Social services in pandemic times: Monitoring report on the process of decentralization of social services

Bukurezë Surdulli and Donjetë Kelmendi - Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo - KOMF

The main purpose of the Monitoring Report on the Decentralization Process of Social Services for 2020, is the reflection of the current situation on the full implementation of the decentralisation process of social services in Kosovo. Kosovo started a decentralisation process of social services in 2009, aiming to bring social services as closer as possible to children and families in need. However, a new report by Eurochild member, Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection Kosovo – KOMF, the process has been hindered by the pandemic and is yet to be completed.

In fact, both national and local governments focused on handling the pandemic throughout 2020, leaving social services aside and contributing to the deterioration of social welfare in the country.

As it stands, NGOs continue to face uncertainty due to lack of financing, limited capacities and lack of accountability and cooperation with authorities. Given the aggravated situation due to Covid-19, the Coalition calls for the government and municipalities to:

  • adopt the Law on Local Government Finance and the Specific Grant for Social Services to provide sustainable financing;
  • develop a sustainable funding scheme for contracting social services;
  • adopt the Law on Social and Family Services to better define responsibilities at the national and local level;
  • invest in building the municipalities’ capacity to manage social services.