Established in 1998, KCSF has been a leading actor in strengthening and funding the civil society sector in Kosovo. KCSF is engaged in advancing the environment for operation of civil society in Kosovo and beyond, provides direct input to policy and law making processes, pushes for legal and practical opportunities for civil society participation in policy-making and Kosovo’s European Agenda, offers capacity building support to CSOs and other actors, and acts as a grant-making facility for the key civil society donors operating in Kosovo. KCSF work is embedded in two beliefs: 1) that a bold and effective civil society is indispensable for advancing and sustaining Kosovo’s democratic transition, and 2) that the European Integration perspective is the most powerful driver of domestic reform in Kosovo. As such, KCSF supports an active citizenry through creating an enabling environment for civil society, and supports civil society initiatives to articulate and address the needs of their constituencies and beneficiaries. Since 2006, KCSF added a strong European Integration focus to all of its activities. In its 20 years of existence, KCSF funded hundreds of CSOs and their initiatives through a variety of specific instruments and funding modalities; organized hundreds of trainings for thousands of participants from civil society and beyond; and published tens of publications, research reports and resource materials; provided hundreds of scholarships for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian students; managed the European Integration School for more than 1,000 alumni; contributed to formal opportunities for CSOs involvement in the European Integration process and facilitated networking of Kosovar CSOs with their peers in Europe and beyond; it brought to Kosovo high level share experiences from a variety of EU Accession phases; proposed and designed mechanisms for public consultation process; led the structuring of cooperation between government and civil society; provided expertise and analysis in drafting basic NGO laws and secondary legislation; successfully defended principles of freedom of association in front of Constitutional Court; contributed to regional efforts in defining the enabling environment for civil society operation; and much more.
Since the early years of its functioning, KCSF acted as one of the main partners to implement the civil society grant-making schemes in Kosovo, by managing numerous interventions of the EU and other bilateral donors. Although the thematic areas covered by the schemes differ among the donors, KCSF, in line with its mission, supports CSOs and other civic initiatives to progress the democratic changes and contribute in the process of EU integration.
Acknowledging the need to increase the capacities of CSOs in endorsing and practicing principles of good governance and strengthening operational capacities, in addition to the financial support, grantees are assisted by KCSF in building their capacities on issues of their internal governance, project and financial management and organizational structure. The applied approach resulted in strengthening the collaborative relation and enlarging the portfolio of partners throughout the years. To reach greater effectiveness and impact, the cross-cutting issues such as women empowerment and inclusion, inclusion of minorities and other disadvantaged groups are mainstreamed into all grant-making schemes.
KCSF has been advocating for its core areas of interest since its establishment, with research being an essential tool in the process. In order to focus its capacities and strengthen evidence-based arguments, a specific Research and Advocacy Unit was established in 2014. KCSF Research and Advocacy is based on a progressing program and variety of instruments, in providing both comprehensive studies on the state of the sector and specific policy analysis for particular issues of importance for the sector.
With the majority of systemic data collected on regular basis from the first set of studies, thematic commentaries and policy papers cover specific topics related to advancing the functioning of structures and mechanisms for civil society development. These include active citizenry; advancement and implementation of the legal framework and other strategic documents on civil society development; enforcement of EU standards and functioning of structures responsible for European integration and inclusion of civil society in the European Agenda.
The first target audience of KCSF Research and Advocacy are the Kosovar public institutions, particularly the central Government. With regards to the EU integration process, KCSF led the civil society request to involve the sector in the regular Stabilization and Association Process dialogue (SAPd), as well as other mechanisms. KCSF publications are regarded very valuable also by the donor community as they indirectly assist in harmonizing donor practices in support of civil society in Kosovo.
KCSF Centre is a hub, which directly serves the further development of the civil society sector through promotion and support of the organization and good governance of CSOs; collection, structuring and dissemination of information on latest developments of the civil society sector; capacity building for CSOs; and enhancing the cooperation between CSOs, public authorities and donors.
The Helpdesk services several hundred visitors annually through organizing training sessions for CSOs, providing continuous assistance to CSOs and public institutions on undertaking specific public policy initiatives and policy making. On training delivery, KCSF Centre delivers an array of trainings open to all practitioners and civil society representatives, based on concrete needs of the civic sector. Complementing the training delivery, in line with the capacity building activities, KCSF has been delivering coaching and mentoring sessions to all requiring CSOs, civic initiatives, state institutions and relevant stakeholders.
On information events, KCSF Centre utilizes different tools and methodologies to promote best practices and principles for the sector and to deliver information on recent developments relevant for the sector. Within KCSF Centre library, KCSF has designed a dedicated corner for publications and materials of other CSOs, which is regularly updated and utilized. KCSF also provides for free its office space and training infrastructure for an array of civic initiatives.
Basic and advanced trainings