The Balkan Network consists of partner organizations, which are equal in their rights and duties as members of the network. The principles of cooperation, partnership, tolerance, dialogue and respect for others are the main working principles of the network. The Network comprises the Council, the Board, the Executive Office, and the Executive Director.
- The Council is the highest governance body of the BCSDN and is composed of one authorized representative of each member organization. The Council meets at least once a year to discuss the management and the work strategy of BCSDN. Each session of the Council is chaired by the Chairperson of the Council, which is appointed on an annual, rotating basis.
- The Board is the governing and supervisory organ of the BCSDN. The Board currently has seven members: the Chairperson of the Board, the Deputy-Chairperson of the Board and five members, which do not necessarily have to be Council members. The Board meets at least twice per calendar year.
Current Board Members:
Taulant Hoxha- Chair of the Board
Taulant Hoxha is a civil society activist from Kosovo. He holds a degree in Political Sciences and is engaged in various individual and organized civic initiatives since more than two decades. Since 2007 he has held various positions at the Kosovar Civil Society Foundation, serving as its Executive Director since 2018. He is mostly engaged in the fields of civil society development, including legal framework for civil society, civic participation in policy-making, civil society-government dialogue and public funding for civil society and internal governance of CSOs. He has actively participated and led numerous advocacy initiatives related to protecting and advancing civic space in Kosovo, while since 2012 he serves as the Chair of Board of CiviKos Platform, the largest network of CSOs in Kosovo. He has coordinated numerous research projects and authored tens of studies, policy papers, commentaries and articles, as well as delivered hundreds of presentations and trainings on various topics related to civil society development.
Maja Stojanović- Deputy Chair of the Board
Maja Stojanovic is a long-time activist for the protection of human rights, and Executive Director of the Citizen’s Association for Democracy and Civic Education – Civic Initiatives. Civic Initiatives were founded in 1996 when a group of prominent NGO activists in Serbia, involved in the anti-war movement and non-nationalist democratic opposition, recognized the need to create a social, civic base that could support democratic change by teaching citizens about their rights, democracy, civil society and how to be active citizens so that they can make decisions about their own lives. With over 18 years of professional experience, Maja’s first activist engagement was in the Students’ Union of Serbia, after which she spent 5 years working in different positions in youth organizations. She conducted over 500 training days in Serbia and the region and wrote, coordinated, and implemented numerous projects. Maja Stojanovic is the president of the Board of Directors of the Human Rights and Democracy House from Belgrade and a member of the Europe Team, an expert group for the promotion of European integrations in Serbia. Maja’s area of expertise includes: Civil Society Development, Human Resources, Project Management, Fundraising, Networking, Human Rights and Work with Marginalized Groups, Transitional Justice and War Crimes, Conflict Prevention, Youth Policy, Public Administration, Crowdfunding, and European Integration.
Tina Divjak is currently the head of advocacy at the Center for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGOs (CNVOS) in Slovenia. She holds a law degree from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and has passed the national bar exam. Mrs Divjak has been working on various issues related to NGO development in Slovenia since 2003. She started at the Legal Informational Centre for NGOs in Slovenia with comparative analysis and the drafting of reports related to NGO legislation, public benefit status, and cooperation between NGOs and the Government. In this position, Mrs Divjak also contributed to various legal initiatives and the development of an environmental NGO public participation program. Continuing at CNVOS as a senior legal advisor she authored or participated in the drafting of several laws, including the Law on Voluntarism, Law on Associations, Law on Foundations, and the Law on Social Entrepreneurship. Her advocacy activities in relation to legislation also cover lobbying and NGO coalition building. Currently, Mrs Divjak is also focused on involvement of NGOs in the programming and implementation of the European social funds 2014 – 2020 and is also the president of the Slovenian Government’s Council for development of NGOs.
Klotilda Kosta is a Director of Programs at Partners Albania for Change and Development. She is responsible for the development of three main areas of center’s work: 1) Enabling Environment for CSOs; 2) Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility; 3) Women and Youth Employment and Increasing Representation in Decision-making. She holds an MSc degree in Social Work and she has worked as a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Tirana University. Since 2005, she is part of the program management’ team of Partners Albania, managing several projects for the development of CSOs in the country, and advocating to create an enabling legal environment for the operation of CSOs. Ms. Kosta is an expert in designing and delivering capacity building programs, technical assistance, and consultancy thanks to a great exposure to best training methodologies at an international level and over 15-year experience in the area. Good Governance is another key area of her expertise, designing and implementing programs that contribute to increasing transparency, accountability and integrity of local government through participatory approaches. She is a certified Anti-Corruption Practitioner, facilitating Local Government Units to prepare and implement Anticorruption Strategic Action Plans. Ms. Kosta is a gender expert, preparing and delivering training programs on gender issues, and facilitating the preparation of gender policies and action plans for state institutions and local government units. She is a co-author of different research and publications in the areas of her expertise.
Rana has twenty years of experience in business and philanthropy. She currently serves as Secretary General at TUSEV responsible for leading the team working towards achieving a strong, credible and participatory civil society in Turkey. Prior to TUSEV, she served as the Director of Programs and International Relations at the Sabanci Foundation. There, she oversaw the Foundation’s programs which aim to achieve social inclusion and equal participation for women, youth and persons with disabilities. Rana has experience in developing program strategies and implementing grant programs, designing strategic assessment processes, and developing and maintaining relationships with foreign and local institutions. She served as a Governing Council member of the European Foundation Center (EFC) from 2013 to 2017 and as National Advisory Group member of the Technical Assistance for Civil Society Organizations (TACSO) from 2014 to 2017. She is a regular contributor to Alliance Magazine and a speaker at philanthropy conferences. Rana holds a Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration from Bosphorus University (1999) and received her MBA degree from Yale School of Management (2004).
Aida Daguda isDirector of Civil Society Promotion Centre (Centar za promociju civilnog društva, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has respectable knowledge of civil society in the region of Western Balkans, as well as structure and background of international assistance in BiH. Ms Aida Daguda has more than 20 years of experience with international and local CSOs. Initiator of the largest mentoring program for women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of several regional initiatives in the region of Western Balkans. Multi-skilled and experienced in managing projects, programs and civil society organizations. Ms Daguda possess extensive experience in managing and implementing projects of development of more enabling environment for civil society development as well as institutional mechanisms of cooperation between government and civil society organizations. Committed to open dialogue, gender equality and active participation in decision making processes.
Snezana Kamilovska Trpovska
Snezhana is a legal expert with more than 12 years of working experience in the area of corruption, good governance, transparency, citizen participation in policy and law-making, and enabling environment of CSOs and the private sector. She is a Project Coordinator within the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation and has experience in coordinating different large-scale civil society development interventions funded by different donors such as the EU, SIDA and British Embassy. Snezhana has an extensive regional experience through projects such as SELDI, enabling the environment of CSOs in the Balkan region and CEFTA working groups. Through her work, she has built up an extensive network of contacts among CSOs in the Balkan. She has the knowledge and clear understanding of the overall political system, civil society, good governance and anticorruption on a national and regional level. She has experience with projects related to the transparency and accountability of public institutions, citizen participation in policy and law-making, and research and analysis of the state of corruption. Snezhana regularly participates in the creation of numerous anti-corruption policies such as Law on the prevention of corruption and conflict of interests, the Law on lobbying, the National Strategy for the fight against corruption and conflict of interest 2021-2025 etc. Also, she is a member of the Council for the Cooperation of the Government with CSOs 2021-2024 as part of the sector for democracy and good governance.
- The daily work of the BCSDN is organized by the Executive Office. The Executive office is composed of the Executive Director and needed number of staff. For general inquiries please contact the ExecutiveOffice@balkancsd.net.
BCSDN Staff Members:
Anja Bosilkova-Antovska, Head of Policy and Advocacy
Holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and a BSc in Economics from the Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. In BCSDN, she coordinates the Monitoring Matrix for civil society development and the CIVICUS Monitor research updates for civic freedoms in the Western Balkans and Turkey, and is responsible for the strategic priorities related to the enabling environment for CSOs operation. Anja’s professional experience is both local and international, being engaged in international development organizations based in Macedonia and Austria and working on US and EU funded projects. Her areas of expertise are research, communication, project management and event organization, and her interests include Human Rights, Youth Education, European Integration, and Economics.
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Here you can download Anja Bosilkova-Antovska’s biography.
Voislav Pangov, Finance Manager
Holds a BSc in Financial Management from the Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. In BCSDN, he is responsible for financial and administrative work. Voislav has considerable experience working in the private sector, as well as experience in international organizations working on EU funded projects.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here you can download Voislav Pangov’s biography.
Marija Vishinova Shemova, Network and Partnership Coordinator
Marija Vishinova holds an MA in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Faculty of Law Iustinianus Primus, Skopje, Macedonia, and a joint MA degree in Interdisciplinary Research and Studies on Eastern Europe from the University of Bologna, Italy, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, and Overseas period the Department of Slavic Studies and History at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA. She is fluent in Macedonian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, English, Italian, and Russian. Marija’s professional experience is both local and international, being engaged as a researcher, project staff and communication officer in multiple NGOs in Macedonia, but also overseas. In BCSDN she is working on the role of Network and Partnership Coordinator.
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Here you can download download Marija Vishinova’s biography.
Simona Mladenovska, Policy and Advocacy Officer
Holds MSc in New Media and Social Networks from the Institute for Sociological, Political and Judicial Research – Skopje, and BA in Political Science. Her engagement with BCSDN begins in April 2021 when she joins as an intern working on the CIVICUS Monitor research updates, after which she continues the engagement as Communications and Information Officer in the Executive Office from September 2021. She has been engaged, professionally and voluntarily, in multiple CSOs in the country such as Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis – Skopje, Eurothink and the National Youth Council of Macedonia. She has extensive experience in project and event management, research and communications. Her interests extends the areas of research, communications, transitional justice and civic movements.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here you can download Simona Mladenovska’s Biography.
Biljana Stojanovska, Grant Manager
Biljana Stojanovska holds a BSc in Economy from the Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. In BCSDN, she performs the role of Grant Manager for the Regional Civil Society Development Hub which will enhance the regional cooperation and resilience of CSOs in the WB. Biljana has an extensive professional experience of more than 16 years in the Ministry of Finance in Macedonia, where she has developed and maintained good professional relationships and cooperation with foreign and domestic contractors, EC services, national institutions and Governmental bodies, civil society organizations, auditors, IFIs (EBRD and EIB), etc. She was working in the Central Financing and Contracting Department (CFCD), which acts as a Contracting Authority accredited by the EU Commission for tendering, contracting, financial management and payments, as well as monitoring of the implementation of the IPA funded projects in decentralized implementation system. Her area of expertise is financial management, project management, grants management, and her interests include EU Integration and Economics.
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Here you can download Biljana Stojanovska biography.
Besa Mustafa, Junior Grant Manager
Besa Mustafa is currently studying for a master’s degree in International Communication at the South East European University in Skopje. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education – English Language Teaching from International Balkan University, Skopje, Macedonia. In BCSDN, she is responsible for assistance on project implementation, as well as administrative work. She has previous experience working and volunteering in local and international projects.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here you can download Besa Mustafa biography.
Ivana Simjanovska, Project Assistant
Holds BA in English and Italian language and literature from the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski”, Ss Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. She has an extensive experience as a project manager and coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the development industry – project management, project coordination, capacity building, development of comprehensive strategies of national interest and reforms. Her previous experience notes valuable contribution in developing and monitoring project activities for several UN agencies; developed brand and portfolio strategies, managed brand advertising and led the marketing and sales for international companies over the years. In BCSDN she works as project assistant, supporting the Regional Hub’s activities. Ivana is fluent in English, Italian and Serbian and Croatian. She is also an international wine judge, passionate supporter of the Slow Wine movement in the country & worldwide, a distinguished wine writer and publisher, author of two Macedonian wine guides and one Slow Wine Guide, wine guide for Macedonia Experience & writes about wine & food on her blog ivanasimjanovska.com
Here you can download Ivana Simjanovska Biography.
- The Executive Director is the executive organ responsible for the daily management of BCSDN. The Executive Director is appointed and responsible to the Board. The Board appoints the Executive Director by a 2/3 majority of the members who voted, but with at least one-third of the total number of members voting. The term of the Executive Director is three years, with right to reelection.
Biljana Spasovska, Executive Director
Biljana Spasovska holds an MA in Interdisciplinary research and studies in Eastern Europe from the University of Bologna and a BA in International Relations from the University College for International and Public Relations in Prague. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in Democracy in the era of Globalization. Biljana has been in BCSDN since 2013 and before becoming the Executive Director she was responsible for BCSDN Policy and Advocacy activities. Her area of expertise is in democracy and civil society development, EU Integration Process, good governance and accountability. Biljana has experience working in the government and civil society sector; she has worked in the Secretariat for European Affairs of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and in think – tank organizations in North Macedonia, Italy and the Czech Republic.
Contact her at email@example.com.
Here you can download Biljana Spasovska biography.