The governmental institutions are the Office for Community Affairs key partners.
Ministry of Communities and Returns
The Ministry of Communities and Returns is the primary partner of the Office for Community Affairs. They will collaborate in developing policies pertaining to communities, conduct regular mapping of communities needs at the municipal level, in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Government Administration, in designing the Strategy for Communities and annual Action Plans, as specified in the article 13 of the Law on the Protection and Promotion of Communities and their Members, identifying communities issues and bring it to the attention of relevant State institutions or structures, developing information campaigns and determining the use of funds.
Ministry of Local Government Administration
The Ministry of Local Government Administration is the primary channel for the Office for Community Affairs to monitor the implementation of legislation and policies, and evaluate their effectiveness and adequacy to the needs of communities members, at the municipal level. In addition, The Ministry of Local Government Administration will enable the Office for Community Affairs to diffuse information and will assist the Office in ensuring an efficient distribution of funds for community projects at the municipal or local level.
Other Line Ministries
While the Office for Community Affairs has an advisory role, recommending measures to the Prime Minister to improve the delivery of policies to communities and their members, the ministries are in charge of implementing these policies and therefore are the natural partner of the Office.
The Office for Community Affairs will therefore closely monitor the activity of each ministry in respect of communities issues and recommend measures to the Prime Minister to ensure the effective implementation of legislation and policies related to communities.
Ministerial Human Rights Units
The Office for Community Affairs will closely work with the ministerial Human Rights Units, in particular with the community specialists, enabling the Office to dispose of a focal point in each ministry, to monitor their activities with respect to communities issues.
Office for Good Governance, Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Gender
The Office for Good Governance, within the Prime Ministers Office has a mission to oversee and advise the ministries, as well as to develop policy and issue guidelines, in the areas of good governance, human rights, equal opportunity and gender. Since minority rights form an integral part of human rights, community issues crosscut the human rights agenda, the Office for Good Governance and the Office for Community Affairs have similar responsibilities in their respective areas, they will closely collaborate in the conduct of their activities to ensure effective cooperation and avoid duplication of efforts.
Consultative Council for Communities
The Consultative Council for Communities, as the main body enabling communities to bring their views to the attention of the Government, will be a essential tool for the Office for Community Affairs to identify communities needs and recommend tailored policies adequate to meet these needs. In addition, the Consultative Council for Communities will provide feedback on the perceived efficiency of governmental policies and cooperate on the design of information campaigns.
Assembly of Kosovo and its Committee for the Rights and Interests of Communities
The Office for Community Affairs, as a governmental body, is ultimately responsible to report its work and achievements before the Assembly of Kosovo and will cooperate with relevant governmental institutions to provide the Assembly with the necessary information enabling it to evaluate the Governments work with regards to communities. In addition, the Assembly of Kosovo, having the primary function to adopt legislation, and the Office for Community Affairs, having the responsibility to ensure the compliance of proposed laws with the legislative framework in force for the protection and promotion of community rights and their adequacy to address communities concerns, will provide the Assembly, and more precisely, the Committee for the Rights and Interest of Communities, with all requested information enabling the Committee to carry its mandate.
The Ombudsperson Institution, as an independent institution mandated to address alleged human rights violation or abuses of authority by Kosovo public institutions and ensure that that all persons in Kosovo are able to exercise effectively the human rights and fundamental freedoms safeguarded by international human rights standards, provide an independent assessment of the implementation of human rights standards at the local level.
As such, the Ombudsperson Institution will enable the Office for Community Affairs to address repeated violations of community rights and bring the attention of the Prime Minister to high profile cases requiring strong political commitment.
International Civilian Office
The International Civilian Office, created in the Comprehensive Proposal for Kosovo Status Settlement and tasked with the supervision of the implementation of the Proposals provisions, is a key international partner of the Office for Community Affairs.
With its presence at the municipal level, establishing regular meeting with ICO representatives will enable the Office for Community Affairs to conduct monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation.
European Commission Liaison Office in Kosovo
The European Commission Liaison Office in Kosovo is responsible for the implementation of the European Union policy on Kosovo and supports the Kosovo institutions in meeting the criteria for accession, through the Stabilisation and Association Process, the provision of advice and guidance to Kosovos reform efforts, as well as substantial financial assistance. The European Commission Liaison is therefore a key partner of the Office for Community Affairs in upholding respect for minority rights.
European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX)
The EULEX mission is mandated to assist the Kosovo authorities in the development of the rule of law. Support is focused in the areas of policing, the judiciary and customs, contributing towards the strengthening of multi-ethnic institutions free from political interference, adhering to internationally recognized standards and European best practices. The mission, in full co-operation with the European Commission Assistance Programmes, will implement its mandate through monitoring, mentoring and advising, while retaining certain executive responsibilities. EULEX is therefore an important partner of the Office for Community Affairs in ensuring justice, security and freedom of movement for members of communities.
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
In accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1244, UNMIK established an international presence in Kosovo. Up until the declaration of independence, UNMIK has moved back from an executive role to one of monitoring and support to local institutions.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP is the UNs global development network. Within Kosovo it focuses on economic development and employment; support to Roma, Ashkali and Egiptian communities; security and rule of law; and returns and reconciliation. UNDPs network of returns officers and strong link with local government make it a useful partner for the Office for Community Affairs.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
UNHCR is mandated to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. Within Kosovo, its activities applicable to the work of the Office for Community Affairs include advocating for increased community access to public services, providing legal advice to community members to resolve issues such as property rights, pensions and documentation, and inter-ethnic dialogue and tolerance building at the local level.
Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR)
The OHCHR is a department of the UN Secretariat mandated to promote and protect human rights. Its work in Kosovo involves monitoring the human rights situation, advising local institutions on human rights issues including compliance of legislation with international human rights standards, and supporting the Ombudsperson institution. All of these activities are relevant to communities in Kosovo and therefore to the work of the Office for Community Affairs.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Kosovo and High Commissioner for National Minorities
The OSCE mission in Kosovo is mandated with institution and democracy building and promoting human rights and the rule of law. It has a particularly strong presence in the field. The High Commissioner for National Minorities is mandated as an instrument of conflict prevention at the earliest possible stage. The High Commissioner acts as an early warning system and as a preventative diplomatic mission. The Office for Community Affairs will use these institutions as a mechanism for improving its general understanding of minority issues and for identifying potential challenges for the government in its dealings with communities.
International non-governmental organizations (INGOs)
Care International, the Danish Refugee Council, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, Swiss Caritas and World Vision are among a number of INGOs operational within Kosovo. Their work in the areas of community stabilization, return and minority rights makes them important partners with the Office for Community Affairs through joint projects and information sharing.
Kosovo civil society and community NGOs also impact the work of the Office for Community Affairs through information sharing and joint projects. Community Representative Organizations (CROs), part of the Consultative Council for Communities (CCC) network of community based organizations, articulate community priorities to the CCC and form a crucial feedback loop for the government on prospective policy and law.
As articulated above, the Office will work closely with the CCC to utilize its communications channels with communities, helping the Office shape the governments work on communities in an inclusive and holistic manner.