Regional and Global Reflections on CSO Accountability in the Balkans

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.

Ms. Maria Marinakou, Project Team Leader at Eptisa, reflected how self-assessment mechanisms could improve the quality of social services provided by the CSOs. Besides the global dimensions regarding the self-assessment mechanisms, Ms. Marinakou also focuses on the Macedonian context as a parallel process, reflecting how these processes create synergies, convergence, and complementarity. She particularly emphasized that CSOs accountability is related to the self-commitment in legal and reporting requirements that come from external contexts and stakeholders, but it is also related to the challenges to demonstrate accountability to the people, especially the poor and marginalized as constituencies for which CSOs work.

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.

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN)