The COVID 19 pandemic, like all over the world, had an unprecedented impact in the Western Balkan countries. The effects caused by the pandemic apart from adverse health affected all sectors, becoming so eminent in all dimensions such as social, economic and psychological, putting into test also the democratic institutions of this region. Under these circumstances, all sectors strived to adopt and generate new ways to respond to the situation and continue their activities, including the civil society sector.
This publication presents six case studies on Covid-19 impact in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Based on desk research and secondary data, the case studies provide an assessment overview of the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 in each of the Balkan countries, including data on the impact on target groups such as youth and students, women, marginalized people etc. while scrutinizing the government implemented measures to minimize impact on people and economy. It further explores the civil society ownership and inclusiveness in policy and decision-making in response to COVID-19 pandemic, fundamental rights and freedoms under the emergency situation, civil society shrinking space and access to domestic resources, the response mechanism implemented by relevant stakeholders in some key areas. Finally, it highlights and gives a showcase of Civil Society Organizations’ good practices contributing to Covid-19 response related to policy advocacy, responding to basic needs of constituencies and community mobilization and other transformative actions.