Archives: Past

Financial and Advisory Support to Social Enterprises – F&ASible

The overall objective of the project is to support the development and sustainability of the existing sector of social enterprises. Social enterprises have difficulties in finding the necessary support, and the possible development of social entrepreneurship in Serbia has been burdened by the lack of real understanding of this phenomenon and the complete lack of substantive support, especially by institutional actors. In this context, this project has two, clearly separate, specific objectives:

Specific objectives:

  • Help the promotion of resources and capacities that can significantly improve the business performances of concrete social enterprises;
  • Support the expansion of the existing and launching new business activities, clearly linked with the key social objectives of concrete social enterprises.

Activities:

Activity 1: analysing key support needs, based on semi-structured telephone interviews with 15 selected social enterprises, and successive planning of concrete support activities;

Activity 2: organising two practical training courses and a series of individual mentoring sessions in the field of marketing positioning and managerial finance;

Activity 3: awarding small cash grants intended for financing procurement of materials and equipment and organising business activities, as well as monitoring activities within the implementation of grants;

Activity 4: defining and providing individual consulting services particularly tailored to the specific needs of each individual social enterprise.

Target groups:

Representatives of social enterprises that have already formed a certain business experience, developed economic activities and ensured certain self-sufficiency, which have also clearly confirmed their social mission and the ability to create social practices that contribute to sustainable development and benefits for specific vulnerable social groups (unemployed women over 50, young people with intellectual difficulties, victims of domestic and partner violence, persons with disabilities, women at risk of trafficking, the homeless, the poor and the elderly in rural areas, refugees, children with difficulties in emotional development)

Implementation period: February 1, 2014 – March 31, 2016

Geographical area: Republic of Serbia

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Donor: UniCredit Foundation

 

Engendering forced migration, socio-political transition and mental health in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo

The overall project’s objective is to study the complex linkages between forced migration (displacement), experiences of inter-ethnic war violence and mental health among female forced migrants in the three countries

Specific project’s objectives:

  • To research psychosocial health of women forced migrants, including both weaknesses and strengths of their psychosocial functioning;
  • To identify the resources of centres for social work, mental health centres, NGOs and other agencies involved in the provision of psychosocial services;
  • To make a regional comparative analysis regarding the state of psychosocial health among the women forced migrants and in regards to relevant institutional/organisational resources and capacities;
  • To produce policy recommendations related to development of the best practices in the psychosocial support provision to forced migrants.

Activities:

  • Research work, including: A. the psychometric survey on a sample of 250 persons (125 men and 125 women) with the forced displacement background; B. ethnographic fieldwork involving participatory observation during the three weeks within particular refugee/IDP community; C. the life-history interviews with selected number of female forced migrants (being the psychometric survey follow up); and D. focus group discussions with practitioners (NGO, migration, health and social workers) in geographical areas where the most respondents are located;
  • Analysis of empirical (research) data at national and regional (comparative) level, including workshops and discussion, application of appropriate analytical tools, trans-national consultations, and research reports writing;
  • Publication of a book, comprising of the national research reports and a comparative study, as well as the policy brief on the practice of psychosocial service provision, with the focus on gaps and good practices;
  • Dissemination of results: conference, distribution of publications, PR in media, etc.

Target groups: Female forced migrants, psychosocial support practitioners, decision makers in the mental health and migration policy areas

Implementation period: September 2014 – August 2016

Geographical area: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo

Partners: Foundation for Women’s Empowerment (FWE) (Bosnia and Herzegovina) [leading partner]; Balkan Policy Institute (IPOL) (Kosovo)

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Donor: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Regional Research Promotion Programme Western Balkans (RRPP), University of Fribourg

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Transnational Networks, Transnational Entrepreneurship and the Role of State

The project researches formal, semi-formal and informal transnational networks developed by transnational entrepreneurs who thus connect the Western Balkans with European and overseas countries. The goal of the research is to draw attention to and raise awareness of the increasingly frequent form of entrepreneurship – initiated by migrants/returnees who wish to use the know-how and experience acquired while working and living abroad for the development of prospective economic activities that could in many ways enhance economic development of both the local community in which the activity takes place and of the whole country in general. On the basis of the research, recommendations will be given to decision makers with the aim of creating a favourable environment and encouraging migrant/returnees entrepreneurship in Serbia and Albania.

Project Goals:
(1) Conducting a research into the manners of transferring social and financial capital, including acquired knowledge, within these networks
(2) Conducting a research into the contribution of this phenomenon to socio-economic development of the abovementioned countries
(3) Examine the role of the Government and its policies in these countries in providing the support to this form of entrepreneurship

Activities:
1. Qualitative and quantitative research into transnational entrepreneurs
2. Publications on transnational entrepreneurship in Serbia and Albania
3. Policy paper on transnational entrepreneurship in Serbia
4. Policy paper on transnational entrepreneurship in Albania
5. National Round Table (in Tirana)
6. Regional conference on transnational entrepreneurship (in Belgrade)

Target groups:
• Transnational entrepreneurs, policy and decision makers, the academia

Implementation period: 01 July 2012 – 30 June 2013

Geographic area: Albania and Serbia

Partners: Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade; Institute for Change and Leadership in Albania

Donor: Regional Research Promotion Programme in the field of social sciences in the Western Balkans (RRPP), operated by the University in Fribourg, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Civil Society Support to Realisation of Forced Migrants and Minority Rights

The Project contributes to the development of cohesion and tolerance in the society so that all society members could have equal rights and opportunities for realizing their potential.

Project Goals:
(1) Strengthening youth to provide assistance and support to forced migrants (including asylum seekers) and promotion of their rights.
(2) Prompting a more successful integration of forced migrants (children and youth) into educational system and peer groups.
(3) Strengthening youth, as well as key local stakeholders and decision makers, to promote intercultural dialogue and protecting minority and migrants’ rights.
(4) Bringing out understanding and compassion of citizens for the problems migrants face, and respecting migrants and minority rights.

Activities:
1. Seminars for students of the Faculty of Political Sciences, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Medical Science on direct work with forced migrants.
2. With mentorship support of Group 484 team, the student groups will provide psycho-social, medical, and legal support and assistance to forced migrants.
3. National campaign aimed at promoting the rights of migrants, minority cultures, and intercultural dialogue by organising engaged art events and performances.
4. Two round tables on improving the models for protection and promotion of minority and migrants’ rights, minority cultures and intercultural dialogue.

Target groups: Forced migrants (of various age) staying in collective centres, centres for the reception of asylum seekers, and non-hygienic settlements; students and Group 484 volunteers interested in providing support to forced migrants; professors and cultural workers; as well as young people interested in the promotion of intercultural dialogue and minority rights; citizens of Serbia.

Implementation period: January 2013 – September 2013

Geographic area: Belgrade, Koviljaca Spa, Bogovadja, towns of Uzice, Novi Pazar and Vranje

Partners: n/a

Donor: CCFD Terre Solidaire

Support to the First Western Balkan Migration Think Tank

The Think Tank Fund of the Open Society institute has decided to support Group 484 in the development of its Centre for Migration (CEMI). CEMI is a researching and an advocating unit of Group 484. The research and advocacy activities of Group 484 started in 2001 within the Unit for Social Measures and Policies. In time, the volume and scope of these activities grew, which led to the need for establishing the Centre for Migration. First research topics were: Status of forced migrants and integration of forced migrants in a new environment. Then followed some researches into economic migrations in the Western Balkans, particularly migration of youth and highly qualified experts. Based on the research findings, the Centre is focused on supporting the development of public policies that enable a full exercise of migrants’ rights and potential.

Project Goals:
(1) Strengthening the organisation with the aim of improving its advocacy activities in the field of forced migration and taking a leadership advocacy role in the region in solving the extended refugee crisis (the only one in Europe).
(2) Building up capacities for policy analysis and advocating in the field of economic migration
(3) Development of the Centre for Migration’s infrastructure and strategy.

Activities:
1. Public policies analyses
2. Advocacy activities:
3. Researches
4. Trainings
5. Planning
6. Providing literature

Target groups: Decision and policy makers, civil society representatives, the media, general public, migrants, the academia, Group 484 members

Implementation period: 01 July 2010 – 30 June 2013

Geographic area: Serbia, Western Balkans

Partners: Civil society organisations, the academia

Donor: Think Tank Fund of the Open Society institute, Budapest

Improving Migration Policy in Serbia and countries of the Western Balkans

Project is dealing with the contribution to the development of the reception system of different categories of migrants and open and tolerant society.

Project objectives:
(1) sensitising local population towards asylum seekers;
(2) strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) and decision-makers at the local level for the support to asylum seekers;
(3) improving knowledge of key actors about the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants;

Activities:
1. Mapping CSO and actors at the local level to work on sensitising local communities for understanding the situation of asylum seekers and migrants;
2. Preparing campaigns to sensitise local communities for understanding the situation of asylum seekers and migrants;
3. Developing a practical guide on standards of treatment of migrants and information about key stakeholders;

Target groups: CSOs in 5 regions in Serbia (southern Serbia, eastern Serbia, Vojvodina, Belgrade and central Serbia, Sandzak), asylum seekers, local decision-makers, professional staff working in asylum centres and other institutions of importance for the functioning of the asylum system, citizens.

Implementation period: September 2014-December 2015

Geographical area: Serbia: southern Serbia (Vranje and Niš), eastern Serbia (Dimitrovgrad and Pirot), Vojvodina (Subotica, Šid), Belgrade and central Serbia (Lajkovac, Valjevo, Bogovađa, Banja Koviljača, Loznica), Sandžak (Tutin, Sjenica) .

Donor: Open Society Foundation Serbia

The Media between Freedom and Dependence: The Role of Print Media in the Process of Refugee Return

The project conducts researches into newspaper texts whose contents refer to refugees and displaced persons and the process of refugees and displaced persons return in the Western Balkans. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of texts written in the period 1995 – 2012 and published in the most popular and renowned daily newspapers in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, intend to reveal how the media in these two countries covered the issue of return process of refugees and displaced persons – to what extent print media facilitated the return process through their impartial and independent reporting, and to what extent their reporting directly reflected official political positions and goals of political elites.

Project Goals:
(1) to conduct a research into the extent and manner in which the print media in Serbia and BiH reported on refugees and displaced persons;
(2) to establish to what extent the print media were the source of objective information which enabled refugees and displaced persons to decide to return (or stay in the places of refuge/displacement);
(3) to establish to what extent the print media acted as tools of political elites in achieving their goals regarding the return of refugees and/or displaced persons.

Activities:
1. Drafting a working version of methodology guidelines for conducting the research
2. Pilot research into the media documents, analysis of contents of the found newspaper texts, and drafting the preliminary conclusions
3. Consultation on open methodology issue (consultation with an external consultant)
4. Drafting the final version of the methodology guidelines.
5. Conducting a research into the media documents (primary research).
6. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the (found) relevant newspaper texts
7. Presentation of preliminary results of the two national researches at a regional conference in Sarajevo
8. Drafting final national reports on the research findings
9. Development of methodology framework for comparative analysis of the findings of two national researches and conducting the comparative analysis
10. Publication and public presentation of the findings of two national researches and the comparative analysis

Target Groups: Researchers, journalists and decision makers: academic institutions, civil society organisations, the media, state bodies and institutions, local institutions and governments.

Implementation period: 1. July 2012 – 30 June 2013

Geographic area: Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia

Partners: Faculty of Political Sciences (Sarajevo), Media Centre (Sarajevo), Ebart Media Archive (Belgrade)

Donor: Regional Research Promotion Programme in the field of social sciences in the Western Balkans (RRPP), run by the University in Fribourg upon mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Migrant Integration Policy Index in the Western Balkans region

The project examines the development of migrant integration policy development in the Western Balkans, using the methodology developed by the Migration Policy Group. This methodology is used in 33 countries – EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the USA. It will be used in the Western Balkans countries for the first time. Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) is determined on the basis of seven policy areas: labour market mobility, access to nationality, long-term residence, education, anti-discrimination, political participation, family reunion. In this manner it is possible to monitor the development of migrant integration policies in the region and make an influence on decision makers to improve them.

Project Goals:
(1) Mapping the existing migrant integration policies in the Western Balkans region
(2) Strengthening the representatives of Western Balkans countries to develop, monitor and improve migrant integration policies in line with migrants’ needs and rights.
(3) Informing the public on the importance of adequately developed migrant integration policies.

Activities:
1. A two-day training for the partners on the use of the MIPEX methodology.
2. Examining migrant integration policies
3. Drafting reports on migrant integration policies in the Western Balkans countries
4. Regional conference on migrant integration policies

Target groups:
• Decision and policy makers, civil society representatives, the media, general public, migrants

Implementation period: 01 March 2013 – 01 January 2014

Geographic area: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia

Partners: ‘Vasa prava BiH” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Centre for Peace Vukovar (Croatia), CRPRC Studiorum and Centre for Research and Policy Making – CRPM (Macedonia), Migration Policy Group (Brussels).

Donor: The Balkan Trust for Democracy

Towards Europeanization of Serbia – Monitoring Established Policies and Practices in the Asylum and Readmission Related Areas in the Republic of Serbia

The project was focused on the improvement of public policies and institutional practices related to issues of irregular migration, asylum, and readmission in the Republic of Serbia by including national civil society organisations into European debates on these issues initiated by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), as the biggest pan-European network of non-governmental organisations dealing with forced migration issues.

Project Goals:
(1) Strengthening and improving the cooperation between civil society organisations from Serbia with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles aimed at building up capacities of national civil society organisations
(2) Inclusion of asylum policy issues and integration of returnees on the basis of Readmission Agreements in European debates on these issues, initiated by ECRE
(3) Strengthening informal network of civil society organisations in Serbia in order for them to be able to efficiently monitor national policies related to asylum and reintegration of returnees issues.

Activities:
1. Inviting civil society organisations to participate in working groups for asylum and readmission;
2. Conducting field monitoring visits and gathering information on the state of human rights of asylum seekers and returnees based on Readmission Agreements;
3. Drafting a publication “Challenges of Forced Migration in Serbia – the State of Human Rights of Asylum Seekers and Returnees based on Readmission Agreements”;
4. Two-day advocacy visit to the European institutions;
5. National round table on the challenges of building up the asylum system and fulfilling commitments under the Readmission Agreement.

Target Groups: Representatives of relevant state authorities and organisations, relevant international organisations, national non-governmental organisations and funds, the academia, policy and decision makers at the EU level.

Results:
1. Establishment of the two working groups in whose work the following representatives participated: ASTRE, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Red Cross of Serbia, Ecumenical Humanitarian Organisation, Initiative for Development and Cooperation, Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre and Nexus Vranje Group 484 delegated two representatives, one in each of the working groups;
2. Monitoring visits to asylum centres, working units for accommodation of unaccompanied foreign minors, Subotica District Prison, reception centres for returnees based on the Readmission Agreement and interviews conducted with key stakeholders participating in the asylum system and dealing with returnees;
3. A resume on the situation regarding human rights of asylum seekers and returnees on the basis of the Readmission Agreement drafted and presented in Brussels;
4. The publication “Challenges of Forced Migration in Serbia – the State of Human Rights of Asylum Seekers and Returnees based on Readmission Agreements” finalised;
5. National round table on the challenges of building up the asylum system and fulfilling commitments under the Readmission Agreement, with 70 participants.

Implementation period: November 2011 – August 2012

Geographic area: The Republic of Serbia, Brussels and Malta

Partners: /

Donor: Fund for an Open Society in Serbia

Irregular can be Regular – Research on Returnees from Western Europe

Funded by: German Marshall Fund USA, through the Programme of the Balkan Fund for Democracy..

In June 2011, in partnership with Group 484, Nexus started the Project “Irregular can be Regular – Research on Returnees from Western Europe”.

Within the six-month project, through qualitative research (focus groups with migrants and representatives of stakeholders), development of policy documents, and organisation of round tables, recommendations for migration policies and measures in Serbia, at national and local level and in EU Member States, will be provided. Furthermore, recommendations will be developed with an aim of taking more concrete measures that will contribute to enhanced integration of returnees based on the Readmission Agreement, and particularly in cooperation with the EU Member States. The project will be implemented in Vranje, Bujanovac, and Presevo, and its purpose is to contribute to the identification of factors that would support legal labour migration and prevent irregular migration, through a comparative analysis of regular and irregular economic migration at all levels of migratory process – departure, staying abroad, and return.

Upon the research that will use a scientific approach, all findings will be compiled in one document (policy paper|) that will be communicated to local and national stakeholders, and to stakeholders in EU Member States. Discussion on the research findings and presentation of the document (policy paper) will be held at a national round table to be organised in Belgrade.