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.

31.07.2015

Research Result now available online: "Agency Transparency and Accountability: Comparative Analysis of Five Regulated Sectors in Serbia and Macedonia". This publication represents the research outcome of a year-long project Are Regulatory Agencies in Serbia and Macedonia Transparent and Accountable? carried out by the Belgrade Institute for Public Policy and Transparency International Macedonia. It analyses the levels of transparency of ten agencies from Serbia and Macedonia, operating in five major regulated sectors.
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31.07.2015

Round Table "Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy – Case of Montenegro" took place on 21 July in Podgorica, Montenegro. It was organized by the Center for Monitoring and Research CeMI to present the case Montengero within the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy. The introduction of preferential voting and the low level of internal party democracy were addressed as well.
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31.07.2015

Round Table: "Reform of the Political and Electoral System in Serbia" was held on 10 July at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade to present the first research findings of the RRPP-funded project Balkan Comparative Electoral Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy and to contribute to the ongoing debate on the reform of political system in Serbia.
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08.07.2015

Panel 2 at the 6th RRPP Annual Conference, 28-29 May in Ohrid, Macedonia: Shifting to Evidence-Based Policy Making: Where and What to Start With? Moderated by Eoin Young from the International Center for Policy Advocacy (ICPA), the discussion was focused on the opportunities for researchers to deliver different scenarios, modelling and analyses for the government. Apart from basic statistical data for reports, governments need impact assessment (RIA), to look at financial costs and long term impact of investments on society or the lack thereof.
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08.07.2015

Panel 1 at the 6th RRPP Annual Conference, 28-29 May in Ohrid, Macedonia: "Balkans at the Crossroads: Between Democratisation and Authoritarian Tendencies" was moderated by Andreas Ernst, Neue Zürcher Zeitung. On the one hand their political systems developed into a new type of authoritarianism based on informality and clientelism, embedded in a national conservative discourse, while maintaining their EU integration aspirations. On the other hand, the new social movements resulting from a deep crisis of institutions and the crisis of trust in politicians have challenged the authoritarian backlash.
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08.07.2015

The Keynote Speech during the 6th RRPP Annual Conference, 28-29 May in Ohrid, Macedonia: “Of Godfathers and Scarfaces” – The Authoritarian Backlash in the Western Balkans was given by Jelena Dzankic, Marie Curie Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy and Soeren Keil, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom.
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04.07.2015

Upcoming: Round Table on Migration of Health Care Workers from the Western Balkans - Analysing Causes, Consequences and Policies is taking place on 7 July in Skopje with the purpose to present main research results of this RRPP-funded project implemented by Heathgrouper (Macedonia) and individual researchers from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia.
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01.07.2015

Workshop on "Producing Policy Relevant Analysis & Writing to Influence Decision Making" was held on 25-27 June in Belgrade, Serbia. Organised within the framework of Policy Bridging Initiative (PBI) the event brought together 20 participants from 11 RRPP-funded projects. It was focused on supporting RRPP researchers to develop evidence-driven arguments and effective policy papers as a solid foundation for policy advocacy.
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01.07.2015

Center for Social Research Analitika (Bosnia and Herzegovina) started a new web platform PolicyHub (www.policyhub.net) dedicated to the development of social research, with a focus on policy-relevant and applied research in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans. If you are interested in contributing to this platform by providing a text or participating in various PolicyHub initiatives, contact the editors: info@policyhub.notexisting@nodomain.comnet.
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27.06.2015

Upcoming: Round Table on "Reform of political and electoral system in Serbia" is held on 10 July at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade. The event is organised within the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy. Its purpose is to gather members of academic community and representatives of political elite and civil society to discuss the preliminary findings of the project and to make joint contribution to the debate on reform of political system in Serbia.
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25.06.2015

Call for Papers: Scientific Conference on "Informality in Central and South-East Europe: Linkages between Political and Economic Actors." The international conference takes place at the University of Belgrade on 30-31 October 2015, organised by SeConS - Development Initiative Group within the RRPP-funded project Informal Practices of Capturing Economic Resources by Political Elites: Exploring Party Patronage in Kosovo and Serbia. Deadline for abstract submission: 31 July 2015.
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25.06.2015

Call for Applications: “International Workshop for Managers of Research Organizations in the Western Balkans” to be held on 19-21 October in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; jointly organised by the Center for Social Research Analitika, the Regional Research Promotion Program in the Western Balkans (RRPP) and the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Foundations. It will offer an insight into the theory and practice of managing research organizations through presentations by managers from leading think tanks and research institutes from the region and EU. Apply till 15 July.
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25.06.2015

National Conference on "Fostering Evidence-Informed Policy-making Practices in Albania" was held on 10 June in Tirana. It brought together policy-makers, scientists, experts and data ‘providers’ to discuss the evidence-informed policy-making in Albania, the capacity of policy-makers to use research and of researchers to produce quality outputs, as well as the incentives which make them cooperate with each other.
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24.06.2015

“Scientific Café” II: Studying, Teaching and Conducting Research at the University of Prishtina (UP) was organised by the Local Coordination Unit Kosovo as a part of the National Policy Dialogue on the 3rd June 2015. The lack of research quality, exchange and competitiveness, as well as overloading the UP’s academic staff with teaching obligations are the main problems of the higher education in Kosovo.
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24.06.2015

Round Table on "Implementation of Research Results in the Field of Social Sciences in the Policy Making Processes in Serbia" was organized on the 21st of May 2015 by the RRPP Local Coordination Unit of Serbia in cooperation with the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to present and discuss the preliminary results obtained from the extensive research based on face-to-face in depth interviews.
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24.06.2015

Conference "Regulatory Agencies under Challenge" was held at the London School of Economics within the Academic Mentoring Programme. The event was a joint initiative of the RRPP-funded project Are Regulatory Agencies in Serbia and Macedonia Accountable and Transparent? and the mentoring institution the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at the LSE.
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23.06.2015

Round Table in Skopje: "Macedonia 2015 - Between Authoritarian Temptations and Europeanization?" brought together some 70 participants representing media, civil society, academia and state authorities. The debate centered on the way out of the authoritarian tendencies in Macedonia: the new concept of politics embodied by the new social movement. The detailed report and the programme are now available online.
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18.06.2015

RRPP Young Researchers Club Albania met again on 17 June 2015 at Tirana Times Bookstore. The event focused on “How to get published”. The guest speaker, Prof. Denise Burnette from Columbia School of Social Work, addressed such topics as the difficulty to express one’s ideas in a foreign language; how to avoid plagiarism; and how to benefit from open access journals at an early stage of the academic career.
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17.06.2015

Research results presentation on 24 June: Round Table on the RRPP funded project The Impact of Socio-economic Structure of Rural Population on Success of Rural Development Policy takes place at 11.00 a.m. at Media Center (Medija Centar) in Belgrade.
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16.06.2015

Meeting with the Kosovo Assembly Committee for Education, Culture, Youth, Sports, Public Administration, Local Government and Media was held on 27 May as a part of the National Policy Dialogue, which aims to increase the level of implementation of strategic policies, programs and laws related to research and higher education in Kosovo. The purpose of the meeting was to present the program’s main findings and recommendations to the Committee members and discuss with them the possibility of implementing these recommendations.
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16.06.2015

Round table “Social security system and remittances as informal social protection in Macedonia” was held on 10 June in Skopje. It aimed at presenting the preliminary results of the RRPP funded project “Migration as social protection: Analysis of Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian remittance-receiving households”.
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16.06.2015

Workshop in Prishtina within the RRPP funded Project "Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations" was one of the first official meetings and initiatives for academic collaboration of scholars from the University of Belgrade and University of Prishtina since the late 1990s. The event was held on 26 May at the Dean’s Chamber of the Faculty of Philology, University of Prishtina. This RRPP funded project is implemented by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade and KPZ Beton from Belgrade, in co-operation with Qendra multimedia from Prishtina.
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16.06.2015

Call for Applications for the journal Comparative Balkan Politics (CBP) within the RRPP funded project "Balkan Comparative Electoral Study" - CBP is now accepting manuscripts for its first issue that will include a special section on "Internal Party Democracy", welcoming research articles with both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Deadline for manuscript submission: July 20th, 2015.
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04.06.2015

Round Table on "Developing Human Resources and Capacities in Support of Excellence in Social Science Research" was held at Ministry of Education and Sport in Tirana. At the core of the event was a debate over objectives of the national policy reform on higher education in Albania.
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23.05.2015

Workshop on "Policy Link and Brief Writing – Making the Link from Research to Policy" took place on 14-16 May 2015 in Durrës, Albania. The trainining was focused on how to produce policy relevant analysis and recommendations.
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21.05.2015

26 May 2015: The Round Table entitled "MACEDONIA 2015: Between Authoritarian Temptations and Europeanization? Discussing the trajectories of political change in Macedonia and its democratic prospects" brings together renown speakers and takes place in Holiday Inn Hotel, Skopje, 18:00-20:30.
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08.05.2015

Save the date: National Conference "Fostering Evidence-Informed Policymaking Practices in Albania" is organized on 10 June in Tirana, Albania.
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30.04.2015

Substantial preliminary results of the project "Implementation of the Social Science Research Results in the Policy-Making Process" were presented at the Round Table Ways to Involve Research and Academic Community in the Public Policy Management System in Serbia on 17 April 2015.
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30.04.2015

"Scientific Café" was organized on 16 April in Prishtina to discuss challenges faced by Kosovan researchers while studying abroad and upon their return. The meeting was attended by Kosovan scholars who currently study or have already finished academic programs abroad as well as students aspiring to pursue their studies at foreign universities.
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16.04.2015

RRPP Young Researchers Club Albania (YRC) met again on 10 March to discuss alternative support possibilities for scientific research in Albania. At that informative meeting three experienced guest speakers presented an overview of research funding opportunities in various countries, be it through the European Training Foundation, Horizon 2020 or the PERFORM programme.
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16.04.2015

Round Table "Use of Scientific Evidence in Designing Social Protection Policies in Albania" was held in Tirana at the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth on 27 March. It aimed at reflecting on the relevance of evidence-based policy-making. Participants identified the political will as a key to success of the integration of evidence into policy-making processes. Furthermore, the need for training of the policy-makers in the acquisition and implementation of evidence is another essential factor.
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15.04.2015

Round table "Institutional models of regulatory bodies in the Republic of Macedonia" was held in Skopje on 12 March and brought together some 40 participants. It aimed at elaborating on the first results of the RRPP-funded project "Are the regulatory bodies in Serbia and Macedonia transparent and accountable?"
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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