Local Government Strategy in South East Europe

Position: Research Associate

Organization: Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS)

Direct Report: Kelmend Zajazi, Executive Director of NALAS

Project Duration: 5 Weeks

Project Location: Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia and Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

Project Summary:  

The consultant project was part of a privately funded effort to enhance the economic development capacity and digitalization efforts of local governments within 12 countries within South East Europe.  The deliverable for the project was to assist with surveying economic development strategies for local communities across the Western Balkans; prepare policy recommendations and administrative strategies to advance digitization of local government services; and analyze regulatory decentralization policies pertaining to economic development.

Project Results:

  • Completed an extensive public policy research project on how NALAS could help local governments successfully contribute to the Digital Integration component of the European Commission supported Multi-Annual Action Plan for a Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans (MAP REA) that is being implemented by the Regional Cooperation Council. 

  • Prepared a comprehensive workplan that recommended NALAS create a Digital Task Force and leverage its role as a knowledge management center to identify existing standards, guiding principles, best practices, and case studies on digital infrastructure development, 5G deployment, enhancing cyber security, digital skills development and acceleration of digitization at the local government level.

  • Assisted in reviewing a GIZ funded project proposal to enhance the capacity of local governments within the Western Balkans to support the social rights of vulnerable groups as part of the EU accession negotiations and in line with the “Leave No One Behind” principle of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Created local economic development indicators to evaluate the extent of regulatory decentralization of local governments within South-East Europe as a part of the NALAS Regional Decentralization Observatory Index.

  • Drafted a survey for local governments within South-East Europe to identify their legal framework, organizational structure, programs, and performance metrics for local economic development.

 

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