Under activities to mark June 1, Children’s Day, Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF, held today a press conference to publish the Monitoring Report “My Municipality, My Social Right” on the process of decentralization of social services in Kosovo.

The opening of the conference was made by Donjeta Kelmendi from KOMF, who wished all children a dignified life and full guarantee of their rights. Kelmendi stressed that although the protection of children’s rights is guaranteed by law for all children and citizens in need, not everyone has access and benefits from services. According to her, social and family services in Kosovo are not being treated as a priority by the responsible institutions, causing serious social situation in the country.

After the opening speech, Bukurezë Surdulli from KOMF presented the findings and recommendations of the Monitoring Report on the Process of Decentralization of Social Services for 2019, which was conducted in seven municipalities of the Republic of Kosovo.

The monitoring report of the process of decentralization of social services confirms that social services decentralization has not been completed even after 10 years. The main reason for not implementing this process is the lack of political will by both, central and municipal level. Other factors that have hindered the full implementation of decentralization are the lack of sustainable financing of social services, the lack of a contracting scheme for the purchase of social services by the non-governmental sector, the limited capacity of municipalities to manage social services, low level of accountability, uncertainties in the division of responsibilities between the central and municipal level, confusion in dividing functions of monitoring and inspection of social services, etc.

The main recommendations from this report are:

  • Prioritize the implementation of social services decentralization process at the central and municipal level
  • Establishment of the Specific Grant for Social Services in frame of the Law on Local Government Finance, to ensure sustainable and fair financing of social and family services
  • Define the role and divide the responsibilities between central and municipal level institutions in frame of the new Law on Social and Family Services
  • Separate the inspection and monitoring functions under the Law on Social and Family Services
  • Monitoring and evaluation by the non-governmental/private sector
  • Licensing of social services provided by the public sector
  • Establishment of a sustainable scheme by municipalities to outsource social and family services to the non-governmental sector
  • Empower municipalities and CSWs for budget planning and management for social services
  • Increase the number and profile of social service officers in the CSW to respect the minimum MLSW standards for the number of officers in relation to the number of beneficiaries
  • Creation of a training unit within MLSW, which will provide continuous training for social service officers.

After presenting the main findings of the Monitoring Report, KOMF launched an information and awareness campaign “My Municipality, My Social Right”, which aims to inform citizens about the decentralization of social services in Kosovo and promote the full implementation of this process.

This activity was supported in the frame of the “Joint Action for Decentralization” project, funded by European Union and managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo, which is implemented by Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF, in partnership with Organization for Children without Parental Care – OFAP, SOS Children’s Villages in Kosovo and KMOP.