On 1st July 2021, BCSDN held a regional workshop on CSO Accountability: “Reflections on the Self-Regulation of Civil Society by Sharing Regional and Global Experiences”. The event was followed by more than 60 CSOs representatives from the Balkans and across the world, who virtually discussed and shared examples of the CSO accountability practices and self-assessment mechanisms. The workshop aimed to raise awareness among CSOs in the region about the key principles, opportunities, and challenges they should consider in developing and implementing self-regulatory mechanisms for being more effective, accountable, and credible.
The second part of the workshop was devoted to stories on creating and institutionalizing the self-assessment mechanisms in Albania and N. Macedonia. Practical examples of how self-regulation mechanisms can improve the quality of social services provided by CSOs were also provided.
Ms. Ariola Agolli, National Resource Centre Manager at Partners Albania for Change and Development shared the organization’s experience in drafting the Code for the Albanian CSOs. Reflecting on the participatory process of preparing and delivering the Code, Ms. Agolli covered specific issues regarding the process, such as its principles and the commitments, the implementing structure, the promotion of the initiative, and the challenges and lessons learned. Some of the main difficulties reflected were the diverse CSOs’ commitments and involvement in the process, lack of NPOs’ human resources and knowledge on the self-assessment tools, the Covid-19 crisis, etc.
The event concluded with final reflections on both the Albanian and the Macedonian context about the need for civil society incentives in the self-regulation processes. It was emphasized that these processes are a timely and costly exercise that requires knowledge, support, and recognition on a national or international level.
Watch the full video of the workshop here.