Promoting and Advancing Investigative Journalism in the Western Balkans

BIRN Kosovo

Promoting and Advancing Investigative Journalism in the Western Balkans and Strengthening the Capacity of the Organisation.

Information Sheet
Main Objective:

To promote and advance independent investigative journalism and to strengthen and enable information sharing among regional partners

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 the facts on the general situation in the Kosovo’s municipalities and local governance;
  • Publishing long articles regarding the Brussels dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia;
  • Monitoring public services.

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 organised 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-faciliated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Raising Critical Awareness on Internet Governance in Albania

BIRN Albania

This initiative is a part of the project “Towards Improved Labour Relations and Professionalism in the Albanian Media”, funded by the European Commission, represented by Delegation of the European Union to Albania and implemented by the partnership of the Albanian Media Institute (AMI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Summary

Through this project, BIRN Albania aims to involve the media stakeholders in the public debate on the place of the media in new Internet governance policies. Digitization and the Internet have a strong influence on the media because, on the one hand, they are powerful drivers of development, on the other hand, social networks and similar platforms endanger their survival, making them less socially relevant and endangering their business model and economic survival. Nevertheless, these substantive changes are little discussed in professional media circles, and in particular lack systematic data and thorough research to trigger debate. This initiative is part of the project “Towards improved labour relations and professionalism in the Albanian media”, funded by the European Commission, represented by Delegation of the European Union to Albania and implemented by the partnership of the Albanian Media Institute (AMI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Information Sheet

Main Objective:

Through this project, BIRN Albania objective is to contribute to a new reflection on media policies and media development related to internet governance in the country.

Specific Objective:

Reviewing the current landscape of Internet governance in Albania, including various existing legal, technical, corporate, and human rights initiatives relevant to journalism and media, and explore the primary issues and processes that overlap between media development and Internet governance;

Increasing critical understanding and public debate on how internet governance related policies and practices can influence media professionalism and development.

Donor:

European Commission/ Delegation of the European Union to Albania

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.

Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) – database update

BIRN Serbia
BIRN Serbia is conducting media ownership monitoring for the second time in order to reveal relevant trends in ownership concentration, enabling the public to make more educated choices as media consumers.

Summary

BIRN Serbia is conducting media ownership monitoring for the second time in Serbia in order to reveal relevant trends in ownership concentration, enabling the public to make more educated choices as media consumers. Ideally, greater awareness will result in regulatory countermeasures in the medium term.

Donor: Reporters Without Borders Germany

Information Sheet

Main Objective

The overall objective is to foster freedom of information and media pluralism while defending the diversity of opinions through differentiated media ownership.

Specific Objectives

The Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) is a standardised instrument for research and publication, creating and enhancing transparency of national mass media ownership. Ownership shares of media outlets and the respective market shares of their products can be used as indicators of media pluralism in each target country.

Collecting data and updating and classifying them is critical for raising political awareness of this problem, initiating debate and eventually establishing a legal framework to enhance control of media concentration.

The results of MOM can help strengthen the media literacy of all citizens; their user behaviour is changed when they know – or at least can know – who is behind a TV or radio station, a newspaper or internet portal.

Main Activities

Conducting media ownership monitoring in Serbia

Target Groups

  • Legislature (media and anti-trust law, concentration control);
  • Professional public (media journalists, media studies and research, trade and professional associations, civil society actors);
  • Media owners;
  • Any media user, general public

Highlights

Web site will be updated with monitoring results

CSOs as Equal Partners in Monitoring Public Finances

BIRN Kosovo

Although CSOs in the Western Balkans have been implementing diverse activities related to public finance and financial institutions, these activities have not been systematically conducted.

Summary

Within the region the influence of CSOs in policy and decision making on public finance is poor. Therefore, CSOs recognized the growing need for systematic monitoring of public finance and financial institutions. The existing know-how in the region can be upgraded through the sharing and transfer among various shareholders.

Information Sheet

Donor:

European Commission

Main Objective:

The overall objective of the action is to improve the accountability and transparency of the public finance in seven targeted countries by strengthening the CSOs role and voice in monitoring the institutions’ performance in the area of public finance.

Specific Objective:

Strengthening regional CSO knowledge and capacity to monitor public finances and build know-how in advocating for transparency and accountability of public finance among the 10 partners and 80 other CSOs in the region

Establish networking and cooperation platform of CSOs and other actors on monitoring of public finance at local, regional and EU level.

Strengthen CSO watchdog and advocacy role.

Main Activities:

  • Sharing of know-how
  • Networking
  • WP3 Monitoring / watchdog
  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Organizational capacity building

Target Groups:

  • Civil society organisations,
  • Public authorities,
  • Media

Main implementer:

Foundation Wings of Hope (Leading Partner – Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Donor:

BIRN Kosovo, Za Zamiata (Bulgaria), Fractal (Serbia), CEKOR (Serbia), NVO MANS (Montenegro), Analytica (Macedonia), EnaBana (Slovenia), FOCUS (Slovenia), Center for Ecology and Energy (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

BIG Deal – Monitoring of the Implementation of the Brussels Agreement

BIRN Kosovo

Supporting the monitoring of the Brussels agreement between Kosovo and Serbia and ensuring a transparent and accountable leadership.

Summary

Supporting the monitoring of the Brussels agreement between Kosovo and Serbia and ensuring a transparent and accountable leadership.

Information Sheet

Donor:

The Balkan Trust for Democracy – BTD

Main Objective:

Increased transparency on the implementation of the EU-backed Kosovo-Serbia agreement that specifically affects the lives of citizens at the local level through producing and publishing accurate information for the public.

Specific Objectives: 

  • Shaping attitudes in order for the community to create a permissive environment for successful prevention of violent extremism;
  • Encourage public participation in prevention of violent extremism and the process of building resilience.

Main Activities:

  • Monitoring the progress reached in the implementation of the Brussels agreement. All findings will be published as part of the BIG DEAL initiative and will be disseminated across local, regional and international stakeholders;
  • Publishing news in Albaninan, Serbian and English regarding the implementation of the agreement, generated by researching and monitoring activities on a bi-monthly basis;
  • Producing and publishing TV programs on justice integration and the association of the municipalities.

Target Groups:

  • Negotiators,
  • Decision makers
  • Civil Society

Highlights:

By providing more information to the citizens regarding the dialogue, they will become part of the decision making process, which will improve the relationship between communities in Kosovo and will create a safer environment. All commuities of Kosovo will be involved and will gain knowledge while criticizing, supporting, and pushing for a better implementation of the Brussels Agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.

Monitoring the Public Consultation Process at Government Level 2018

BIRN Kosovo

BIRN Kosovo, through this initiative, is engaged in monitoring Kosovo’s judicial system.

Summary

BIRN Kosovo monitors the public consultation process for relevant government documents developed during 2018 and report on monitoring outcomes.

Information Sheet

Donor:

Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF)

Main Objective:

Pressure on the Government of Kosovo during the decision-making process and policy-making to increase the participation of the civil society in the involved processes for the benefit of citizens

Specific Objectives: 

  • Shaping attitudes in order for the community to create a permissive environment for successful prevention of violent extremism;
  • Encourage public participation in prevention of violent extremism and the process of building resilience.

Main Activities:

  • Undertaking monitoring
  • Communicating with the respective governmental unit to anticipate the starting time and expected results of the process;

Target Groups:

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

Corrupting the Birth Rates

BIRN Serbia
A new law on financial support to families with children (which was adopted in 2017 and came into force in 2018) has been creating confusion among citizens of Serbia.

Summary

While the government claims its policies are intended to increase birth rates, pregnant women and new mothers across Serbia are dissatisfied with low incomes during their absence from work. A new way of calculating maternity benefits leaves women confused and with no clear information about how much money they can expect while pregnant or after giving birth.

Donor: Transparency International

Information Sheet

Main Objective

To inform Serbian citizens so they can exercise their rights in relation to maternity leave and state financial aid.

Specific Objectives

To develop a digital tool that calculates maternity and pregnancy leave compensation in order to better inform the Serbian public.

Main Activities

Data collection, monitoring and analysis
Developing digital tools
Publishing analysis

Target Groups

Families with children, general public

Highlights

Analysis, digital tools, date bases

Main implementer

BIRN Serbia

Accurate and Ethical Reporting in Online and Televised Journalism

BIRN Kosovo

Through this project, BIRN Kosovo aims to empower young journalists and lawyers in Kosovo, through capacity-building training courses on accuracy and ethical reporting, access to public documents, and the consequences of inaccurate reporting, among other subjects.

Summary

Through this project, BIRN Kosovo aims to empower young journalists and lawyers in Kosovo, through capacity-building training courses on accuracy and ethical reporting, access to public documents, and the consequences of inaccurate reporting, among other subjects.

Information Sheet

Donor:

Funded by Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, led by Kosovo Cicil Society Foundation (KCSF)

Main Objective:

Increasing the capacity and professionalism of students of law and journalism in journalistic reporting, access to data, and the legal consequences of incorrect reporting.

Specific Objectives: 

  • Increasing capacities of young students of law and journalism in fair journalistic reporting, compiling requests for access to public documents, and the legal consequences of inaccurate reporting;
  • Raising awareness and public debate about fair journalistic reporting and the safety of journalists.

Main Activities:

  • Organising seven training sessions with young journalism and law students on journalistic ethics and the legal consequences of incorrect reporting;
  • Offering legal assistance on access to public documents for journalism and law students;
  • Distributing 15 scholarships to students of journalism and law universities for conducting joint investigations;
  • Editing and publishing 15 investigations in cooperation with students who won the scholarships;
  • Producing two TV debates through the TV programmes “Life in Kosovo” and “Justice in Kosovo” on the topic of journalists’ security and accurate and impartial reporting;
  • Producing 5 long articles in Krypometër on the accuracy of information.

Target Groups:

  • Students of journalism and law;
  • Marginalised gender and ethnic groups;
  • Civil society.

Highlights:

  • 124 students were trained in Improving Research Reporting Standards Through Joint Experiences. The students were from different educational backgrounds, mainly from Journalism and Law. The training included students from the municipalities of Prishtina, Gjilan, Prizren and Mitrovica.
  • BIRN Kosovo distibuted 15 scholarships to students interested in investigating on and publishing a journalistic story while applying high journalistic standards;
  • BIRN Kosovo opened its legal office to assist students of Journalism and Law with access to public documents, with the aim of verifying facts.

 

Empowering Women to Seek Their Inheritance Rights

BIRN Kosovo

The project aims to educate, raise awareness and empower women about their property rights. Through TV, online publishing and social media, BIRN will reach out to women and men of all ages and ethnic backgrounds throughout Kosovo.

Summary

In addition to raising awareness, the activities also address the unsatisfactory level of implementation of the law, and the prolonged judicial procedures that discourage women from seeking their rights.

Information Sheet

Donor:

Funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), managed by Advocacy Training and Resource Center (ATRC)

Main Objective:

Enhance awareness among women and men in Kosovo regarding property rights.

Specific Objectives: 

Increasing the public’s awareness of women’s property rights through impartial and objective reporting on women’s inheritance rights through televised and online reporting;
Monitoring the implementation of the legal obligation to register property in the names of both spouses by political representatives and policymakers;
Contributing to positively influencing policies related to women’s inheritance rights by initiating public discussion and providing concrete policy recommendations.

Main Activities:

A series of 10 articles on the current state of affairs in the implementation of the legal framework pertaining to women’s inheritance rights;

Producing two televised analyses to be broadcast on the television programme Justice in Kosovo;

Publishing 4 extensive research papers in Gazeta Jeta ne Kosove;

Organising 2 roundtables to discuss the legislation pertaining to women’s inheritance;

Publishing five extensive legal analyses in Gazeta Jeta ne Kosove;

Drafting proposals for amendments to laws.

Target Groups:

The main target group for the programme ‘Engagement for Equity’ is women from ages 18-65. BIRN will target the stakeholders involved in judicial cases, while an extended target group will be the general public.