Civil Society for Democracy

Switzerland supports civil society in Kosovo – towards a strong and sustainable democracy actor, by contributing together with other development partners to the local re-granting scheme, administered by the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF). Various types of grants (for activities, organisational strengthening, etc.) and capacity development enable improved organisational and financial capacities of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), strengthened constituency relations and increased civic engagement in public affairs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
01.01.2024 - 31.12.2028
CHF  2’900’000
Background Civil society in Kosovo is vibrant, in regional comparison. The legal framework is modern and the environment for civic engagement conducive. Despite the progress, civil society continues to face important challenges. Financial resources are a significant concern. CSO participation in policy dialogue often takes place on ad-hoc basis, is not strategic enough and lacks follow up. Due to the limited practice and culture for consultation on both sides (government and civil society), the space available for civic participation remains underutilised. CSOs face challenges in establishing stronger connections with constituency.
Objectives Civil society contributes meaningfully to the democratic and socio-economic development of Kosovo.
Target groups CSOs, unregistered citizen initiatives and individuals that demonstrate commitment to advancing the democratic society in Kosovo. The project activities target both men and women across different age groups, encouraging them to actively engage with decision-makers regarding their concerns. While the intervention will indirectly be beneficial to citizens as a whole, particular attention will go to supporting initiatives that address the rights and needs of marginalized groups, such as women, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, LBGTI+, youth and elderly.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Increased civic engagement in public life through participatory advocacy of civil society.

Outcome 2: CSOs have strengthened their constituency relations and improved their organizational capacities.


Expected results:  

  • Different civil society initiatives have been supported to successfully engage in participatory advocacy.
  • Champions of democracy have been promoted as role models for contribution to the development of democracy.
  • Grantees have been trained to: i) build and strengthen constituency relations; ii) engage in effective resource diversification; and iii) improve internal governance and financial management.

Results from previous phases:   Switzerland is a longstanding and recognised supporter of democracy and civil society in Kosovo. Within the previous programme (Democratic Society Promotion; 2011-2023), over 180 civil society initiatives were supported. Over the years, the civil society has achieved good results particularly in the areas of rule of law, transparency, accountability, human rights and gender equality. During this period, the public trust in civil society increased from 19% in 2012 to 51% in 2023. In parallel, democracy in Kosovo advanced and - in contrast to civic space shrinking trends in many other countries - the space for civil society was protected. Additionally, together with other donors, the local partner (KCSF) was supported in initiating a localised, revamped and more comprehensive regranting scheme for civil society.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF)

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Pooled funding with other development partners (Sweden already started, possibly Denmark, etc.)
  • Complementarity with the EU and USAID initiatives implemented also with KCSF
  • Synergies with other Swiss interventions: DEMOS, WIP, IWRM, PHRD, etc.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’900’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    392’456
Project phases Phase 1 01.01.2024 - 31.12.2028   (Current phase)