About RRPP


The RRPP is aimed at fostering and promoting social science research in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Social science research aids in the understanding of the specific needs for reform and in identifying the long-term implications of potential policy choices. Researchers receive support through research grants, methodological and thematic trainings, as well as opportunities for regional and international exchange and networking. The RRPP is coordinated and operated by the Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe (IICEE) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). The programme is fully funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

What have we achieved so far?


The RRPP consolidation phase started in 2014 with the selection of 21 regional research projects embedded in such thematic areas as Migration, Governance/Decentralisation and Welfare State/Social Disparities. These current research projects have developed an institutional research partnership with established universities and research institutes from Europe and overseas within the Academic Mentoring Programme.

In October 2014, the Policy Bridging Initiative (PBI) was launched as a new capacity development programme. Its aim is to support the RRPP research in maximizing the production of policy-relevant outputs, as well as building the insight to bridge the resulting analysis into a target policy-making process. The PBI started officially at international Policy Conference and Orientation Meeting for the Policy Bridging Initiative (PBI) in Belgrade, in November 19-20, 2014.

Throughout the 2008-2015 period, under the umbrella topic “Political, Social and Economic Change in the Western Balkans” 71 research projects have been implemeted in the region, valuing 7.5 million CHF. These RRPP research projects deal with topics relevant to transformation in political sciences, sociology, social work, cultural and gender studies, economies and other relevant fields.

In addition to these projects, a total of 24 regional trainings have been organised and conducted by international specialists for research methods and management, gathering a total of 364 participants so far. In order to improve capacity building impact and research quality, we have financed individual mentoring sessions and participation at international conferences for research teams supported by the RRPP.

By 2015, a total of four annual scientific conferences were organised, involving over 600 regional and international scholars. Aside from the benefits gained via networking, such conferences provide researchers an opportunity to present their work, exposing it to critical review.

Furthermore, the RRPP initiated several projects related to “National Policy Dialogues” in all countries involved with its objective. These focused projects are aimed at influencing necessary systemic changes in social science research, simultaneously involving a number of relevant stakeholders such as ministers/ministries, rectors, deans and researchers from different disciplines representing a range of ages.

During 2012, support was granted to an additional pilot project entitled, “Data Centre Western Balkans”. It is currently coordinated by the University of Zurich. This project aims to assemble survey data relevant to social sciences in the Western Balkans, leading to easy and open access to said data. After the initial phase, should it be deemed successful, the project’s ownership shall be transferred to the region.

Finally, during the 2008-2011 period, the RRPP fully supported the “Regional Gender and Women’s Studies Network Project”, gathering scholars interested in regional gender studies. The project was implemented by the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje, Macedonia.
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RRPP Joint Volume

The RRPP is proud to present the volume Stagnation and Drift in the Western Balkans.
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New RRPP Flyer 2014

Please click here to download the current RRPP flyer.

08.12.2016

The upcoming press conference Engagement in Focus will be held at noon at the Cultural Centre of Belgrade, on 16 December 2016. The aim of the event is to present activities carried out so far in founding an international scholarly network dedicated to promoting public engagement and critical thinking. The conference will be organised within the RRPP-funded project Engaging Reflexivity, Reflecting Engagement.
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08.12.2016

On 15 November 2016, Foundation for Women’s Empowerment organised a conference within the RRPP-funded project Engendering Forced Migration, Socio-Political Transition and Mental Health in BiH, Serbia, and Kosovo. The aim of the conference was to present and discuss the key findings of the research conducted within the project. A book and a policy brief based on the research findings were promoted, and the event was concluded with the screening of the documentary film Transforming War Shattered Lives – Building Peace to Return Home.
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07.12.2016

European Policy Centre – CEP organised a working breakfast on the topic Achieving Excellence through Regional Cooperation, within the RRPP-funded project CEPS WeB. Organisers also presented the first position paper on the Centre for Expertise in Policymaking, which is now available online.
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07.12.2016

The research results on Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises, have recently been published. The research was conducted within the RRPP-funded project aimed at understanding the perceived challenges and opportunities for the employment of marginalised groups by social enterprises through mapping and providing typologies of social enterprise models in Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.
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01.12.2016

The event Caring for carers: Policy analysis of informal care provision in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been organised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal was to look at the current situation in the field of long-term care policies in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the perspective of different actors, to encourage the exchange of experiences and to identify measures that would take into account the needs and experiences of informal carers and improve their position.
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30.11.2016

Upcoming: RRPP Expert Debate on "Governing after Crisis: Flood Response and its Legacies" to be held on 15 December in Belgrade. The debate follows a one-year research project on Crisis Governance – Dealing with Floods in the Balkans. Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and aims at discussing its valid findings while addressing the following questions: What are the most lasting legacies and the effects of the flood response in 2014 in the region? Has the flood crisis in the Balkans led to an improvement of crisis governance mechanisms and transparency of a decision making process? Can civil society compensate for a weak state during the crisis and in its aftermath?
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23.11.2016

The conference “National Policy Dialogue in the Field of Social Sciences in the Republic of Serbia 2014-2016” was held in Belgrade, Serbia. Two panel discussions have been organised, focusing on the two main issues tackled within the project – collaboration between the researchers and policymakers, and the status of young researchers in Serbia.
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22.11.2016

Foundation for the Advancement of Economics is organising the third workshop within the RRPP-funded project Strengthening the Labour Market Research Network – Toward the Understanding of the Political Economy of Unemployment in the Western Balkans. The aim of the workshop is to present the results of the Labour Market Research Network’s research so far, and its research agenda and policy ideas beyond 2016.
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16.11.2016

Foundation for Women Empowerment is organising the Conference Psychosocial Well-being of Women Forced Migrants in the Western Balkans – Then and Now, on 23.11.2016, in Geneve, Switzerland. The conference examines gendered personal and social dimensions of stressful mobility patterns and health of internally displaced people, returnees and refugees, and their eventual integration in the post-conflict states in the former Yugoslavia.
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16.11.2016

Foundation Open society Macedonia organised the Expert Debate on the Draft Model of Feasible Research Funding in Macedonia within the RRPP National Policy Dialogue. Compared to the current model, the main difference is that the assessment of the project proposals and evaluation of the project results will be done by expert bodies.
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14.11.2016

Rural Development Forum will be held in Skopje, Macedonia on 17 and 18 November. It will gather researchers in the field of rural development from the South Eastern Europe, for a debate on different rural development issues in the region.
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07.11.2016

Development Solutions Associates organised the round table on Corruption and Clientelism – Causes and Effects in Tirana, Albania. The round table focused on the survey of more than 200 enterprises in Kosovo and Macedonia, conducted within the project Mapping Clientelism and its Causes: Rents, Rent-seeking and Democracy in Kosovo and Albania.
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31.10.2016

The systems of local government financing in Serbia and Montenegro often underwent drastic changes in the period 2000-2015. The study Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Government Financing in Serbia and Montenegro evaluates the legal quality and economic and factual effects of relevant legislation on local government budgets and status. learn more

27.10.2016

The latest trends of using behavioral economics and psychology in the development of public policies were presented at the event "Knowledge in the Service of Public Policy: Use of Behavioral Economy and Psychology in Creating Public Policies", organised by Analitika - Center for Social Research on 29 September 2016, within the National Policy Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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19.10.2016

Research results on Communication practices in the context of social uprisings and requests for public accountability, have been published recently. The aim of the research was to examine the goals of citizens’ protests and the movements which arose out of them, how government officials responded to calls for accountability, and how mainstream media reported on the protests and social mobilisation.
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18.10.2016

The recently published article “How do farmers respond to rural development challenges? Evidence from Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina” has been produced under the auspices of the RRPP-funded project Impact of Socio-economic Structure of Rural Population on Success of Rural Development Policy. It examines behavioural determinants and socio-economic characteristics that influence farmers’ intention to apply for rural development support.
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18.10.2016

Third RRPP National Policy Dialogue debate "Securing the high quality process of assessment of research project proposals" was organised in Macedonia. The discussants pointed out the need to adjust the criteria for the assessment of research projects vying for state funding, and the necessity of publishing the results of calls for project proposals.
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13.10.2016

Second National Policy Dialogue debate: Applying for research grants at the Ministry of Education and Science: What needs to be changed?, has been held in Skopje Macedonia. The debate focused on the need to change the policies that regulate the process of applying for funding with the Ministry of Education and Science for scientific projects.
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12.10.2016

The results of the RRPP-funded research project Migration as Social Protection: Analysis of Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian Remittance-receiving Households have been published recently. The research examines how remittances affect various facets of households’ vulnerability in Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia, three large recipients of such inflows.
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21.09.2016

Finance Think – Economic Research & Policy Institute from Skopje is organizing the Economic forum: Migrants’ Money Matters for the Development of the Western Balkans, which will be held on 22 September 2016, in Skopje, Macedonia. The main objective is to present the results of the project research about the role of remittances in social protection in the Western Balkan countries, and to open up the discussion about policies that regulate the use of remittances and possibilities for their improvements.
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20.09.2016

A presentation "Introduction of a new approach to public policies: The use of knowledge from behavioral economics and psychology in creating better and target public policies" will be held on 29 September in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The main objective is to present the latest trends, achievements and challenges in using insights from behavioral economics and psychology in the development of public policies.
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07.09.2016

7th RRPP Annual Conference took place on 2-3 September in Tirana, Albania, and brought together over 100 young researchers from the region and beyond. Its leading topic was "Europe in Times of Crises" and related compelling challenges for the European Union and its neighborhood. Composed of two speeches, three panels, five scientific workshops and a research fair, the event constituted an opportunity to look back on the ten years of RRPP, its achievements and lessons learnt.
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04.09.2016

First debate within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia: Priorities for support of scientific and research projects: Where to focus? took place in March 2016. It was centered around the question how the call for scientific research projects in the country should be organized: based on curiosity driven topics or specifically pre-defined ones. The discussants pointed out that the research themes should be specifically defined taking into consideration that experts, decision makers, and the business community need also to be consulted for defining priorities.
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09.08.2016

Round table "Members of parliament – chosen by the people or by party leaders?" took place in Belgrade, Serbia. Organized within the RRPP project, the event aimed at presenting the most relevant findings of a "Voter Study" conducted in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in Serbia (April 2016). The most gripping results reveal that the two thirds of Serbian citizens do not know the number of Members of Parliament (MPs) and express the lack of interest about politics. The low level of knowledge and interest enables politicians to act on their own and not be held accountable.
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09.08.2016

The book "Figura e armikut" was published as a part of the RRPP-funded project and had its promotion at the Albanian Ministry of Culture. The book gathers 24 articles written by Serbian and Albanian scholars, aimed at questioning the common prejudices between the two nations. In the words of the editors and commentators, this is the most comprehensive account on Serbian-Albanian relations available in Albanian so far, and the one that brings the most welcome critical view of the previously held assumptions about the centennial hostility between the two nations.
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14.07.2016

Research Academy "Introduction to Social Science Research Methods for Junior Researchers in the Western Balkans" was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and addressed the most relevant aspects of social science research methods. It helped 35 junior researchers to improve their methodological, analytical, and writing skills. The programme was composed of eight one-day and highly interactive modules run by 13 trainers from both West-European and regional universities and research institutes.
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14.07.2016

Conference "The way forward: The Role of the Academic Community and Research in Policy Development and Evidence-based Decision-making" was held in Prishtina and aimed at presenting the achievements of the RRPP National Policy Dialogue 2012 – 2016 in Kosovo. It was concluded that the development of credible and high quality research was the foundation upon which policy-making process should be built. Moreover, de-politicization of scientific research was a step towards an independent, innovative and socially responsible academic space.
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07.07.2016

Workshop on "Informality and Corruption in Kosovo: New Empirical Approaches" was held in Prishtina, Kosovo and aimed at presenting the findings of the RRPP-funded project Mapping Clientelism and its Causes: Rents, Rent-seeking and Democracy in Kosovo and Albania (1998-2013). The results unequivocally showed that corruption had a net growth-reducing effect in Albania and Kosovo and thus offered valuable insights to better target anti-corruption efforts.
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20.06.2016

Conference "The Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises" will be organized on 24 June in Skopje, Macedonia. The event is organized within the RRPP-funded project and aims at presenting the research findings for Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, while depicting the local and regional models and typology of social enterprises, the legal and institutional environment for social enterprises development and their potential to employ marginalized groups. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and a policy debate.
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07.06.2016

Round table on "Social identities of youth in Western Balkans: Relations and importance of ethnic, religious and national affection" was held in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina within the RRPP-funded project From inclusive identities to inclusive societies: exploring complex social identities in Western Balkans Youth and brought together around 65 participants. The findings demonstrated that in Bosnia and Herzegovina religious and ethnic identities were most meaningful even to the post-war population. The politicization of these identities still had psychological and social consequences, leading to the perception of other ethnic groups as the enemy in the political process.
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01.06.2016

Round Table "Out of Sight: Poverty, Rurality, Gender" was held in Belgrade within the RRPP-funded project Gender that Matters: Poverty and Social Inclusion – Social Protection Status in Rural Kosovo and Serbia carried out by the Centre for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy (CELAP) from Belgrade and the Centre for Communities Development (CRZ) from Kosovska Mitrovica. The main objective of this event was to bring together various actors involved in the process of creating and implementing social policies, and thus to enable discussion on the opportunities for the improvement of the current situation in the field of social protection. It was concluded that social protection system must be stable and durable, regardless of the political changes and economic turbulences.
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31.05.2016

Press release: A third of BiH citizens believe that democracy is not appropriate political system for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The document has been issued within the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy. It entails the preliminary results derived from the general population survey conducted by the BiH research team: A considerable number of respondents (23%) are not at all interested in politics, while 70% rarely or never follow political events in the country. Only 36% have a strong intent to vote in the upcoming elections.
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25.05.2016

Round table on "Reintegration of Young Asylum Seekers in the Albanian Education System" is held on 25 May in Tirana, Albania. The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and addresses the compelling need of re-integration of young returned asylum seekers in the education system. The debate centeres on the following questions: What are the upcoming initiatives and policies to enable and support a sustainable reintegration of returned asylum seekers, especially school children? Are these initiatives based on comprehensive processes? What are the potential challenges while preparing such initiatives and how to address them?
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07.12.2016

European Policy Centre – CEP organised a working breakfast on the topic Achieving Excellence through Regional Cooperation, within the RRPP-funded project CEPS WeB. Organisers also presented the first position paper on the Centre for Excellence in Policymaking, which is now available online.
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University of Fribourg
Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern
Europe

Bd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
Tel +41 26 300 79 97
Fax +41 26 300 96 26
office@rrpp-westernbalkans.notexisting@nodomain.comnet