The Western Balkan focus countries of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Good Governance Fund (GGF) have suffered violent conflict within the last 20 years and remain vulnerable to complex inter-ethnic and political tensions.
Simultaneously, each country is at a different stage, and differing level of commitment, on its EU accession pathway, with North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia all delivering socio-economic reform priorities to support integration. They still, however, require highly focused technical assistance to support their efforts to build resilience to political and economic shocks, as well strengthening democratic, accountable institutions across the region.
The Technical Assistance Facility – Western Balkans (TAF WB) seeks to build this resilience and strengthen domestic reform agendas by reducing corruption, promoting transparent and accountable institutions and building open, inclusive economies and societies in Serbia, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Our team has been delivering technical assistance projects to the programme since 2020. Their combined experience allows us to respond to demands and rapidly design and mobilise solutions as they evolve. Our delivery partners are regionally based, or have worked extensively across the region, bringing critical understanding of regional issues and complexities, as well as the ability to mobilise local and international experts.
We work with the FCDO Good Governance Fund team at central and country level to develop a clear understanding of each project’s contribution to the wider UK Government aims, as well as local reform owner priorities to ensure clearly articulated solutions. Flexibility and responsiveness are at the heart of the Fund’s purpose, with all stages of the project cycle geared to evolving political and operational conditions, new entry points, potential risks, and emerging priorities – all within critical windows of opportunity for stakeholders.
Key areas of our work include:
- Supporting reform to the business environment and economic governance
- Strengthening institutions for more effective governance and service delivery
- Supporting anti-corruption, transparency and judicial reform
- Strengthening civil society
- Promoting an independent media.
Our team’s approach and decision-making are guided by robust evidence and ongoing learning to provide support that is tailored to each country’s needs – even if those needs change. To do this, we co-designed a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning approach which enables us and our partners to monitor results and make significant learning process.
During TAF WB’s first year, we have supported:
- The development and communication of the Government of North Macedonia’s Energy Strategy Action Plan;
- A series of crisis communications campaigns together with strategic communications capacity building in Bosnia;
- The development and piloting of public sector transparency and integrity mechanisms in Bosnia; and
- A high-profile project in Serbia to support economic governance and COVID-19 economic recovery, with particular focus on workers in informal sectors.
This programme is delivered in partnership with the Programme Management Unit (PMU) and a sister technical assistance facility in the Eastern Partnership.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK