aim of fighting nepotism and party clientism within the public administration;
  • Providing valuable qualitative and quantitative data and reports to all stakeholders regarding the rule of law institutions, public services, public administration and public spending;
  • Reduce Kosovo’s barriers towards EU integration by disseminating data and reporting on the results from the monitoring process;
  • Increasing transparency and accountability of the Kosovo-Serbia Agreement implementation through establishing an effective mechanism for civil oversight over the process.

Main Activities:

  • Publishing written articles of issues on public administration, public procurement, and public services from the municipal debates during elections;
  • Publishing articles with fast facts on the general situation in Kosovo’s municipalities and local governance;
  • Publishing long articles regarding the Brussels dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia;

Target Groups:

  • Public institutions;
  • Media Outlets;
  • Civil Society.

Main implementer:

BIRN Kosovo

Highlights

2,100 written articles covering issues of public administration, public procurement, and public services related to municipal debates organized during the electoral campaign, covering different promises and public statements delivered by public officials, also covering issues of public services and management of public funds 364 articles with fast facts published on a general overview of the situation in the municipalities and local governance of Kosovo

79 long articles published related to the Brussels-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

The Second Phase of the “Kosovo Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence” Programme Launched Today

Following a success during the first phase of the program, BIRN Kosovo in cooperation with AJK, as part of the project funded by the EU, has opened the call for applications for the second phase of the “Kosovo Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence” program for the year 2019.

The programme will begin in June and is based on the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence, which has been running since 2007.

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN Kosovo and Association of Journalists of Kosovo – AJK invite all interested journalists to apply to the 6 months fellowship, provided by the European Union in Kosovo.

10 ambitious and daring journalists will be selected by a team of local and regional professionals to become part of this dynamic and enriching experience. Each fellow will be granted a 2,000 euro fellowship bursary for an in-depth research story covering issues such as public spending, local governance, public procurement, environment, energy, healthcare, culture, education, media financing, human rights, inter-ethnic cooperation, etc.

In addition, the selected journalists will receive mentorship by a team of highly-skilled BIRN Kosovo editors, who have extensive experience in producing and editing high quality reporting in Kosovo and the region.

At the end of the programme, fellows are expected to have produced an original research/investigative story with a limit of 1,500 – 3,000 words. The format may vary from written articles, to TV reportages or content presented in a multimedia format. Stories of the selected fellows will be published in Albanian, Serbian and English. BIRN will ensure republication of fellowship articles in other local media in order to increase the outreach of the stories produced.

Are you interested in becoming part of this prestigious program?

Fill in the Application Form and submit your application by midnight on May 31, to [email protected], with the subject “Kosovo Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence” – Phase II”

Any questions regarding this programme or the application can be addressed to [email protected], by May 25that the latest.

The proposals can be submitted in either Albanian, Serbian or English, the three working languages to be used during the fellowship.

Women and members of non-majority communities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Lansohet faza e dytë e programit të Bursës së Kosovës për Ekselencë në Gazetari

Pas një suksesi gjatë pjesës së parë të programit, BIRN Kosovo në bashkëpunim me AGK, në bazë të projektit të finanucar nga BE, ka hapur procesin e thirrjes për aplikim për fazën e dytë të Programit “Bursa e Kosovës për Ekselencë në Gazetari” për vitin 2019.

Programi do të fillojë në qershor 2019 dhe është i bazuar sipas Bursës Ballkanike për Ekselencë në Gazetari, që ka filluar qysh në vitin 2007.

Rrjeti Ballkanik i Gazetarisë Hulumtuese – BIRN Kosovo dhe Asociacioni i Gazetarëve të Kosovës – AGK ftojnë të gjithë gazetarët e interesuar që të aplikojnë për këtë bursë 6-mujore, të ofruar nga Bashkimi Europian në Kosovë.

10 gazetarë ambiciozë dhe të guximshëm do të zgjidhen nga një ekip profesionistësh lokalë dhe rajonalë për t’u bërë pjesë e kësaj përvoje dinamike dhe të pasur. Secili anëtar do të përfitojë bursë prej 2,000 Euro për një storie të thellë hulumtuese që mbulon çështjet si shpenzimet publike, qeverisja lokale, prokurimi publik, mjedisi, energjia, shëndetësia, kultura, arsimi, financimi i mediave, të drejtat e njeriut, bashkëpunimi ndëretnik etj.

Përveç kësaj, gazetarët e përzgjedhur do të përfitojnë mentorim nga një ekip redaktorësh të kualifikuar të BIRN Kosova, të cilët kanë përvojë të gjerë në prodhimin dhe redaktimin e raportimit të cilësisë së lartë në Kosovë dhe në rajon.

Në fund të programit, bursistët pritet të kenë prodhuar një storie origjinale hulumtuese/kërkimore me një limit prej 1,500 – 3,000 fjalësh. Formati mund të ndryshojë, nga storie të shkruara, në reportazhe televizive ose përmbajtje të paraqitura në format multimedial. Storiet e bursistëve të përzgjedhur do të publikohen në shqip, anglisht dhe serbisht. BIRN do të sigurojë ripublikimin e storieve të bursistëve në mediat e tjera lokale në mënyrë që të rrisë shtrirjen e storieve të prodhuara.

A jeni të interesuar të jeni pjesë e këtij programi prestigjioz?

Plotësoni formularin e aplikimit dhe dorëzoni aplikacionin tuaj deri në mesnatë më 31 maj 2019, tek [email protected] me temën: “Bursa e Kosovës për Ekselencë në Gazetari – Faza II”.

Çdo pyetje në lidhje me këtë program ose aplikacion mund të drejtohet tek [email protected], jo më vonë se deri më 25 maj 2019.

Propozimet mund të dorëzohen në shqip, anglisht ose serbisht, që janë tri gjuhët e punës të cilat do të përdoren gjatë kohëzgjatjes së programit.

Gratë dhe pjesëtarët e komuniteteve pakicë inkurajohen fuqishëm që të aplikojnë.


Danas je lansirana druga faza programa Stipendija za novinarsku izuzetnost Na Kosovu

Nakon uspeha u prvoj fazi programa, BIRN Kosovo je u saradnji sa AGK, u okviru projekta koji finansira EU, otvorio poziv za podnošenje prijava za drugu fazu programa „Stipendija za novinarsku izuzetnost na Kosovu“ za 2019.

Program počinje u junu 2019. i zasnovan je na modelu Stipendije za novinarsku izuzetnost na Balkanu.

Balkanska Istraživačka Regionalna Mreža – BIRN Kosovo i Udruženje Novinara Kosova (AGK), pozivaju sve zainteresovane novinare da se prijave za šestomesečnu stipendiju, koju obezbeđuje Evropska unija na Kosovu.

10 ambicioznih i smelih novinara će izabrati tim lokalnih i regionalnih profesionalaca kako bi postali deo ovog dinamičnog i obogaćujućeg iskustva. Svaki stipendista će dobiti stipendiju od 2.000 evra za detaljnu istraživačku priču koja pokriva pitanja kao što su javna potrošnja, lokalna uprava, javne nabavke, životna sredina, energetika, zdravstvena zaštita, kultura, obrazovanje, finansiranje medija, ljudska prava, međuetnička saradnja, itd.

Osim toga, odabrani novinari će dobiti mentorstvo tima visokokvalifikovanih urednika BIRN Kosovo, koji imaju veliko iskustvo u produkciji i uređivanju visokokvalitetnog izveštavanja na Kosovu i u regionu.

Na kraju programa, očekuje se da stipendisti izrade originalnu ispitivačku/istraživačku priču, limitiranu na 1,500 do 3,000 reči. Format se može razlikovati: od pisanih članaka do TV reportaža ili sadržaja u multimedijalnom formatu. Priče izabranih stipendista biće objavljene na albanskom, engleskom i srpskom jeziku. BIRN će obezbediti ponovno objavljivanje članaka stipendista u drugim lokalnim medijima kako bi se povećalo pokriće izrađenih priča.

Da li ste zainteresovani da postanete deo ovog prestižnog programa?

Popunite obrazac prijave i pošaljite vašu prijavu do ponoći  31. maja 2019. na [email protected], pod naslovom “Stipendija za novinarsku izuzetnost na Kosovu – Faza II”

Sva pitanja u vezi ovog programa ili prijave mogu se poslati na [email protected], najkasnije do 25. maja 2019.

Predlozi mogu biti podneti na albanskom, srpskom ili engleskom jeziku – jezicima koji će biti korišćeni tokom stipendije.

Žene i pripadnici manjinskih zajednica se snažno ohrabruju da se prijave.

BIRN Kosovo Publishes Monitoring of Municipal Expenses

BIRN Kosovo has published findings from its municipal expenses monitoring project entitled ‘How Much Does the Boss Eat?’

The project, supported by Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, KFOS, was presented at a roundtable discussion on April 26, where the expenses incurred by municipal employees for official meetings, lunches, and dinners were reviewed on a national level.

In 2012, BIRN Kosovo filed legal proceedings against the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo because it failed to disclose the receipts of expenses of the prime minister and his officials. After a lengthy judicial process, Pristina Basic Court ruled that every expense paid out of public funds must be transparent and open to the public.

As a result, BIRN decided to extend the monitoring of the expenses of governmental officials to the local level, based on the ruling laid down in the Pristina Basic Court case. Since December 2018, BIRN has sent legal requests to all 38 municipalities in Kosovo, requesting the disclosure of their expenses for lunches, dinners, and events for the period of December 2017 to August 2018.

As of January 2019, BIRN Kosovo has published 78 reports at BIRN’s KALLXO.com site. Kreshnik Gashi, the managing editor of the site, presented the findings.

“Besides testing transparency, the project aimed to analyse the true nature of publicly-funded expenses,” said Gashi.

Out of 38 municipalities, 24 provided receipts for the requested period, which resulted in the processing and analysis of over 1,200 receipts.

The findings presented at the roundtable discussion, which was attended by financial officers from many municipalities in Kosovo, as well as civil society representatives, showed that municipalities have accepted expenses claims for which the receipts gave no information on the nature of the expenses being claimed.

Furthermore, the findings show that a considerable amount of expenses were made for alcohol, as well as other items like cigarettes and chewing gum.

Rozafa Ukimeraj, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA), presented the outcomes and challenges regarding municipal budget processes, as well as the financial sustainability aspects of municipalities and the steps taken by the MLGA to improve the policy and legislation framework in order to increase transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

The General Auditor, Besnik Osmani, presented findings about financial checks on municipalities and about the management of and accountability in the process of the spending of public money.

Among a number of recommendations, BIRN suggested to MLGA that within the performance evaluation of municipalities in Kosovo, a transparency mechanism should be included regarding the expenses of municipal officials for lunches, dinners and other general expenses.

Report on Public Institutions’ Recruitment Process Problems

Monitoring report entitled ‘Carving up the Pie’ has been produced as a part of the Monitoring of Recruitment Processes of Senior Managing Positions project that BIRN is implementing in cooperation with the British Embassy in Kosovo.

The report finds that Kosovo institutions have failed in implementing an agreement signed with the British Embassy by appointing people to senior positions who did not meet criteria set by an assessment by British experts.

The purpose was to support joint efforts to ensure independence, meritocracy and professionalism in the process of recruitment for senior management positions in the civil service and on the boards of public enterprises.

Read more

Report in English
Report in Albanian
Report in Serbian

Municipal Procurement Report

The publication analyses procurement procedures involving key actors from Kosovo institutions including government officials, Kosovo Assembly members and non-governmental organisations.

BIRN discovered that only a limited number of complaints about procurements were resolved in favour of businesses that appealed, with most decisions going in favour of the municipalities. Municipalities did not change their decisions despite demands from businesses to review their decisions, the report found.

Read more

Read report in English

Monitoring Report on the Integrity of Kosovo’s Tax Administration

Monitoring Report on the Integrity of Kosovo’s Tax Administration (TAK) covers the period September 2018-February 2019. The monitoring was launched as a result of the reported low level of confidence that citizens have in TAK, and their perceptions about the level of corruption in the institution.

The aim of the report was to identify the ‘black holes’ in the process and raise red flags about the need for improvements in the standards, procedures and legal bases which enable and improve integrity within TAK.

The report concluded that TAK must seriously engage in improving the overall situation at the institution. Among the 15 recommendations made, BIRN and D+, partner on the project, suggested improvements to the Disciplinary Commission of TAK, the efficiency of its staff and resources, and for tax inspectors to be included among the public officials required to declare their assets.

Read more

Report in English

BIRN Kosovo Reports on Public Institutions’ Recruitment Process Problems

BIRN Kosovo has published a monitoring report entitled ‘Carving up the Pie’, produced as a part of the Monitoring of Recruitment Processes of Senior Managing Positions project that BIRN is implementing in cooperation with the British Embassy in Kosovo.

The report finds that Kosovo institutions have failed in implementing an agreement signed with the British Embassy by appointing people to senior positions who did not meet criteria set by an assessment by British experts.

Last year, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and parliament speaker Kadri Veseli signed a number of memoranda of cooperation with the British Embassy in Pristina on the provision of assistance to institutions in recruitments for senior management positions.

The purpose was to support joint efforts to ensure independence, meritocracy and professionalism in the process of recruitment for senior management positions in the civil service and on the boards of public enterprises.

BIRN Kosovo’s monitoring report contains details of specific vacancies, indicating violations and interference that took place to appoint people who did not meet the criteria.

In some cases, BIRN was not allowed to monitor important vacancies for positions in Kosovo institutions. The government did not allow BIRN to monitor vacancies for positions on the boards of 14 public enterprises.

Report in English
Report in Albanian
Report in Serbian

Fact-Checking for Accountable Media

BIRN Kosovo

Through this project, BIRN Kosovo wants to contribute to educating local media on the standards of fact-checking in order to develop their capacities to use the standards in their daily work.

Summary

Through this project, BIRN Kosovo wants to raise awareness among local media on International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) standards, improve skills of journalists and students of journalism on the verification of facts and contribute to increasing the accountability of politicians, state officials and local media, through the measurement of truth using our fact-checking tool, Krypometer.

Information Sheet

Donor:

KCSF – Kosovo Civil Society Foundation

Main Objective:

To contribute to educating local media on the standards of fact-checking in order to develop their capacities to use the standards in their daily work.

Specific Objective:

Specific Objective 1: Contribute to identifying inaccurate media reporting and public statements;

Specific Objective 2: Raising capacities of local media, journalists, and students of journalism on IFCN standards;

Specific Objective 3: Promotion of standards for fact-verification in televised reports.

Main Activities:

  • Activity 1: Publication of Verification of Facts
  • Activity 2: Training for local media on Verification of Facts
  • Activity 3: Training with journalists from mainstream media
  • Activity 4: One 2-day training course for students of journalism on Verification of Facts
  • Activity 5: Televised documentary on false statements by public officials

Target Groups:

Local media, including TV and radio in municipalities across Kosovo. Through this project, BIRN Kosovo aspires to particularly benefit students of journalism. In addition, through  reporting on BIRN Kosovo’s media platforms, the project strives to educate the public on the importance of accurate news, and specifically, the accuracy and accountability of public officials and political representatives.

Main implementer:

BIRN Kosovo