On January 25th, discussing “dynamic accountability” during a crisis, we kick-started our activities of the Regional Accountability Community of practice group. RACoP members showcased inspiring stories of how they maintained their commitment to their mission amidst a crisis and emerged stronger.
Ms. Marija Vishinova Shemova, and Ms. Simona Mladenovska from BCSDN’s Executive Office set the tone of the meeting with a comprehensive presentation of the RACoP Action Plan, sparking a vibrant exchange between RACoP members who engaged in provoking dialogue to bring their opinion on realization of the upcoming community’s activities.
The event followed with BCSDN EO experience shared on how the network remained “dynamically accountable” during the unprecedented global crisis. Some good practices shared were the continuous monitoring and reporting on the state of CS enabling environment and governments’ obstructions against basic citizens’ freedoms, accommodating the network’s work per constituencies’ needs, sharing members’ success stories during a crisis, etc. In the continuation of the session, the representatives of BCSDN’s members Partners Albania for Change and Development and the Center for Promotion of Civil Society (CPCD) from Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed how their accountability practices remained effective during difficult times. Ms. Klotilda Kosta, Director of Programs at Partners Albania, shared inspiring actions CSOs took after the earthquake in Albania in 2019 and during the Covid-19 pandemic – including a support package provided by PA to assist these organizations rapidly. The discussion further touched on what can be done in terms of assessing and responding to challenges posed by the crisis and taking advantage of digital tools available for efficient operations.
Despite the challenging circumstances of a global crisis, RACoP members testified on innovative ways to stay engaged in their accountability practices. “Regional Stories in Times of Crisis “session offered inspiring stories of successful approaches and areas for improvement during difficult times. Ms. Milica Antic shared Catalyst Balkan’s examples about launching a transparency platform, Neprofitne.rs, enabling two-way communication between beneficiaries and constituency partners in crises, while Ms Jasmina Golubovska, from Legis, North Macedonia, spoke about the relevance of grassroot activism as well as national and regional cooperation alliances during such uncertain times.
The event concluded positively, with participants reflecting on what CSOs across the Balkans should do to create a better future and more resilient civil society.
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