Advancing Kosovo Together – Local Solutions (AKT – LS) is a USAID funded program which is implemented by Community Development Fund Kosovo – CDF and aims to foster positive and constructive inter-ethnic communication, centered on common problems, needs, and solutions. The Advancing Kosovo Together Local Solutions activity will focus on opportunities to get people thinking, talking and engaging with members of the other communities. This includes opportunities to better integrate non-majority and majority markets, including improved overall value chains to encourage long-term economic viability of businesses, and increased responsiveness of local administrations to the service needs of non-majority communities.
The program will consist of three components that will aim to strengthen local civil society and private sector capacity as well as improve aid effectiveness and sustainability.
- The Citizen Engagement component: Through strategic grant interventions in building small-scale community infrastructure, the Citizen Engagement component team will liaise between central and local government and build bridges between line ministries and municipal government in improving the quality of governance and service delivery for citizens. This component will aim to eliminate the barriers between public institutions and representatives of majority and minority ethnic communities as well as individual members of these communities.
- The Business Development component: Through grant funding in support of start-ups and existing businesses with high likelihood of commercial viability this component will promote self-employment and income generation particularly among youth and women as particularly disadvantaged groups. This component will also focus on capacity building for aspiring entrepreneurs in business and financial planning, marketing and sales, as well as sector specific trainings.
- The Municipal Development component: Through a package of direct technical assistance to municipalities this component will aim to improve the quality and diversity of public services for citizens as well as enable local governments to better plan and implement local development policies. To this end, services in support of private sector, as well as, those aimed at increasing formalization of commerce, will be particularly supported, as they represent an important revenue stream for local governments.
The Advancing Kosovo Together - Local Solutions program is envisioned to implement activities and target beneficiary communities in 16 partner Kosovo municipalities, including municipalities in northern Kosovo. This includes communities in six (6) Serb majority municipalities in the south: Gračanica/Graçanicë, Klokot/Kllokot, Novo Brdo/Novobërdë, Parteš/Partesh, Ranilug/Ranillug, and Štrpce/Shtërpcë; and six (6) Albanian majority municipalities: Gjilan/Gnjilane, Istog/Istok, Klinë/Klina, Obiliq/Obilić, Pejë/Peć and Vushtrri/Vučitrn as well as four (4) municipalities in the north: Mitrovica North, Leposavić/Leposaviq, Zubin Potok/Zubin Potok, and Zvečan/Zveçan.