"Kosovo/a Initiative" Assessment Mission
R E P O R T
DRC Job no. 503-556
Supported by FRESTA
NGOs in the context of return
As regards NGOs involved primarily in IDP and refugee assistance, several key organizations are already involved in the FRESTA funded NGO Transition and Development Programme (NGO TDP) besides their work with other international partners (Group 484, Hi Neighbour, International Aid Network, Novi Sad Humanitarian Center, Protecta, Serbian Democratic Forum). They also have links with smaller local organizations and IDP associations on various programmes, including return activities, training and advocacy.
Apart from the FRESTA funded NGO TDP, there are other coordination mechanisms primarily led by international NGOs, aimed at enhancing the capacities of local partners and directly involve IDPs in all stages of the minority return or integration process. Such is, for instance, the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) cross boundary programme focusing on minority return of rural communities in eastern Kosovo (Gjilan and Urosevac/Ferizaj region), which is likely to expand and offer its specific methodology of partnerships to other stakeholders, thus creating a more effective civil society response to the issue of return, linked with direct empowerment of the beneficiaries themselves.
In many cases, the internally displaced people from Kosovo have taken up concrete initiative and founded their own associations focused on immediate assistance to the population in displacement, through various humanitarian and return related activities. There are quite a few such associations in various towns in Serbia where IDPs are accommodated, but the assessment team looked at some of the typical and more advanced initiatives in this sector of civil society.